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Blog Posts by Subject: Criticism and Theory

Five From Dalkey Archive

In continuation of the Three (or more) Series: Dalkey Archive's specialty lies within curating and bringing forth names in literature that are often left out of the conversation. Many of these titles fall under avant garde, while others are titles that have been forgotten about, or never translated for the English speaking world.Read More ›

Three from Semiotext(e)

Here are three recent publications from the historically leftist and avant-garde Semiotext(e), who have published many political, artistic, and fictional critiques of the modern nightmares and struggles of capitalism. Read More ›

The Worst Worst Book Reviews

These are reviews with no critical teeth that nevertheless bare their fangs, reviews we remember for their faulty metrics and unexamined aesthetic prejudices. In short, these are some of the worst worst book reviews. Share your book review pet peeves with us in the comment section below!Read More ›

Not Your Grandmother's Hamlet

That is, the kick-off to Shakespeare Week—April 15 to 20 here at the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building. Schizophrenia, nomadism, Lacan (oh the joys of serendipity—I just ordered his Television: A Challenge to the Psychoanalytic Profession), Deleuze, all the quite-cut edge philosophers and concepts. 

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What is the Post-Secular?

Jurgen Habermas famously addressed the controversial subject of post-secularity  in his "Notes on a Post-Secular Society." Therein, Habermas concludes to think and understand the post-secular concludes with a Kantian limit, "So, if all is to go well both sides, each from its own viewpoint, must accept an interpretation of the relation between faith and knowledge that enables them to live 

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The Art of Browsing

I had not seen my friends S. or F. for quite some time.

We were standing outside the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building on 5th Avenue; traffic buzzed and halted around us. Sitting on the steps like the boys and girls in Rome who hang around the Spanish Steps, smoke cigarettes and behave like the images they see on television who are modelled after them, I think to myself, we are encumbered in one city by Ghostbusters, in fiction parading out before us, haunted in another at 

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Subversive Imagination: The Short Circuits of José Saramago, 1922-2010

Authoritarian, paralyzing, circular, occasionally elliptical, stock phrases, also jocularly referred to as nuggets of wisdom, are malignant plague, one of the very worst ever to ravage the earth. We say to the confused, Know thyself, as if knowing yourself was not the fifth and most difficult of human arithmetical operations, we say to the apathetic, Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head, we say to the indecisive, Begin at the beginning, as if that beginning were the 

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Silence, Exile, Cunning: The Anonym as Celebrity: A Critical Bibliography

 "What ails you, Polyphemos? Why do you cry so sore/in the starry night? You will not let us sleep./Sure no man's driving off your flock? No man/has tricked you, ruined you?/ Out of the cave/the mammoth Polyphemos roared in answer:/ 'Nobody, Nobody's tricked me, Nobody's ruined me!'"

The Odyssey, Book IX

 As any librarian today 

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Wilbur, the Translator

In Chapter 18 of Candide, our hero and his valet Cacambo arrive in the utopian kingdom of El Dorado, where the streets glitter with precious stones. The people of El Dorado speak Cacambo's mother tongue, a Peruvian dialect indecipherable to Candide, and Cacambo becomes the sole communicator and interpreter. Candide relies on his valet to communicate with the natives of this strange and beguiling country.

The travelers are invited to dine at the King's palace. The dinner proceeds merrily, led by their affable royal 

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Fiction as Art as Fiction

Now that the art economy has collapsed and followed the mortgage derivative finance home boom bust buy now pay later consumption as a way of life whatever whatnot economy into the dumpster of ideas, I’d like to recommend a very sound investment for the young artist class: Get a Library Card and check out Lunar Follies by 

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