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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...
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Jean-Luc Nancy

Ζένοι και Zah και Zuh

Ξένος extraneus του έξω όχι του μέσα (intraneus) όχι της οικίας unheimlich όχι του heim όχι της εστίας της άλλης πλευράς της πόρτας – fores, foreigner όχι υπερβολικά στον ρυθμό, odd όχι κανονικός όχι συνήθης σπάνιος ιδιάζων seltsam παράξενος besherat γενναίος κομψός απρόβλεπτος στραβός verschroben

λοξός αναπάντεχος εξαιρετικός εκπληκτικός

 

Είναι εκπληκτικό πόσες λέξεις εκφράσεις τρόπους διαφορετικούς έχουμε για να μιλήσουμε για τον παράξενο ξένο τον ausländer τον έξω από τη χώρα και όχι «pays avec nous» όπως λέγαμε κάποτε στη Γαλλία «c’est un pays à moi» για να πούμε κάποιος από το χωριό μου τη γειτονιά μου την περιοχή μου την πατρίδα μου

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Jean-Luc Nancy

غریبه‌ها غریبه‌ها

Etrange (غریب) در زبان فرانسوی از ریشه لاتین extraneus به معنای «خارجی» در برابر داخلی intraneus است. آنچه از خانه نیست unheimlich (امر غریب) از heim (خانه) نیست از منزل نیست در طرف دیگر دروازه fores است foreigner (خارجی)، خارج از ضرب و زیادی است odd (زاید) ناهنجار نامعمول نادر کمیاب تکی است seltsam (عجیب) عجیب و غریب besherat رشید ظریف پراوهام خمیده‌‌ verschroben (بد خو) خمیده شگفت‌ آور خارق‌ العاده حیرت‌ انگیز

غنای زبان امری غریب است در کلماتی که به نحوی حولِ مفهومِ غریبِ خارجی ausländer شکل گرفته اند خارج از کشور «هم‌‌ کشور ما» همانگونه  که پیش‌ تر در فرانسه می‌ گفتیم «این کشور من است» برای اشاره به کسی از روستای من محله‌ ی من استان من ولایت من

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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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The world is all that is the case
The world is all that is the case

Françoise Armengaud, Annabelle Buxton

Wittgenstein’s Rhinoceros

The two young men meet up at the Cambridge railroad station. While waiting for the train, they browse the shelves of the station bookshop. All of a sudden, Wittgenstein grabs Pinsent’s arm: “Look at the title of this book!” “What a coincidence!” exclaims Pinsent, “It is perfect for you!” Both start to laugh. They purchase the novel of a famous English detective novelist entitled A Rhinoceros in the Library. Wittgenstein is very excited. “David, listen carefully,” he says to Pinsent. “I already have three things...
  • young readers
  • logics
  • Wittgenstein
  • thinking
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Tom McCarthy

Ecstasy of inauthenticity

The question of authenticity and I go back some way; we’re old sparring partners – frenemies. It’s been a fraught relationship, shot through with paradox and misconstruing. My first novel, Remainder, does turn around its protagonist’s obsession with becoming ‘real’, inhabiting his era or his city, building, skin, movements and gestures in a ‘first-hand’ or ‘authentic’ way, an obsession which he carries to the point of murder. Yet the pleasure of seeing this book receiving glowing press reviews that praised it for its ‘originality’ and ‘true’-ness was tinged with an awareness of something being odd or ‘off’, since Remainder is in fact the most un-original of novels, a novel about non-originality and simulacra that’s quite blatantly composed of set tropes and constructed situations reprised and, only slightly modified, replayed from sources ranging from Ballard’s Crash and Beckett’s Godot back to Sterne’s Tristram Shandy (Uncle Toby’s domestic re-stagings of battle terrains)...

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  • identity
  • Jacques Lacan
  • contemporary literature
  • psychoanalysis