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Critical Time in Modern German Literature and Culture


Edited By Dirk Göttsche

The fleeting nature of time is a defining feature of modern and postmodern existence. Identified by Reinhart Koselleck as the temporalization («Verzeitlichung») of all areas of human knowledge and experience around 1800, the concept of critical time continues to intrigue researchers across the arts and humanities. This volume combines theoretical and critical approaches to temporality with case studies on the engagement with the modern sense of time in German literature, visual art and culture from the eighteenth century to the present. Contributions explore key areas in the cultural history of time: time in art and aesthetic theory, the intellectual history of time, the relationship between time and space in literature and visual art, the politics of time and memory, and the poetics of time. Essays question the focus on acceleration in recent critical discourse by also revealing the contrapuntal fascination with slowness and ecstatic moments, notions of polyphonous time and simultaneity, the dialectic of time and space, and complex aesthetic temporalities breaking with modern time-regimes.
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Gabriele Neher and Jonathan Tallant – The Philosophy of Time and the Implications from Renaissance Art


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The Philosophy of Time and the Implications from Renaissance Art

1. Introduction

Our focus in this paper is the conception of time suggested by Renaissance artworks. For the purposes of this paper, we define the Renaissance both as a (European) cultural phenomenon and way of thinking, but also chronologically, c. 1350–1600; also, for ease of discussion, this paper looks at just a handful of case studies to invite further debate. Our interest in this question is driven by (at least) four different concerns. The first is an intrinsic interest in the subject of representations of time during the Renaissance: we think it of fundamental interest to understand more about Renaissance perceptions of time and the articulation of these ideas through the medium of art, especially art concerned with telling sacred and profane istorie. Indeed, we think that, as other items in this volume reveal, the connection between the artistic and the conceptual is most vivid and we see ourselves ploughing a very similar furrow as a number of other papers in the volume. Whereas this is a burgeoning field of interest for art historians, we find that while there is research that is concerned with individual case studies, to date there is little that attempts to try and catalogue the different ways in which time (or temporality) was represented from the point of view of philosophical engagement with models of time and temporality. ← 27...

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