A Poetic Dialectic: The Place Is Void

  • Cameron MacKenzie
Part of the Pivotal Studies in the Global American Literary Imagination book series (PSGALI)


Examining Badiou’s essay “A Poetic Dialectic: Labîd ben Rabi’a and Mallarmé,” MacKenzie demonstrates the principles of Badiou’s thought and the stakes of modernity in relationship to the void using the triplet of “master,” “place,” and “truth.” For Badiou, the master provides truth for a community that would place itself as subservient to him. Modernity then arises with the recognition of the absence or failure of the master and the eruption of a void of contingency that undermines truth and annihilates determinate place. In order to escape a resultant nihilism, Badiou suggests that the void itself be taken as truth, and folded back into thought as the place upon which all action may occur.


“A Poetic Dialectic” Mallarmé Labíd Modernity Dialectic Contingency 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Cameron MacKenzie
    • 1
  1. 1.Ferrum CollegeFerrumUSA

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