RRP: $40 (AUD)
Pub. Date: August 2012
Wittgenstein said that philosophers should greet each other, not by saying “hello,” but rather “take your time.” But what is time? Time is money, but this points to an even better answer to this basic question for our modern epoch: time is acceleration. In a cultural system which stresses economic efficiency, the quicker route is always the more prized, if not always the better one. Wittgenstein’s dictum thus constitutes an act of rebellion against the dominant vector of our culture, but as such it threatens to become (quickly) anti-modern. We need an approach to “reading” our information-rich culture which is not reactionary but rather meets its accelerated condition. In this book, O. Bradley Bassler develops a toolkit for acute reading of our modern pace, not through withdrawal but rather through active engagement with a broad range of disciplines. The main characters in this drama comprise a cast of master readers: Hannah Arendt, Jean Starobinski, Harold Bloom, Angus Fletcher, Hans Blumenberg and John Ashbery, with secondary figures drawn from the readers and critics whom this central group suggests. We must develop a vocabulary of pacing, reflecting our modern distance from classical sources and the concomitant acceleration of our contemporary condition. Only in this way can we begin to situate the phenomenon of modernity within the larger scales of human culture and history.
About the Author
O. Bradley Bassler studied in the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago and took a second Ph.D. in Mathematics at Wesleyan University. He has published in areas ranging from philosophy and history of philosophy to literary studies and the foundations of mathematics, with essays appearing in New German Critique, Heidegger Studies, Review of Metaphysics and other journals. He is also a published poet. He currently is Associate Professor of Philosophy at the University of Georgia, Athens, USA.