Peter J. Leithart is President of the Theopolis Institute, Birmingham, Alabama, and an adjunct Senior Fellow at New St. Andrews College. He is author, most recently, of Gratitude: An Intellectual History (Baylor).

RSS Feed

More on Postmodern aestheticization

From Leithart

Featherstone: “one of the characteristics of postmodern art in the 1960s was its attack on institutionalized art: on the museums and galleries, the critical academic hierarchies of taste, and the consecration of works of art as clearly demarcated objects of display. This attack on autonomous, . . . . Continue Reading »

Postmodern architecture

From Leithart

Charles Jencks lamented in his Language of Postmodern Architecture that the term had been used in ways opposite to his own usage: “When I first wrote the book in 1975 and 1976 the word and concept of Post-Modernism had only been used with any frequency in literary criticism. Most perturbing, . . . . Continue Reading »

postmodern aestheticization

From Leithart

Featherstone again: “Postmodernism effectively thrusts aesthetic questions toward the center of sociological theory: it offers aesthetic models and justifications for the reading and critique of texts (the pleasure of the text, intertextuality, writerly texts) and aesthetic models for life . . . . Continue Reading »

Features of Postmodernism

From Leithart

Featherstone wisely notes the danger of “simply relabelling experiences as postmodern which were formerly granted little significance,” and laments that many definitions of postmodernism are too loose and vague to be useful. Yet, even if contemporary thinkers are simply re-packaging . . . . Continue Reading »

Modernism and Postmodernism in Art

From Leithart

The Modernday Dictionary of Deceived Ideas offers this definition of postmodernism “This word has no meaning. Use it as often as possible.” Mike Featherstone, who quotes this dictionary, offers a more serious discussion of what postmodernism means when applied to artistic movemements. . . . . Continue Reading »

Proverbs 13:1-6

From Leithart

INTRODUCTION Waltke proposes the following structure for chapter 13. 13:1 is an introductory verse that picks up on the exhortations of the prologue to listen to the father’s instruction. There is a multiple inclusion around the chapter. The “discipline” of v. 1 is taken up in v. . . . . Continue Reading »

Hamlet, 3.4

From Leithart

This scene, like the scene that opens Act 3, shows Hamlet encountering a woman who in his mind has betrayed him. Again, he has been sent for, and probably suspects that it is another setup like the one with Ophelia. He has just come from the play, ready to drink hot blood and to kill, and he is . . . . Continue Reading »

Pierre and Hamlet

From Leithart

FO Matthiessen described Melville’s Pierre as “an American Hamlet,” a novel that attempts to “translate” Shakespeare into 19th-century American life. In part, this is a matter of Melville matching characters and plots: “Lucy’s pale innocence fails Pierre as . . . . Continue Reading »

Metaphysics of presence

From Leithart

Derrida, famously, challenges what he calls the metaphysics of presence. What is challenging is not the reality of presence as such, but the notion that we can arrive at some pure presence of a thing, a moment, a self that is unmixed with anything other than itself. A pure instant of time that is . . . . Continue Reading »

How Deconstruction Works

From Leithart

Culler offers an example from Nietzsche that provides an excellent example of the ju-jitsu of deconstruction. Nietzsche argues that causality is not something given, but is the product of a rhetorical operation, a chronological reversal ( chronologische Umdrehung ). I feel a pain, and go searching . . . . Continue Reading »