The Baroque Night
The Baroque Night
The Baroque Night draws upon materials that have not previously been included in studies of either the baroque or film noir, while offering new perspectives on other, more familiar sources. Leibniz's concepts of the monad and compossibility provide organizing thought models, and death, fear, and mental illness cast their anamorphic images across surfaces that are deeper and closer than they at first appear. Key characters and situations in the book derive from the works of Alfred Hitchcock, Henri-Georges Clozot, Jean-Pierre Melville, Oscar Wilde, Georges Perec, Patricia Highsmith, William Shakespeare, Jean Racine, Pierre Corneille, and Arthur Conan Doyle, among many others.
This is virtuality and reality for the phobic, making it a fascinating and viable document of and episteme for the anxious age in which we (always) find ourselves living, though not yet fully alive. This performance of suspect evidence speaks to and in the ways we are organically inauthentic, the cause of our own causality and our own worst eyewitnesses to all that appears and disappears in space and time.
"In this inquiry into the baroque metaphysics of film noir, all the form's stock devices—its shadowy cinematics, slaps, voiceovers, train cars, and doppelgängers—disclose the haunting vision of a 'reality' that cannot keep from derealizing itself. Full of intrepid and melancholic insight, Golub takes his readers right up to the edge of the abyss." —Joseph Cermatori, Skidmore College
"A foremost authority on thought as invention,Spencer Golub practices shadow philosophy. The circuitous inner journey of The Baroque Night, with its rhapsodic carnival of phobias, holds the mirror up in which all objects are closer to nonbeing than they appear. Yet this volume turns film noir’s fatalism on its head, extracting from it a vertiginous, vital composition of concept and image." –Matthew Goulish, author of 39 Microlectures: in proximity of performance