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Description - Premises by Werner Hamacher

"Poetry does not impose, it exposes itself," wrote Paul Celan. Werner Hamacher's investigations into crucial texts of philosophical and literary modernity show that Celan's apothegm is also valid for the structure of understanding and for language in general. "Subject position" is widely invoked today, yet Hamacher is the first to thoroughly investigate the premises for this invocation. He demonstrates that the promise of a subject position is not only unavoidable--and thus produces more and more fundamentalisms--but is also unattainable and therefore always open to innovation, revision, and unexpected transformation. In a book that is both philosophical and literary, Hamacher gives us the fullest account of the vast disruption in the very nature of our understanding that was first unleashed by Kant's critique of human subjectivity.

In light of the double nature of every premise--that it is promised but never attainable--Hamacher gives us nine decisive themes, topics, and texts of modernity: the hermeneutic circle in Schleiermacher and Heidegger, the structure of ethical commands in Kant, Nietzsche's genealogy of moral terms and his exploration of the aporias of singularity, the irony of reading in de Man, the parabasis of language in Schlegel, Kleist's disruption of narrative representation, the gesture of naming in Benjamin and Kafka, and the incisive caesura that Paul Celan inserts into temporal and linguistic reversals.

There is no book that so fully brings the issues of both critical philosophy and critical literature into reach.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780674700734
ISBN-10: 0674700732
Format: Hardback
(235mm x 156mm x mm)
Pages: 396
Imprint: Harvard University Press
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Publish Date: 31-Jan-1997
Country of Publication: United States

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Author Biography - Werner Hamacher

Werner Hamacher is Professor of German and the Humanities at The Johns Hopkins University. He is the author of Pleroma--Dialectics and Hermeneutics in Hegel and coeditor of the series Meridian.

Books By Werner Hamacher

Pleroma by Werner Hamacher
Paperback / softback, November 1998
$42.71 $47.45
Premises by Werner Hamacher
Paperback / softback, October 1999
$51.62 $57.35
Minima Philologica by Werner Hamacher
Paperback / softback, March 2015
Responses by Werner Hamacher
Paperback / softback, August 1988