Politics in a Tragic Key

Politics in a tragic key Alberto toscano In memory of Joel Olson (1967–2012)In the quarter-century or so since the obscure disaster of the Soviet bloc’s collapse, two words have been pinned to that of ‘communism’ with liberal abandon: ‘tragedy’ and ‘transition’. Tragedy, to signify the magnitude of suffering, but not the greatness of the enterprise; […]

Philosophy as Exile from Life

Philosophy as Exile from Life: Lukacs’ ‘Soul And Form’ Paul Browne As ethical explorations of the world of literary and philosophical works, Georg Lukacs’s essays are so many restatements of a fundamental question: what are the relationships between such works, the lives of their individual creators, and social existence in general? In giving new expression […]

Oedipus as figure

Oedipus as figure Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe It is probable, or at the very least plausible, that Western humanity now models itself on two figures or types – two ʻexamplesʼ, if you like. They appear to be antagonistic (or are at least supported by antagonistic discourses), but their antagonism also binds together, and founds, their kinship, as […]

‘The madness of Islam’

‘The madness of Islam’ Foucault’s Occident and the Revolution in Iran Ian almond Indeed, if a philosophy of the future exists, it will have to be born outside Europe, or as a consequence of the encounters and frictions between Europe and non-Europe. Michel Foucault in interview, 19781In looking through the half-dozen articles Foucault published on […]

Walter Benjamin and the Red Army Faction, Part 3

Spectres of anarchy Walter Benjamin and the Red Army Faction, Part Three Irving wohlfarth There is an excel ent passage in Nadja on the ‘enchanting days spent looting Paris under the sign of Sacco and Vanzet i’ and Breton adds the assurance that in those days the Boulevard Bonne-Nouvel e [Boulevard of Good Tidings] fulfil […]

Risked democracy

The delay involved in the publication of lectures or seminars has strange effects: what comes late and in a different time to its own is research and words which were caught up – more so than the books – in the historical circumstances of their elaboration; and the text that is finally published, with the […]