Bedeutung Blog

Monthly Archives: October 2009

“I am a Leninist. Lenin wasn’t afraid to dirty his hands. If you can get power, grab it”

Interview with Slavoj Žižek: full transcript by Jonathan Derbyshire from the New Statesman NS: What relationship, if any, do you think your work has to the mainstream, normative, liberal political philosophy done in English and American universities? SZ: I noticed something — maybe I’m just generalising this; I don’t know to what extent this is a rule– I noticed [...]
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Empire Falls: The Revolutions of 1989

by Ronald Grigor Suny from The Nation The end of the story was gruesome–a spray of bullets and a splattering of blood on a wall in central Romania. On Christmas Day 1989, after a hastily arranged trial before a kangaroo court, the deposed Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and his wife, Elena, were executed by a firing squad. [...]
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Gorbachev on 1989

by Katrina Vanden Heuvel & Stephen F. Cohen from The Nation On September 23, Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and her husband, Stephen F. Cohen, a contributing editor, interviewed former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev at his foundation in Moscow. With the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall approaching, we believed that the leader most [...]
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Pornomiseria: Or How Not to Make a Documentary Film

by Michele Faguet from Afterall In the summer of 1971, while on vacation from film school at UCLA, Luis Ospina met with his childhood friend Carlos Mayolo, and together they decided to film the sixth Pan American Games taking place in their hometown of Cali, Colombia. The idea came after an earlier attempt to record Pope Paul [...]
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by John Lanchester from the LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS The Murder of Lehman Brothers: An Insider’s Look at the Global Meltdown by Joseph Tibman Brick Tower, 243 pp, £16.95, September 2009, ISBN 978 1 883283 71 1 BUYA Colossal Failure of Common Sense: The Incredible Inside Story of the Collapse of Lehman Brothers by Larry McDonald, in collaboration with [...]
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Something in the Air

from Frieze magazine German philosopher Peter Sloterdijk talks to Erik Morse about the 20th- and 21st-century phenomena of chemical warfare, designer ventilation and high-density urban living ERIK MORSE?What role do you think literature plays in explicating what you call ‘sphereology’ – the study of the human need for interior space? PETER SLOTERDIJK?I’ve always felt that there is [...]
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The Ph.D. Problem

by Louis Menand from Harvard Magazine Weirdly, the less social authority a profession enjoys, the more restrictive the barriers to entry and the more rigid the process of producing new producers tend to become. You can become a lawyer in three years, an M.D. in four years, and an M.D.-Ph.D. in six years, but the median time [...]
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Black Hawk Up

by Michael Massing from Columbia Journalism Review David Ignatius’s Helicopter Journalism What a delight it must be to be a columnist for a major American newspaper. When traveling to distant, war-torn lands, you can enlist America’s top generals to show you around. That’s what David Ignatius of The Washington Post did on Sunday. He was shown around Baghdad [...]
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First as Tragedy, Then as Farce

by Slavoj Žižek The title of this book is intended as an elementary IQ test for the reader: if the first association it generates is the vulgar anti-communist cliche-”You are right-today, after the tragedy of twentieth-century totalitarianism, all the talk about a return to communism can only be farcical!”-then I sincerely advise you to stop here. [...]
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Democracy and Disappointment: a Critchley – Badiou debate added to the Bedeutung Library / Academic

Slought Foundation, Philadelphia, the Departments of Romance Languages, History, and English, and the Program in Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, are pleased to announce a public conversation between Alain Badiou and Simon Critchley on Thursday, November 15th, 2007 from 7:00-9:00pm. This event, the next installment of the “Conversations in Theory” series, features a [...]
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The Democratic Wish

by John Gray from The National John Keane’s new history shows that democracy is not a uniquely western invention. But this important revision, John Gray argues, does not add up to an argument for its necessity. The Life and Death of Democracy John Keane Simon & Schuster Dh174 Writing in 1908, the German thinker Max [...]
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Chin Music

by Louis Menandfrom THE NEW YORKER In 2008, half the people who watched the Fox News Channel were over sixty-three, which is the oldest demographic in the cable-news business, and, according to a poll, the majority of the ones who watched the most strident programs, such as Sean Hannity’s and Bill O’Reilly’s shows, were men. All [...]
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American Centaur: An Interview with John Updike

From THE NEW YORKER On October 21, 1978, John Updike was in Zagreb, Croatia, at the invitation of the Writers’ Association of Croatia and the American Information Center. In the afternoon, he gave a lengthy interview to Zvonimir Radeljkovi? and Omer Hadžiselimovi?, professors of English who specialized in American literature at the University of Sarajevo. In [...]
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Oath of Office

A Conversation Between Richard Selzer & Peter Josyphfrom LAPHAM’S QUARTERLY Josyph: “I swear by Apollo, the physician.” On whom did Apollo practice? Selzer: Well, he was called upon to heal miraculously. Iapyx, in the Aeneid, was a doctor. He had asked to learn the healing arts from Apollo because he wanted to save his own father, who [...]
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Neither theocracy nor secularism?

by Ali Alizadehfrom RADICAL PHILOSOPHY On Saturday 13 June this year, hours after Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Ministry of the Interior announced his landslide victory as Iran’s president and Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the religious head of state, prematurely and unconstitutionally embraced these results, Tehran and several other major cities became the stage for spontaneous, sporadic and widespread protests. [...]
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From a Notebook that Never Was

by Fernando Pesoafrom the POETRY FOUNDATION I always acted on the inside . . . I never touched life . . . Whenever I began to trace an action, I finished it in my dreams, heroically . . . A sword weighs more than the idea of a sword . . . I commanded large armies, [...]
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'War on Terror' II

by Julian Sanchezfrom THE NATION We know the rules by now, the strange conventions and stilted Kabuki scripts that govern our cartoon facsimile of a national security debate. The Obama administration makes vague, reassuring noises about constraining executive power and protecting civil liberties, but then merrily adopts whatever appalling policy George W. Bush put in place. [...]
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Maurice Sendak tells parents worried by Wild Things to 'go to hell'

by Alison Floodfrom THE GUARDIAN Parents who think the new film of Maurice Sendak’s picture book Where the Wild Things Are is too frightening for children can “go to hell”, the author has said. Telling the story of a naughty little boy, Max, who is sent to bed without his supper only to journey by boat to [...]
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War and Politics in Afghanistan

by Steve Collfrom THE NEW YORKER Over the summer, the Afghan Taliban’s military committee distributed “A Book of Rules,” in Pashto, to its fighters. The book’s eleven chapters seem to draw from the population-centric principles of F.M. 3-24, the U.S. Army’s much publicized counter-insurgency field manual, released in 2006. Henceforth, the Taliban guide declares, suicide bombers [...]
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Procedure in Plain Air

by Jonatham Lethemfrom THE NEW YORKER Later, after the men in jumpsuits had driven up and begun digging the hole, Stevick would remember that the guy on the bench beside him had been gazing puzzledly into the cone of his large coffee and had tried to interest him in the question of whether the café’s brew [...]
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