Introduction: <i>Irony on Occasion</i>

Kevin Newmark

in Irony on Occasion

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780823240128
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823240166 | DOI:
Introduction: Irony on Occasion

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What is the relation between a given book and the occasion back to which it can presumably be traced? Responding to this question entails an examination of the relation between the “occasion” and the philosophical concept of causality. The accidental nature of the occasion and its relation to the concept of irony is disclosed by considering the status of causality in the writings of Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Heidegger, among others. A book on irony ought therefore to confront the accidental and occasional nature of its own composition, though not without also noting effects of causal coherence that inevitably ensue from such a confrontation. The history of irony as it unfolds from German romanticism to certain writers in the 20th century and beyond can be treated as the site of interference between temporal patterns of coherence and ironic forces of interruption that would become historical in an altogether different sense.

Keywords: Occasion; Causality; Accident; Historical occurrence; Irony; Interruption; Thought; Writing

Chapter.  5832 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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