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Aesthetics of Negativity$
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William S. Allen

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780823269280

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823269280.001.0001

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The Possibility of Speculative Writing

The Possibility of Speculative Writing

(p.191) 7 The Possibility of Speculative Writing
Aesthetics of Negativity

William S. Allen

Fordham University Press

Although Adorno is sceptical about the value of the term “linguistic artwork,” it can be rethought as a way of understanding the inter-relation of materiality and rationality in literature. Bernstein’s work on material inference demonstrates how the artwork bears a non-conceptual knowledge, but for this approach to make sense with the linguistic artwork it is necessary to see if and how it would operate in the work of reading and writing. To this end, it is necessary to examine how Adorno and Blanchot respond to Hegel’s writings on the nature of “work” as that which is both nominal and verbal. In doing so, it becomes apparent that for as much as the material aspects of the work enable a dialectical relation of the universal and the particular, they also disable such a relation through their disruptive effects. A means of responding to this material aporia is found in the parataxis of Hölderlin’s later works, which reveal the potential of language to realise a mode of speculative thinking.

Keywords:   linguistic artwork, materiality, parataxis, speculative thinking

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