Home » Call for papers » CFP: ‘Thinking with Style’: Philosophy, Style, and Literary Form

CFP: ‘Thinking with Style’: Philosophy, Style, and Literary Form

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Submissions should be articles no longer than 8,000 words, prefaced by an abstract, and sent by email to: plijournal@warwick.ac.uk as a Word, ODT or RTF file. Include an e-mail address for future correspondence. Before submitting an article, please ensure you have read the Notes for Contributors. The deadline for submissions is 21st of April 2017.

“Truth will begin only at the moment when a writer takes two different objects, poses their relation, analogous in the world of art to the unique relation of causal law in the world of science, and encloses them within the necessary rings of a beautiful style”

Marcel Proust, A la Recherché du Temps Perdu (1871-1922)

“My concept of objective and at the same time highly political style and writing is this: to focus on what is denied to the word; only where this sphere of the wordless discloses itself with unutterably pure force can a magical spark spring between word and dynamic act, unifying them. Only the intensive aiming of words toward the nucleus of the innermost muteness can be effective”

Theodore Adorno, Aesthetic Theory (1960)

“I ought to have sung this “new soul” … what a pity it is that I did not dare to say what I had to say at the time as a poet. Perhaps I could have done it!”

Friedrich Nietzsche, ‘An Attempt at Self-Criticism’ (1887)

Philosophy has tended to be regarded of as dealing with pure, ephemeral thought. Its world of ideas is one into which words intrude only out of an often ‘tiresome’ secondary need: the need to be recorded, catalogued, communicated. Yet properly considered, philosophical ideas are inextricably bound up with their formative materiality: the words, tropes, forms, and figurations which not only enable their communication, but inform and structure their formulation. From Heraclitus’ use of oracular poetics to Adorno’s strategically difficult, resistant style of dialectics, certain thinkers have not only emphasised this inseparability but made central use of it in their philosophies. They have embraced and deployed ‘style’, made use of literary and rhetorical form or particular modes of semantic construction, and played with words, tropes, and phrases in the development of philosophies which ‘think themselves’ through such devices.

For our twenty-ninth volume, Plí invites papers which explore the place of style and form in philosophy. Submissions should seek to interrogate the relation between what we think and the way we think it – whether that be through examinations of a thinker’s specific style or use of forms, or through broader considerations of the significance of language and literary form in the structuring and formulation of philosophy.

Possible topics for papers include, but are not limited to:

Examinations of the styles and forms through which philosophy is undertaken- aphorisms, letters, essays, fragments, confessions, meditations etc.- and their importance for the development of ideas.
Thinkers whose style or uses of form are productively bound up with their thought eg: Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Spinoza, Montaigne, Derrida, Adorno.
Theories which challenge the fixed division of literature and philosophy, e.g. Heidegger’s writings on Hölderlin, Benjamin’s analysis of romantic critique.
Doxa and eloquence. Speech vs. writing debates, ancient or modern.
What is it to ‘Philosophise through Poetics? How does philosophy ‘Think Itself’ through trope, metaphor etc.?
The possibility of unlimited translation, or translation as a philosophic act.
Are there pregnant new forms for philosophy to take e.g.: blog as inheritor of the aphorism or fragment?
How has the novel form affected the way we think time, experience, and the subject?
What are the impacts of narrative convention on thought? Has the avant-garde offered new horizons in this regard, or re-enforced old boundaries?

As well as works addressing the theme of each issue, Pli is always happy to consider:

Strong articles on any aspect of ‘continental philosophy’
Book reviews (please contact the journal to discuss prospective reviews)
Short translations of important works in continental philosophy.