On Friday, October 15th at 6 PM EST the Department of Comparative Literature will host Bizarre-Privileged Items in the Universe: The Logic of Likeness, a Poetics & Theory book talk with author Paul North and discussants Emily Apter, Hent de Vries, and Rebecca Comay!
About the Book
A butterfly is like another butterfly. A butterfly is also like a leaf and at the same time like a paper airplane, an owl’s face, a scholar flying from book to book. The most disparate things approach one another in a butterfly, the sort of dense nodule of likeness that Roger Caillois once proposed calling a “bizarre-privileged item.” In response, critical theorist Paul North proposes a spiritual exercise: imagine a universe made up solely of likenesses. There are no things, only traits acting according to the law of series, here and there a thick overlap that appears “bizarre.”
Centuries of thought have fixated on the concept of difference. This book offers a theory that begins from likeness, where, at any instant, a vast array of series proliferates and remote regions come into contact. Bizarre-Privileged Items in the Universe follows likenesses as they traverse physics and the physical universe; evolution and evolutionary theory; psychology and the psyche; sociality, language, and art. Divergent sources from an eccentric history help give shape to a new trans-science, “homeotics.”
Paul North, Professor of Germanic Languages & Literatures and Director of Undergraduate Studies at Yale University.
Emily Apter, Silver Professor of French and Comparative Literature, Chair of Comparative Literature, NYU.
Hent de Vries, Professor of German, Religious Studies, Comparative Literature, and Affiliated Professor of Philosophy, NYU.
Rebecca Comay, Professor of philosophy and comparative literature, University of Toronto.
This event is open to NYU students, faculty, and staff only. Click HERE to RSVP for the location!
This event is organized by Zakir Paul and Santiago Ospina Celis.