Jos de Mul. Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy. Albany: State University of New York Press, 1999, 316 p.
Translation of Het romantische verlangen in (post)moderne kunst en filosofie, Rotterdam: Rotterdamse Filosofische Studies (Dutch)
ISBN 0-7914-4217-9 (hard cover)
ISBN 0-7914-4218-7 (paperback)
US $ 95.00 (Order hard cover ); US $ 33.95: (Order paperback )
An erudite and wide-ranging discussion of postmodernism and romanticism in twentieth-century art and philosophy.
In this erudite and wide-ranging discussion of postmodernism and romanticism in twentieth-century art and philosophy, Jos de Mul sheds a fascinating light on the ambivalent character of our present culture, which oscillates between modern enthusiasm and postmodern irony. Along the way, he engages the work of such thinkers as Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, Habermas, Lacan, Barthes, and Derrida; visual artists Magritte and Stella; poets George and Coleridge; and composers Schonberg, Cage, and Reich, among others, providing a sort of intellectual history of Romantic, Modernist, and Postmodernist "tempers."
"As it illuminates various shades of aesthetic ambiguity in (post)modern art and culture, Romantic Desire opens up a new arena where previously isolated, contradictory forces can finally come together and communicate. In creating such space, De Mul takes the crucial preliminary steps towards understanding and reconciling the ageless conflict between our desire for the eternal and our awareness of its inaccessibility."
Braun, Heather L. 2001. Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy. British Journal of Aesthetics (april 2001):238-240. (complete review)
"It is good to see a text that departs from the narrowly specialized world of the journal article and aims to give a broadly synthetic perspective on contemporary thought. ... A reader who is already sympathetic with his perspective will probably find De Mul's discussion quite valuable. But for the more skeptic reader, the real strength of the book emerges when De Mul leaves behind some of these overarching themes and concentrates on specific examples of the interplay between art and philosophy."
Norman, Judith. 2000. Romantic Desire in (Post)Modern Art and Philosophy by Jos de Mul. Philosophy in Review XX (2):93-95.
"Jos de Mul does a beautiful job of summarizing in compressed form some of the most vexed texts and ideas in contemporary theory; as a writer, he is a fine teacher. He is also an effective critic of the arts, especially painting and music. I learned and re-learned a great deal in reading this book. If a student were to ask 'What book can I read that not only explains what these people whose names I hear all the time actually say, but also demonstrates the significance of their ideas in practice?' I would be tempted to refer him or her to this book."
Jean-Pierre Mileur, University of California, Riverside
"A fine, efficient introduction to a wealth of texts and demanding theoretical issues that few critics seem to know as well as de Mul."
Thomas Pfau, author of Idealism and the Endgame of Theory: Three Essays by F. W. J. Schelling