Publisher description for The birth to presence / Jean-Luc Nancy ; translated by Brian Holmes & others.

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Counter The central problem posed in these essays, collected from over a decade, is how in the wake of Western ontologies to conceive the coming, the birth that characterises being. The first part of this book, 'Existence' asks how, today, one can give sense or meaning to existence as such, arguing that existence itself, as it comes nude into the world, must now be our 'sense'. In examining what this birth to presence might be, we should not ask what presence 'is'; rather, we should conceive presence as presence to someone, including to presence itself. The second section, 'Poetry', asks: What if art exposes this? In writing, in the voice, in painting? And what if art is exposed to it? How does it inscribe the coming of existence as such? The author's trajectory in this book crosses those of Hegel, Schlegel, Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Freud and Heidegger, in their comments on art and politics, existence and corporeality, everyday life and its modes of existence, and ecstasy. An analysis that dares this crossing involves all the varied accounts of existence, political and philosophical, as well as all the realms of poetry.

Library of Congress subject headings for this publication: Ontology, Criticism