UNE INSULTE À LA REPUBLIQUE: AIMÉ CÉSAIRE AND FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN …

UNE INSULTE À LA RÉPUBLIQUE: AIMÉ  CÉSAIRE AND FRIEDRICH HÖLDERLIN DECLARE THE FRENCH REVOLUTION A TRAGEDY, VOW TO SUPPORT #GILETSJAUNES MOVEMENT INSTEAD |by @waywarddrift   I. Introduction The study that follows concerns two tragic plays that treat the emergence and aftermath of a single global revolutionary horizon which included both the French and the Haitian revolutions. As the tragic genre suggests, Friedrich Hölderlin’s The Death of Empedocles (1799) and Aime Césaire’s And the Dogs Were Silent (1956) stage reflections on the initial successes and subsequent defeat of their respective revolutionary moments. What can tragedy or art offer to thinking that…

Sophie Wahnich | IN DEFENCE OF TERROR: Liberty or Death in the French Revolution

I want never to forget how I was forced to become — for how long? — a monster of justice and intolerance, a narrow-minded simplifier, an arctic character uninterested in anyone who was not in league with him to kill the dogs of hell. — René Char   Provocative reassessment of the Great Terror as a price worth paying For two hundred years after the French Revolution, the Republican tradition celebrated the execution of princes and aristocrats, defending the Terror that the Revolution inflicted upon on its enemies. But recent decades have brought a marked change in sensibility. The Revolution…

Esther Leslie | Men of Doubt: Fortini, Benjamin, Brecht

I will present my ideas as theses, in recognition of the fragmented and poetic modes of the men I discuss. And, too, as reflection of the central idea here, that of ‘doubt’ – aiming at a certain non-definitive articulation, the wish to leave something uncompleted, unsealed, possible but yet to be made actual, if it can. I begin with a translation of a poem by Fortini.

A. Badiou, P. Bourdieu, J. Butler, G. Didi-Huberman, S. Khiari, J. Rancière | WHAT IS A PEOPLE?

ALAIN BADIOU, PIERRE BOURDIEU, JUDITH BUTLER, GEORGES DIDI-HUBERMAN, SADRI KHIARI, AND JACQUES RANCIÈRE WHAT IS A PEOPLE? PDF     What Is a People? seeks to reclaim “people” as an effective political concept by revisiting its uses and abuses over time. Alain Badiou surveys the idea of a people as a productive force of solidarity and emancipation and as a negative tool of categorization and suppression. Pierre Bourdieu follows with a sociolinguistic analysis of “popular” and its transformation of democracy, beliefs, songs, and even soups into phenomena with outsized importance. Judith Butler calls out those who use freedom of assembly…

riots and/or poetics [10/2018]

“History is full of people who just didn’t. They said no thank you, turned away, escaped to the desert, lived in barrels, burned down their own houses, killed their rapists, pushed away dinner, meditated into the light. Even babies refuse, and the elderly also. Animals refuse: at the zoo they gaze through Plexiglas, fling feces at human faces. Classes refuse. The poor throw their lives onto barricades, and workers slow the line. Enslaved people have always refused, poisoning the feasts and aborting the embryos, and the diligent, flamboyant jaywalkers assert themselves against traffic as the first and foremost visible daily lesson…

Why Brecht?

Dmitry Vilensky /// Why Brecht? That’s great art: nothing obvious in it – I laugh when they weep, I weep when they laugh. Bertold Brecht If we try replacing the word “opera” with culture or art in Brecht’s text “OPERA – WITH INNOVATIONS!”, it paradoxically becomes clear that Brecht’s analysis of the situation more than 70 years ago is more than relevant today. Of course, many things have changed, such as the notions of power, class, labor, the means of struggle. But still, anyone who is still capable of considering the necessity of connecting thought and action now hits upon…

Sean Bonney | COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE

  Sean Bonney | COMETS & BARRICADES: INSURRECTIONARY IMAGINATION IN EXILE Let every word indicate the most frightening of distances, it would still take billions of centuries, talking at one word per second, to express a distance which is only an insignificance when it comes to infinity. ¹ Louis Auguste Blanqui; Eternity by the Stars Imprisoned on the day before the declaration of the Paris Commune, in a cell in the Fort du Taureau, ‘an ellipse-shaped fortified island lying half a mile outside of the rock shores of Morlaix at a place where, after briefly morphing into the English Channel, the…