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Spring 2024


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New in ArtReview
A review of Ghostly Apparitions

In the December issue of ArtReview, Brian Dillon discusses Ghostly Apparitions: German Idealism, the Gothic Novel, and Optical Media by Stefan Andriopoulos. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“Consider this vague but excitable passage: ‘In phantasmagorical presentations it is night on all sides; here a bloody head surges forward, there another white form abruptly appears, before vanishing again. It is the night of the world that presents itself here.’

The lines don’t come, as may be expected, from the likes of Thomas De Quincey or Edgar Allan Poe, but from a lecture that G.W.F. Hegel delivered in 1805. It seems there were phantoms at the heart of his metaphysical apparatus – but exactly how surprising is that? In the introduction to his study of spectral media and their place in post-Enlightenment thought, Stefan Andriopoulos notes that his subject ‘may seem frivolous or crude to a specialist in German idealism’.Can it be true? Are there really still scholars of philosophy or the history of technology ill-disposed to the idea that modernity was haunted all along by atavist shades and superstition? It’s one of the frustrations of Andriopoulos’s flickeringly instructive book that his thesis seems so familiar, like a well-loved domestic spook caught rattling the cutlery again.”