The Philosophical Baroque

Erik S. Roraback, The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities (Leiden/Boston: Brill, 2017).

The book aims as a critical enterprise to substantiate a new way of conceiving of the baroque as a more thoroughgoing and accurate periodizing category for cultural history (or of capitalist “modernity”, so-called) in certain patterns of literature, of theory and of philosophy by examining the baroque or neo-baroque aesthetics and subjectivities that may be extracted from certain target-texts. Adopted from the flyer for the book:


                                                › Hardback (xvi + 295 pp. 3 ill.)

                                                › ISBN: 9789004323278

                                                › List price: €110 / $132

                                                › Language: English

                                                › Literary Modernism, 2

                                                › Imprint: BRILL

In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture,                      contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and                Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Žižek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will interest            all who take an interest in cultural modernity—indeed, all who recognize that “modernity” was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies.

                                                                                              R E V I E W S :

                                                “Erik Roraback's The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic                                                                 Modernities is a great book that will engage an energetic and important subfield of scholarship.

                                                —William Egginton, The Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the                                                            Humanities, The Johns Hopkins University, author of The Theater of Truth: The Ideology of (Neo) Baroque Aesthetics (Stanford University                                                             Press).

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