This book consists of prose pieces that find a new form of expression for philosophy, an expression showing the inseparability of idea and prose--the very form of truth.
Giorgio Agamben was born in Rome in 1942. He has published The Man Without Content; Rooms: The Word and the Phantasm in Western Culture; Infancy and History; and Language and Death.
In this book, thought seeks a new form, a new "prose. " To this end, it brings into play the strategies of the apology, the aphorism, the short story, the fable, the riddle, and all those "simple forms" that are today no longer used, but whose task it has always been to bring about in the reader an experience, an awakening—rather than attempting to put forth a theory. It is only in this sense—insofar as thought contends with the exposition of an Idea—that the problem of "thought" becomes, in these "treatises," a poetic problem. These are little ideas or forms that, in their brevity, compress that which cannot in any way be forgotten, since according to the platonic admonition, it would be put in "the shortest possible measure. "