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Revisiting Style in Literary and Cultural Studies

Interdisciplinary Articulations

Edited By Jasmin Herrmann, Moritz Ingwersen, Björn Sonnenberg-Schrank and Olga Ludmila Tarapata

The collected volume brings together leading scholars from a broad range of disciplines in the humanities to interrogate the productivity of style as an element of cultural expression and a parameter of cultural analysis. Despite its ubiquity in examinations of artistic singularity or postulations of epochal patterns, style remains a notoriously elusive concept. Suspicious of monolithic definitions, the contributions assembled in this volume address style from a multiplicity of methodological and conceptual angles, drawing from fields that include literary studies, film and media studies, post-structuralist philosophy, philosophy of science, and American cultural studies.

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8 In Luce Ambulemus: Hanjo Berressem’s Luminous Philosophy – Some Musings in the ‘Light’ of Quantum Theory and Laruelle’s Non-Philosophy of the One


Abstract: This chapter is a tribute to Hanjo Berressem’s explorations on the materiality of the unconscious, especially in relation to the optical ontology of light drawn from Deleuze’s two-volume work on film. My speculative account on the ‘luminosity’ of light draws on quantum theory, in large part calling on the non-philosophy of François Laruelle in relation to Berressem’s own examination. By following such a disjunction, a limit is reached when a ‘black universe’ shows itself. The limits of vision leaves us at the quantum levels of non-representation, which leads to my open-conclusion. Laruelle’s radical immanence casts the Real as indifferent. Such indifference presents a cold black universe that pits itself against Deleuzian meditations concerning A Life. Berressem has always championed the Deleuze who explores A Life through the arts. Is there any reconciliation between these two positions to be found?

Keywords: unconscious, light, quantum, optical ontology, film, Deleuze, Berressem, Laruelle

Hanjo Berressem’s writings have this sensibility about them; they are like theoretical jewels. Once read, they release their light as the arguments are beautifully illustrated through exemplars drawn from the arts, primarily from literature, music, and film. Berressem seems to effortlessly offer us an enrichment of those artists he loves most: here I point to his careful readings and explorations of Thomas Pynchon (Poetics) to show how the natural elements, earth, water, air and fire, are in play throughout his Californian trilogy: The Crying of Lot 49, Vineland and Inherent Vice. Equally so...

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