Wittgenstein: Philosophy, Postmodernism, Pedagogy

By Michael Peters; James Marshall | Go to book overview

at the extreme edge as it is, it threatens like Wittgenstein to leave everything exactly as it was. ( Eagleton, 1982, p. 74)

Eagleton's overall intention is to demonstrate the superiority of mainstream Marxist aesthetics that admits a notion of ideology, provides strategies of de-reification and de-fetishization, and explains the historical conditions of metaphysics.

Our strategy here is not to debate the superiority of one tradition of aesthetics over another, or even to assess Eagleton's argument, but rather to take up his suggestions of a reading that, first, places Wittgenstein in relation to modernism, providing an aesthetic reading of his work, and, second, construes Wittgenstein in his later work as someone who has strong affinities both with a European counter-Enlightenment tradition in philosophy exemplified by Nietzsche and with the movement of post- structuralist thought. These are themes that we deal with explicitly in subsequent chapters.


NOTES
1.
One passage, for example, included the works of Gerhard Richter, Jeff Wall, Clegg and Gutman, Michael Zumpt, Andy Warhol, Richard Prince, Francis Picabia, Sarah Charlesworth, Günter Förg, and Christopher Williams. Another sequence begins with Peter Weibel Gem-ein-sam and includes Barbara Bloom pair of portraits from The Reign of Narcissism, Dan Graham video Yesterday/Today, which televises the viewer's entry into the gallery space, Franz West's Psyche, a mirrored vanity table, two Cindy Sherman self-protraits, Michelangelo Pistoletto pair of arched mirrors, La Tavole della Legge, Jan van Oost's twin monumental mirrored coffins, Magritte Perspective (Le balcon de Manet II), and Marcel Broodthaers' La Salon Noir, which has portrait mugs in an open coffin.
2.
Monk ( 1991, p. xvii) notes that "there have been at least five television programmes made about him and countless memoirs of him written, often by people who knew him only very slightly." There was a British Broadcasting Corporation film of interviews and other material about Wittgenstein made by Christopher Sykes Productions in 1988. The Derek Jarman film had its origin in 1990 when Tariq Ali was asked by the commissioning editor, education, at Channel 4 to develop an idea for a series on philosophy. Ali suggested a set of 12 one- hour dramas based on a set of philosophers from Ancient Greece to modern times and four scripts were commissioned ( Socrates by Howard Brenton, Spinoza by Ali, Locke by David Edgar, and Wittgenstein by Eagleton). As Jarman ( 1993, p. 65) comments: "I had thought of making a film of Ludwig some years ago. ' Loony Ludwig in the Green Valleys of Silliness.' Then Tariq rang. We had a ten-day shoot for fifty minutes on TV. A week or so into pre-production, the BFI [British Film Institute] threw down a challenge. Some more cash for a seventy-two minute film."

-31-

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