ERIC Number: EJ1028475
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 22
Bartleby the Example and Eros the Idea of the Work: Some Considerations on Giorgio Agamben's "The Idea of Study"
Vanhoutte, Kristof K. P.
Educational Philosophy and Theory, v46 n4 p393-405 2014
The present article investigates the rhythm of study as described by Giorgio Agamben in "The idea of study", present in Idea of prose. In this short treatise, Agamben presents Melville's scrivener Bartleby as the exemplary embodiment of study. Bartleby's paradigmatic status, according to Agamben's interpretation, does, however, exclude him from belonging to the "class of study". Bartleby's exclusion leads to the discovery of an unmentioned member of the "class of study": Eros. The surprising absence of Eros dissolves, however, once he is recuperated as the image of "The idea of the work". Bartleby's exclusion and Eros's absent inclusion and presence as the "The idea of the work" not only demonstrate the close relation between study and work, but also explain Agamben's considerations on the connection between study and the nature of his own work. The article concludes with a call for the remaining importance of Agamben's festina lente, the rhythm of study, within the broader context of our contemporary university institutions. Once the incessant shuttling between passion and action has been called to a halt--in favour of one of the two extremities--study becomes impossible.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A