Amir Eshel has an ambitious project, which he began formulating in his previous book, Futurity (2013), and which his current collection of essays further extends and develops. To borrow a phrase from Bruno Latour, Eshel believes that literary studies “ran out of steam” and literary scholars often focus on the pains and melancholic memories of a traumatic past, rather than acknowledge the rich potential of poetic expression to generate new possibilities and push through moral and existential impasses. “When remembering traumatic historical events, contemporary literature acknowledges the pain of the past, but that remembrance is also an expression of futurity—it presents us with an opportunity to imagine a better future” (xii). The birth of a brighter future from a tragic and traumatic past is made possible through an anti-metaphysical turn. The poetic (Eshel concentrates on post–Second World War literature and arts) allows for the replacement of ideological commitments by a...
Poetic Thinking Today: An Essay
Gal Hertz's field of study is the genealogy of social disciplines and the connections between literary, legal, and political knowledge in the modern German-speaking world around 1900. He completed his doctoral studies at the Cohn Institute in 2014, and his dissertation examines the work of the Viennese critic Karl Kraus. He was a Minerva post-doctorate fellow at the Center for Literary and Cultural Research in Berlin, working on “Language Criticism as Moral Criticism—Kraus, Adorno, Arendt and Brecht.” He is currently working on a book project: “Graz 1900—Human Sciences and the Politics of Normality.” He is the codirector of the Humanities in Conflict Zones Initiative, within the Minerva Humanities Center and the Jewish-Arab Cultural Studies Program at Tel Aviv University. In addition, he founded the Humanities Clinic.
Gal Hertz; Poetic Thinking Today: An Essay. Poetics Today 1 March 2022; 43 (1): 173–180. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-9471052
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