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Durham University

Department of English Studies


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Publication details for Dr Marc Botha

Botha, Marc (2015). Why minimalism matters: radical quantity and the representation of immanence. Textual Practice 29(4): 745-772.

Author(s) from Durham


Quantity underpins contemporary existence. This point is convincingly argued by Badiou and a host of thinkers writing in his wake. The present piece proposes that the minimalist aesthetic offers us remarkable insight into this quantitative ontology, in particular through the technique of modular repetition as exemplar to different types of counting or calculation. The additive and subtractive patterns of such repetition recognise their own formative procedures as fundamentally quantitative, exemplifying the difficult relationship between counting, telos, and identity. The music of Philip Glass, the writing of Samuel Beckett and Robert Lax, and the sculpture of Sol LeWitt furnish us with poignant examples in this regard.

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