Hostname: page-component-848d4c4894-mwx4w Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-06-24T01:42:26.641Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

Philosophy, Literature, and the Critique of Spatialization

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020

Extract

Try as we might, kant conclusively explains in his “exposition” of “space” in the critique of pure reason's “transcendental Analytic”—the opening section of that inaugural work, in which Kant demonstrates the fundamental, “practical” necessity of its guiding, “theoretical” premises—we cannot imagine, let alone perceive, any external “matter” or object without first representing it to ourselves as occupying space. Objects are individual, distinct, exactly because they are material—whether empirically experienced or merely imagined as such—and the always impure, partly intellectual, partly empirical basis of their apprehension indicates that objects cannot themselves be the basis of their spatial perception by us. A less “philosophically” descriptive, somewhat more contemporary, but certainly contemporarily more recognizable analysis of the same intellectual procedure may be recognized in Marx's upending account of the things we perceive and value as “commodities.” As on Marx's analogous terms, “commodities form the presupposition” of the “circulation” of “values” (that “produces exchange value”) and not the other way around, and thus have “constantly … to be thrown into [circulation] anew from the outside, like fuel into a fire,” so no number and variety of objects or quantity and quality of the general object we call “matter” could ever suffice to account for space, the indispensable basis of their own conception as phenomenal, material objects (Grundrisse 254-55). While Kant deduced that no knowledge, and no possible access to knowledge, would result from the solipsistic wish to make space itself an object of spatial perception—or, for that matter, of pure (immaterial) speculation, that is, the wish to spatialize or idealize a “real,” or nonperceptual, reality of space—Marx deduced, conversely, that, without “standing in any connection to [the] commodities” that “mediate” it, “circulation” itself—the basis of valuation—would “flicker out in indifference,” “d[ying] out with money” or, rather, taking money along with it, destroying the abstracted “economic existence” of this essential while “non-substantial form of wealth” precisely by reducing it to an object “with only its metallic existence left over” (255).

Type
Theories and Methodologies
Copyright
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2016

