Newsletter October 2015
Le temps — time and weather, when weather encounters time. In Delhi too, just like anywhere else, complying to the shivers of these times, the first whisps of winter tickled our tips. Autumn was certainly the favourite season of Nietzsche: chromatic patchworks of all pastels, recalling the immediate heritage of Romanticism, unavoidable bedrock, necessary quicksands for the impulsion of his affirmative life philosophy. Contemplation of the time-less season, temptation of entering an eternal pause, reinvigoration of energy and will.
The Romantic and its day-after: An Ethics of Love, already old of its third spring, of its third autumn too, invites Levinas and his ethics turned towards the Other, at the table of love, its memories and its transformations. Active or reactive thought — once again — the thinker caught between the honesty of experience and the force of ambition. Philosophy as the writing of, writing off of memory, but one day too, philosophy as the reading of old memories. Philosophy in the present day too, always, veiled too, behind the prose of a writer, and the rhymes of a poet. Philippe Muray left us a decade back, but his bitter puns at the many faces of the French good conscience point towards a cultural landscape that has only worsened through the years. Elsewhere praised for his tingly portrayal of 2007 presidential candidate Ségolène Royale, Muray here attacks the “alter-globalised” ethos of a string of French humanitarianism, in what is here the first English translation of the poem.
Other traces of another time: Michel Foucault on the disappearance of the author, the comedies of historical records in pre-Colonial India, the Oedipean killing of philosophy’s birth in Greece. Saadat Hansan Manto finds another romantic, near a car repair station, while the Perfume turns sour in its orgiac fantasies. And finally a few words, shy and tentative, about all the small silences that marked a certain history of spirituality.
. . .
A Play with Science
|Friedrich Nietzsche, Science, Morals, Force, Value, Transvaluation
It is often more in opposition to previous thinkers, than in accordance with them, that a philosopher finds his position. In this perspective, Nietzsche may be to Kant what Aristotle was to Plato, or Marx to Hegel: the intellectual revolt, the symmetrical inversion of the master’s doctrine…
|Khushia, or the hesitant gaze
|The Author Function
S.H. Manto, Looking, Intimacy, Masculinity, Prostitution
Michel Foucault, Author,
“Khushia” is a short story written in 1940 by Indian novelist Saadat Hansan Manto. The story revolves around a pimp, Khushia, who finds himself destabilized after a brief exchange with one of his prostitutes. Behind the relatively common theme of prostitution, it is masculinity, its foundation and its doubts that Manto critically addresses in this short story…
When Michel Foucault addresses the question of the author, his horizon is already that of the systems of ideological controls of modern society. In 1969, Foucault presented a lecture entitled “What is an Author?” echoing the postmodern considerations of Barthes’ “Death of the Author”, published two years before…
Romance, Horizon, Future, Face-to-Face, Loved Other,
Levinas, Separation, Art, Teaching, Politics, Everyday
This is why through the face
|An Ethics of Love
and the Loved Other
|Love and Time
and Remaining the Other
|An Ethics of Love
|An Ethics of Love
|The Art of Cacolfacty
|Humor and Historical Writing
Textures of Time, Karanam,
South India, Counter-Power, Humor
When Perfume starts, the setting, 17th c. Paris, is so naturalistically presented that it seems ten times filthier than an Indian railway station. Tom Tykwer does not make concessions to portray a natal fish market as merely more welcoming than a coffin…
The inspection of any of the ancient historical records discussed by Narayana Rao, Shulman and Subrahmanyam in Textures of Time (2001), reveals one extremely striking feature: most of these narratives are particularly comical…
|Muray’s Poetic Imagination
|Philippe Muray, Sarcasm, French Society, Globalization, Naivety
French poet, writer and philosopher Philippe Muray was one of those brilliant artists who waited to be dead to become famous. In 2010, four years after Muray’s demise, the adulated French actor Fabrice Luchini would read some of his poems as a part of his acclaimed theatrical performances…
|From Myth to Philosophy
to Talk on the Self:
A Literary Device?
Ancient Greece, Homer, Hesiod, Milesians, Science, Myth
Ancient India, Guru, Spirituality, Enlightenment, Silence, Resistance
The emergence of Greek philosophy was, for a long time, considered as a sort of uncaused miracle in the history of ancient thought. Views have changed and it is now accepted that philosophy did not come into life from a vacuum: it has certain roots in ancient intellectual and artistic life of Greece…
The sage is silent; the student awaits the word. This image has almost become a trope. A master could not be a true one, his knowledge cannot be so special, if it is one that can be spread without any sense of caution…