Archives for January 2016


"Richard III, as he climbs great steps, gets smaller. As if he was seized and absorbed by the Grand Mechanism. Slowly he becomes only one of its wheels. He stopped being a hangman and became a victim." Jan Kott "Lear, as character rather than king, becomes the vehicle for another kind of ‘subjection’, evoking an ideological subjectivity in which the reader/spectator can ‘live’ an imaginary resolution of irreconcilable class projects." James H.Kavanagh "I smash the tools of my captivity, the chair the table the bed. I destroy the battlefield that was my home. I fling open the doors so the wind gets in and the screams of the world. I smash the window. With my bleeding hands I tear … [Read more...]

The Tolerant Fascist

"So who is the Devil? The main characteristic of the Devil in Faust and in Christianity is that he is a seducer. He addresses himself to the wishes and desires of humans, mainly their wish to get rid of undesirable qualities or undesirable states of mind – weakness, ugliness, poverty, old age, loneliness and depression – and acquire instead beauty, power, love, sexual prowess. The price? Selling their souls to the Devil as Christianity would have it, or giving up their real self with all the unwanted qualities and take on the desired qualities in an act of delusion, as psychoanalysis would have it." Christina Wieland "The ambivalent identifications of love and hate occupy the same … [Read more...]

Return of the Great Fear

" could see the extermination camps as the culmination of a long process of the ‘destruction of reason’ – of the humanist reason inherited from the Enlightenment – to use Georg Lukács’ phrase. But their structure, at the intersection of several modern experiences and institutions (barracks, penitentiary, slaughterhouse, factory and bureaucratically rational administration), and their ideology (racial biology) remained the product of a European historical trajectory spread over several centuries, whose general line had been traditionally interpreted as humanity’s forward march towards Progress. This trajectory now proved to be the antechamber to hell." Enzo Traverso "For … [Read more...]

Answers Without Questions

"According to a 19th century theory, the pain of separation could be reduced by having a portrait of the deceased; it served as a way to preserve a mental picture of them. Because of the relative expense of photography most families did not have many such portraits. Death portraits were often the only portraits families would have of infants or elderly people in the 19th century." Heather Cameron "I think my generation shares this ironic position, even after the sincere enthusiasm of the sixties, which, after all, led – ironically – to Ronald Reagan, Margaret Thatcher and George Bush." Martin Jay "I think a literary translation will capture some of what has been lost in Freud: … [Read more...]