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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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Afterness and Experience (I)

Afterness and Experience (I)

Can Hope Be Disappointed?

(p.154) 8 Afterness and Experience (I)

Gerhard Richter

Columbia University Press

This chapter explores the relation between afterness and the experience of hope, with particular emphasis on the experiential category of hope that animates Ernst Bloch’s oeuvre. Hope, even when it breaks with the past in the name of a new time to come, remains intimately tied to those patterns of experience that it wishes to overcome and against which it hopes to institute itself. In other words, hope, even when it is experienced as a birth, is always the experience of an anticipated afterness. As a form of afterness, hope is also the hope for hope itself, the hope that in the afterness of that which is, hope still can be hoped for. This chapter considers the extent to which post-Enlightenment artists and scholars are still permitted to harbor, in their works and texts, hope for a future that is yet to come and therefore not foreclosed by dominant discourses of power. It also locates hope in its disappointability, what Bloch calls an inescapable but deeply productive Enttäuschbarkeit.

Keywords:   hope, Ernst Bloch, experience, afterness, disappointability, Enttäuschbarkeit

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