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By Jason Barker

'[Badiou's thought] enacts a go back to full-blown philosophy that moves as a thunder into the morass of postmodernist sophisms and platitudes. . . . [Badiou] goals on the very center of politically right 'radical' intellectuals, undermining the principles in their mode of life!' Slavoj Zizek, Professor on the Institute of Sociology, collage of Ljubljana

Alain Badiou is quickly rising as essentially the most radical and influential philosophers of our time. Badiou opposes the modern relief of philosophy to not anything yet an issue of language and untimely bulletins of the tip of philosophy and therefore units himself opposed to either analytic and continental modes of philosophy. surroundings the conventional platonic issues of philosophy, fact and being, opposed to the fashionable sophists of postmodernism, Badiou has articulated a strong systematic philosophy with profound moral and political results. this can be the 1st advent to Alain Badiou in English and is mainly well timed because the variety of Badiou's works in translation is quickly expanding and his superstar keeps to upward thrust. Giving a transparent assessment of Badiou's paintings and the highbrow and political context from which it emerges, Jason Barker's publication is determined to develop into the traditional paintings on Badiou for a few years to come.

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Extra resources for Alain Badiou: A Critical Introduction (Modern European Thinkers)

Sample text

George says something, and the saying in some sense makes its opposite happen. To call someone a ‘scarebaby’ is in effect to jinx them, to make them so foolishly brave that they will have an accident – which is what you wanted all along. To wish to avoid your own ‘last meal’ only counts as wishing for someone else’s ‘last supper’ (death) if a logic of reversal is superimposed. Such an audience would surely, then, have to see George Bailey as the villain of the film. Or if not that, then the resolution of the film – when he settles for ordinary life with Mary – would have to be the giving up of all desires, lest they magically bring about reversals to the very things that he now most wants.

The implications from this approach are large, and (it seems to me) by no means fully explored. They seriously challenge, for instance, many conventional notions of literacy. For my purposes, the important thing they demonstrate is how it is possible to unpack the role of the reader – and that concept points to the second major source for my concept of the ‘implied reader’, in the work of European literary critics such as Roman Ingarten and, especially, Wolfgang Iser. Iser’s The Implied Reader systematically unfolds a phenomenological approach to literary works that insists that texts do not have meanings-inthemselves, but become meaningful through the activities of readers interpreting them.

What would this be like? Being a ‘common American’ turns out to be tough, and the ‘heroism’ looks like it begins in the cinema. Perhaps, though, the most complicated thing s/he-as-Mary has to achieve is to combine seeing, and caring about, George as an individual, and experiencing through him the idea of ‘democratic Films, Audiences and Analyses 29 heroism’. He must become a symbol even as the heroism he supposedly embodies denies such symbolism; for does not Girgus insist that the ‘American Dream’ is a virtual opposite of a fascistic ‘dream’ of the kind he finds in Leni Riefenstahl?

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