A Literary Network to Culture Reconception

The Affiliate Library

Being and Time

Martin Heidegger—1927

What is the meaning of being?" This is the central question of Martin Heidegger's profoundly important work, in which the great philosopher seeks to explain the basic problems of existence. A central influence on later philosophy, literature, art, and criticism—as well as existentialism and much of postmodern thought—Being and Time forever changed the intellectual map of the modern world. As Richard Rorty wrote in the New York Times Book Review, "You cannot read most of the important thinkers of recent times without taking Heidegger's thought into account.

The Human Condition

Hannah Arendt—1958

A work of striking originality bursting with unexpected insights, The Human Condition is in many respects more relevant now than when it first appeared in 1958. In her study of the state of modern humanity, Hannah Arendt considers humankind from the perspective of the actions of which it is capable. The problems Arendt identified then—diminishing human agency and political freedom, the paradox that as human powers increase through technological and humanistic inquiry, we are less equipped to control the consequences of our actions—continue to confront us today. This new edition, published to coincide with the fortieth anniversary of its original publication, contains an improved and expanded index and a new introduction by noted Arendt scholar Margaret Canovan which incisively analyzes the book's argument and examines its present relevance. A classic in political and social theory, The Human Condition is a work that has proved both timeless and perpetually timely.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was one of the leading social theorists in the United States. Her Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy and Love and Saint Augustine are also published by the University of Chicago Press.

The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge

Jean-Francois Lyotard—1979

Many definitions of postmodernism focus on its nature as the aftermath of the modern industrial age when technology developed. This book extends that analysis to postmodernism by looking at the status of science, technology, and the arts, the significance of technocracy, and the way the flow of information is controlled in the Western world.

Simulacra and Simulation

Jean Baudrillard—1981

In his 1981 philosophical treatise, sociologist Jean Baudrillard, examines the relationships between reality, symbols, and society, in particular the significations and symbolism of culture and media involved in constructing an understanding of shared existence.

Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space

Brian O'Doherty—1986

When these essays first appeared in Artforum in 1976, their impact was immediate. They were discussed, annotated, cited, collected, and translated—the three issues of Artforum in which they appeared have become nearly impossible to obtain. Having Brian O'Doherty's provocative essays available again is a signal event for the art world. This edition also includes "The Gallery as Gesture," a critically important piece published ten years after the others.

O'Doherty was the first to explicitly confront a particular crisis in postwar art as he sought to examine the assumptions on which the modern commercial and museum gallery was based. Concerned with the complex and sophisticated relationship between economics, social context, and aesthetics as represented in the contested space of the art gallery, he raises the question of how artists must construe their work in relation to the gallery space and system.

These essays are essential reading for anyone interested in the history and issues of postwar art in Europe and the United States. Teeming with ideas, relentless in their pursuit of contradiction and paradox, they exhibit both the understanding of the artist (Patrick Ireland) and the precision of the scholar.

With an introduction by Thomas McEvilley and a brilliantly cogent afterword by its author, Brian O'Doherty once again leads us on the perilous journey to center to the art world: Inside the White Cube.

Ways of Seeing

John Berger—1990

John Berger’s seminal text on how to look at art

John Berger's Ways of Seeing is one of the most stimulating and the most influential books on art in any language. First published in 1972, it was based on the BBC television series about which the Sunday Times critic commented: "This is an eye-opener in more ways than one: by concentrating on how we look at paintings . . . he will almost certainly change the way you look at pictures." By now he has.

"The influence of the series and the book . . . was enormous . . . It opened up for general attention to areas of cultural study that are now commonplace." —Geoff Dyer

"Berger has the ability to cut right through the mystification of the professional art critics . . . He is a liberator of images: and once we have allowed the paintings to work on us directly, we are in a much better position to make a meaningful evaluation." —Peter Fuller, Arts Review

Outrage: Art, Controversy, and Society

R. Howells (Editor), A. Ritivoi (Editor), et al.—2012

A study of controversy in the arts, and the extent to which such controversies are socially rather than just aesthetically conditioned. The collection pays special attention to the vested interests and the social dynamics involved, including class, religion, culture, and - above all - power.

The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism (Third Edition)

Vincent B. Leitch, William E. Cain, et al.—2018

The gold standard anthology for anyone who wants to understand the development and current state of literary theory. Offering 191 pieces by 157 authors, The Norton Anthology of Theory and Criticism, Third Edition, is more comprehensive and more varied in its selection than any other anthology. Forty-eight NEW selections―concentrated mostly on the twentieth and twenty-first centuries―make the book not only the best overview of the history of theory, but also a remarkably up-to-date portrait of the state of theory today.