Posted by: HAT | September 3, 2009


Here’s a question: Why in Leland de la Durantaye’s brilliant and erudite Giorgio Agamben: A Critical Introduction does the section on The Open run a scant 11 pages, fewer than half the pages devoted to any other single work? And why does the discussion there omit any mention of Benjamin’s evidently significant “densest aphorism,” with which Agamben closes the chapter on Benjamin, and in which he seems to treat Benjamin’s comments as a specific antidote to the Heideggerian approach to the problem of the articulation of humanitas and animalitas, with its recapitulation of the “anthropological machine” and its “tightening knot”? Why, furthermore, in the comments on désoeuvrement, would it be impossible to know that they are made with specific reference to a critical appraisal of Titian’s Nymph and Shepherd, the subject matter of which Agamben treats as specifically significant?

Taking the method of indirection seriously, maybe this needs to be understood as purposive, and profoundly so.


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