“Leo Bersani: A Speculative Introduction” by Mikko Tuhkanen— A New Look at Bersani

Tuhkanen, Mikko,“ Leo Bersani: A Speculative Introduction”, Bloomsbury, 2020.

A New Look at Bersani

Amos Lassen

“For the past 60 years, Leo Bersani has inspired, resisted, guided, and challenged scholarly work in the fields of literary criticism, queer theory, cultural studies, psychoanalytic theory, and film and visual studies.” Mikko Tuhkanen looks for the “fundamental notes”-the questions that we find and refind in the works of Bersani.
We explore Bersani’s engagement with psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Laplanche, Klein, Lacan), French and American modernist fiction (Proust, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, James, Beckett), poststructuralist theory (Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Blanchot), queer theory (Butler, Edelman), and the visual arts (Caravaggio, Almodóvar, Pasolini, Malick, Dumont). This is the first introduction to Bersani’s work that gives us a chronological overview of his thought and examines his contributions to literary studies and critical theory.

“Leo Bersani’s greatness is tied to a resolutely interlocutory ethics-to his generous thinking-with (with Sade, Proust, Freud, Laplanche, Deleuze, Foucault, Beckett, Dumont; with art by way of doing theory and with theory by way of making a kind of art). Mikko Tuhkanen honors this half-century-long project by taking Bersani as his interlocutor to explore the ambivalences, tensions, irresolvable questions, but also rhythms, fascinations, and, yes, seductions of twentieth-century continental theory. Tuhkanen is a worthy Beatrice, guiding us through the paradisiacal riches of Bersani’s beautiful, rigorous, and gloriously destabilizing readings.” –  Eugenie Brinkema, author of The Forms of the Affects

“This illuminating overview is both a lucid introduction to Leo Bersani’s thought and a bold reinterpretation of it. Highlighting the patterns that have shaped Bersani’s rich and complex work across the span of his long career, Tuhkanen provides a new framework for understanding his influential ideas about sex and sexuality in relation to his equally compelling insights about aesthetics, ontology, and ethics.” –  Brian Glavey, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature, University of South Carolina, USA

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction 
Part I Wanting Being  
1. The Psychoanalytic Subject  
2. What Is an Individual? (A Deleuzean Query)  
3. Performativity and Speculative Politics  
4. The Antisocial Thesis  
Part II The Correspondence Thesis 
5. Whither Narcissus?  
6. Saving Frivolity, or, On Sociability and Spandrels  
7. The Virtual Unconscious  
Part III . . . But Is It Art? 
8. Fascinating Rhythm  
9. Leo Bersani’s Speculative Aesthetics
Works Cited
Index

Reviews

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tuhkanen, Mikko,“

Leo Bersani: A Speculative Introduction”, Bloomsbury, 2020.

A New Look at Bersani

Amos Lassen

 

“For the past 60 years, Leo Bersani has inspired, resisted, guided, and challenged scholarly work in the fields of literary criticism, queer theory, cultural studies, psychoanalytic theory, and film and visual studies.” Mikko Tuhkanen looks for the “fundamental notes”-the questions that we find and refind in the works of Bersani.
We explore Bersani’s engagement with psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Laplanche, Klein, Lacan), French and American modernist fiction (Proust, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, James, Beckett), poststructuralist theory (Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Blanchot), queer theory (Butler, Edelman), and the visual arts (Caravaggio, Almodóvar, Pasolini, Malick, Dumont). This is the first introduction to Bersani’s work that gives us a chronological overview of his thought and examines his contributions to literary studies and critical theory.

