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AfternessFigures of Following in Modern Thought and Aesthetics$
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Gerhard Richter

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780231157704

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231157704.001.0001

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(p.206) Afterwards

Gerhard Richter

Columbia University Press

This book has explored the concept of afterness that has been expressed by the texts of modernity in many guises. It has attempted to concretize, in a variety of conceptual registers, the question as to what kind of a “beginning” the concept and experience of afterness always will have been—and always will be on the verge of becoming. It has argued that, in the realms of reading, writing, creating, experiencing, and thinking, there can be no closure, no finished business, no stable sense—only an afterness that both follows and inaugurates one more time. If being and following invite us to think them as one thing—that is, if they suggest an inextricable interpenetration of living and coming after—then the question arises what kind of knowledge might be owned concerning life’s variegated and always-interrupted modes of afterness. This book concludes that there can, ultimately, be no other to the after, nothing to sublate or overcome, nothing to rescue, nothing to redeem. After all, after the after comes the after.

Keywords:   afterness, modernity, beginning, experience, becoming, being, following, after

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