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Enigmas: The Egyptian Moment in Art and Society: Egyptian Moment in Society and Art (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 17. Juli 1995


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Synopsis

What do we fear most? repetition or difference? The return of a barbarism that is remote and prehistoric, or the advent of a barbarism that is technological and post-human. This book argues that our society is living through an "Egyptian moment" - a postmodern era marked by a particular brand of reification. As the products of high technology come increasingly to assume organic properties, to be endowed with an independent capacity for perception, humanity becomes thing-like, not in the familiar sense of unconscious alienation, but rather in the sense of deliberate and cynical treatment of itself as an object. We are, he claims, undergoing a process of self-mummification. Perniola mixes philosophy and aesthetics, whether he is discussing "strategic beauty" in the work of Baltasar Gracian, the "anti-cynicism" of Carlo Michelstaedter or Guy Debord's notion of the secret. In his approach to such topics as periodization, the place of the mirror in Western thought, hermeneutics and utopianism, he draws from "high" and "mass" culture with sometimes startling effect.

The scope of Perniola's enquiry is wide, ranging from Pulcinella to the latest forms of video culture, via Baroque aesthetics. But his focus, always, is on contemporary experience, an experience brought about neither by a return of the repressed nor by future shock, but by their enigmatic coincidence. This book provides a perceptive guide to a condition in which ancient past and imaginable future are not merely similar, but can all too easily be confused.

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Christopher Woodall has by this point lived and studied in several European languages and places and worked at a variety of trades. Yet most of his writing still springs from a single, at first seemingly inconsequential, year-long encounter with a group of workingmen, in France, in 1976. At present, among other things, he is working on the second novel in the tetralogy initiated with November. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Taschenbuch.

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