Platωn’s Reality, Baudrillard’s Nostalgia
The Oὐσία, the ’Pataphysical Atopos, and Postmodern Made Spaces
Table Of Contents
- About the author
- About the book
- This eBook can be cited
- A Note on Translations
- Prooímion Platωn’s Reality, Baudrillard’s Nostalgia
- 1 Platωn’s Οὐσία
- 2 Platωn Is Dead
- 3 Jarry’s ’Pataphysics
- 4 Baudrillard’s Nostalgia in an Age of Global Acceleration
- 5 Baudrillard’s In Vacuo1 and the Autistic Body Politic
- 6 Žižek, Somnambulance, and a Walk through the Desert of the Real
- Epilogue Thanatos of the Οὐσία?
- Index of Greek Lexicon
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Platωn’s Reality, Baudrillard’s
The Oὐσία, the ’Pataphysical Atopos,
and Postmodern Made Spaces
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Names: Nicéphore, Anastasia, author.
Title: Platωn’s reality, Baudrillard’s nostalgia: the oὐσία, the ’pataphysical atopos,
and postmodern made spaces / Anastasia Nicéphore.
Description: New York: Peter Lang, 2020.
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: LCCN 2020027740 (print) | LCCN 2020027741 (ebook)
ISBN 978-1-4331-8229-7 (hardback) | ISBN 978-1-4331-8230-3 (ebook pdf)
ISBN 978-1-4331-8231-0 (epub) | ISBN 978-1-4331-8232-7 (mobi)
Subjects: LCSH: Plato—Criticism and interpretation. | Baudrillard, Jean,
1929–2007—Criticism and interpretation. | Literature—Philosophy. |
Truth—Philosophy. | Truth in literature. | Ontology.
Classification: LCC PA4291 .N53 2020 (print) | LCC PA4291 (ebook) |
LC record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020027740
LC ebook record available at https://lccn.loc.gov/2020027741
Bibliographic information published by Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek.
Die Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the “Deutsche
Nationalbibliografie”; detailed bibliographic data are available
on the Internet at http://dnb.d-nb.de/.
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About the author
Anastasia Nicéphore, recieved her PhD in English from University of Sydney in Australia and her MA in educational leadership and management from University of London, Institute of Education, University College London. She is a recipient of the University Postgraduate Awards (Sydney University, 2013–16) and the Nicholas Aroney Prize (2016). Nicéphore is Associate Lecturer in the Writing Studies Department at Sydney University and Director at the Global Centre of Advanced Studies (GCAS) Research Institute in Ireland. She is editor and contributing author of Diasporic Identities and Empire: Cultural Contentions and Literary Landscapes (2013).
About the book
Platωn establishes the principle that literature should cut through the notion of an ideal truth rather than be used as a vehicle for subjective visions and aesthetic tropes by those claiming to be ‘artists.’ To engage with this centrality of human consciousness means to integrate a single source of origin: a Platωnic “oὐσία.” Contemporary hermeneutics draw upon perceptions that the origin is elliptic in postmodern and continental philosophical trains of thought. Moreover, much obscurity arises from Platωn’s own insistence on over-emphasis, and what some philosophers and philologists would consider ‘taut tautology’— which leaves vast amounts of passages in Pre-Socratic manuscripts and Platωnic dialogues open to speculation and subjectivity. Philosophical debates center on the incapability of pinpointing truth, the real, or some definitive and/or tangible self-referential core within an age of pluralism and uncertainty. For this reason, students and scholars in literary theory and postmodern philosophy can gain much from clarifying these ubiquitous areas.Through comparative constructs, the nature of the novel, its evolution over time and inclusion of postmodernist technologies, cyber-capitalism, and accompanying symbols, bring us to question the real and human exigency. Could it be that “unlimited experimentation,” a kind of ’pataphysical atopos within and upon a text warrants an aesthetic surface that construes a morally heinous environment? Jean Baudrillard probes this concept by vivifying that a lack of substance—an “exponential instability”—is invariably transmuting into an altogether absent entity. Within this displacement, this book juxtaposes Platωnic exegesis of the real—the “oὐσία”—and Baudrillardian aporia into current modes of reality for a body politic in acceleration.
This eBook can be cited
This edition of the eBook can be cited. To enable this we have marked the start and end of a page. In cases where a word straddles a page break, the marker is placed inside the word at exactly the same position as in the physical book. This means that occasionally a word might be bifurcated by this marker.
Prooímion Platωn’s Reality, Baudrillard’s Nostalgia
1 Platωn’s Oὐσία: The Paradox of the Forms
2 Platωn Is Dead: Romanticist Interludes to the Οὐσία
4 Baudrillard’s Nostalgia in an Age of Global Acceleration
5 Baudrillard’s In Vacuo and the Autistic Body Politic
6 Žižek, Somnambulance, and a Walk through the Desert of the Real
Epilogue Thanatos of the Οὐσία?
