by K. Thomas Kahn
Nobel laureate Imre Kertész is certainly no stranger to controversy. His radical reconceptualization of the term “Holocaust” — in whose “unscrupulous employment” he locates “a cowardly and unimaginative glibness” — to extend beyond the scope of the concentration camps and those who perished therein, rhetorically privileges the survivors over the dead: “the word actually only relates to those who were incarcerated: the dead, but not the survivors… The survivor is an exception.”
by Jesse Miksic
BioShock Infinite pits the player against his Shadow Self as well, a twisted version of the Byronic Booker DeWitt. According to the backstory, Booker has severely punished himself for his sins against the Native Americans at Wounded Knee, sinking into alcoholism and gambling debt for a large part of his subsequent adulthood. Zachary Hale Comstock is Booker’s inverse in a number of ways: instead of resigning himself to sin, Comstock has righteously renounced it; instead of struggling with his prejudices, Comstock has embraced them and integrated them into his ideology.
by Patrick Bray
When we read literature from the 19th century, we usually try to be vigilant in order not to project our contemporary ideas and obsessions onto the past for fear they might obscure the radical difference of another era. But what happens when we look at our own century from a necessarily imaginary 19th-century viewpoint? How do we recognize fragments of discourse that persist in contemporary texts, ripped from their original contexts, but not quite consciously assimilated as a cultural reference?
by John Gaffney
One year ago, on the day of François Hollande’s inauguration as the seventh President of the French Fifth Republic, May 15th, 2012, it poured with rain all day long. Inexplicably, no one offered him a raincoat or the protection of an umbrella. He spent the day’s ceremony drenched to the bone, his glasses steamed up, his sopping wet suit and shirt flattened against him. It was a sign. It has been raining ever since.
by Daniel Tutt
While “we” in the west pride ourselves on a model of multicultural tolerance that is inclusive and broad, western philosophers since Descartes and Rousseau, who are in part the chief developers of liberal universalism, should also be read as developing a universalism that is exclusive, perhaps violently so towards others. The preconditions for participating in the universal liberal state require an uprooting of the individual from their ethnic, cultural or religious contexts.
The chance entrance to the city before it disappeared. Thoughts hanging like bodies from ropes. The image seems to have been taken from inside a moving car, but this is staged. The windshield wipers are props. The highway is front-projection.
by Joel Gn
While we give in to our nostalgic impulse and reminisce on how the more primitive blog afforded us anonymity in the face of the masses, we are at present, still compelled to confer the stamp of authenticity upon every single utterance made online. Many would eagerly ‘follow’ or pay attention to Twitter messages posted personally by a celebrity, but disregard anything from an impersonator, thereby illustrating that it is not the message, but the identity of the person that comes under greater scrutiny.
by Oliver Farry
I went to Albania to try and get back with an ex-girlfriend, though that is only half the story. The trip had been planned in advance; Anna, a Swedish girl I had been seeing for about eighteen months, gave me as a birthday present a plane ticket to Tirana to accompany her on a visit to her parents — her father was then working there for the EU. That was six weeks before we were due to go but the day after the birthday the relationship came to what seemed to me to be an abrupt end.
by Elias Tezapsidis
The Knife definitely employs the shock-value of an incestuous theme to further strengthen their mission in creating powerful work. The music duo is comprised of Swedish siblings Olof Dreijer and Karin Dreijer Andersson. They produce and release their music through their own label, Rabid Records, and therefore are in complete creative control of their artistic product. Stripped of the marketing techniques that are applied on other musicians by their studios and their abstract line of managerial handlers, the Dreijers are able to ameliorate their presence on a dual level.
by Mark Twain
I came across these jingling rhymes in a newspaper, a little while ago, and read them a couple of times. They took instant and entire possession of me. All through breakfast they went waltzing through my brain; and when, at last, I rolled up my napkin, I could not tell whether I had eaten anything or not. I had carefully laid out my day’s work the day before—thrilling tragedy in the novel which I am writing. I went to my den to begin my deed of blood. I took up my pen, but all I could get it to say was, “Punch in the presence of the passenjare.”