Dave and Juliana are in Pittsburgh; I’m overscheduled; the semester just ended; I haven’t started grading yet; me, me, and more me: let’s take a week off, shall we?
I’m not even sure what we’re reading next. It is either SK’s Repetitions or Derrida’s Specters. Does anyone have a strong feeling? I’m inclined to say Derrida because Dave had a good idea about doing one of the Nietzsches followed by this book by Deleuze I do not know the name of. Then we could come back to Kierkegaard? I’m going to assume Specters for next Thursday unless people make some noise, in which case I’m excited to get back into yonder SK.
It is not too exciting, actually. But here’s an obligatory quote and link:
But perhaps Kierkegaard’s most provocative message is that both work on the self and on understanding the world requires your whole being and cannot be just a compartmentalised, academic pursuit. His life and work both have a deep ethical seriousness, as well as plenty of playful, ironic elements.
It sounds like people want to stick with SK a bit longer. Instead of moving right on to Specters of Marx, we will take a detour through Kierkegaard’s Repetition. You can buy it here.
One thing that occurred to me about the Caravaggio (above) and why it is better than, say, the Titian (farther above) is that Abraham is holding the knife like a dude who has cut something before. There is none of this dramatic over-the-head plunging, which I think makes the painting more powerful and makes Abraham seem like a more serious son of a bitch.
That said, the Titian is dizzying. That perspective and the feeling that everything is about to tumble onto the viewer is pretty kick-ass. And that’s probably why his giant sword is way up over his head – over our heads.
So, my bad. The edition I made the schedule for Fear and Trembling with is stupid, stupid, stupid. Here’s what we’re doing. For tomorrow, we’re reading to the end of “Speech in Praise of Abraham” (56 in the Penguin), the end of Problema 2 next week (108), and we’ll conclude the book on the third Thursday. Okay? Great!
It looks like Derrida took the day. So Specters of Marx it is. You can buy the new edition here. Unfortunately, Routledge changed the pagination on the new edition and the old one (that I have) costs nearly 50 dollars. Oh well.
If we are going to read Derrida, I have a proposal: we all just accept that he intentionally hid what he meant behind difficult language. He loved Heidegger. He thought the whole poetic philosophy thing was just chic as hell. So, let’s just take it and read it in good faith and see if we can’t get something meaningful from the book. The reason I say this is because I read the intro to Specters last night and I immediately had a terrible flashback to all the arguments about the man’s value that I had in the early years of my coursework – and the arguments were not about his value as a writer, but as a human being. The fierceness of some people’s hatred for Derrida disquiets my soul. Let’s have a clean fight, is all I’m saying.
The book is conveniently divided. I figure we can do it in four weeks: Chapter 1, Chapters 2 & 3, Chapter 4, and then conclude.
People from the Frankfort School came in second, so I vote we read something by Adorno or Benjamin after Derrida.
Last week, we started talking about what to read next. Some names that came up include: Derrida, Benjamin, Lefebvre (not Febvre, it should be noted), Adorno, and Schopenhauer. I threw Spinoza out half-heartedly and don’t actually want to go in that direction. Augustine, on the other hand, I could get behind: The Confessions or City of God? Another inclination I am having at the moment is toward history. Dave pointed out that Benjamin has a book called Theses on History.
More ideas? Strong inclinations? I also want to read some science and math type shit that I won’t be able to do without peer pressure. Kuhn? Anyone? Thomas Kuhn?