In his pioneering study The Philosophical Baroque: On Autopoietic Modernities, Erik S. Roraback argues that modern culture, contemplated over its four-century history, resembles nothing so much as the pearl famously described, by periodizers of old, as irregular, barroco. Reframing modernity as a multi-century baroque, Roraback steeps texts by Shakespeare, Henry James, Joyce, and Pynchon in systems theory and the ideas of philosophers of language and culture from Leibniz to such dynamic contemporaries as Luhmann, Benjamin, Blanchot, Deleuze and Guattari, Lacan, and Zizek. The resulting brew, high in intellectual caffeine, will be of value to all who take an interest in cultural modernity-indeed, all who recognize that "modernity" was (and remains) a congeries of competing aesthetic, economic, historical, ideological, philosophical, and political energies
Erik S. Roraback teaches critical theory, international cinema, and U.S. literature at Charles University (est. 1348) and F.A.M.U. (The Academy of Performing Arts, Film and TV School) in Prague. He holds a degree from the University of Oxford (D.Phil.) and is the author of The Dialectics of Late Capital and Power: James, Balzac and Critical Theory (2007).