This book explores the nature of modern culture as a culture of anxiety, analyzing the modes in which such anxiety presents itself. Drawing on sociological and philosophical concepts of modernity, the author builds on the work of Marx, Nietzsche and Freud to offer an understanding of modern anxiety culture as the reverse side of risk culture, which stabilizes itself by concealing or making familiar the social phenomena of risk society. Through explorations of memory, politics, art, clairvoyance, notions of national community and identity, this volume sheds light on the fissures in our culture where anxiety appears, thus revealing its underlying volatility. A study of the ruptures in our modern culture, Anxiety and Lucidity will appeal to scholars of sociology, social theory, anthropology and philosophy with interests in late modern culture.
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Leszek Koczanowicz is Professor of Philosophy and Political Science at the Faculty of Psychology, SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Poland. He is the author of Politics of Dialogue: Non-Consensual Democracy and Critical Community, and Politics of Time: Dynamics of Identity in Post-Communist Poland, and the co-editor of Democracy, Dialogue, Memory: Expression and Affect Beyond Consensus, and Democracy in Dialogue, Dialogue in Democracy: The Politics of Dialogue in Theory and Practice.
1. Angor Animi: Or, on the Culture of Anxiety
2. Identity as a Nuisance: Two Genealogies of Modern Hamartia
3. A Gladioli Postcard: Memory and Communication
4. The Memories of Childhood in a Spectral World
5. Post-communism and Culture Wars
6. The Anxiety of Intimacy: Or, on Telling the Truth in the Age of the Internet
7. The Anxiety of Politics
8. The Magical Power of Art: The Subject, the Public Sphere, and Emancipation
9. Anxieties of Community
10. "Please, Don't Be Angry, Happiness, that I Take You as My Due": Happiness in the Age of Democratization
11. "Mortal Generations": On Two Phenomenologies of Ageing - Cicero and Améry
12. The Anxiety of Clairvoyance: Terminal Lucidity and the End of Culture
"Anxiety may well be a hard-wired feature of the human condition, but there are certain periods that can be justly called, with a nod to W.H. Auden, a heightened 'age of anxiety'. In this remarkable book, the distinguished Polish cultural and social theorist Leszek Koczanowicz draws on both his personal experiences and wide-ranging erudition to examine our own highly fraught era with a lucidity that, let us hope, won't turn out to be terminal." - Martin Jay, U. of California, Berkeley