Leo Bersani’s writings on aesthetics, often coauthored with Ulysse Dutoit, repeatedly deploy the trope of withdrawal, finding in the aesthetic works they discuss, such as Jean-Luc Godard’s film Contempt, a paradoxical double movement of bringing into view while projecting the erasure of form and distinction. In their reading of Contempt, Bersani and Dutoit adumbrate a uniformity that would depend on the elimination of measurement, reference, and subject-object relations. In doing so, they transfigure the idea of antirelationality often attributed to Bersani, associating the death it surely names with the illumination of Being.

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