Menachem Feuer: Schlemiels

city-lights-charlie-chaplin

As human beings we have to “court” failure. This term suggests two things: on the one hand, it suggests dating and becoming intimate with someone in a formal, old-fashioned way; on the other hand, it suggests that we just don’t experience something, we judge it. Taken together, we can say that in courting failure, one gets to know it in an intimate way and will have to, in the end, judge it. When we judge failure, when we court it, we ascribe meaning to it.

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Gyan Prakash: Myths of the Island City

Photo by Stephane Le Gal  by Gyan Prakash Mumbai Fables, the latest book from historian Gyan Prakash, has been praised by Salman Rushdie as “a fascinating exploration of my favourite city, full of insider knowledge and sharp insights.” Here Prakash explains the genesis of the book and the upcoming film...

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Walden’s Finest

From The New York Review of Books: There have been other comic strips that dealt with politics, but they did so sporadically, and as one-trick diversions—Al Capp satirizing the welfare state with his schmoos, Walt Kelly turning Senator Joseph McCarthy into Simple J. Malarkey—but Trudeau has reflected on politics...

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‘Confessional literature has become a metaphorical striptease’

Image via This Isn’t Happiness From The New Inquiry: Literature’s undeniable resemblance to gossip illuminates what is most useful about it, what causes literary works to endure. In her 1982 essay “In Praise of Gossip” in The Hudson Review, Patricia Meyer Spacks claims that gossip can function as “healing...

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Fall is the season for poetry

The Poetry of Autumn | by Anne Finch

Poetry Foundation

“The poetry of earth is never dead,” wrote John Keats, and yet that quintessential poet of autumn, his own life fading as the colors of his glory blazed and flew, was...

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Simply a Brothel

The Kreutzer Sonata, Rene Prinet, 1901 From The Boston Review: In Leo Tolstoy’s novella The Kreutzer Sonata, the time is the 1880s; the place, a train traveling somewhere in Russia; the situation, a middle-aged man with glittering eyes is telling a stranger the true story of why he killed...

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The Pirate’s Prophet

 From The Nation: The desire to preserve what remains apparently pure about the making of art in contemporary life drives much of the argumentation of Common as Air, which emerges over the course of its several hundred pages as a treatise on the uncertain fate of expressive work in...

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Berfrois Interviews Gabriel Josipovici

   by Russell Bennetts  Gabriel Josipovici is a prolific and eminent novelist, literary theorist, critic, and scholar. He has won the Somerset Maugham Award for Short Fiction and his The World and The Book remains a landmark text in literary studies. A former Weidenfeld Professor of Comparative Literature at...

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Kidnapped!

by A. Roger Ekirch From Common-Place: In London on St. Valentine’s Day in 1945, the aspiring young novelist Patrick O’Brian, today regarded as one of the great twentieth-century writers of historical fiction, received as a gift an early volume of the Gentleman’s Magazine. Published in 1744, it briefly recounted...

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‘In a clear case of fetishistic disavowal, everyone knows that Mao made errors and caused immense suffering, yet his image remains magically untainted’

by Slavoj Žižek From London Review of Books: True, some Maoist ‘excesses’ and ‘errors’ were denounced (the Great Leap Forward and the widespread famine that followed it; the Cultural Revolution), and Deng’s assessment of Mao’s role (70 per cent positive and 30 per cent negative) is enshrined in official discourse....

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Marcel-Duchamp-Leaving-the-Cafe-1

Marcel Duchamp sat silent. He seemed far away, lost in reverie. Then, he spoke of the death of art, which he described as...

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Bobbi Lurie
Duchamp-smoking-through-the-cracked-glass

But I was perplexed. Marcel Duchamp didn’t order a thing to eat at the café. I assumed it was because he was dead, requiring nothing...

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fp

Earthquake metaphors have had strong currency, both political and journalistic, in the aftermath of May’s European Parliament (EP) elections. The most spectacular tremors were...

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Ernst_Ludwig_Kirchner

Both Derrida and Ronell suggest that saying yes is “telephonic,” both in the sense that it resounds over a distance and therefore always is...

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ramirez1fullsize

Unless they lived in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or California – all former Mexican territories – most U.S. residents in the 1930s were unaware...

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MashaTheDevilProbably

The different tools used to capture the frame and the wild variety in terms of image quality, which is the way films are remembered...

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ron-sky-rat-cover

“We’ve got a problem,” says Andrew Shuta of Spork as he and Drew Burk guide me into a fancy conference room. Ron’s sitting across from...

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chinua

Many years ago, in an interview he did with Bill Moyers, Chinua Achebe was asked, “What would you want the West to do?” Achebe...

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Masha Tupitsyn
sickert

No one can love anymore because of an overabundance of reaction formation. No one wants to owe anything to their desire(s); to other people’s...

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Hearn1

How could a man born on a Greek island in 1850 be a household name in Japan today? The answer lies in the story...

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kentridge1

Jean Améry titled his renowned book on voluntary death, Hand an Sich Legen – To lay Hands on Oneself. Beyond the argument of Amery...

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letters

Several months ago, I wrote a long letter by hand to a young woman I barely knew. That sounds pretty dubious, if not to...

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Kemmler

In a move that might strike readers as odd, Derrida spends most of these lectures not on the case made by death penalty proponents,...

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proust

Although Charles Kenneth Scott Moncrieff’s translation of À la recherche du temps perdu is considered by many journalists and writers to be the best...

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