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Fall 2021

ZONE BOOKS

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New in caa.reviews
A Review of A Forest of Symbols

In a recent review in caa.reviews, Patricia G. Berman discusses Andrei Pop’s A Forest of Symbols: Art, Science, and Truth in the Long Nineteenth Century. Click here to learn more about the book. Click here to read the full review. An excerpt appears below:

“How welcome it is to read a book, manifestly about fin-de-siècle Symbolism, whose ambitions are to parse communication itself. Andrei Pop’s A Forest of Symbols: Art, Science, and Truth in the Long Nineteenth Century traces allied concerns among artists, scientists, philosophers, and mathematicians about the incommensurability of private thought and public expression and the symbol as an agent within those realms. The book argues that Symbolism arose from crises of confidence in knowledge production in Western philosophy and the sciences. While this is not a new claim, the insight that Pop offers is that Symbolism may be understood as a self-critical phenomenon that explored the instability of private and public languages. He traces inter- and multidisciplinary inquiries into how and if subjectivity can be imaged, how and if symbols operate as communication, how and if an audience makes sense of the symbol, and what that symbol, perhaps, stands for in regard to ‘truth.’ He further proposes that Symbolist thought, whether manifested through language or the visual arts, is neither incomprehensible nor disunited, but may be understood as a form of logic.”