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Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 27/05/2012)

Tim Parks on academic critics. * Ben Marcus on living in the end times. * Ben Marcus‘s “Watching Mysteries with My Mother“. * Kathy Acker audio archive. * Simon Critchley on Philip K. Dick (part one). Part two is here and part three is over there. * A Philip K. Dick documentary. * David Winters [...]

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 21/05/2012)

Unprinting. * Tom McCarthy and Ben Marcus at the Horse Hospital in London on 7 June. * Ten short films by Stewart Home from the 80s and 90s. * The making of The Rings of Saturn. * Walter Gropius on Utopianism (MP3). * Alain Badiou: a life in writing. * Why Alain Badiou stopped voting. [...]

Nonfiction » Stewart Home vs Heidegger (published 23/04/2012)

again2Home has always been political. He attacks lazy green anarchists because of their racism. He attacks high culture for the same anti-fascist reasons. Conversation and internationalism and peace is what his underlying mission is. He identifies with Black Atlantic movements and claims a radical inauthenticity since 1962. Everything in Home is apportioned to scribble over every idea Heidegger ever had. High culture is just the obvious site of his attention. It confuses some critics who can’t quite work out what their problem is . So they ask of his novels: Are they extreme pulp? Are they po-mo jokes? Are they anti-novels? And his art generally confuses people who are really still hung up with Heideggerian notions of authenticity and want to find something serious in modern high art.

Richard Marshall on the Stewart Home retrospective, Again, A Time Machine.

Criticism » An Erotic Classic? (published 23/03/2012)

vleducLike much of Leduc’s writing, Thérèse and Isabelle is autobiographical. While attending the Collège de Douai girl’s boarding school, Leduc had affairs with a fellow student and a teacher. Her novella is narrated by seventeen-year-old Thérèse, who embarks on a sexual relationship with her eighteen-year-old fellow boarder Isabelle. In the book Leduc uses high-blown literary language in an attempt to recapture both the physical and emotional sensations she experienced during her first affair. Both what is described and the subsequent censorship of the text make Thérèse and Isabelle a valuable social and historical document, regardless of whether it has any artistic merit.

Stewart Home reviews Violette Leduc‘s Thérèse and Isabelle.

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 18/03/2012)

“There is no such thing as the literary establishment. I know this because I am part of it.” Geoff Dyer. * John Ingham on the punk years. * James Bridle on Visual Editions’ iPad version of Marc Saporta‘s Composition No 1. * Iain Sinclair‘s wonderful Stone Tape Shuffle album, released by Test Centre. * 10 [...]

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 12/02/2012)

“Fail better” is now experimental literature’s equivalent of that famous Che Guevara photo, flayed completely of meaning and turned into a successful brand with no particular owner. * Lars Iyer’s top 10 literary frenemies. * Simon Critchley on Oscar Wilde‘s De Profundis. * Critchley’s tragedy reading list. * Writings on Joyce. * Joyce & the [...]

Interviews » The End Times » Philosophy at the Edge of Chaos (published 11/01/2012)

jeffbellThere is a good reason why Spinoza’s masterpiece is titled Ethics, and in the end what I am doing is indeed intended to resurrect for contemporary concerns the ethical dimensions of philosophy while demonstrating the relevance of this dimension to metaphysical and epistemological problems. Perhaps this goes back to my initial entrée into philosophy by way of Plato’s Dialogues, but I continue to think that the ethical dimension is essential to the nature of philosophy itself. This is the main reason why I think it is a mistake to charge philosophy with the task of aspiring to the status of being a science, or that it ought to hitch its wagon to scientism.

Continuing The End Times philosophy series, Richard Marshall interviews Jeffrey Bell.

Criticism » Going Underground (published 30/12/2011)

ttAll three authors were such youthful ‘outsiders’ wanting in. Colin Wilson came from Leicester, the drab industrial midlands; Laura Del-Rivo from Cheam in the stuffy stockbroker belt of Surrey. Only Terry Taylor is an actual Londoner, born in Kilburn – but, in the persona of his novel’s 16-year-old protagonist, he breaks down the sprawling metropolis to its crucial hepcat constituency. The spark that crackles through all three books is the yearning for change and difference, of finding a way of living in the centre of all happening without resorting to the drudge of work – by far the biggest fault line in this generation was the one that opened up between the baby-boomers and their parents.

Cathi Unsworth takes a trip with New London Editions’ ‘Beats, bums and bohemians’ reissue series of novels.

Criticism » The End Times » Nice Nihilism (published 21/12/2011)

theatheistsguideRosenberg is a fearless naturalist, whose ‘nice nihilism’ doesn’t imply that we can become nihilists. He disturbs the comfy domestication of the naturalistic world view. Evolutionism and physics gives us a nihilist universe, purposeless, meaningless, ultimately devoid of everything we think is important. But it has constructed us as having evolutionary reflexes that grant us illusions of freewill and purpose we cannot but believe. Of course, this is hardly the last word on the matter. There are plenty of people, naturalists and non-naturalists, who contend that he’s plain wrong. But the strength of his book is that it sets out his position clearly and therefore allows those who disagree to know what they must do to answer him.

Richard Marshall reviews Alex Rosenberg‘s The Atheist’s Guide to Reality.

Buzzwords » The Missing Links (published 19/12/2011)

Tributes to Christopher Hitchens, George Whitman, Russell Hoban & Vaclav Havel. * Ben Marcus on the singular fabrications on Raymond Roussel. * “If a German book hasn’t got Nazis or the Stasi in it, it’s going to be much harder for it to get noticed.” Stefan Tobler, publisher at And Other Stories. * Shane Meadows [...]