- March 26th, 2017
A slight fever, racing pulse, cramps, vague discomforts – what is ailing the musicologist Franz Ritter other than habitual melancholia and insomnia?
- March 14th, 2017on The Arcades: Contemporary Art and Walter Benjamin, convoluted by Jens Hoffmann et al (Yale University Press)
Hannah Arendt once described Walter Benjamin as among “the unclassifiable ones … whose work neither fits the existing order nor introduces a new genre.” But a new genre is exactly what he inspired: the cross-breeding of forms – journalism, citation, exegesis, philosophical asides, flashes of memory.
- February 26th, 2017
Zahia Rahmani was born in Algeria in 1962 just as that country’s eight-year war of independence from France was ending. Her father was counted among the “Harkis” – the 75,000 Algerians who fought alongside the French against their own nationalist countrypeople. Literally overnight, the French crept away leaving 20,000 Harkis to be pulled from their beds, massacred and imprisoned.
- February 20th, 2017
For marketing’s sake, Elliot Ackerman’s second novel, Dark At The Crossing, has been described as a current day war story about the tumult in Syria with a love interest. But Ackerman’s actual subject is the making of choices under dire circumstances. How a choice may trigger betrayal or the recognition of one’s illusions or self-satisfaction or self-defeat.
- February 16th, 2017
“DIFFICULT TIMES" (“SCHWIERIGE ZEITEN”) / Bertolt Brecht
Standing at my desk
I see the elder tree in the garden through the window
And make out something red in it, something black
And instantly recall the elders
Of my Augsburg childhood.
Then for several moments I seriously deliberate
Whether to go to the table
For my glasses, so that I might see
- February 6th, 2017
Fumo: Italy’s Love Affair with the Cigarette by Carl Ipsen (Stanford University Press)
Comrade Huppert: A Poet in Stalin’s World by George Huppert (Indiana University Press)
The Death and Resurrection of Elvis Presley by Ted Harrison (Reaktion Books/University of Chicago Press)