Genre without genre

Form, as it is mastered, becomes attenuated; it becomes dissociated from any liturgy, rule, yardstick; the epic is discarded in favour of the novel, verse in favour of prose; there is no longer any orthodoxy, and form is as free as the will of its creator. Gustave Flaubert [1] ‘Just as our literature began with […]

A Marxist heresy?

Dossier FUTURE STASIS A marxist heresy? Accelerationism and its discontents David cunningham In his study of the semantics of historical time, Reinhart Koselleck proposes that ‘two specific determinants’ characterize modernity’s ‘new experience of transition: the expected otherness of the future and, associated with it, the alteration in the rhythm of temporal experience: acceleration, by means […]

The contingency of cheese

The contingency of cheese On Fredric Jameson’s The Antinomies of Realism David cunningham Fredric Jameson has been a busy man over the last decade. As well as two massive tomes on science fiction and modernism, combining republished essays with extensive new material, there has been a trilogy of books on Hegel and Marx which have […]

Rock as minimal modernism

Rock as minimal modernism Lou Reed, 1942–2013I wouldn’t recommend me as entertainment. Lou Reed, 1978It has acquired the status of a primal scene. 1964. A party in New York’s Lower East Side, the mythical site of the period. Terry Phillips, an executive at Pickwick Records, meets two ‘long-haired’ young men. Thinking they look the part, […]

Here comes the new

Here comes the new Deadwood and the historiography of capitalism David cunningham We are swept up, are we not, by the large events and forces of our times? A.W. Merrick, Deadwood, Season 3Shown across three twelve-episode series that began in 2004, Deadwood is one of several recent television programmes to develop long, serially formatted narratives […]

Only a poet can save us

Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, The Uprising: On Poetry and Finance, Semiotext(e), Los Angeles, 2012. 173 pp., £9.95 pb., 978 1 58435 112 2. This is the fourteenth book to be published in Semiotext(e)’s Intervention series of pocket-sized texts. Launched with the translation of The Invisible Committee’s The Coming Insurrection in 2009, it evidently seeks to revive […]

178 Reviews

Grande biog

Benoît Peeters, Derrida: A Biography, trans. Andrew Brown, Polity Press, Cambridge and Malden MA, 2012. 603 pp., £25.00 hb., 978 0 74565 615 1. ‘What matter who’s speaking, someone said, what matter who’s speaking?’ Despite post-structuralist philosophies’ association with Beckettian questions such as these, they remain surprisingly bound to what Foucault called that ‘singular relationship […]

176 Reviews

Reviews Grande biogBenoît Peeters, Derrida: A Biography, trans. Andrew Brown, Polity Press, Cambridge and Malden MA, 2012. 603 pp., £25.00 hb., 978 0 74565 615 1.‘What matter who’s speaking, someone said, what matter who’s speaking?’ Despite post-structuralist philosophies’ association with Beckettian questions such as these, they remain surprisingly bound to what Foucault called that ‘singular […]

Elementary

Ben Watson, Adorno for Revolutionaries, Unkant, London, 2011. 217 pp., £10.99 pb., 978 0 95681 760 0. David Cunningham In a much-cited March 1936 letter to Walter Benjamin, Adorno famously remarks of the separation between autonomous art and mass culture that, while both ‘bear the stigmata of capitalism’, and ‘both contain elements of change’, they […]

170 Reviews

Reviews Flaubert’s parrotJacques Rancière, The Politics of Literature, trans. Julie Rose, Polity Press, Cambridge and Malden MA, 2011. 215 pp., £55.00 hb., £17.99 pb., 978 0 74564 531 5 hb., 978 0 74564 530 8 pb. The ongoing role played by French philosophy in underwriting the contemporaneity of anglophone theory has entailed, since the 1970s, […]

108 Reviews

Reviews Universalism’s struggleMartha C. Nussbaum, Women and Human Development: The Capabilities Approach, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2000. xxi + 312 pp., £20.00 hb., 0 521 66086 6. Nussbaumʼs is a moral project, couched in ethical arguments that stipulate and champion a list of ʻcapabilitiesʼ. These are the capabilities which allow women, the traditionally disadvantaged group […]

114 Reviews

Reviews In 1971, Bryan Magee published a book of conversations with British philosophers under the title Modern British Philosophy. Originating in a series of radio broadcasts and appearing under the imprint of Secker & Warburg, it was intended as a ʻlively introductionʼ to the philosophy of the day. The list of contributors included most of […]

120 Reviews

In Friedrich Schlegelʼs famous fragment, the philosophical radicalism of Fichteʼs system is compared to both the artistic experimentalism of Goetheʼs Wilhelm Meister and the politically emancipatory force of the French Revolution. The Romantic project as a whole was prototypical for Benjamin in its willingness to align just such political, historical and aesthetic phenomena with the […]

123 Reviews

In his introduction to Latin American Philosophy, Eduardo Mendieta complains that ʻone of the most amazing things about the bibliographical work on philosophy in English over the last decade or so is its utter silence about Latin American philosophy and philosophersʼ. Surveying the encyclopaedias and dictionaries of the discipline, he suggests that ʻas if by […]

Notes on nuance

Notes on nuance Rethinking a philosophy of modern music David cunningham this encounter can often seem to fit all too easily into a standard model of ʻOrientalistʼ practice – though this is hardly the whole story – such a model should not in itself be taken as an excuse for prejudging the role that a […]

126 Reviews

Reviews Our images, their humanityCharles Taylor, Modern Social Imaginaries, Duke University Press, Durham NC, 2004. 232 pp., £57.00 hb., £10.99 pb., 0 8223 3255 8 hb., 0 8223 3293 0 pb. Ted Honderich, Terrorism for Humanity: Inquiries in Political Philosophy, Pluto Press, London, 2003. 232 pp., £50.00 hb., £15.99 pb., 0 74532 134 8 hb., […]

127 Reviews

Reviews Let’s talk about sexLuciana Parisi, Abstract Sex: Philosophy, Bio-technology and the Mutations of Desire, Continuum, London/New York, 2004. x + 227 pp., £60.00 hb., £18.99 pb., 0 8264 6989 2 hb., 0 8264 6990 6 pb. Mario Perniola, The Sex Appeal of the Inorganic: Philosophies of Desire in the Modern World, trans. Massimo Verdicchio, […]