Hauntology

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Hauntology is a concept within the philosophy of history first introduced by Jacques Derrida in his 1993 work Spectres of Marx and further developed within various critical disciplines in the early 21st century. It is closely related to Derrida's deconstruction of Western philosophy's metaphysics of presence, referring to the resulting state of temporal and ontological disjunction in which "the priority of being and presence [is replaced by] the figure of the ghost as that which is neither present, nor absent, neither dead nor alive."[1]

Origins[edit]

The word "hauntology," a neologism which functions as a deliberate near-homophone to "ontology" in Derrida's native French, is derived from the English word word haunt.[2]

The concept has its roots in Derrida's discussion of Karl Marx in Spectres, specifically Marx's proclamation that "a spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism" in the Communist Manifesto. Derrida also calls on a thematically-related phrase spoken by the titular character in Shakespeare's Hamlet, "the time is out of joint."[3][4] Derrida's prior writing on concepts of trace and différance in particular, and his work on language and deconstruction as a whole, serves as the foundation of his formulation of hauntology.[5]

Critical developments[edit]

Hauntology has been utilized as a critical lens in various forms of media and theory, including electronic music, political theory, architecture, Afrofuturism, and psychoanalysis.[6][7][8]

Recent developments describe a state in which postmodern civilization, persisting after the "end of history," has become inundated by the perpetual recycling of "dead" cultural and aesthetic forms, therefore obscuring the possibility of novelty in contemporary art, culture, and politics.[9][10] Writer Mark Fisher more specifically presents the term as describing a sense in which the present is haunted by the "lost futures" of modernity resulting from the shift into post-Fordist economies in the late 1970s and the subsequent rise of neoliberalism, which he argues has "gradually and systematically deprived artists of the resources necessary to produce the new."[11]

In contrast to the nostalgic revivalism perceived as a dominant characteristic of postmodernity, hauntological art and culture is typically defined by a critical preoccupation with the historical and metaphysical disjunctions of contemporary culture as well as a "refusal to give up on the desire for the future" in the "closed horizons of capitalist realism."[12] Along these lines, theorists and critics such as Simon Reynolds have made use of the term in relation to popular music and culture at large.[13][14]

Related topics[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Guardian - Hauntology: A not-so-new critical manifestation
  2. ^ "Half Lives". Archived from the original on 7 July 2007. Retrieved 2013-08-19. 
  3. ^ Specters of Marx, the state of the debt, the Work of Mourning, & the New International, translated by Peggy Kamuf, Routledge 1994
  4. ^ The Guardian - Hauntology: A not-so-new critical manifestation
  5. ^ The Guardian - Hauntology: A not-so-new critical manifestation
  6. ^ Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures
  7. ^ The Guardian - Hauntology: A not-so-new critical manifestation
  8. ^ k-punk - Hauntology Now
  9. ^ Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures
  10. ^ The Guardian - Hauntology: A not-so-new critical manifestation
  11. ^ Mark Fisher - The Metaphysics of Crackle: Afrofuturism and Hauntology
  12. ^ Mark Fisher, Ghosts of My Life: Writings on Depression, Hauntology and Lost Futures
  13. ^ Mark Fisher - The Metaphysics of Crackle: Afrofuturism and Hauntology
  14. ^ Simon Reynolds - Haunted Audio

External links[edit]