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

References

Works Cited

Balzac, Honoré de. Le père Goriot. 1835. Paris: Gallimard, 1971. Print.Google Scholar
Benjamin, Walter. Gesammelte Schriften. 7 vols. Ed. Tiedemann, Rolf and Schweppenhäuser, Hermann. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1991. Print.Google Scholar
Benjamin, Walter Illuminationen. Ed. Unseld, Siegfried. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1961. Print.Google Scholar
Benjamin, Walter Illuminations. Ed. Arendt, Hannah. New York: Schocken, 1969. Print.Google Scholar
Benjamin, Walter Origin of the German Tragic Drama. Trans. Osborne, John. London: NLB, 1977. Print.Google Scholar
Benjamin, Walter Reflections. Ed. Demetz, Peter. New York: Harcourt, 1978. Print.Google Scholar
Benjamin, Walter “Über die Sprache überhaupt und über die Sprache der Menschen.” Benjamin, Gesammelte Schriften, vol. 1.Google Scholar
Benjamin, Walter Ursprung des deutschen Trauerspiels. Ed. Rolf Tiedemann. 1963. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1990. Print.Google Scholar
Brodsky Lacour, Claudia. “Narrate or Educate: Le père Goriot and the Realist Bildungsroman.” Approaches to Teaching Balzac's Old Goriot. Ed. Michael Peled Ginsburg. New York: MLA, 2000. 3244. Print.Google Scholar
DeFazio, Kimberly. “The Spectral Ontology and Miraculous Materialism.” The Red Critique 15 (2014): n. pag. Web. 19 May 2016.Google Scholar
Descartes, René. Discours de la méthode. Descartes, Œuvres philosophiques, vol. 1.Google Scholar
Descartes, René. Méditations. Descartes, Œuvres philosophiques, vol. 2.Google Scholar
Descartes, René. Œuvres philosophiques. Ed. Alquié, Ferdinand. 3 vols. Paris: Garnier, 1967. Print.Google Scholar
Dickinson, Emily. The Complete Poems. Ed. Johnson, Thomas H. New York: Little, 1960. Print.Google Scholar
Foucault, Michel. Les mots et les choses: Une archéologie des sciences humaines. Paris: Gallimard, 1966. Print.Google Scholar
Freud, Sigmund. Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Group Psychology, and Other Works. Trans. Strachey, James with Freud, Anna. London: Norton, 1961. 366. Print. Vol. 18 of The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud. 24 vols. 1953-74.Google Scholar
Freud, Sigmund Jenseits des Lustprinzips. 1920. Ed. Freud, Anna. Frankfurt: Fischer, 1967. Print. Vol. 13 of Gesammelte Werke. 18 vols. 1964-68.Google Scholar
Hegel, G. W. F. Gesammelte Werke. Ed. R.-P. Horstmann and J. H. Tred. 27 vols. Hamburg: Meiner, 1968- . Print.Google Scholar
Hegel, G. W. F. Jenaer Systementwürfe III. 1801-07. Hegel, Gesammelte Werke, vol. 8.Google Scholar
Hegel, G. W. F. Jenaer Systementwürfe II. 1801-07. Hegel, Gesammelte Werke, vol. 7.Google Scholar
Hegel, G. W. F. Phänomenologie des Geistes. 1807. Hegel, Theorie-Werkausgabe, vol. 3.Google Scholar
Hegel, G. W. F. Phenomenology of Spirit. Trans. Miller, A. V. New York: Oxford UP, 1977. Print.Google Scholar
Hegel, G. W. F. Theorie-Werkausgabe. Ed. Moldenhauer, Eva and Michel, Karl M. 20 vols. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1970. Print.Google Scholar
Heidegger, Martin. Basic Writings. Ed. Krell, D. Farrell. New York: Harper, 1977. Print.Google Scholar
Heidegger, Martin Holzwege. Frankfurt: Klostermann, 1972. Print.Google Scholar
Heidegger, Martin Identity and Difference. Trans. Stambaugh, Joan. New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1969. Print.Google Scholar
Heidegger, Martin Vorträge und Aufsätze. Tübingen: Neske, 1954. Print.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel. “Beantwortung der Frage: Was ist Aufklärung?” 1784. Kant, Schriften zur Anthropologie 5361.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel Kritik der praktischen Vernunft. 1788. Kant, Werkausgabe, vol. 7.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel Kritik der reinen Vernunft. 1781. Kant, Werkausgabe, vol. 3.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel Logik. 1800. Kant, Werkausgabe, vol. 6.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel Schriften zur Anthropologie, Geschichtsphilosophie, Politik, und Pädagogik. Kant, Werkausgabe, vol. 11.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel Schriften zur Metaphysik und Logik 1. Kant, Werkausgabe, vol. 6.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel Schriften zur Metaphysik und Logik 2. Kant, Werkausgabe, vol. 7.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel “Über den Gemeinspruch: Das mag in der Theorie richtig sein, taugt aber nicht für die Praxis.” 1783. Kant, Schriften zur Anthropologie 127–72.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel “Von einem neuerdings erhobenen vornehmen Ton in der Philosophie.” 1796. Kant, Schriften zur Metaphysik und Logik 2 377–97.Google Scholar
Kant, Immanuel Werkausgabe. Ed. Weischedel, Wilhelm. 12 vols. Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1977. Print.Google Scholar
Keats, John. “This living hand, now warm and capable.” Complete Poems and Selected Letters. Ed. Hirsch, Edward. New York: Modern Lib., 2001. 365. Print.Google Scholar
Kleist, Heinrich von. “Über das Marionettentheater.” Sämtliche Werke und Briefe. Ed. Sembner, Helmut. Vol. 2. München: DTV, 1987. 338–45. Print.Google Scholar
Lukács, Georg. History and Class Consciousness. 1923. Trans. Livingstone, Rodney. Cambridge: MIT P, 1971. Print.Google Scholar
Lukács, Georg Theory of the Novel. 1920. Trans. Bostock, Anna. Cambridge: MIT P, 1971. Print.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl. Capital: A Critique of Political Economy. Vol. 1. 1867. Trans. Ben Fowles. Introd. Ernest Mandel. New York: Vintage, 1977. Print.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl Grundrisse: Foundations of the Critique of Political Economy. 1939. Trans. Nicolaus, Martin. London: Penguin; New Left Review, 1971. Print.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl Theses on Feuerbach. 1888. Marx and Engels, Selected Works 2830.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl, and Engels, Friedrich. Manifesto of the Communist Party. Marx and Engels, Selected Works 3563.Google Scholar
Marx, Karl, and Engels, Friedrich Selected Works in One Volume. New York: International, 1968. Print.Google Scholar
Puchner, Martin. The Drama of Ideas: Platonic Provocations in Theater and Philosophy. New York: Oxford, 2010. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Puchner, Martin Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes. Princeton: Princeton UP, 2006. Print.Google Scholar
Trimpi, Wesley. “Horace's ‘Ut Pictura Poesis’: The Argument for Stylistic Decorum.” Traditio 34 (1978): 2973. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trimpi, WesleyThe Meaning of Horace's Ut Pictura Poesis.Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes 36 (1973): 134. Print.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
Trimpi, Wesley The Quality of Fiction: The Rhetorical Transmission of Literary Theory. New York: Fordham UP, 1974. Print.Google Scholar
Wordsworth, William. The Prelude. Poetry and Prose. Ed. Merchant, W. M. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1970. 283497. Print.Google Scholar