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 […]

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, […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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, […]

128 Reviews

Reviews ‘To be matter’Claudine Frank, ed., The Edge of Surrealism: A Roger Caillois Reader, Duke University Press, Durham NC, 2003. 416 pp., £17.95 pb., 0 82233 068 7. ^ In 1934 two men in Paris contemplated something new and wonderful. They had obtained a pair of Mexican jumping beans. The younger of the two wanted […]

Jacques Derrida, 1930–2004

Obituary symposium Jacques Derrida, 1930–2004 David Cunningham In an interview with Le Monde published a couple of months before his death at the age of 74 from pancreatic cancer on Friday 9 October 2004, Jacques Derrida confirmed what many already knew, that he was ʻdangerously illʼ, ʻat war against myselfʼ. If questions of ʻsurvivalʼ had […]

144 Reviews

Reviews Post-genomic interventionsEugene Thacker, Global Genome: Biotechnology, Politics, and Culture, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2006. 464 pp., £25.95 hb., £12.95 pb., 0 2622 0155 0 hb., 0 2627 0116 2 pb. Rishab Aiyer Ghosh, ed., Code: Collaborative Ownership and the Digital Economy, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 2005. 384 pp., £24.95 hb., £12.95 pb., 0 2620 […]

145 Reviews

Reviews Analogical nostalgiasAntonio Negri, The Political Descartes: Reason, Ideology and the Bourgeois Project, trans. Matteo Mandarini and Alberto Toscano, Verso, London and New York, 2007. 344 pp., £6.99 pb., 1 84667 582 3. Antonio Negri’s Political Descartes presents two thinkers at pains to make nostalgia productive. First there is Descartes, who, following an explosion of […]