Category Archives: Philosophy

The total moment of the perfect melody

When all else fails, there’s still a Schubert melody. Melodies sound like total moments which float freely, unchained, outside the regular course of time.  Adorno explains:  “The concept of melody first gained ascendancy in the nineteenth century in connection with … Continue reading

Posted in Friends, Listening, Melancholy, Music | Tagged

“Παίζουμε ένα ποίημα;”/2: Κατερίνα Ζησάκη: “Αγώνας” (η αριστερή μελαγχολία)

Η μελαγχολία για τον αγώνα, η οποία διακατέχει τη νέα ελληνική πολιτική ποίηση, κυκλοφορεί επίσης παγκόσμια σε κοινωνικοπολιτικές συζητήσεις ως θεωρητική έννοια και επιστημολογική αρχή. “Επιστήμονες και στοχαστές διερευνούν μελαγχολίες της διάψευσης όπως η φυλετική (David L. Eng), η μεταναστευτική (Sara … Continue reading

Posted in Collaboration, Friends, Greek Poetry, Left, Melancholy, Revolution

Daniel Herwitz: “Avant-Garde Legacies: Identity Politics in a Consumerist World”

What is the legacy of the avant-garde today?  My dear friend and colleague at Michigan, Daniel Herwitz, and I spent one of our regular lunches together exploring this question.  As I was telling him that my ten-part travelogue across five … Continue reading

Posted in Crisis, Culture, Left, Resistance, Revolt, The Arts | Tagged

The 1912 Friends as “Hermits” in Vienna (Travels in revolutionary Mitteleuropa, from the Rhine to the Danube/9)

If revolutions fail and rebels are damned, what happens to friends like my two favorite comrades conspiring in Caspar Friedrich’s painting in 1819 Dresden?   If they do not plan the next revolt, what do they talk about when they contemplate … Continue reading

Posted in Crisis, Friends, The Arts, The Double | Tagged , ,

The 1910 Rebels’ “Hell” in Paris (Travels in revolutionary Mitteleuropa, from the Rhine to the Danube/8)

Near the end of my brief journey across Central European rivers and revolts, Rodin’s The Gates of Hell (1880-1917) appears to me as a memorial to the perennial, tragic failure of the revolution and the damnation of the rebels. Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) … Continue reading

Posted in Melancholy, Revolt, The Arts | Tagged

The 1819 Dresden Conspiracy (Travels in revolutionary Mitteleuropa, from the Rhine to the Danube/2)

I went for the first time to Germany last month with a specific purpose: To walk in the footsteps of revolutionary friends in Dresden, such as the comrades in this painting. “Two Men Contemplating the Moon” by Caspar David Friedrich (1774-1840), … Continue reading

Posted in Attunement, Collaboration, Friends, Listening, Revolution | Tagged

An elegy for the Jewish cultivation of Hellenic self

The enchanting movie Call me by your name (2017) pays a melancholic tribute to a major project of Protestant modernity, the Jewish self-forming engagement with aesthetic Hellenism. The movie, based on André Aciman’s Künstlerromanby the same name (2007), deals with the … Continue reading

Posted in Classical Music, Culture, Hellenism, Literature, Melancholy, The "Greeks"