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Nico Israel's brilliant book skyrockets across the extreme twentieth century to land with utmost illumination in our own. "Spirals: The Whirled Image in Twentieth-Century Literature and Art" tracks the proliferation of spirals that whorl their way through modernist art and culture; each chapter follows a braided pair of spiral artists or art movements -- Futurism and Vorticism, Yeats and Tatlin, Joyce and Duchamp, Beckett and Smithson -- as helical poles in a magnetic spiral that tunnels into the present in a quest for agency. In tensile prose as elegant as it is urgent, as sinuous as it is conceptually agile, and with a dazzling command of the multiple languages, disciplines, and the global remit of modernity, Israel shows us that the spiral is neither a figure nor a structure but rather a dynamic: the supreme dialectical image of modernity and its aftermath, a propulsive model for thinking and for feeling that pulls the global and the worlded into its poised arc.
In Israel's most revelatory claim, "Spirals" argues for a swerve from an inert or apolitical networked grid, and the surface or distant readings it entails, to a revivified spiral agenda, as the vital staging ground for a global renewal he finds in Giorgio Agamben and such global artists as Sebald, Kentridge, Smith and Ortega. Breaking through the silos of our understanding, the vibrant matter Nico Israel sets whirling in this crucial book is nothing less than a world future, a spiraling ring of agency that encircles and enacts a commons.--Jennifer Wicke, University of Virginia
Nico Israel's superb "Spirals" revisits a history of modernity whose most secret desires and powerful realizations are captured by the dialectical image of the spiral. Not just echoes of Baroque forms, modernist spirals fascinate with endless lines and infinite dynamism. From Tatlin's Constructivism to Yeats's gyres, from Duchamp's "Rotoreliefs" to Smithson's" Spiral Jetty," from Ubu's helical paunch to Kentridge's whirling cartoons, we rediscover works that renew our understanding of the world.--Jean-Michel Rabat?, Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsyvlania
Nico Israel's brilliant "Spirals "skyrockets across the extreme twentieth century to land with utmost illumination in our own. In tensile prose as elegant as it is urgent, as sinuous as it is conceptually agile, and with a dazzling command of the multiple languages, disciplines, and global remit of modernity, Israel reveals how embedded the spiral is in the tissue of modern thought and ethics, and how important it is as a mode of reading the world. Breaking through the silo of our understanding, the vibrant matter Israel sets whirling in this crucial book is nothing less than a world future, a spiraling ring of agency that encircles and enacts a commons.--Jennifer Wicke, University of Virginia
As it transversely curves from one plane of inquiry to another, this book brilliantly enacts its central insight and mystery: the path of artistic inquiry offered, and accepted, by the spiral. Nico Israel is a wonderful stylist of perception, and this is a joyful and profound work.--Joseph O'Neill, Bard College, author of "Netherland"BY:ebook777.com