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ABC of Impossibility

2015
Author:

Simon Critchley

ABC of Impossibility

An experimental text of para-philosophical fragments working toward a poetic ontology

Following a heritage of fragmented, aphoristic thinkers including Pascal, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Pessoa, ABC of Impossibility is a unique undertaking that reexamines the poetic site of the fragment as thought.

How does one write an experimental ABC, an impossible theory that would deal with a series of phenomena, concepts, places, sensations, persons, and moods? A para-philosophy? Returning to a once-abandoned project of fragmented thoughts where the author’s voice moves from the serious to the pathetic, to the absurd, to the cynical, Simon Critchley’s ABC of Impossibility finds new life in the form of this small encyclopedic and aphoristic text where the reader bears witness to the slow emergence of an attempt at a poetic ontology. ABC of Impossibility is a unique undertaking that reexamines the poetic site of the fragment as thought. Following a heritage of fragmented, aphoristic thinkers including Pascal, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Pessoa, Critchley revitalizes a para-philosophical thinking that can only be uttered by way of another. As he declares in the opening pages, “In writing this, I promise to tell the truth, but not to be myself.”

ABC of Impossibility

Simon Critchley is Hans Jonas Professor at the New School for Social Research. He is the author of numerous philosophical and experimental works including The Faith of the Faithless, The Book of Dead Philosophers, and most recently, Bowie. He is moderator of The Stone, a philosophy column in the New York Times, to which he is a frequent contributor.

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