Before this, we had the leveling of the Morlen Center, which federal and city officials had planned on using to address, first privately, then in a series of town halls, what they have come to call the background instabilities, and what I prefer to call the quiet dissonances, of the last year and a half. Three people did die in the destruction. But that seems, from what we know and have come to expect, beyond the intention. The means were primitive, effective, they could even be symbolic. Ammonium nitrate — ANFO — packed tight into minivan casings. (Fertilizer, in essence, in a doorstep detonation.) Those talks have been delayed, will have to be moved, and one expects security will have to be ratcheted up again.
An extract from Square Wave, Mark de Silva‘s brilliant debut novel.
What is this? Is it a novel? Is it an anti-novel? Is it an anti-anti-novel? Is it a comic book about the exploits of an outrageous superhero – Bukaka? Is it a joke? It is perhaps all of these things and none. Brener/Schurz use the rubble of literature to further destroy capitalist power structures.
Steve Finbow reviews Bukaka Spat Here by Alexander Brener/Barbara Schurz.
Romantic love is a classical philosophical topic, and while neuroscientists and psychologists have much to add, I am of the belief that this is one of the few areas left where philosophers have a clear advantage and can make genuine progress. What really drew me to this topic was my interest in the emotions. Add to that my bewilderment upon witnessing the puzzling tendency in the popular literature to focus either on the ‘feelings’ involved in love or the brain chemicals and neural correlates underlying them.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Berit Brogaard.
At home the leg made him happy. It made of him a happy man for an entire week. Happy because it was the leg of the only woman that had bitten into his heart. Happy because it was the only leg that didn’t resemble any other. Happy because it was unique among the legs into which time hadn’t planted its cruel teeth. Happy but happy but happy but happy as if it were truly still a leg.
Fiction by Anis Arafai , translated from Arabic to French by Lotfi Nia and in a new translation from French to English by Emma Ramadan, with Art by Sarabeth Dunton.
This novel likes to show a vicious love for its Great American Predecessors; refracted through Maloney’s hazy attention, and surrounded by hazier others, the narrative doesn’t care much for being impersonal, but you can trace the lineaments of a carelessly-disguised glee at starting a knife-fight in the hall of fame.
Cal Revely-Calder reviews Sophia: a novel by Michael Bible.
Some might see the Nazis, on this front, as having tried to put Nietzsche’s ideas into action in fashioning themselves as the Germanic inheritors of the Greco-Roman culture of the past. Think, in this vein, of all that neo-classical triumphalist architecture of Speer. They wanted to make a resplendent culture, in part by aestheticizing the political sphere, in that famous description due to Walter Benjamin. Nietzsche despised the nascent German Reich under Bismarck, despised power politics, and would have despised the Nazis. But his celebration of excellence, achievement, strength, and splendor, including when these come at the expense of ordinary morality, can leave him uncomfortably close to some ideas that took a hugely nasty turn—a turn, I again stress, that he wouldn’t have supported.
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Andrew Huddleston.
The reader is placed by the disadvantage of translation in a situation of being misled. The reader can’t escape the scenes of brutal violence in the Iliad, and once in those scenes, the fact of reading in translation becomes, in itself, a kind of violence, severing an essential connection. The reader of a translation into English encounters either “panic” or “fear” or “terror” or “dread,” not recognizing that the original word in Greek has been—and I think this is a fair term—denatured. The original word, the word that the reader doesn’t see, is phobos or deos. The reader sees a word which appears to be a word and not a name. But the word is in fact also a name. The name is the name of one of the moons of Mars—real, not hypothetical.
Fortunato Salazar on our curious obliviousness to the violent naming of natural satellites.
As soon as I read Antony and Cleopatra, very young, I looked for Cleopatra everywhere. She appeared in the gardens in Bordeaux, I followed her to Spain and Italy, I pursued her in the streets of Paris, she always escaped me, like Egypt itself, its Isis mysteries.
By Philippe Sollers, translated by Armine Kotin Mortimer.
One speculative etymology of the word ‘terror’ (and, by association, ‘terrorism’) connects it to words like terrain and territory. If to be a victim of terror is to tremble with fear, as the earth trembles with seismic activity, then perhaps the projection of enmity onto landscape is not a uniquely twentieth-century phenomenon. Maybe it is a form of psychological atavism, a vestige from the days we wandered amongst sabre-toothed cats, inexplicable earthquakes, and ambush-prone wolves.
By Hunter Dukes.
For Cela, The Hive is “a history book, not a novel”, that is, a chronicle of life, not of the characters in The Hive, who are ultimately nothing other than life’s vehicle. For Cela “[e]verybody’s life is a novel by itself”, but The Hive chronicles the lives of more than 200 characters and therefore is more than a novel, it is more than 200 novels, it is life itself, not in its entirety, of course, but a portion of it.
Montague Kobbe revisits Camilo José Cela‘s The Hive.