An Aesthetics of Hauntology

Riley, Mark Simon. 2005. An Aesthetics of Hauntology. Doctoral thesis, Goldsmiths, University of London [Thesis]

Text (An Aesthetics of Hauntology)
HIS_thesis_RileyM_2005.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial No Derivatives.

Download (28MB) | Preview

Abstract or Description

The text sets out to consider the aspects of the spectral, as proposed by Derrida in Spectres of Marx. As an alteric revenant refuting the historical/chronological determination of ratio and universality, it haunts the
architectonics of the metaphysical edifice. This spectral 'operation' is also an activity of encryption which
involves a discussion speculating on the virtual by proposing the transgressive rift as an introjective
interruption that is realised through the abysmal (dis)order of fenestration. It uncovers a thematic of topological (dis)location via a series of 'meridial threads' which the dissertation seeks to explore through a scrutiny of aesthetics and specific creative activities.

The first chapter explores this 'relation' with specific attention given to the alteric rift as an operation of differance as indicated by Derrida and seeks to critique this juxtaposition with particular reference and attention to Kant's aesthetics. Chapter two identifies Paul Celan's poem 'Todtnauberg' as a topos for a discussion on anticipation and silence in the complex historical relationship between the poet and the philosopher Martin Heidegger, as 'reported' in the poem. It identifies the topology of 'meridial haunting' at Heidegger's Black Forest mountain retreat. 'The Unheimlich Manoeuvre' (chapter three) deals with two key works by the architectural interventionist Gordon Matta-Clark, through a discussion on the uncanny (Unheimlich) and its relation to the homely (Heimlich), taking into account the encystic operation of mourning. The Final chapter continues this theme of the architecturally 'interruptive' by considering orientation with specific attention to the labyrinthine and the temporality of the crystal-image as cited by Deleuze
in his writings on cinema and the spectral. It looks specifically at two films by Tarkovsky; Solaris and Stalker
and Mark Z. Danelewski's novel House of Leaves (a complex fictitious account of a nonexistent documentary film which recounts the exploration of a labyrinth which appears in an ordinary suburban house).

Item Type:

Thesis (Doctoral)

Identification Number (DOI):


spectral, alteric revenant, Tarkovsky, Solaris, House of Leaves, Gordon Matta-Clark, crystal-image, Paul Celan

Departments, Centres and Research Units:




Item ID:


Date Deposited:

09 Jul 2020 14:26

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2022 12:50


View statistics for this item...

Edit Record Edit Record (login required)