Christoph Menke

  • The Sovereignty of Art

    The Sovereignty of Art

    Aesthetic Negativity in Adorno and Derrida

    Christoph Menke

    In this book Christoph Menke attempts to explain art's sovereign power to subvert reason without falling into an error common to Adorno's negative dialectics and Derrida's deconstruction.

    Recent discussions of aesthetics, whether in the hermeneutic or the analytic tradition, understand the place of art and aesthetic experience according to a model of "autonomy"—as just one among the many modes of experience that make up the realm of reason, situated beside the other "spheres of value." In contrast, Theodor Adorno and Jacques Derrida view art and aesthetic experience as a medium for the dissolution of nonaesthetic reason, an experientially enacted critique of reason. Art is not only autonomous, following its own law, different from nonaesthetic reason, but sovereign: it subverts the rule of reason.In this book Christoph Menke attempts to explain art's sovereign power to subvert reason without falling into an error common to Adorno's negative dialectics and Derrida's deconstruction. The error, which already appeared in romanticism, is to conceive of the sovereignty of art as reflecting the superiority of its knowledge. For art entails no knowledge and its negativity toward reason cannot be articulated as an insight into the nature of reason: art is sovereign not despite, but because of, its autonomy. Menke brings to his arguments a firm grounding in both philosophy and literary studies, as well as familiarity with German, French, and American sources.

    • Hardcover $47.00
    • Paperback $25.00

Contributor

  • Aesthetics of Standstill

    Aesthetics of Standstill

    Reinhold Görling, Barbara Gronau, and Ludger Schwarte

    Essays consider the temporality and the aesthetics of “standstill.”

    "Standstill” could be the name for the kind of experience that is the hiatus between social expectations and real possibilities of agency. Standstill may also be the name of an aesthetic strategy to instill a nonlinear time of resistance and experience into the political protocol of progress. Finally, standstill can be the name for the temporal fissure in the midst of the subject, for the lapse between the subject of the enunciation and the subject of a statement, the limit that is the border between the inside and the outside. It can be the name for the mode of potentiality, for the moment of gesture, or, with Walter Benjamin, the medium of the dialectical image. The essays of this book traverse these dimensions of standstill as an in-between of time.

    Contributors Georges Didi-Huberman, Reinhold Görling, Barbara Gronau, Adrian Heathfield, Erika Fischer-Lichte, Oliver Marchart, Rita McBride, Christoph Menke, Aernout Mik, Misha Kavka, David Lapoujade, Mirjam Lewandowsky, Via Lewandowsky, Peter Osborne, Christine Ross, Marcel Odenbach, Jacques Rancière, Ludger Schwarte, Martin Seel

    • Paperback $28.00