Category Archives: Disengagement

“Modernist Theory & Theater between the Tragic & the Melancholic”

Here is a video of two lectures at the University of Michigan in dialogue on modern tragedy:  the brilliant Ian Balfour (English, York) focuses on Shakespeare’s Hamlet while I focus on the tragedy that has been called Luigi Pirandello’s Hamlet, … Continue reading

Posted in Disengagement, Literature, Melancholy, Resistance | Tagged , , ,

Pirandello’s “Enrico IV,” a tragedy of refusal

Luigi Pirandello’s tragedy, Enrico IV (1922), is a great post-modern Hamlet. I discuss its politics of refusal in terms of melancholic disengagement and destituent power in a chapter of my book-length scholarly project on the self-destruction of revolution since Romantic theater.

Posted in Disengagement, Melancholy, The Arts | Tagged

Beyond resistance and resilience

Minutes after burning the manuscript of his drama so that he and his freezing bohemian friends can keep warm, poet Rodolfo meets Mimi, a sick embroiderer of flowers, and introduces himself: “What do I do? I write. And how do … Continue reading

Posted in Disengagement, Melancholy, Resistance

Renouncing politics

As the funeral march for the revolution continues to intone the exhaustion of the emancipatory project, and left melancholy sets the mood of post-revolutionary critique, claims for radical negativity acquire a special appeal in the Trump era. What if not … Continue reading

Posted in Disengagement, Left, Resistance

Left Melancholy and its poetry after the American elections

The total defeat of all progressive forces in the American elections has turned Left Melancholy overnight into the overwhelming mood of those who saw their hopes shattered. The unthinkable has happened and no explanation is giving a satisfactory account. An … Continue reading

Posted in Disengagement, Greek Poetry, Left, Melancholy, Resistance | Tagged

The Counter-Revolutionary Politics of Autonomist Disengagement

When modern radical politics stops investing in the messianic/apocalyptic prospect of a total Revolution, it usually adopts one of two attitudes or “moods”: either melancholy over the lost hope for emancipation, or indignation over a hopeless regime of oppression. A … Continue reading

Posted in Autonomy, Crisis, Disengagement, General Philosophy, Left, Revolt, Revolution, The Common

Notions of Left Defeat and Melancholy

This is a list-in-progress compiled as part of a double project to look at the innovative poetic production of the Greek generation of the 2000s, and 2. tragedies of the revolution in modern drama. (Terms and titles from English-language articles, … Continue reading

Posted in Disengagement, Left, Melancholy, Resistance, Revolt, Revolution