Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Coming Soon: The Futures of Sartre's Critique

This month The Notes Taken will be commemorating the 50th anniversary of the publication of Jean-Paul Sartre's Critique of Dialectical Reason, which includes contributions from Mark Raymond Brown (University of Ottawa), Caleb Heldt (a graduate student at the University of Warwick), and T Storm Heter (author of Sartre's Ethics of Engagement [see here], and professor at East Stroudsburg University). I am also laboring to get a short piece together.

These essays will begin running early next week, and during this time our regular contributors will continue to post. Until then, though, a few pieces that I highly recommend:
  • In the London Review of Books, Perry Anderson reviews several recent books on the ascendancy of China and the transformations that follow therefrom. Whether negative or positive, Anderson finds that a recent kind of 'Sinomania' is growing.
  • In The Nation, an article by Nathaniel Popper details the non-relationship between Raul Hilberg, author of The Destruction of the European Jews, and Hannah Arendt. Arendt seems to have borrowed quite heavily from Hilburg's book, sometimes without attribution. I don't know if that is the worst thing an academic can do, but if it's compounded by the fact that she had previously recommended against its publication when she reviewed it for Princeton's press...well, that's something else.
  • Finally, an interview with Gideon Levy, author of the forthcoming The Punishment of Gaza. (Norman Finkelstein also has a book on the recent assault on Gaza, entitled 'This Time We Went Too Far.') Levy's estimation of the Israeli media: "There is an enormous historic role that the Israeli media is playing. The Israeli media, which is a free media, free of censorship, free of governmental pressure, has been dehumanizing the Palestinians, demonizing them. Without the cooperation of the Israeli media, the occupation would not have lasted so long. It is destructive in ways I cannot even describe. It's not Romania, it's not Soviet Russia. It's a free democracy, the media could play any role but it has chosen to play this role. The main thing is about the flow of information. It is so one-sided, so much propaganda and lies and ignorance."

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