The Age of the Poets

The Age of the Poets:And Other Writings on Twentieth-Century Poetry and Prose

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New and illuminating set of analyses of literature from one of France’s most important living philosophers

The Age of the Poets revisits the age-old problem of the relation between literature and philosophy, arguing against both Plato and Heidegger’s famous arguments. Philosophy neither has to ban the poets from the republic nor abdicate its own powers to the sole benefit of poetry or art. Instead, it must declare the end of what Badiou names the “age of the poets,” which stretches from Hölderlin to Celan. Drawing on ideas from his first publication on the subject, “The Autonomy of the Aesthetic Process,” Badiou offers an illuminating set of readings of contemporary French prose writers, giving us fascinating insights into the theory of the novel while also accounting for the specific position of literature between science and ideology.


  • A figure like Plato or Hegel walks here among us!

    Slavoj Žižek
  • An heir to Jean-Paul Sartre and Louis Althusser.

    New Statesman
  • Badiou has been an intellectual hero of France's anti-capitalist left since the Paris street protests of 1968.

    BBC HARDtalk