Poetics of Imagining: Modern to Post-Modern

Poetics of Imagining: Modern to Post-Modern

Poetics of Imagining: Modern to Post-Modern

Poetics of Imagining: Modern to Post-Modern

Synopsis

With an extended foreword and an afterword chapter, and fascinating new material on the narrative imagination, Poetics of Imagining, Modern to Post-modern provides a critically developed and accessible account of the major theories of imagination in modern European thought.

Excerpt

This second edition of Poetics of Imagining published by Fordham University Press, is a revised and enlarged version of the text which appeared under a HarperCollins imprint in 1991 and was republished under a Routledge imprint in 1993. The revisions consist largely of bibliographical updatings and minor textual alterations. The enlargements include a lengthy Epilogue on the question of narrative imagination and ethics, which has become a central concern of mine since the initial publication of this work in 1991, and an additional chapter on Heidegger’s ontological treatment of imagination which, I believe, constitutes an indispensable step in the development of continental theories of imagining between Husserl and later hermeneutic and post-modern approaches. The materials for this new chapter are drawn mainly from research included in an appendix to the chapter on ‘Transcendental Imagination’ in The Wake of Imagination (1987) and in the final section of the first chapter of Poetics of Modernity (1995). Indeed, it seemed to me quite unwise with hindsight to attempt a genealogical account of contemporary continental philosophies of imagining without substantive treatment of the Heideggerian retrieval of Kant’s revolutionary claims for the productive imagination. The transition from Husserl to Sartre, Merleau-Ponty and Ricoeur is largely inexplicable without this ‘missing link’.

The present volume, even in this revised and amplified form, is by no means the complete story. I see it rather as one more piece of a deeply intriguing puzzle which I have been attempting to plumb and sound over a number of successive works, from Poétique du Possible (1984) to Transitions (1987), The Wake of Imagination (1988) and Poetics of Modernity: Toward a Hermeneutic Imagination (1995). This second edition is tentative work in progress towards a resolution that will – given the enigmatic and unfathomable nature of imagining – never be reached.

Richard Kearney

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