Monthly Archives: December 2015

Poets and thinkers reflect on the road to re-turn

Hölderlin, Heidegger, Celan, Perse, and Badiou have reflected on the journey “Hinauf und Züruck“/Upwards and Back home. In 1801, Hölderlin wrote the elegy “Heimkunft”/Homecoming-To the related ones and in 1803, the hymn Der Ister. In 1924, Saint-John Perse published the … Continue reading

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Writing to a friend

“Why … is the affective range of criticism so limited?  Why are we so hyperarticulate about our adversaries and so excruciatingly tongue-tied about our loves?” This is how Rita Felski concludes her “Introduction” to The Limits of Critique (2015). This … Continue reading

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Singing from the Alpheus to the Danube

“Not without wings may one/Reach out for that which is nearest/Directly/And get to the other side” (“The Ister”). Pianist Pantelis Polychronidis, my “other self,” and I are spending a sunny, balmy day on the banks of Hölderlin’s river. “Yet almost … Continue reading

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Reflections as variations

Listening to English pianist Paul Lewis the other night at Hill Auditorium negotiate the trills in the eight variations on an original arietta that constitute the concluding Adagio of Beethoven’s sonata No. 32, op. 111 (1821-22), I started thinking again … Continue reading

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The Greek poetry of intermittent insurgency

In an earlier post titled “After the Event” I mentioned that, commenting on Alain Badiou in his Intermittency: The Concept of Historical Reason in Recent French Philosophy (2102), literary scholar Andrew Gibson calls the “intermittency” of the epochal Event “the … Continue reading

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Melancholy science, poetry, and music

The Greek Generation of the 2000’s moves in ellipses comparable to those traced by Adorno’s “melancholy science.” Its steps are uncertain, wavering from dance to funeral march to lullaby, like Sokolov’s lento pace in Chopin’s early mazurka (1827): As amply … Continue reading

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