175 Reviews

Reviews The future is subhumanMalcolm Bull, Anti-Nietzsche, Verso, London & New York, 2011. 256 pp., £14.99 hb., 978 1 85984 574 5. This is an intriguing book, and its principal thesis is highly provocative. My reaction to it is an ambivalent one: there are aspects of the book that are to be greatly welcomed, such […]

Vélorutionary?

Commentary Vélorutionary? Martin ryle The Montreal cyclists who in the mid-1970s formed an advocacy group known as Le Monde à Bicyclette also referred to themselves as vélo-Quixotes and vélorutionaries. [1] The bicycle, in its surprising persistence through the twentieth century, became an emblem of alternative ideas, and chronologies, of progress: how many other complex machines […]

Histories of cultural populism

Histories of cultural populism Martin Ryle It is more than a decade since the perspectives of the Frankfurt School lost their dominance within left-wing cultural theory. In 1983 Fredric Jameson, while noting sardonically that poststructuralist celebrations of the consumer’s ‘desire’ simply ‘change the valences on the old descriptions of Adorno, Horkheimer and Marcuse’, registered his […]

77 Reviews

REVIEWS Where is capitalism going? Eric Hobsbawm, Age of Extremes: The Short Twentieth Century 1914-1991, Michael Joseph, London, 1994. xii + 627 pp., £19.95 hb., 07181 33072. Giovanni Arrighi, The Long Twentieth Century: Money, Power and the Origins of Our Times, Verso, London, 1994. 416 pp., £39.95 hb., £14.95 pb., 1 85984915 6 hb., 1 […]

75 Reviews

REVIEWS The Story of K Michael Weston, Kierkegaard and Modern Continental Philosophy: An Introduction, Routledge, London and New York, 1994.200 pp., £37.50 hb., £11.99 pb., 0415 101990 hb., 0415 101204 pb. Peter Fenves, ‘Chatter’: Language and History in Kierkegaard, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1993. 312pp., £30.00 hb., £11.95 pb., 0 8047 1107 1 hb., 0 […]

Literary into cultural studies

Literary into cultural studies A reply to Martin Ryle Antony Easthope To parody a well-known saying, I shall say that a little formalism turns one away from History, but that a lot brings one back to it. Roland Barthes In ‘Long Live Literature?’ (RP 67) Martin Ryle explores the implications ofthe outcome ofthe crisis in […]

Long Live Literature?

Long Live Literature? Englit, Radical Criticism and Cultural Studies Martin Ry/e Has the time come for ‘English’ as an academic discipline to disappear? A crisis can only last so long, after all, before it becomes terminal (or terminally boring). And ‘English’ has been in a self-proclaimed state of crisis for the last fifteen years, in […]

64 Reviews

REVIEWS AVANT-TARD Jean-Fran~ois Lyotard, The Inhuman: Reflections on Time, translated by Geoffrey Bennington and Rachel Bowlby, Oxford, Polity Press, 1991. viii + 216pp., £35 hb, 0 7456 0772 1 NorbertElias, Time: An Essay, translated in part from the German by Edmund Jephcott, Oxford, Basil Blackwell, 1992. 216pp., £35 hb,O 631 157980 Is it ever too […]

36 Reviews

REVIEWS Post-Industrial Socialism Rudolf Bahro, Socialism and Survival (trans. David Fernbach), Heretic Books, f.3.50 pb Andre Gorz, Farewell to the Working Class (trans. Michael Sonenscher), Pluto Press, 1:.3.95 pb The ‘debate on the concept of the proletariat’ is, suggests Rudolf Bahro, ‘outdated’; it ‘tends right from the start to be scholastic’. Farewell to the Working […]

Nuclear Disarmament

Powell’s 1968 speeches, this has been the approach that has organised Tory responses. The fact that it is not shouted out loud at the moment should not fool us. For it js there within common-sense thinking all the time, and it is to be found at work in the critical places. Also in June of […]

91 Reviews

Marxism has differed from most other bodies of radical political thought in its conviction that its political radicalism is inseparably connected to a philosophical radicalism – a conviction that underlies the name of this journal. Engels, Kautsky and the orthodox Soviet Marxists all saw Marxism as distinguished from mainstream (ʻbourgeoisʼ) social thought by the dialectical […]

94 Reviews

Reviews Anti-Nazi musicology and the diminished seventhTheodor W. Adorno, Beethoven: The Philosophy of Music, ed. Rolf Tiedermann, trans. Edmund Jephcott, Polity Press, Cambridge, 1998. xii + 268 pp., £39.95 hb., 0 7456 1467 1. ^ Pamela M. Potter, Most German of the Arts: Musicology and Society from the Weimar Republic to the End of Hitlerʼs […]

103 Reviews

To see clearly requires distance, but during the last century Western intellectuals were too close to psychoanalysis to get a good view. Insider accounts, both friendly and antagonistic, predominated. The decline in analytic fortunes since the 1960s, along with the general shift in the Zeitgeist, has opened a path for historical perspective. Cassandraʼs Daughter is […]

112 Reviews

The ethical dimension of Adornoʼs work is elusive and gestural, but it is an ineliminable part of his philosophy. Jay Bernstein attempts to do justice to what he terms the ʻethical intensityʼ of Adornoʼs writing by reconstructing the ethical content and premisses of his philosophical output. However, this book is not only a mining of […]

Oppositional mentalities

Commentary Oppositional mentalities Intellectuals, protest and the Left Martin ryle‘t he “oppositional” mentality of the British Leftʼ, wrote E.P. Thompson in 1965, ʻis certainly a limiting outlook; but it has grown up simply because our Left has had so bloody much to oppose … The British Left … has been immersed in ineluctable political contexts […]

125 Reviews

Reviews AfterwardsGilbert Achcar, The Clash of Barbarisms: September 11 and the Making of the New World Disorder, trans. Peter Drucker, Monthly Review Press, New York, 2002. 128 pp., $15.95 pb., $55.00 hb., 1 58367 081 5 pb., 1 58367 082 3 hb. Verna V. Gehring, ed., War after September 11, Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham MD, […]

Surplus consciousness

Surplus consciousness Houellebecq’s novels of ideas Martin ryle Michel Houellebecqʼs fiction is said to be selling better outside France than that of any French novelist since Camus. Atomised (1999) and Platform (2001), his two more recent novels, appeared in English within a year of their publication. [1] The comparison some reviews have drawn with Camus […]

136 Reviews

When, in 1973, the Bulgarian-born Julia Kristeva published her vast Revolution in Poetic Language, she had already been a highly significant figure on the Parisian scene for some years. Her earliest work had helped to make Bakhtinʼs dialogism and theory of the carnivalesque familiar to a French audience, whilst the closely related concept of intertextuality […]

147 Reviews

One of Bruce Robbins’s epigraphs is from Irving Howe, lamenting that ‘the welfare state does not seem able to arouse strong loyalties’ and can draw on ‘no encompassing mystique’. Certainly it would be daunting, not to say quixotic, to look back at the literary record of the liberal democracies Robbins focuses on (France, Britain and […]