Reading the first page of the Introduction to Platωn’s Reality, Baudrillard’s Nostalgia, I experienced my own feeling of nostalgia as I read the statement that the book examines the ideas of Jean Baudrillard regarding the ‘relationship between literature, society, and the redefinitions of the real’ by way of Plato (a case is made that ‘Platωn’ is closer to its original form), American author Don DeLillo (White Noise, Cosmopolis, Point Omega), Italian novelist and scholar Umberto Eco (Foucault’s Pendulum), and another Italian Italo Calvino (If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller, Invisible Cities). Amongst all these distinguished works, we find ourselves entangled in a search for the οὐσία (ousia): the khoric (core) substance of all existence as the pre- and post-Socratics persistently attempted to define in their philosophic discourses. It is not easy, nor straightforward, to find an equivalent single English term that captures the original meaning of the οὐσία. Of course, as the concept of the ‘ousia’ traverses genres and time, its definition becomes all the more difficult to translate. To some extent, this is due to translation from archaic Greek to modern English, and on the other hand maintaining consistency within an ever-evolving society and its context signals that meaning inevitably morphs, and re-establishes a different examination of the real. In this sense, we are confronted with the ailment that dominates our current times, that of meaning and ←xi | xii→multiplicity. A multiplicity that wondrously finds itself in the writings of so many of the works that are discussed in this book.
The motivation for this monograph is Anastasia Nicéphore’s belief that Baudrillard’s simulacra theory has overshadowed his early work on ’pataphysics. A re-examination of Baudrillard’s ’pataphysics, she believes, offers new insights to not only simulacra but to postmodern literature. That question propels this project and Nicéphore succeeds in making her case, and in doing so she makes a significant original contribution to literary studies, philosophy, and to the literature on Baudrillard’s intellectual trajectory. Readers will be impressed by the boldness and originality and the intellectual energy and vigour that propels this work. The scope and the attention to detail are formidable. The rewards for scholars of Jean Baudrillard will be many but, equally so, scholars of Classical Philosophy will have much to contemplate here. For literary scholars, Nicéphore treats the question of the social function of literature in a new, ambitious, and original way. She explores the social acceleration of postmodernity, and its impact on ways of thinking and narrating in a particularly memorable fashion. It has been a privilege to witness these ideas germinating and a pleasure to share wide-ranging discussions with the author, Anastasia Nicéphore, about telluric currents, ’pataphysics, postmodernism, and autism as the project came to life. Again, all these terms carry their own level of ambiguity, complexity, and controversy, when attempting to propose a clear definition, especially since these are neologisms and currently undergoing vigorous debate in academia. Nonetheless, Nicéphore offers invaluable discussion on how these terms occupy and interweave literary and philosophical discourses.
The book starts with the archaic ‘ousia’, and Nicéphore deftly demonstrates how she will stitch the various, seemingly mis-matched labyrinthine paradoxes that are most prevalent in Baudrillard’s works, and threads these together to make her argument about literature, philosophy, and the real. Intrigued and curious, we read on and learn of the influence of ’pataphysics in Baudrillard’s early work before his acclaimed simulacra theory. Then we are treated in Chapter One to a discussion about Plato, the real, and the Forms, the social function of literature and how telluric currents (geophilosophies) influence the aesthetic made space. It is here that we encounter Derrida’s ‘Tympanum,’ and the difficult task of separating the literary made space and the philosophical space—how both attempt to illustrate and define the ‘ousia’, and yet both spaces draw in tiers of complexity, only to further penetrate our (and Baudrilard’s) nostalgic desire for the real, and authentic. We are then invited to consider the work of Vrasidas Karalis on Heidegger and Parmenides, and Enrique (Rick) Benitez on dialectics and monads and the Forms. It is then that we start to glean how this might be relevant to ←xii | xiii→Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum, DeLillo’s Point Omega and Calvino’s Invisible Cities. By Chapter Two we learn of how Classical Philosophy influences Friedrich Nietzsche and his thoughts on literature, then Nicéphore turns to Baudrillard on Nietzsche, then Teilhard Pierre de Chardin; and inevitably back to the central novels and a particularly incisive argument about the pataphysical tropes that comprise the postmodern novel, made space, and what Nicéphore calls ‘a type of fiction which parallels the perceptions, realities, and atrocities of truth’. It is in Chapter Three that we encounter a highly original examination of the links between Baudrillard, Albert Jarry, and pataphysics, which makes a major contribution to scholarship about Baudrillard’s intellectual history. As Nicéphore puts it, she examines: ‘the influence of Albert Jarry on ’pataphysical modes of thinking and philosophies on Baudrillard’s visions of the paralleling conundrums between the literary made space and its ability to construe the real of the western body politic’.
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- Publication date
- 2020 (November)
- New York, Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Oxford, Wien, 2020. XVIII, 238 pp., 1 table.