What's These Worlds Coming To?

What's These Worlds Coming To?

Jean-Luc Nancy and Aurélien Barrau

Print publication date: 2015

ISBN: 9780823263332

Publisher: Fordham University Press

Abstract

Our contemporary challenge, according to this book, is that a new world has quietly cropped up on us and is, in fact, already here. We no longer live in a world, but in worlds. We do not live in a universe anymore, but rather in a multiverse. We no longer create; we appropriate and montage. And we do not build sovereign, hierarchical political institutions anymore; we form local assemblies and networks of cross-national assemblages and we do this at the same time as we form multinational corporations that no longer pay taxes to the State. This book is a study of life, plural worlds, and what the authors call the struction or rebuilding of these worlds. The text invites us to view barely known worlds when an everyday French idiom, “What's this world coming to?,” is used to question our conventional thinking about the world. One chapter articulates a major shift in the paradigm of contemporary physics from a universe to a multiverse. Meanwhile, another chapter is a contemporary comment on the project of deconstruction and French post-structuralist thought. We soon find ourselves living among heaps of odd bits and pieces that are amassing without any unifying force or center, living not only in a time of ruin and fragmentation, but of rebuilding. In the time of this rebuilding, the book argues that contemporary thought has shifted from deconstruction to what they carefully call the struction of dis-order.