As I am looking at some photos of places to visit while on a trip to Santa Fe, I thought maybe I’ll take my blogging on the road, but then after I wrote the subject-line the idea lost its appeal, so here are some photos of this strange place called New Mexico (reminds me of Mr. Burns’ exclamation: “Hold on there, pally! There’s New Mexico?”) that I’m looking forward to seeing: Continue reading
Stopped by the department to pick up my mail and saw a large picture of Derrida looking at me from The Chronicle of Higher Education bin, and looking quite disapprovingly too – “What did I do?” I thought immediately and picked up an oldish issue of The Chronicle Review (June 13)- this is an old conversation that I think already exhausted itself, but the three essays that constitute the section “The State of Literary Theory” are available online, so I thought I’d point them out (gathered all nicely together):
Jeffrey J. Williams, Why Today’s Publishing World Is Reprising the Past.
Francois Cusset, French Theory’s American Adventures.
Richard Wolin, America’s Tolerance for French Radicalism.
Wolin’s essay has a nice tone to it:
What accounts for French theory’s warmer reception in America? Owing to the dearth of our own innate intellectual traditions, Americans are, as is well known, inveterate borrowers of ideas from abroad. As Tocqueville observed: “America is one of the countries in the world where philosophy is least studied. … [The Americans[‘]] social condition deters them from speculative studies.” Poststructuralism’s arrival on American shores occurred at a propitious juncture: the moment when our own indigenous Enlightenment value system had been discredited as a result of its implication in the Vietnam War.
French politics has oscillated between moments of frenzied revolutionary upheaval and periods of iron-fisted autocracy. Conversely, since America’s inception as a nation some 230 years ago, a very different political culture has held sway: the culture of political liberalism. Whether one seeks to explain that by America’s lack of a feudal past (as did Werner Sombart in his classic study, Why Is There No Socialism in the United States?) or by the egalitarian traditions of New England local democracy, the results are the same: In comparison with Europe, our political extremes have rarely been too extreme; they have never wandered very far from what the historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr. once called the “vital center.”
Via Larval Subjects (via Rough Theory) – a series of lectures on Marx’s Capital by David Harvey is found here. This is useful as I’m sure despite the fact that many would claim to have read it, it’s probably not true – it’s certainly not true for me as I’ve read it here and there, but never really as a whole book but I certainly claimed to have read it, to behave otherwise would be so… unprofessional – here, I said it…
- Conductor Louis Langrée
- Stage director Peter Sellars
- Stage Design Georges Tsypin
- Costumes Gabriel Berry
- Lighting James F Ingalls
- Zaide Ekaterina Lekhina
- Gomatz Sean Panikkar
- Allazim Alfred Walker
- Sultan Soliman Russell Thomas
- Osmin Morris Robinson
- Orchestra Camerata Salzburg
Adding to the pile of crap on my desk, here’s a review (by Farhang Erfani of www.continental-philosophy.org. fame) of what promises to be an interesting book about French philosophers and French television.
TURNING ON THE MIND: French Philosophers on Television
By Tamara Chaplin
Reviewed by Farhang Erfani
France truly is unique in her adoring treatment of her intellectuals. Slavoj Žižek, undeniably the most mediatized philosopher alive, claims that France, Germany and Great Britain express “three different existential attitudes: reflective thoroughness (German), revolutionary hastiness (French), utilitarian pragmatism (English). In political terms, this triad can be read as German conservatism, French revolutionary radicalism and English liberalism.” Žižek illustrates their differences by showing how each country builds a different type of toilet, flushing cautiously, radically or pragmatically. This strange point, which I read in Žižek ’s work in English, heard him make in French on the radio, and watched him make on YouTube with different subtitles, highlights a particular European desire for uniqueness. In France, this is known as l’exception Française. Continue reading
Having finished about half of Alex Thomson’s Deconstruction and Democracy: Derrida’s Politics of Friendship this afternoon, I got distracted from the actual content of the book – a rather dry, even if erudite, summary of Derrida’s discussion of “democracy” – and realized that I am growing increasingly disappointed with the state of what one might label “derridalogy” [copyright – Perverse Egalitarianism] as opposed to “Derrida Studies” primarily for a following reason: books and articles dedicated to Derrida’s philosophy that are coming out in the recent years (and, of course, I haven’t read them all but, after having finished Bayard’s awesome book in one sitting, I can discuss them nonetheless in their totality) are strangely of two main types: Continue reading
We bloggers (ack) are always tediously prating upon whatever trivial notion enters our field of vision, but today I’ve decided to jot down some things I’m not doing. Here’s a few interesting, but unread articles collecting dust on my desk (in handy pdf form). What can I do? I’m distracted by the Euro Cup (which generally involves beers) and now, in addition to that there’s the near constant Wimbledon coverage (where I can watch everyone mis-pronounce Shahar Peer’s name, it’s not Shah-har, it’s Shachhhh-arr, Mary Carrillo!). Watching Dick Enberg falling apart on air is always fun, give these people a coffee break! Not to mention, um, you know, teaching. There’s always that. These all look worth paying some attention to, someday:
1. Michel Henry, “Material Phenomenology (or, Pathos and Language)” [pathos_and_language]
2. Here’s Jacques Derrida and Francois Laruelle chit chatting about some stuff: “Controversy over the Possibility of a Science of Philosophy” [laruelle-derrida]
And here’s two by Graham Harman:
3. “On Vicarious Causation” [harman_vicarious_causation]
4. “The Metaphysics of Objects: Latour and his Aftermath” [harmangraham-latour]