By Richard Terdiman
In Body and Story, Richard Terdiman explores the strain among what might sound to be essentially other ways of figuring out the area: as actual fact and as illustration in language. In demonstrating the advanced courting among those modes of being, he additionally offers a brand new daring method of the matter of conflicts among irreconcilable yet both compelling theoretical principles.
Enlightenment rationalism is quite often understood as protecting that phrases can meaningfully consult with and seize issues within the fabric global, whereas Postmodernism famously argues that not anything exists outdoor of language. Terdiman demanding situations this fresh contrast, discovering the early seeds of Postmodern doubt within the Enlightenment, and demonstrating the obdurate resistance of fabric reality―particularly that of the body―to language even at the present time. construction on readings of works via 18th-century encyclopedist Denis Diderot and modern philosopher-icon Jacques Derrida, Terdiman argues that regardless of their actual and profound competition, a relentless negotiation or mutual interrogation has regularly been happening among those world-views, whilst the stability every now and then shifts to 1 facet or the opposite. In reading those shifts he proposes a brand new version for knowing how doubtless unabridgeable theories legitimately coexist in our highbrow perception of the area, and he indicates a brand new ethics for dealing with this coexistence.
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Extra resources for Body and Story: The Ethics and Practice of Theoretical Conflict
Cf. ). The Nun Who Never Was 37 cast as a dialogue between the novel’s author-editor and its publisher. It turns around the question of whether the correspondence that composes the novel was between real or imaginary people. The issue may seem unredeemably naive to us, but in Rousseau’s dialogue it is urgent. What was the basis for this uncertainty and this urgency? 28 This reaction made the projection of or reliance upon verisimilar but avowed ﬁctions—as opposed to authentic narratives of real actions and events—a problematic undertaking.
Then the bipolar disjunction that since Saussure has been ﬁgured as unbridgeable could be reconceived as a space of problematic mediation—of difﬁcult or restricted ﬂow or passage, rather than absolute blockage. That some things (the Holocaust, a person’s death, bodies themselves) resist representation puts time, thought, and work back into the process of conception and sublates into a cognizable narrative both naive notions of unproblematic mimesis, on the one hand, and exclusivist ideas of linguistic exceptionality or absolutism, on the other.
On the contrary, Diderot’s preoccupation with the question of narrative had conjunctural determinations. Enlightenment culture was preoccupied with narrative practices and possibilities because of a complex of unmanaged uncertainties within the culture itself, and particularly in its mode of producing, reproducing, and potentially transforming its structures and its meanings. The formal and narratological preoccupations of Diderot’s stories are not ﬁrst-order aesthetic concerns, despite interpretations of them based upon the assumptions of ‘‘experimental’’ or avant-garde narratives nearer to our own period.
Body and Story: The Ethics and Practice of Theoretical Conflict by Richard Terdiman