9780822346449

The Legitimacy of the Middle Ages: On the Unwritten History of Theory

by ;
  • ISBN13:

    9780822346449

  • ISBN10:

    0822346443

  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2010-01-18
  • Publisher: Duke Univ Pr
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Summary

This collection of essays argues that any valid theory of the modern should-indeed must-reckon with the medieval. Offering a much needed correction to theorists such as Hans Blumenberg who, in hisLegitimacy of the Modern Age, describes the "modern age," including the present, as a complete departure from the Middle Ages, these essays forcefully show that thinkers from Theodor Adorno to Slavoj Zcaron;izcaron;ek have repeatedly drawn from medieval source materials to theorize modernity. InThe Legitimacy of the Middle Ages, modernists and medievalists, as well as scholars specializing in eighteenth-, nineteenth-, and twentieth-century comparative literature, offer a new history of theory and philosophy, with essays on "secularization" and periodization, Karl Marx's (medieval) theory of commodity fetishism, Martin Heidegger's scholasticism, and Adorno's nominalist aesthetics. Where one essay illustrates the workings of medieval mysticism in the work of Freud's most famous patient, Daniel Paul Schreber, author ofMemoirs of My Nervous Illness(1903), another looks at Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri'sEmpire, a theoretical synthesis whose conscientious medievalism was the subject of much polemic in the post-9/11 era, in which premodernity itself was perceived as a threat to western values. The collection concludes with an afterword by Fredric Jameson, a theorist of postmodernism who has engaged with the medieval throughout his career.

Author Biography

Andrew Cole is Associate Professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author of Literature and Heresy in the Age of Chaucer. D. Vance Smith is Professor of English at Princeton University. He is the author of Arts of Possession: The Middle English Household Imaginary and The Book of the Incipit: Beginnings in the Fourteenth Century. Frederic Jameson is the William A. Lane Professor in the Program in Literature and Romance Studies at Duke University.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. ix
Introduction Outside Modernityp. 1
Theological Modernities
The Sense of an Epoch Periodization, Sovereignty, and the Limits of Secularizationp. 39
The Sacrament of the Fetish, the Miracle of the Commodity Hegel and Marxp. 70
Empire, Apocalypse, and the 9/11 Premodernp. 94
Response More Than We Bargained Forp. 119
Scholastic Modernities
We Have Never Been Schreber Paranoia, Medieval and Modernp. 127
Medieval Studies, Historicity, and Heidegger's Early Phenomenologyp. 159
Medieval Currencies Nominalism and Artp. 194
Response Medusa's Gazep. 233
Afterword On the Medievalp. 243
Bibliographyp. 247
Contributorsp. 269
Indexp. 271
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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