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By Michael North

If artwork and technological know-how have something in universal, it’s a starvation for the new—new principles and strategies, new methods of seeing and depicting the area. yet that hope for novelty consists of with it a primary philosophical challenge: If every little thing has to come back from something, how can something actually new emerge? Is novelty even possible?

In Novelty, Michael North takes us on a stunning journey of greater than millennia of brooding about the matter of the recent, from the puzzles of the pre-Socratics all of the approach as much as the artwork global of the Nineteen Sixties and ’70s. The phrases of the controversy, North indicates, have been proven sooner than Plato, and feature replaced little or no due to the fact: novelty, philosophers argued, may in basic terms come up from both recurrence or recombination. the previous, present in nature’s cycles of renewal, and the latter, obvious so much essentially within the workings of language, among them have accounted for almost the entire ways that novelty has been conceived in Western historical past, taking in reformation, renaissance, invention, revolution, or even evolution. As he pursues this concept via centuries and throughout disciplines, North indicates mind-blowing variety, drawing on figures as assorted as Charles Darwin and Robert Smithson, Thomas Kuhn and Ezra Pound, Norbert Wiener and Andy Warhol, all of whom provide alternative ways of grappling with the assumption of originality.

Novelty, North demonstrates, is still a valuable challenge of up to date technological know-how and literature—an ever-receding objective that, in its complexity and evasiveness, maintains to motivate and propel the trendy. A heady, formidable highbrow banquet, Novelty is wealthy with perception, a masterpiece of perceptive synthesis.

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