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4.04  ·  Rating details ·  183 Ratings  ·  14 Reviews
Encompassing a wide range of subjects, the ten masterful essays gathered here may at first appear unrelated to one another. In truth, Giorgio Agamben's latest book is a mosaic of his most pressing concerns. Take a step backward after reading it from cover to cover, and a world of secret affinities between the chapters slowly comes into focus. Take another step back, and it ...more
Paperback, 1st edition Meridian: Crossing Aesthetics, 144 pages
Published October 6th 2010 by Stanford University Press (first published 2009)
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May 26, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Posted on my book blog.

I first heard of Giorgio Agamben during an art criticism class. We were discussing the definition of contemporary art, and the essay in this book come up, which piqued my interest about it.

I was pleasantly surprised with this book. It's a collection of essays on varied topics, from nudity (which gives the book its title), to Kafka, to identification methods and their influence in people. All of them were very interesting and mentioned facts and thoughts that I hadn't heard
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
There were some really good discussions in this book, but the early chapters didn't really seem to fit with the theme and issues addressed later in the book. As a result, I have a hard time even recalling what the earlier chapters were about: prophecy, temporality, something else... But the emergence of "inoperativity" as a means for revitalizing potentiality and freedom was engaging and insightful. Rendering "inoperative" is distinguished from mere uselessness or breaking down, thus emphasizing ...more
Jacob Wren
Giorgio Agamben writes:

The ones who can call themselves contemporary are only those who do not allow themselves to be blinded by the lights of the century and so manage to get a glimpse of the shadows in those lights, of their intimate obscurity. Having said this much, we have nevertheless still not addressed our question. Why should we be at all interested in perceiving the obscurity that emanates from the epoch? Is darkness not precisely an anonymous experience that is by definition impenetrab
Feb 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a lucid collection of essay-length ruminations on the concept of nudity in ways that are roughly connected to his larger project of Homo Sacer. Agamben traces the concepts of nakedness and bodies with relation to theology, especially through Erik Peterson and Thomas Aquinas. This is the theological signature in how we are constituted as subjects, and that the biometrics of contemporary Western civilization in its reduction to bare life (nuda vita) that one cannot be distanced from. As it ...more
Jan 15, 2011 rated it really liked it
Agamben considera che la nudità non è uno stato, bensì un evento. Nudità è ciò che "appare" a conseguenza dello svelamento, e togliere il velo rivela il momento propizio per la conoscenza (kairós). Non la conoscenza vera e propria, però, ma la possibilità della conoscenza, perchè la nudità è come una tabula rasa, dove ogni cosa è latente, pronta per essere messa in luce, e quindi conosciuta.
Peter Aronson
Aug 31, 2015 rated it liked it
Not the philosopher for me, I think. There's interesting stuff in here, and even a touch of humor (The Glorious Body is very amusing in places), but Agamben is obscure when I would want him to be clear, and oblique when I would want him to be straightforward, and too backwards looking for my taste. Still, he says some important things in What We Can Not Do and his analysis of Kafka is very insightful.
Dec 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
The essay on Kafka was amazing. A few of the other pieces were also exceptional, and while the rest were thought-provoking, I feel like they sort of fell short. The idea of inoperativity that runs throughout these essays is something I want to think more about, especially alongside Agamben's talk on destituent power.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: contemporary-art
This collection of essays by Agamben is a meditation on what it means to be contemporary. An often used term, especially in art, that is possibly one of the most difficult to define and describe. Agamben's short but thoughtful essays are extremely powerful and full of clear insight.
Laroy Viviane
Petit livre facile d'accès composé de petits textes en crescendo sur non pas la nudité mais la théologie du vêtement.
Mar 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read. The essay on what contemporanity means is exemplary, while K. just offers a whole new perspective on Kafka and not only.
Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
most of the worthwhile aspects of this book are plagiarized and watered down concepts from Benjamin
Jul 28, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Agamben at his best!
May 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The Kafka essay alone is worth the price of admission...
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“Uma obra crítica ou filosófica, que não se mantenha de alguma maneira numa relação essencial com a criação, está condenada a girar no vazio, do mesmo modo que uma obra de arte ou de poesia, que não contenha em si uma exigência crítica, está destinada ao esquecimento.” 0 likes
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