Omissions are not Accidents: Modern Apophaticism from Henry James to Jacques Derrida

by Christopher J. Knight

© 2010

Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote in a 1919 letter that his work 'consists of two parts: the one presented here plus all that I have not written. And it is precisely this second part which is the important one.' In Omissions Are Not Accidents, Christopher J. Knight analyzes the widespread apophaticism in texts from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century. In theology, apophaticism refers to the idea that what we cannot say about God is more fundamental than what we can; in literature and other works of art, Knight argues, it functions as a way of continuing to speak and write even in the face of the unspeakable.

Probing the works of authors and intellectuals from Henry James to Jacques Derrida, Knight suggests that we no longer trust ourselves to speak about experience's most numinous aspect, and explores the consequences of the modern artist's tendency to imagine his or her work as incomplete. Ambitious in the scope of its investigation, Omissions Are Not Accidents lends insight into an important modern phenomenon.

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Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.4in
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SKU# SP002755

  • PUBLISHED FEB 2010

    From: $49.50

    Regular Price: $66.00

    ISBN 9781442640504
  • PUBLISHED DEC 2010

    From: $57.00

    Regular Price: $76.00

Quick Overview

In Omissions Are Not Accidents, Christopher J. Knight analyzes the widespread apophaticism in texts from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century.

Omissions are not Accidents: Modern Apophaticism from Henry James to Jacques Derrida

by Christopher J. Knight

© 2010

Ludwig Wittgenstein wrote in a 1919 letter that his work 'consists of two parts: the one presented here plus all that I have not written. And it is precisely this second part which is the important one.' In Omissions Are Not Accidents, Christopher J. Knight analyzes the widespread apophaticism in texts from the late nineteenth to the late twentieth century. In theology, apophaticism refers to the idea that what we cannot say about God is more fundamental than what we can; in literature and other works of art, Knight argues, it functions as a way of continuing to speak and write even in the face of the unspeakable.

Probing the works of authors and intellectuals from Henry James to Jacques Derrida, Knight suggests that we no longer trust ourselves to speak about experience's most numinous aspect, and explores the consequences of the modern artist's tendency to imagine his or her work as incomplete. Ambitious in the scope of its investigation, Omissions Are Not Accidents lends insight into an important modern phenomenon.

Continue Reading Read Less

Product Details

  • World Rights
  • Page Count: 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 6.3in x 1.0in x 9.4in
  • Reviews

    ’What Knight has given us will be of solid use for those readers still foggy about the advatages of the via negativa approach to literature.’
    Lou F. Caton
    Southern Humaities Review, vol45:03:2011
  • Author Information

    Christopher J. Knight is a professor in the Department of English at the University of Montana.

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