Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Further Suggestions for BHL's Research

Not that I thought that many of the nouveaux philosophes had much intellectual integrity, but the latest news on Bernard-Henri Lévy, television personality and bloviator at large, is that BHL's current book, entitled De la guerre en philosophie, cites a hoax source to support his arguments against Immanuel Kant. The Telegraph UK reports that
In his book, which has received lavish praise from some quarters, the open-shirted Mr Lévy lays into the philosopher Immanuel Kant as being unhinged and a "fake". To support his claims, he cites a certain Jean-Baptiste Botul, whom he describes as a post-War authority on Kant. But the chorus of approval turned to laughter after a journalist from Le Nouvel Observateur pointed out that Mr Botul does not exist: he is a fictional character created in by a contemporary satirical journalist, Frédéric Pagès. [...]

But Mr Lévy missed the joke, citing Mr Botul from a "series of lectures to the neo-Kantians of Paraguay" he supposedly gave after the war, in which he said that "their hero was an abstract fake, a pure spirit of pure appearance".
With or without his intellectual integrity intact, I'm sure Mr. BHL will continue to write, so let me suggest a few more avenues of research. There are, in fact, several dangerous writers moving in little-known fascist circles in the Americas that BHL might want to discredit. They are first profiled in Roberto Bolaño's path-breaking Nazi Literature in the Americas, which was published in translation by New Directions in 2008.

BHL might want to refute, first, Luiz Fontaine Da Souza (1900-1977), a Brazilian writer who dedicated much of his work to attacking the legacy of French Enlightenment philosophy in a series of Refutations aimed at Voltaire (1921), Diderot (1925), Montesquieu (1930) and Rousseau (1932). However, no threat, for Fontaine, loomed as large as the ascendency of existentialism and the work of Jean-Paul Sartre, to whom he dedicated six volumes of criticism. Five volumes of his Critique of Being and Nothingness appeared in his lifetime from 1955-1962, and a sixth was neither completed nor published. Taking on the work of Fontaine ought to be personal for BHL.

Then there are a few other fascist writers still living. The include the American novelist Harry Silebius, sci-fi writers Gustavo Borda and Zach Sodenstern, and poet and land artist Willy Schürholz. What they share in common is anti-semitism. Silebius, of Richmond, Virginia, has dedicated several novels to the scenario that Hitler's forces conquer North America. Borda's science fiction has gained him some recognition in his native Guatamala, while Sodenstern's series on the Fourth Reich in America have been made into cult films.

However, the most scorn and most serious philosophical journalism should be reserved for Schürholz, whose career rests on his land art. He's produced nothing like the well-known Spiral Jetty, instead this fascist poet has dug the maps of what he has called an "ideal concentration camp" in deserts in Atacama, Arizona, and a wheat field in Colorado.

BHL should act now before these pernicious characters gain more influence and notoriety, as Silebius, according to Bolaño's research, does not die until 2014, Borda until 2016, Sodenstern until 2021, and Schürholz, who holds a Chilean cultural attaché position in Angola, until 2029.

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