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Platωn’s Reality, Baudrillard’s Nostalgia

The Oὐσία, the ’Pataphysical Atopos, and Postmodern Made Spaces

Anastasia Nicéphore

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 "οὐσία." 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 "οὐσία"—and Baudrillardian aporia into current modes of reality for a body politic in acceleration.

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).