Sublime responsibilities: Form as ethic
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This dissertation addresses the formal value of works of art (poetry, visual art, film, and music) in terms of ethical concepts after Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Frederick Nietzsche and others. Writers/artists addressed include (in their order of appearance): Louis Zukofsky, Hannah Weiner, Catherine Sullivan, Gordon Matta-Clark, Steve Reich, Michael Haneke, John Taggart, George Oppen, and others. The first chapter, "Traumatic Historiographies" inflects an ethics of form through questions of the traumatic structure of subjectivity with regards to historiography; the second, "Sublime Responsibilities--after Emmanuel Levinas" through concepts from Levinas' philosophy; the third through the formal values of John Taggart's poetics, and specifically the poet's engagement with the philosophies of Heidegger and Soren Kierkegaard; the fourth, and last, "Inoperative Poetries--after George Oppen" through questions of prosodic opacity and disuse. At bottom, this thesis is concerned with the way art works give form and shape to subaltern struggle and the emergence of marginalized or yet-to-be-legible subjectivities.