Pajari Räsänen
Ph.D., Comparative Literature, University of Helsinki
Born April 11, 1968.

Publications in English:

A. Online texts:

Counter-figures. An Essay on Antimetaphoric Resistance: Paul Celan's Poetry and Poetics at the Limits of Figurality (diss., Helsinki, 2007). Link to the e-thesis page / Direct link to pdf.

The dissertation is divided into two main parts: (1) Problems With Metaphor? Prolegomena for Reading Otherwise, and (2) Crossing the Troposphere: Paul Celan's Poetry and Poetics at the Limits of Figurality. The first main part consists of five Prolegomena, each of which can be read separately. The first of these introductory chapters deals with The Second Commandment, or the prohibition of image-making (Bildverbot, as Kant calls it) which is, paradoxically, superceded by another moment, the prohibition of bowing down and serving them (i.e. the images that were not to be made in the first place): how can you bow down and serve the images, or abstain from doing that, if you obeyed the first moment and did not even make them?

In the centre of the second Prolegomenon is Aristotle's ambivalent relationship with the natural talent (euphuia) for using metaphor, and the third Prolegomenon considers Aristotle's heritage among the modern metaphoricians and metaphysicians, as well as the anti- or countermetaphoricians, such as Paul de Man and Murray Krieger. Prolegomenon IV contains readings of Shakespeare and Emily Dickinson, with a certain critical reference to modern cognitivism. The fifth, concluding Prolegomenon not only serves as a transitory passage to the second main part, namely the essay on Celan, but also contains a central argument with regard to the whole thesis. It is intended not only as a contribution to the understanding of Heidegger's denouncement of the concept of metaphor as a metaphysical concept, but also as an analysis of a certain relation between Heidegger's early lectures on Aristotle and the concept of being-towards-the end (Sein zum Ende) in Sein und Zeit, a development which bears an implicit critical reference to Aristotle's notion of metapherein.

Also many of the chapters in Part II can be read as if they were independent articles. For a reader specially interested in Paul Celan's poetry and its antimetaphoric resistance, I would recommend the chapters entitled Squalls. A Reading of Ein Dröhnen, and The Tropic of Circumcision, revolving between the poem Einem, der vor der Tür stand and its reading in Jacques Derrida's book Schibboleth - pour Paul Celan.

See also my Lectio Praecursoria, the Introductory Lecture delivered at the public examination of my PhD thesis on Oct. 27, 2007, self-published here. Extract: Metaphor has always been lying suspended between philosophy and literature, and sometimes it seems that neither one nor the other is willing to accept it as its own.

B. Online and non-online texts (see also the TUHAT database):

2010a: Kuisma Korhonen & Pajari Räsänen, eds.: The Event of Encounter in Art and Philosophy. Helsinki: Gaudeamus / Helsinki University Press, 2010.

2010b: Kuisma Korhonen & Pajari Räsänen: Introduction: The Event of Encounter in Art and Philosophy, pp. 7-31 in The Event of Encounter in Art and Philosophy.

2010c: Undecidably Equivocal: On Todtnauberg and Forgiveness, pp. 125-170 in The Event of Encounter in Art and Philosophy (see 2010a above). Online version (PDF) @ TUHAT.

2010d: Fascinations: Some Thoughts after From Perception to Fascination, from Representation to Image, pp. 185-193 in The Event of Encounter in Art and Philosophy (see 2010a above).

2007: Schreiben als Form des Gebets: An Impossible Form of Apostrophe? (P.S on a Fragment by Kafka as Adopted by Celan). Pp. 187-207 in Illuminating Darkness: Approaches to Obscurity and Nothingness in Literature, ed. Päivi Mehtonen. (Annales Academiae Scientiarum Fennicae. Humaniora 348.) Helsinki: Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, 2007.

Curriculum vitae academicae
Contains a more comprehensive list of publications.