:: Essays archive ( 2000-2005, click for articles pre-2006)

Rapture, Religion and Madness Part One: Lou Andreas-Salomé on Nietzsche published 12/10/2015

On 25th October 1912, Salomé met Sigmund Freud. She became a personal student of his, a psychologist in her own right, and she continued to correspond with him until her death in 1937. Salomé’s short autobiography Looking Back has a scant five pages on Nietzsche and far more on Freud. Perhaps she had written enough on Nietzsche. Her biography of him provoked passionate praise and equally passionate criticism. No matter how calumnious the public attacks on her, particularly from Elisabeth Förster-Nietzsche during the Nazi period in Germany, Salomé did not respond to them.

In the first of a two part series examining Nietzsche’s philosophical project, writer D.A. Barry examines Lou Andreas-Salomé’s treatment of the writer.

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Dasein, Objects, and Myth: Heidegger’s Unconscious Accelerationism published 10/10/2015


Here, at an angle oblique to his own position, we want to argue that Heidegger slipped his tongue by inadvertently defending a vision of history devoid of the illusions of the past (not without a counterweighing acknowledgement of the improbability of this ever occurring in the near future; the ‘fail safe’ argument of any philosophy risking a claim to the not-yet). This vision of history is typical of the ideal of Enlightenment of which Heidegger nonetheless is openly critical. By some indications with regard to the disenchantment of the past, Heidegger could become, oddly enough, an ally of today’s left accelerationism in its attempt to revive the project of Enlightenment via a curious distortion of the past.

Virgilio A. Rivas on Heidegger and Accelerationism.

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In Search of the Pakistani Author published 09/10/2015

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The Orient, like other parts of the world with a colonial past, is still discovering its voice. Having been translated for so long by the powerful discourse of the settlers, it is still trying to find a way back to its vernacular, to the experience of the native. The writer of today cannot simply overlook its most immediate surroundings for transcendental experiences, for doing so would be an act of treason.

Momina Masood goes after the “Pakistani Author”.

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Cuba in Fragments: 2001 published 02/10/2015


This is not Los Angeles but feels equally staged. Everything’s a reinterpretation of Hollywood. The young boys harassing J., assuming she didn’t know Spanish well enough to know our violence may have been the answer. Brutality like patriarchy knows no politics under the systems that permit its rage more than counterparts masking / employing it in silence. Capitalism even permeates prohibited spaces in nearly unavoidable residual forms. There is a stratification to all things and Cuba is no different.

José Vadi on Cuba (in fragments).

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You tell yourself you are Hannah Arendt published 01/10/2015

I was not raised by a father. Don’t forget that. Karl Jaspers was a father to me. You may not believe me, because of the nature of our relationship, but Heidegger was a father to me too. Heidegger never forgave me for becoming famous. I did my best to be solicitous. Unrequited love is my addiction. Heidegger is my real father. He was Mein Vater.

Bobbi Lurie’s short, creative response to Hannah Arendt’s The Last Interview and Rahel Varnhagen: Lebensgeschichte einer deutschen Jüdin aus der Romantik, as well as Margarethe Von Trotta’s 2013 film, Hannah Arendt.

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Children of the Moon, Dancing to Death published 28/09/2015

André Breton claimed, in the Surrealist Manifesto, that madness is a self-evidently American trait: only a ship of fools would have agreed to sail off with Columbus in 1492 into a seemingly endless ocean. In Book VI of Republic, Plato introduced the “ship of fools” parable in order to argue against Athenian democracy. If everyone claims the right to steer the ship, regardless of skill or aptitude in navigation, the ship will surely flounder and fail.

Amanda Wasielewski on Western historical representations of apocalypse and madness.

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City of Exiles – an Excerpt published 21/09/2015


As the Cold War thaw extended across the Eastern Bloc, Poles and Russians took their chance to enter the city via East Berlin. 200,000 people from the former Soviet Union had moved to Berlin within a couple of years of the Mauerfall – about 40,000 were Jews who were given special visas as part of a belated GDR war compensation policy. Tens of thousands of Balkan refugees also arrived in the early ‘90s from the warring former Yugoslavia. In the wake of reunification, Berlin, again the great metropolis of Central Europe, quickly resumed its role as transcontinental refuge.

Stuart Braun on Berlin.

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Photogene published 18/09/2015

I think that Ali Smith as a girl must have worried about the impossibility of being everything at once. The word she uses for this now, a grown-up writer, is ‘synchronicity’: all kinds of different things going on at the same time in different places. We can’t write them down properly because writing means giving them an order. And taking a photo means making a choice. Think Sylvia’s tree of figs. Think Instagram, a grid life cherry-picked, without the sag, no gum stuck to the underneath, or positioned so you can’t see it. An infinity of sculpted choices.

By Sarah Murphy.

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Parsing the Master’s Design: A Close Reading of Theory-Praxis Polarity published 11/09/2015


At any rate, a restructuring of the world’s economies is not just possible it is categorically imperative. To borrow the words of Naomi Klein, the global economies must be restructured so that the most vulnerable are protected, and so that those most responsible for today’s crippling issues are the ones “bearing the bulk of the burden.” What we need, then, is a strategy for this restructuring.

Frank Smecker on the theory-praxis divide.

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Curiosity and the Cat: Quantum Theory and the Coen Brothers published 07/09/2015

Anything outside of our Newtonian comfort zone seems immediately counter-intuitive, unreal, and often disturbing. But we’re in a comfort-zone nonetheless, because what we might like to think of as ‘real’ is bigger. We know that now. At the level of ultimate detail, the one on which everything else is built, the rules of engagement are different. Welcome to the quantum level. And welcome, too, to the Coen Brothers. Now we see it… or do we?

By Seb Sutcliffe.

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