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Arts of WonderEnchanting Secularity - Walter De Maria, Diller + Scofidio, James Turrell, Andy Goldsworthy$
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Jeffrey L. Kosky

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226451060

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226451084.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 29 March 2020

(IN PLACE OF AN) Introduction

(IN PLACE OF AN) Introduction

A Picture of Modern Disenchantment

Chapter:
(p.1) (IN PLACE OF AN) Introduction
Source:
Arts of Wonder
Author(s):

Jeffrey L. Kosky

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226451084.003.0001

This book starts with a picture that serves as a depiction of modern disenchantment. What it shows has become almost commonplace, hardly worth remark, much less, years of obsession. The book presents here the frontispiece to Christian Wolff’s emblematic work of the European Enlightenment, Reasonable Thoughts on God, the World and the human Soul, and All things in General. Communicated to the Lovers of Truth by Christian Wolff. It is an image of enlightenment and of revelation—of seeing the light and seeing it according to the format of light as a cone of illuminating rays streaming from a point source. This gives voice to a certain dualism: light and dark are opposed and irreconcilable, the light coming only after the darkness. It also gives voice to a sense of novelty or uniqueness, a break with how things have been in that dark past. Finally, it implies that light, at some time, departed, if it now returns or is brought back.

Keywords:   modern disenchantment, dualism, Christian Wolff, European Enlightenment, revelation, light, dark, novelty

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