A Voice And Nothing More (Short Circuits)

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  • Category: Softcover
  • Author: Dolar, Mladen
  • ISBN 10: 0262541874 ISBN 13: 9780262541879Publisher: The MIT Press, 2006
  • Softcover

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Synopsis About this title A new, philosophically grounded theory of the voice―the voice as the lever of thought, as one of the paramount embodiments of the psychoanalytic object.Plutarch tells the story of a man who plucked a nightingale and finding but little to eat exclaimed: "You are just a voice and nothing more." Plucking the feathers of meaning that cover the voice, dismantling the body from which the voice seems to emanate, resisting the Sirens' song of fascination with the voice, concentrating on "the voice and nothing more": this is the difficult task that philosopher Mladen Dolar relentlessly pursues in this seminal work.The voice did not figure as a major philosophical topic until the 1960s, when Derrida and Lacan separately proposed it as a central theoretical concern. In A Voice and Nothing More Dolar goes beyond Derrida's idea of "phonocentrism" and revives and develops Lacan's claim that the voice is one of the paramount embodiments of the psychoanalytic object (objet a). Dolar proposes that, apart from the two commonly understood uses of the voice as a vehicle of meaning and as a source of aesthetic admiration, there is a third level of understanding: the voice as an object that can be seen as the lever of thought. He investigates the object voice on a number of different levels―the linguistics of the voice, the metaphysics of the voice, the ethics of the voice (with the voice of conscience), the paradoxical relation between the voice and the body, the politics of the voice―and he scrutinizes the uses of the voice in Freud and Kafka. With this foundational work, Dolar gives us a philosophically grounded theory of the voice as a Lacanian object-cause. "synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title. About the Author: Mladen Dolar taught for 20 years in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, where he now works as a Senior Research Fellow. He is the author of a number of books, most recently (with Slavoj Žižek) Opera's Second Death. Review: An immensely ambitious theoretical edifice in which new relations between Kant and Marx are established, as well as a new kind of synthesis between Marxism and anarchism. The book is timely from both practical and theoretical perspectives, and stands up well against a tradition of Marx exegesis that runs from Rosdolsky and Korsch to Althusser and Tony Smith.―Fredric Jameson, William A. Lane, Jr., Professor of Comparative Literature, Duke UniversityMiladen Dolar's book breaks through the impasse of extrinsic vs. intrinsic accounts of the voice, and shows how they fail to get at its truly uncanny topology and its strange persistence within and beyond the multiple significations it carries. Firmly rooted in Lacan and Freud, his argument passes through an extraordinary range of texts on voice, from Plato and Augustine to Kafka, Lewis Carroll, and Charlie Chaplin. dolar's readings are strong, lucid, and convincing, and he writes with a warm with and intelligence that are entirely his own. He has written, without a doubt, the definitive book on the topic.―Kenneth Reinhard, Departments of English and Comparative Literature, Unviversity of CaliforniaIn his first Duino Elegy and in a strophe dedicated to the hearing of voices, Rilke speaks of 'the ceaseless message that forms itself from silence.' In this tour de force of philosophical engagement with our acoustic universe, Mladen Dolar has given us the key to this message, to what it means to be genuinely responsive to it. Our understanding of language, ethics, politics, philosophy, and aesthetic experience will never be the same.―Eric L. Santner, Chair, Department of Germanic Studies, University of ChicagoMladen Dolar acts as if he is not an idiot and looks as if he is not an idiot, but this should not deceive you he is NOT an idiot!―Slavoj Žižek "About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

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