Kellogg Faculty Fellow Pedro A. Aguilera-Mellado has published his first book, Fines Infrapolíticos: de la razón, la representación y la narrativa española moderna in Spanish, with Tirant Lo Blanch publishers.
The book provides the first sustained analysis of modern and contemporary Spain through the infrapolitical register of writing, thought, and existence. This book bears witness to the present “twilight of the political'' and the ongoing ruination of the fundamental categories inherited from modern times. The main drive of this work stems from two overlapping questions: first; is there something else in existence than the generalized social astonishment accompanying the ongoing ruination of modern life, or than the paralysis in face of the impending ecological emergency? Second; is there any experience other than the integral and bourgeois market-state duopoly and its neoliberal dismantling of the working class on a planetary scale? In order to responsibly answer to these two guiding questions, this book thematizes the urgent need to confront the moribund understanding of the following fundamental modern notions: ‘reason’ and its violent techno-capitalist adrift; humanist representation and its predicaments on the exceptionalism of humankind, and the modern narrative based on and aiming for the construction of personhood.
By studying the Enlightenment and liberal inception and genealogy of the three notions of the book’s subtitle – reason, representation and narrative – this book provides with a novel understanding of a certain exhaustion or ‘end’ of the modern project after the coming of post-neoliberalism in contemporary times. It helps in understanding the new social discontents of life and the destruction of the ecosystems by humankind.
Fines Infrapolíticos: de la razón, la representación y la narrativa española moderna unfolds through comparative analyses of history, society, culture, political thought, painting, literature and cinema, bringing into discussion European thinkers (such as Marxian thinkers, Heidegger, Derrida or Nancy) with authors of the cultural and intellectual life in modern and contemporary Spain, including Jovellanos, Goya, Galdós, Cristina Morales, or the independent filmmaker Elisa Cepedal. In the untimely genealogy of modern and contemporary times that this book provides, the reader could find how infrapolitics, as a register of thought and existence, recalls human and planetary finitude – while trying to set some distance with a crumbling modern humanism that still insists in the power of the subject despite all the evidence to the contrary that surrounds us.