The papers in this volume challenge the concept of form and aim to set out, explore and develop different theories and examples of ‘the formless’. In so doing, they raise questions of form, and notions of formlessness (as distinct from something called ‘the formless’). The starting point for many of the contributors is Georges Bataille’s highly influential article entitled ‘informe’ (‘formless’). Here, in a context where art, philosophy and anthropology were merging, Bataille tried to question the idea of formlessness as simply applying to things without form. This book, through a diversity of articles in various domains, asks how and why ‘the formless’ is such a dominant idea from the nineteenth century onwards and it asks the question: ‘what is formless?’
About the Author
The Editors: Patrick Crowley is Lecturer in French at University College Cork. He has published articles on contemporary writers such as Eugène Savitzkaya and Pierre Michon, as well as on Julia Kristeva and Paul Ricœur.
Paul Hegarty is Lecturer in French at University College Cork. He is the author of Georges Bataille (2000) and Jean Baudrillard (2004), as well as articles on noise, contemporary theory and architecture.
Table of Contents
Contents: Patrick Crowley/Paul Hegarty: Introduction – Patrick Crowley/Paul Hegarty: Formless 1. Groundless Interpretations: Thought and Formless – Graham Allen: On Information and the Chance of Teaching – Tony O’Connor: O Friend, Where Art Thou?: Derridean Deconstruction and Friendship – Jeremy Biles: Meditations at the Midway: The Work of Fantasy in the Thought of Georges Bataille – Sinéad Murphy: Forms of the ‘Avant’-Garde – Gary Genosko: The Spirit of Symbolic Exchange: Jean Baudrillard’s 9/11 – Patrick Crowley/Paul Hegarty: Formless 2. Within and Between: Literature and Formless – Caitríona Leahy: Bataille and Kafka. Or: Formless Takes Shape – Larry Duffy: Les mots font leurs besognes: Informe as High-Low Hybridity on Board the Ville-de-Montereau – Angela Ryan: ‘Shadows on a cloudy ground’: The Poetics of the Informe in George Sand’s Un Hiver à Majorque – Fiona Cox: The Formlessness of Hugo’s Epic World – Patricia Berney: L’abbé C.: Strategies of Formless – Patrick Crowley/Paul Hegarty: Formless 3. The Interminable Detour of Form: Art and Formless – Andrew Benjamin: The Matter of a Materialist Philosophy of Art: Bataille’s Manet – Douglas Smith: Disfigurements: Bacon, Deleuze, Lynch and the Formless – Douglas Morrey: An Embarrassment of Riches: Godard and the Aesthetics of Expenditure in Le Rapport Darty – Stephen Walker: Animate Form: Architecture’s Troublesome Claims to Formlessness.