By Henry Sussman
Today's critic has to be anything of a thinker in addition to a poet. but her workremains specifically that of the shut reader, and the emergence of the valuesembodied via the shut reader to face along these of the thinker andthe poet can be some of the most major highbrow advancements to emergein the post-World warfare II years.This e-book analyzes the language poets, Deleuze and Guattari, and above allBenjamin and Derrida, to track some of the dimensions of the duty of the critic.It concludes with an important bankruptcy at the value of Derrida's contemporary workfor the conceptualization of faith, and with an Afterword studying therole of the Romantic discourse of the fragment within the archeology of all thesediscursive strands.The activity of the critic, now invited to go through the discourses ofphilosophy, poetry, and faith past that of shut examining, has neverbeen harder-nor have we ever been extra short of it.
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Extra info for The Task of the Critic: Poetics, Philosophy, Religion
This controlled randomness, as Lauwerier shows, is related to what is called ‘‘deterministic chaos. . A fractal incorporating ‘‘deterministic chaos’’ into the formula it graphs will involve both a high degree of statistical self-similarity and also a high degree of unpredictability and discontinuity. 43 When the occasion for Miller’s writing becomes the black holes that are at once sublime lacunae opening up in systematic thought and administration and the precondition for writing and knowledge in an age of globalization and ﬂows of enterprise and meaning on a galactic scale, fractals present themselves as a fortuitous ﬁgure for the inscription that the situation demands.
The cultural heritage of language—Saussure’s langue—is sufﬁcient to this most energetic exercise. While Derrida could acknowledge a tempering of the tenor and results of writing brought about by modern urban conditions, he would never get to the point that Benjamin reaches, of devising an allegorically urban script. ‘‘Pharmakon means coup,’’ Derrida writes. The report echoing from its sudden concussion includes ‘‘a shot ﬁred,’’ ‘‘a planned overthrow,’’ ‘‘dice,’’ ‘‘the unsuspected dramatic effect,’’ ‘‘kolaphos .
Colpus . . coup . . glyph . . scalpel . . scalp . . khrusos . . chrysolite . . ’’ What is being opened up here is not an endless horizon for sociolinguistic intervention, as was the case in the Athenaeum fragments. The existing network of signiﬁcation encompasses all the variants it needs for a critical questioning of historically arranged sequences and formal, generic, stylistic, and grammatical typologies. Derrida’s reading of Plato is not only language-critical, in the sense in which the commentaries of Schlegel and Benjamin are as well.
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