Negative Reviews: Ben Noys’ Persistence of the Negative

My review of Ben Noys’ excellent The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Continental Theory (2010) has (finally) been published in the latest issue of the journal Textual Practice. I imagine some readers of this blog will be aware of Ben’s fascinating, meticulous work in and around the continental tradition of philosophy, and are likely to have previously come across this work, his study of Georges Bataille and his blog, No Useless Leniency. If you don’t know him, however, and you have an interest in recent European philosophy, its fortitude and follies, I strongly urge you to check out this book (which, parenthetically, has recently drawn Slavoj Žižek’s endorsement in his Less Than Nothing: Hegel and the Shadow of Dialectical Materialism). Persistence is now available in paperback.

In the review itself, in addition to an all-too-brief appraisal of the negative’s function in Ben’s absorbing critique (of Derrida, Deleuze, Negri, Latour and Badiou), I’ve also tried to communicate a modicum of what I perceive to be Ben’s attentiveness to the style of the negative and the ways that his text is consequently fissured with negative moments that are “fragmentary, mobile and mutating.” I also intimate that Ben Noys is continental theory’s Burt Lancaster. Maybe.


~ by schoolboyerrors on May 29, 2012.

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