 

“Leo Bersani’s greatness is tied to a resolutely interlocutory ethics-to his generous thinking-with (with Sade, Proust, Freud, Laplanche, Deleuze, Foucault, Beckett, Dumont; with art by way of doing theory and with theory by way of making a kind of art). Mikko Tuhkanen honors this half-century-long project by taking Bersani as his interlocutor to explore the ambivalences, tensions, irresolvable questions, but also rhythms, fascinations, and, yes, seductions of twentieth-century continental theory. Tuhkanen is a worthy Beatrice, guiding us through the paradisiacal riches of Bersani’s beautiful, rigorous, and gloriously destabilizing readings.” –  Eugenie Brinkema, author of The Forms of the Affects

“This illuminating overview is both a lucid introduction to Leo Bersani’s thought and a bold reinterpretation of it. Highlighting the patterns that have shaped Bersani’s rich and complex work across the span of his long career, Tuhkanen provides a new framework for understanding his influential ideas about sex and sexuality in relation to his equally compelling insights about aesthetics, ontology, and ethics.” –  Brian Glavey, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature, University of South Carolina, USA

 

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Part I Wanting Being  
1. The Psychoanalytic Subject
2. What Is an Individual? (A Deleuzean Query)
3. Performativity and Speculative Politics
4. The Antisocial Thesis
Part II The Correspondence Thesis 
5. Whither Narcissus?
6. Saving Frivolity, or, On Sociability and Spandrels
7. The Virtual Unconscious
Part III . . . But Is It Art? 
8. Fascinating Rhythm
9. Leo Bersani’s Speculative Aesthetics
Works Cited
Index

Reviews

 

 

 

 

Tuhkanen, Mikko,“

Leo Bersani: A Speculative Introduction”, Bloomsbury, 2020.

A New Look at Bersani

Amos Lassen

 

“For the past 60 years, Leo Bersani has inspired, resisted, guided, and challenged scholarly work in the fields of literary criticism, queer theory, cultural studies, psychoanalytic theory, and film and visual studies.” Mikko Tuhkanen looks for the “fundamental notes”-the questions that we find and refind in the works of Bersani.
We explore Bersani’s engagement with psychoanalytic theory (Freud, Laplanche, Klein, Lacan), French and American modernist fiction (Proust, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, James, Beckett), poststructuralist theory (Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Guattari, Blanchot), queer theory (Butler, Edelman), and the visual arts (Caravaggio, Almodóvar, Pasolini, Malick, Dumont). This is the first introduction to Bersani’s work that gives us a chronological overview of his thought and examines his contributions to literary studies and critical theory.

 

“Leo Bersani’s greatness is tied to a resolutely interlocutory ethics-to his generous thinking-with (with Sade, Proust, Freud, Laplanche, Deleuze, Foucault, Beckett, Dumont; with art by way of doing theory and with theory by way of making a kind of art). Mikko Tuhkanen honors this half-century-long project by taking Bersani as his interlocutor to explore the ambivalences, tensions, irresolvable questions, but also rhythms, fascinations, and, yes, seductions of twentieth-century continental theory. Tuhkanen is a worthy Beatrice, guiding us through the paradisiacal riches of Bersani’s beautiful, rigorous, and gloriously destabilizing readings.” –  Eugenie Brinkema, author of The Forms of the Affects

“This illuminating overview is both a lucid introduction to Leo Bersani’s thought and a bold reinterpretation of it. Highlighting the patterns that have shaped Bersani’s rich and complex work across the span of his long career, Tuhkanen provides a new framework for understanding his influential ideas about sex and sexuality in relation to his equally compelling insights about aesthetics, ontology, and ethics.” –  Brian Glavey, Associate Professor, English Language and Literature, University of South Carolina, USA

 

Table of contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations
Introduction
Part I Wanting Being  
1. The Psychoanalytic Subject
2. What Is an Individual? (A Deleuzean Query)
3. Performativity and Speculative Politics
4. The Antisocial Thesis
Part II The Correspondence Thesis 
5. Whither Narcissus?
6. Saving Frivolity, or, On Sociability and Spandrels
7. The Virtual Unconscious
Part III . . . But Is It Art? 
8. Fascinating Rhythm
9. Leo Bersani’s Speculative Aesthetics
Works Cited
Index

Reviews

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