Historicity of Experience, the Modernity, the Avant-Garde, and the Event
In this groundbreaking volume, Krzysztof Ziarek rethinks modern experience by bringing together philosophical critiques of modernity and avant-garde poetry. Ziarek explores, through selective readings of avant-garde poetry, the key aspects of the radical critique of experience: technology, everydayness, event, and sexual difference. To that extent, The Historicity of Experience is less a book about the avant-garde than a critique of experience through the avant-garde. Ziarek reads the avant-garde in dialogue with the work of some of the major critics of modernity (Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin, Jean-François Lyotard, and Luce Irigaray) to show how avant-garde experiments bear critically on the issue of modern experience and its technological organization.
The four poets Ziarek considers-Gertrude Stein, Velimir Khlebnikov, Miron Bialoszewski, and Susan Howe-demonstrate the broad reach of and variety of forms taken by the avant-garde revision of experience and aesthetics. Moreover, this quartet illustrates how the main operative concepts and strategies of the avant-garde underpinned the practices of canonical writers. A profound philosophical meditation on language, modernity, and the everyday, The Historicity of Experience offers a fundamental reconceptualization of the avant-garde in relation to experience.
Krzysztof Ziarek is an associate professor of English at the University of Notre Dame. He is the author of Inflected Language: Toward a Hermeneutics of Nearness: Heidegger, Levinas, Stevens, Celan and coeditor, with Seamus Deane, of Future Crossings: Literature between Philosophy and Cultural Studies, also published by Northwestern University Press.