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Around a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti
Around a sculpture by Alberto Giacometti

Georges Didi-Huberman, Mira Fliescher (ed.), ...

The Cube and the Face

The Cube, as we can see, isn’t one. It is an ­irregular polyhedron which catalogues describe as having twelve sides — that nice figure, twelve, a destinal figure if ever there was one, which willfully evokes Mallarmé’s throw of the dice, at the very moment that the clock strikes twelve at midnight, in the dark house of Igitur. One can imagine that Giacometti wanted to give a unique volume to the twelve facets — six and six — of two cubes added together: a unique architecture...
  • art history
  • abstract art
  • face
  • Alberto Giacometti
  • art theory
Born too late to see the war, too soon to forget it.
Born too late to see the war, too soon to forget it.

Reiner Schürmann

Origins

"This is a book about the power that a past War holds over a German growing up in the 1950s and 1960s: born too late to see that war and too early to forget it. The narrative shows how painfully public events — the shadows, rather, of events gone by — intrude upon a life and shape it. The English translation appears at a moment when most of the key issues have radically changed. Germany has signed what amounts to a...
  • homosexuality
  • autobiography
  • 1968
  • emigration
  • memory
Fiction

Stephen Barber

Twenty-four hours in state of unconsciousness

Now the dead will no longer be buried, now this spectral city will become the site for execrations and lamentations, now time itself will disintegrate and void itself, now human bodies will expectorate fury and envision their own transformation or negation, now infinite and untold catastrophes are imminently on their way —ready to cross the bridge over the river Aire and engulf us all — in this winter of discontent, just beginning at this dead-of-night ­instant before midnight, North-Sea ice-particles already crackling in the air and the last summer long-over, the final moment of my seventeenth birthday, so we have to go, the devil is at our heels… And now we’re running at full-tilt through the centre of the city, across the square beneath the Purbeck-marble edifice of the Queen’s ­Hotel, down towards the dark arches under the railway tracks, the illuminated sky shaking, the air fissured with beating cacophony,...

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Digital disrupture
Digital disrupture

Dieter Mersch

Digital Criticism

We really need an analysis of algorithmic conditions and their paradoxes and ambiguities that gives them an adequate framework and horizon. But instead we currently seem to be finding an algorithmic solution of the algorithmic, much as digital solutions are being offered for the problems of the digital public sphere, in the way that IT corporations, for example, use exclusively mathematical procedures to evaluate and delete “fake news,” inappropriate portrayals, or the violation of personal rights. This tends to result...
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Discourse

Stephen Barber

An immodest proposal

J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-­alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience. As Ballard emphasises several times in the World Versus America notebooks, he is utterly serious in his concerns and visions.
Although the Ballard ­estate declined permission for any images of pages from the World Versus America archival notebooks to accompany this essay, any member of the general public interested to do so can readily visit the British Library and view the notebooks in their entirety in the freely-­accessible manuscripts collection there.

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Of what can I be truly certain?
Of what can I be truly certain?

Jean Paul Mongin, François Schwoebel

Mister Descartes and his Evil Genius

Can one trust his senses when perceiving the outside world? When my sensations are the basis of my perception of my own existence, what if these sensations are to be doubted – what can the proof of my own existence be? These questions, both simple and profoundly undermining, stand at the beginning of Modernity: the philosophy of René Descartes. This book drags its readers – and musketeer-like Mister Descartes himself – into the adventure of thinking. It gives a lively...
  • epistemology
  • young readers
  • thinking
  • certainty
  • Descartes
Humanities

Maria Filomena Molder

So many egoists call themselves artists…

“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.

Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...

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