By Andrew W. Hass
Explores the increase of the assumption of not anything in Western modernity and the way its figuration is reworking and providing new possibilities.
during this groundbreaking, interdisciplinary historical past of rules, Andrew W. Hass explores the ascendency of the idea that of not anything into past due modernity. He argues that the increase of the fact of not anything in faith, philosophy, and literature has taken position basically opposed to the decline of the concept that of 1: a shift from a sovereign figuring out of the only (unity, universality) towards the “figure of the O”—a cipher determine that, as nonentity, is however determinant of alternative realities. The figuring of this O culminates in a proliferation of literary expressions of nothingness, void, and shortage from 1940 to 1960, yet by means of century’s finish, this circulate has shifted from linear development to mutation, wherein faith, theology, philosophy, literature, and different severe modes of notion, comparable to feminism, merge right into a shared, round task. the author W. H. Auden lends his identify to this O, his lengthy poetic paintings The Sea and the Mirror an exemplary manifestation of its implications. Hass examines this paintings, in addition to that of a bunch of writers, philosophers, and theologians, to track the innovative hermeneutics and inventive area of the O, and to supply the reasoning of why not anything is now the sort of strong strength in the mind's eye of the twenty-first century, and of the way it could possibly stream us via and past our turbulent times.
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Extra resources for Auden's O: The Loss of One's Sovereignty in the Making of Nothing
17 So how can we determine whether there are things, or a thing, that does not come to be or perish? That is the very question driving virtually all of Plato’s dialogues, and which yields up Platonic metaphysics. 36 AUDEN’S O Yet we most often associate Plato and his metaphysics not with a monism but a dualism. Metaphysics assumes two realms, the perishable physi‑ cal world of instability and change (phusis), and the absolute eternal world of immutable truth beyond the material (metaphusis). And we think of those great dualistic distinctions such as body and soul, or matter and mind, as immediate products of metaphysical thinking.
10 It is no wonder then that Yahweh felt threatened by the singular language of Babel. The Logos we do not see; it is hidden, operating in the background like a barometric pressure. But its hidden nature is its power. 11 The mistake of Babel was in bringing this hidden power to view in the form of a tower. Had the Babelites spent more of their efforts in constructing concepts, rather than tokens, they may have been spared their fate. 12 With Heraclitus’s introduction of the Logos, we move into a whole new phase of the One.
While other Presocratics argued around the points of the one and the many, some siding with the latter (the Pluralists Anaxagoras and Empedocles), more siding with the former (Xeno‑ phanes, Parmenides, Zeno, Melissus, and, arguably, the Atomists Leucippus and Democritus), it was clear which side would eventually prevail: Plato’s rendering of Socrates’s ideas sealed the matter. 17 So how can we determine whether there are things, or a thing, that does not come to be or perish? That is the very question driving virtually all of Plato’s dialogues, and which yields up Platonic metaphysics.
Auden's O: The Loss of One's Sovereignty in the Making of Nothing by Andrew W. Hass