Book Series Speculative Poetics

SPEKULATIONEN is the title of a new series within the series dedicated to recent intellectual and theoretical currents that have undertaken, in heterogeneous ways, to come up with a new paradigm of philosophical thinking. Although these speculative positions are not necessarily compatible with one another, they all set themselves apart from a (post-)modern condition, which has exhausted itself in the late twentieth century at the latest. They are characterized by their positive attitude toward ontology and their relaxed relationship with metaphysics. The series will familiarize a German-speaking readership with first releases, essay collections, and translations of central texts by authors so far read only in the Anglo- and Francophone world. Not the least of the aims of the series is to divest the term speculation of the mostly negative connotations with which it is currently settled. For to discredit speculation as unfounded ultimately amounts to submitting completely to the given. The task of philosophical thinking, on the contrary, and of its speculative dimension in particular, is to think the new or to think the old anew. The new speculative thinking thus discovers the contingency of the (only apparently) necessary alongside the necessity of contingency. It is characterized by its capacity for employing scientific knowledge as a philosophical resource, by an emphatic orientation toward the absolute, and not least by its search for timely forms of resistance, paths of escape, or even open spaces.
The publications of the Speculative Poetics project, however, go beyond this book series with MERVE press. In general, the texts published under the aegis of the project seek to make a significant contribution to literary studies by taking up three central aspects of poetics: first, that it starts with literary invention such as poetry; second, poetics is rooted in language, whose material and immaterial forms determine what poetics can be; and third, poetics indicates the site within literary reflection where its philosophical, speculative moment can come to the fore. The methodological objective of these publications, therefore, is to mediate between contributions from linguistics and the philosophy of language on the one hand and contributions from contemporary literature on the other. The aim is to promote new reflections about literature, to emphasize the necessity of contemporary theorizing, and to initiate the development of a new way of thinking about language as a tool for opening up reality.
To understand poetics to be speculative is to understand it as more than just reflecting on literature. The concern, rather, is to develop literary thinking as the speculative faculty of literature itself. To articulate a system of thought inscribed in linguistic structures means, for example, to inquire as to how contemporary experimental poetry forms its concepts. Furthermore, systematic shifting of reciprocal perspectives seeks to give voice to the realism of contemporary philosophy.
This systematic shift in perspective therefore affects all three aspects of poetics: literature is not merely the site of art than language is merely its medium or than philosophy is the exclusive site of (aesthetic) reflection. Speculative Poetics is guided by a knowledge proper to literary language: how can we analyze language as a matrix of thought? Which concepts are created in contemporary poetry? In light of these considerations, philosophical speculation takes on specific tasks, not least the task of shedding light on the mimetic and speculative realism of the literary imagination.
The book projects of Speculative Poetics reflect the programmatic triad of academic scholarship, literary experimentation, and philosophical reflection. Historical reflections on poetics are juxtaposed with more contemporary views (as evinced by, for instance, increasing discussions in the university). The publications seek to examine not only our current knowledge of literature and literary theory but also to re-activate historical links to the fields of linguistics and philosophy. This is also why the book series brings together a variety of textual genres, that is, contributions and translations of contemporary authors that are complemented by translations of classic works, particularly from French and Russian.