New publication: Matters of Time

Jeschke and May coverMatters of Time provides an unorthodox array of perspectives on materialist thought and representation in twentieth-century French intellectual culture. Time is figured as the quintessential revolutionary concept, through key historical moments from Jean Jaurès’ orientation of the socialists at the turn of the century to the inter-generational conflict and politicization of everyday life in May ’68. Essays on dialectics and theories of teleological progress are placed side by side with accounts of the existential turn in Marxist thought in France. Contributions on Heidegger and Sartre inject meditations on human mortality into considerations of a new politics of finitude. The volume also emphasizes the inseparability of aesthetic and political thought for the French avant-gardes: chapters on Sade, Artaud and Jarry place Marx’s theories of production and commodity fetishism into contact with bodily abjection. The manipulation of time in cinema and matter in painting are examined as a testament to the twentieth century as a period of continuing experimental tension between form and signification. Generational futurity is explored through Genet’s spatial representations of filiation and Verlaine’s proto-ecological attunement to nature. The volume as a whole constructs a necessarily fragmented timeline of the breaks, tensions and antagonisms in twentieth-century French thought, culture and politics, with particular focus on questions of late capitalism and political, intellectual and aesthetic progress and regress.

Available for purchase here.

Lisa Jeschke is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge. Her research focuses on late modernist poetry and theatricality. She is co-editor at Materials, a small press that publishes poetry and critical thought.
Adrian May is a doctoral candidate at the University of Cambridge. His thesis uses the contemporary French intellectual publication Lignes to explore what has happened to the radical philosophical left over the past twenty-five years.

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