Afterness: Figures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics (Columbia Themes in Philosophy, Social Criticism, and the Arts)

By Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter's groundbreaking research argues that the idea that of "afterness" is a key determine within the concept and aesthetics of modernity. It pursues questions corresponding to: What does it suggest for anything to "follow" anything else? Does that which follows mark a transparent holiday with what got here earlier than it, or does it in reality tacitly perpetuate its predecessor on account of its inevitable indebtedness to the phrases and stipulations of that from which it claims to have departed? certainly, isn't the very act of breaking with, after which following upon, a fashion of retroactively developing and fortifying that from which the holiday that set the flow of following into movement had occurred?

The publication explores the idea that and circulate of afterness as a privileged but uncanny classification via shut readings of writers resembling Kant, Kafka, Heidegger, Bloch, Benjamin, Brecht, Adorno, Arendt, Lyotard, and Derrida. It exhibits how the vexed suggestions of afterness, following, and coming after shed new mild on a constellation of recent preoccupations, together with own and cultural reminiscence, translation, images, wish, and the ancient and conceptual specificity of what has been termed "after Auschwitz." The study's numerous analyses—across a heterogeneous choice of smooth writers and thinkers, different ancient moments of articulation, and various media—conspire to light up Lyotard's apodictic assertion that "after philosophy comes philosophy. however it has been altered via the 'after.'" As Richter's elaborate research demonstrates, a lot hinges on our interpretation of the "after." in any case, our so much primary assumptions pertaining to glossy aesthetic illustration, conceptual discourse, group, subjectivity, and politics are at stake.

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Our interrogation of the hyphen that either separates and connects nach and denken provokes a chain of questions: what's intended whilst something is expounded to “follow” one other? Does what follows mark a transparent holiday with what comes earlier than, or does it mockingly perpetuate its predecessor by way of closing absolute to the thoughts and prerequisites of that from which it was once suggestion to have taken its depart? isn't the very act of breaking with, after which following upon, a fashion of retroactively developing and consolidating that which, within the example of being farewelled, has set into movement the very move of following? for instance, by way of mentioning their independence from the English motherland, the yankee colonists laid declare to an afterness that used to be predicated on a holiday with colonial authority. even if, within the very act of stating their independence, the colonists additionally unwittingly reaffirmed colonial authority. nine One breaks with whatever or someone—declaring and explaining one’s choice to that anything or someone—only insofar as one additionally acknowledges that whatever or an individual as owning the authority that will dictate the need of the sort of assertion within the first position. a really self sufficient topic could haven't any have to justify its independence to a different if that topic didn't additionally, within the very act of saying independence, aspire to usurp the best to make such declarations. noticeable from this angle, a holiday with anything that offers approach to a following upon it's not basically itself but additionally its opposite—that is, either a negation of what's damaged clear of and while an confirmation, whether via negation, of the exact same factor. it truly is immediately a negation of what's being rejected and a affirmation of a similar. The query of supersession and of the after is itself infected by way of a type of afterness, a vital, if formerly in simple terms peripherally articulated thought-figure within the discourse of speculative idea and sleek aesthetics. issues of following are safely issues of an afterness that holds us in its grip. My neologism afterness (Nachheit in German) denotes a rhetorical, highbrow, and experiential phenomenon that emerges from our figuring out of lateness, supersession, and posteriority. The time period turns out valuable insofar as comparable notions, reminiscent of the psychoanalytic suggestion of retroactivity or deferred motion (Nachträglichkeit), for all their undisputed relevance to a contemplating afterness, can't do justice to the total scope of the afterness phenomenon. in addition, the idea that of afterness represents an try and acknowledge—in an unconventional method, to be sure—the theoretical results of a semantic aspect that's relevant to the German language. the level to which the centrality of the note nach, or “after,” in German might or is probably not replicated in different languages is an issue of secondary significance, for it might probably be the case subterranean connection of thought-figures and percentages is delivered to mild in German that during different languages—“post-” or après—has no longer been retained during this shape or maybe should be obscured by means of them.

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