User account

Fatal Conjunctions
  • literature
  • contemporary culture
  • discourse
  • contemporary art
  • art criticism
  • art
“Obsessed with buffering”
  • poetics
  • literary studies
  • fiction
  • conversation
  • temporality
  • Modernism
  • literature
  • time
  • practice
Other Topics
Current Texts

Alexander García Düttmann

What does “emancipatory” mean today?

Pretending one more time that the world can still be saved and asking whether art contains an emancipatory potential can be a meaningful endeavour only if illegitimate attempts at appropriating this emancipatory potential are thwarted. Its usurpation, which amounts to its abolition, must be prevented. Critique that deserves its name must first and foremost struggle against false pretenders, not against those who do not even claim to be pretenders. The efficiency of critique’s propaedeutic character should be sought in this struggle against false pretenders. If one fears that its negativity may entail a dangerous impotence and if for this reason one wishes to supplement it with a justifying and constructive “affirmationism”, mindful of the fact that it was once meant to prepare the outline of a metaphysics purged of precritical dogmatism, then one risks forgetting that critique ceases to hurt and can no longer trigger an impulse the instant that...

ABO DE
  • contemporary art
  • critical theory
  • aesthetics
  • morals
  • political aesthetics
Current Texts
Blood!

Ines Kleesattel

Blood!

OPEN
ACCESS
DE
  • subjectification
  • painting
  • gender
  • gaze
  • feminism
  • body
  • art history
Fragility is the only thing I really know about me
Fragility is the only thing I really know about me

Claire Denis

“Fragility is the only thing I really know about me”

I am not a very balanced person. I am fragile and sad – almost as described in Triste Tropiques by Claude Lévi-Strauss. I feel both those adjectives, I grew up with them. I was aware of my fragility even when I was very young – a baby, learning to walk, living somewhere in Africa and already feeling that the number of white persons was very small compared to the number of black persons and also noticing that most of the...
ABO DE
  • identity
  • subjectivity
  • film d'auteur
  • autofiction
An immodest proposal
An immodest proposal

Stephen Barber

A War of Fragments: World Versus America

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...
OPEN
ACCESS
DE
Fiction

Diane Williams

How about some string?

I said “Would you like a rope? You know that haul you have is not secured properly.”
“No,” he said, “but I see you have string!”
“If this comes into motion—” I said, “you should use a rope.”
“Any poison ivy on that? ” he asked me, and I told him my rope had been in the barn peacefully for years.
He took a length of it to the bedside table. He had no concept for what wood could endure.
“Table must have broken when I lashed it onto the truck,” he said.
And, when he was moving the sewing machine, he let the cast iron wheels—bang, bang on the stair.
I had settled down to pack up the flamingo cookie jar, the cutlery, and the cookware, but stopped briefly, for how many times do you catch sudden sight of something heartfelt?
I saw our milk cows in their slow...

ABO DE
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,...

ABO
Language can never be private
Language can never be private

Johannes Binotto

Shrewing the Tame

Speaking of taming and speaking against it has to begin with getting the word itself to speak. “Tame”—the puzzling expression goes back to the etymological root it shares with “dam,” “timber,” and the German “Zimmer” (room). Taming, as is clear from the etymology, is an act of containment, separation, and adaption. What has once been tamed now has its own place, its own chamber, in which it no longer even needs to be confined, because it permanently carries its room...
OPEN
ACCESS
DE
  • feminism
  • language
  • subjectification
  • gender
  • Shakespeare
Discourse

Ute Holl

Dream, Clouds, Off, Exile

OPEN
ACCESS
  • film
  • monotheism
  • exile
  • Karl Marx
  • communism
Saturnaaaaalia
Saturnaaaaalia

Sina Dell’Anno

Oratio Soluta

Saturn has entered our speech like a lion; as the wild beast of revolution, the limbs of a half-eaten child still hanging from its gaping jaws. This is Goya’s Danton: the bloody face of the untamable fear that human hunger for freedom could go out of control. The gaping jaws announce an appetite for rebellion. This physiognomy of the revolution, heightened tremendously by Goya, is already encountered where Saturn had not yet frozen into the grimace of a world-historical monster, but...
OPEN
ACCESS
DE
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...

OPEN
ACCESS
DE

 

We like !