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The Free and Indeterminate Accord of ‘The New Harmony’: The Significance of Benjamin’s Study of the Baroque for Deleuze

Flanagan, T. (2010) The Free and Indeterminate Accord of ‘The New Harmony’: The Significance of Benjamin’s Study of the Baroque for Deleuze. In: van Tuinen, S. and McDonnell, N., (eds.) Deleuze and The Fold: A Critical Reader. Palgrave Macmillan, London, pp. 46-64.

Link to Published Version: https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230248366_3
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Abstract

Whatever the more demanding elements of Benjamin’s 1925 Habilitationschrift, a clear characteristic of this otherwise obscure study is the concern to exhibit the sense of drama so typical of the baroque. In some ways this is what motivates Deleuze in the closing chapter of The Fold, with regard to ‘the new harmony’ that is to be found in seventeenth-century aesthetics, to acknowledge that indeed ‘Walter Benjamin made a decisive step forward in our understanding of the baroque’ (TF 125, translation modified). However, beyond what Deleuze here recognises as the perspicacity of the earlier study, it is imperative to note that the ostensibly art-historical implications of either thinker’s ‘baroque book’ does not circumscribe the ultimately philosophical problem of the baroque; since the significance of these works’ affinity with one another is, in the end, something whose own reality includes, only to exceed, whatever at all might be said of their true relation to one another.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan, London
Copyright: © 2010 Timothy Flanagan
URI: http://researchrepository.murdoch.edu.au/id/eprint/59802
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