[Wenzel Hablik's Sunset, Mont Blanc] In the second book of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, Friedrich Nietzsche has life confide to Zarathustra: Behold, [. . .] I am that which must always overcome itself. Indeed, you call it a will to procreate or a drive to an end, to something higher, farther, more manifold: but all this
[João Biehl and Catarina in Vita; image by Torben Eskerod from the book] There is a place outside of Porto Alegre in Brazil where families leave behind “undesirable members” (14) (mostly sick) to wait for their death. It is called Vita, what João Biehl, in an ethnographic work, describes as a “zone of social abandonment.”
I finished teaching Marx in class today. We had started out with his philosophy where I traced Marx’s intellectual development (in the context of Hegel and Feuerbach) and the historical materialist method that he developed (I offered a schematic and a narrative based on a Deleuzian flat ontology made possible by Heidegger’s notion of mode).
After Marx has laid out the model spatially, he repeats the gesture, as if to say, “Again, again, again . . . Let’s do it again.” But differently, in another way: [Salvador Dali's The Persistence of Memory] Model 2: “Narrative” Human beings, first of all (before they are even “able to ‘make history’”), “live” (the
Karl Marx (with Friedrich Engels) lays out his method of revolutionary critique in The German Ideology. Not a professional philosopher (like Kant and Hegel, or Feuerbach) and more like an intellectual journalist absorbed in political economy committed to the Revolution, Marx, drawing from the philosophical currents of his day (Hegel’s idealism and Feuerbach’s materialism), nonetheless
What must it feel, in remote corners of the earth when Western bombs fall on their lands? There you are, doing your chores, getting by on a quiet day, breathing in the breeze as you think about them, the people of your house, nurturing something that happened last time, that moment, resenting something else, many
[Paul Cézanne's Still Life with Basket of Apples] Karl Marx explores his relationship with Ludwig Feuerbach in the list of theses that he wrote about the master (the “Theses on Feuerbach”). In From Hegel to Marx, Sidney Hook generously provides the context of these theses (reading them alongside The German Ideology). (The majority of the
[Peter-Paul Rubens' The Prophet Elijah Receiving Bread and Water from an Angel] In From Hegel to Marx, Sidney Hook traces the intellectual development of Karl Marx within the context of the dominant Hegelian philosophy of his day. While Karl Marx was indeed highly influenced by the systematic, totalizing, and absolute philosophy of Hegel, in the
[Frederick II, enlightened Prussian monarch, conversing with Voltaire, French philosoph; Image from Beowulf's Tomb] In his succinct and accessible Hegel, Peter Singer explains the basics of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel’s philosophy. One of the key concepts discussed is the idea of the progress of history, or, better yet, of history as progress, i.e. of history
I have just passed my comprehensive exam for my MA in Comparative Literature at Louisiana State University. The area of focus is critical theory, specifically Marxism, psychoanalysis, and Foucault and Deleuze. I thought I would pose my responses to the first two parts of the exam (the third and last part being the oral defense).