The Essentialist Villain: On Leo Bersani

SUNY Press
Free sample

 he first book-length study of Bersani’s work, tracing the unfolding of his onto-ethics/aesthetics amidst numerous literary, artistic, and philosophical influences.
Since his first publications in the late 1950s, Leo Bersani’s work has influenced numerous scholarly fields, from studies of French modernism and realist fiction to psychoanalytic criticism and film theory. It has occasionally helped precipitate the emergence of new disciplinary fields, such as queer theory in the late 1980s. The Essentialist Villain is the first book-length study of this impressively rich oeuvre. Mikko Tuhkanen tracks the unfolding of Bersani’s onto-ethics/aesthetics, paying particular attention to his persistent references to “essence,” a concept central to classical speculative philosophy, which has fallen into distinct disfavor since the emergence of deconstructive thought. Because of his early influences—particularly Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy—Bersani remains an ontologist through decades when deconstruction seems to have all but disallowed any thought of being. Tuhkanen also locates Bersani’s thought amidst numerous literary, artistic, and philosophical interlocutors, including Deleuze, Freud, Proust, Laplanche, Beckett, Baudelaire, Genet, Leibniz, and others.

“This very impressive book provides a full-scale assessment of Leo Bersani’s half-century of thinking and writing, at the same time as it offers a reassessment of our contemporary critical landscape. It is rare that a book on a single thinker can do that, but Tuhkanen has accomplished a tremendous amount of intellectual work here. A brilliant book on a brilliant thinker. I learned a great deal from it and recommend it highly.” — Tim Dean, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign

The Essentialist Villain offers a wonderfully original and convincing assessment of the speculative power of Leo Bersani’s oeuvre. Identifying a ‘homo-monadology’ at its core, Tuhkanen details the complex and shifting role sameness has played throughout. By situating him at the proper onto-aesthetic level of his thought, this study positions Bersani among the leading independent thinkers of our era.” — Joan Copjec, Brown University

Mikko Tuhkanen is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University. His books include Leo Bersani: Queer Theory and BeyondQueer Times, Queer Becomings (coedited with E. L. McCallum); and The American Optic: Psychoanalysis, Critical Race Theory, and Richard Wright, all published by SUNY Press.
Read more

About the author

 Mikko Tuhkanen is Associate Professor of English at Texas A&M University. His books include Leo Bersani: Queer Theory and BeyondQueer Times, Queer Becomings (coedited with E. L. McCallum); and The American Optic: Psychoanalysis, Critical Race Theory, and Richard Wright, all published by SUNY Press.

Read more
Loading...

Additional Information

Publisher
SUNY Press
Read more
Published on
Apr 25, 2018
Read more
Pages
258
Read more
ISBN
9781438469683
Read more
Language
English
Read more
Genres
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / General
PHILOSOPHY / History & Surveys / Modern
Read more
Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
Read more
Read Aloud
Available on Android devices
Read more
Eligible for Family Library

Reading information

Smartphones and Tablets

Install the Google Play Books app for Android and iPad/iPhone. It syncs automatically with your account and allows you to read online or offline wherever you are.

Laptops and Computers

You can read books purchased on Google Play using your computer's web browser.

eReaders and other devices

To read on e-ink devices like the Sony eReader or Barnes & Noble Nook, you'll need to download a file and transfer it to your device. Please follow the detailed Help center instructions to transfer the files to supported eReaders.
©2018 GoogleSite Terms of ServicePrivacyDevelopersArtistsAbout Google|Location: United StatesLanguage: English (United States)
By purchasing this item, you are transacting with Google Payments and agreeing to the Google Payments Terms of Service and Privacy Notice.