This chapter lays out parameters of the contemporary. It takes up authorship and authorization as a position and practice after the determinations of inquiry and vindication. The chapter introduces four further parameters of the contemporary. It identifies a metric of repair as a contemporary response to breakdowns in and of modernity and narrative modes of comedy, irony, tragedy and pathos. Drawing on Aby Warburg’s paired concepts Nachleben and Pathosformel the chapter specifies how breakdown, repair and narrative mood can be given (temporary) form. The introduction to Part 2 further specifies interpretive analytics for taking up cases in an anthropology of the contemporary. It is argued that these parameters should be used in domains of indeterminacy – domains in which the trouble or tension or induced confusion turns or appears to turn on issues of conceptual clarity, diagnostics of problems, orientation to understanding.
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