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- DescriptionHegel's highway of despair, introduced in his Phemelogy of Spirit, represents the tortured path traveled by natural consciousness on its way to freedom. Despair, the passionate residue of Hegelian critique, also indicates fugitive opportunities for freedom and preserves the principle of hope against all hope. Analyzing the works of an eclectic cast of thinkers, Robyn Marasco considers the dynamism of despair as a critical passion, reckoning with the forms of historical life forged along Hegel's highway. The Highway of Despair follows Theodor Ador, Georges Bataille, and Frantz Fan as they each read, resist, and reconfigure a strand of thought in Hegel's Phemelogy of Spirit. Confronting the twentieth-century collapse of a certain revolutionary dialectic, these thinkers struggle to revalue critical philosophy and recast Left Hegelianism within the contexts of gecidal racism, world war, and colonial domination. Each thinker also re-centers the role of passion in critique. Arguing against more recent trends in critical theory that promise an escape from despair, Marasco shows how passion frustrates the resolutions of reason and faith. Embracing the extremism of what Marx, in the spirit of Hegel, called the ruthless critique of everything existing, she affirms the contemporary purchase of radical critical theory, resulting in a passionate approach to political thought.
- Author BiographyRobyn Marasco is assistant professor of political science at Hunter College. Her areas of specialization include critical theory, feminist theory, and the modern history of political thought. Her articles have appeared in Contemporary Political Theory, differences, Philosophy and Social Criticism, and Theory and Event.
- Author(s)Robyn Marasco
- PublisherColumbia University Press
- Date of Publication10/04/2015
- Series TitleNew Directions in Critical Theory
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintColumbia University Press
- Weight454 g
- Width152 mm
- Height229 mm
- Spine21 mm
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