Thursday, October 22, 2009

My mom is reading Badiou's "The Century"


So I went to Paris with my mother back in June to celebrate her 50th. Had a great time, naturally. While there I picked up some titles by Alain Badiou, French philosopher of math/ontology and (Ultra-gauche) communist stalwart.
Having acquired there and quickly read Badiou's scathing recent book on Sarko, I passed it off to my mom, who has been slowly educating herself in philosophy ever since I started talking about it at the dinner table. She got a huge kick out of it, and went off to a local independent book seller to see what other titles this Badiou guy has on offer. She decided on "The Century", which I can tell you nothing about other than the fact that Badiou is talking about the epoch lasting from WW1 to the fall of actually existing socialism in the East. She is reading through it and occasionally gives me updates. She also plans to tackle his book on the idea/hypothesis of communism.
The point of this post is to flag the uncomfortable fact that my mom is slowly catching up to me in reading Badiou; perhaps one day she'll surpass me. Soon I'll be home for Christmas and I'll say something like "Mom, can you pass the salt?" and she'll say something like "The logic of the situation may only be interrupted by your fidelity to the event opening onto salt-having". And that won't necessarily be a bad thing, but I expect it will make my trips home less about r and r, and more about mathematically grounded communist militancy.

2 comments:

Devin Zane Shaw said...

Matt, I wrote a review of The Century but it is committed to the Radical Philosophy Review. I can send it to you though.

Devin Zane Shaw said...

Here's a teaser from my review:
"Moralization is the work of liberal democracy’s apologists and their accountants, whether humanitarian, or, ultimately, financial. After the fact, such [militant] sequences often appear ambiguous, and judging in retrospect risks anachronistic valuations and missing the truth of such sequences. For within a subjective militant sequence, the question is that of creating an alternative to the contemporary world, not morality.