'Nobody knows how to write'. Thus opens this carefully nuanced and accessible collection of essays by one of the most important writer-philosophers of the 20th century, Jean-Fran ois Lyotard (1924-1998). First published in French in 1991 as Lectures d'enfance, these essays have never been printed as a collection in English. In them, Lyotard investigates his idea of infantia, or the infancy of thought that resists all forms of development, either human or technological.
Each essay responds to works by writers and thinkers who are central to cultural modernism, such as James Joyce, Franz Kafka, Hannah Arendt, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Sigmund Freud. This volume - with a new introduction and afterword by Robert Harvey and Kiff Bamford - contextualises Lyotard's thought and demonstrates his continued relevance today.
About the Author
Jean-François Lyotard (1924-98) was a French philosopher, sociologist, and literary theorist. His interdisciplinary interests included epistemology, communication, modern art, postmodern art, literature, critical theory, the sublime, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics. He was also a director of the International College of Philosophy. Robert Harvey is Distinguished Professor at Stony Brook University, USA. His most recent books are Sharing Common Ground: A Space for Ethics (Bloomsbury, 2017) and Witnessness: Beckett, Levi, Dante and the Foundations of Ethics (Continuum, 2010). From 2001 until 2007, Harvey was a programme director at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris. Kiff Bamford is Reader in Contemporary Art in the School of Art, Architecture and Design at Leeds Beckett University, UK. He is also an artist and lecturer and the author of Lyotard and the 'Figural' in Performance, Art and Writing (Bloomsbury 2012), Jean-François Lyotard: Critical Lives (2017) and editor of Jean-François Lyotard: The Interviews and Debates (Bloomsbury, 2020).