Urbicide

Penski, Max. Three Kinds of Ruin: Heidegger, Benjamin, Sebald. Poligrafi, 2011.

Max Pensky analyzes “urbicide” of the European cities in the Second World War and the way urbicide was reflected in thinking of three key successive cultural figures: Heidegger, Benjamin, and Sebald. For Heidegger, it is a project of “re-pastoralization of Germany’s shattered cities,” Benjamin wrests “the power of the image of the ruin from the experience of the big city,” and Sebald seeks “to recuperate a discourse of the ruin as site of moral catechism.”

A Tiny Note On Wittgenstein’s Method

Wittgenstein makes two strong claims in the (extremely short) Preface to the work of his life, and the most widely read work of his, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus.

First, “Indeed what I have here written makes no claim to novelty in points of detail; and therefore I give no sources, because it is indifferent to me whether what I have thought has already been thought before me by another.”

And the second, possible only in connection with the first, “the truth of the thoughts communicated here seems to me unassailable and definitive.”

This is, I am afraid (and exhilarated) to say, is how all great books are written. In a great silence with which only eternity is capable to provide us.

 

The Human in People-Altered Landscapes

I’m presenting at “The Extra-Human” 13th Annual Graduate Conference in Comparative Literature on Sunday, September, 25th; University of Texas in Austin, SAC 3.106, Balcony A.

The panel starts at 12:15.

My presentation is entitled Russian Literature on Bratsk Dam: the Human in People-Altered Landscapes of Soviet Industrialization.

I’m going to display visual material which had never been shown before, and talk about rare texts which were never translated into English.