Category Archives: Europe

A German Idealist on Globalization – and what he might have to say to an anti-Brexiteer

  Rüdiger Safranski is one of the best-known philosophers in contemporary Germany. Together with his many prizes, the highly rated television programme, Philosophisches Quartett, ‘The Philosophical Quarter’, he has presented with Peter Sloterdijk, since 2002, has secured his name. In … Continue reading

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Adorno, the Frankfurt School and the Soul of Europe

No one who has read Theodore Adorno would have been surprised by last summer’s Charlie Hebdo cartoon when Amatrice, an Italian town otherwise known for its pasta sauce, suffered a fatal earthquake. The French magazine with its satirical pasta shapes … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Britain Today, Europe, Frankfurt School, German Literature, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German | Tagged , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Derrida: A very short defence

The critic Terry Eagleton recently published a review in The Times Literary Supplement (9 June 2016) in which he noted the passing of poststructuralism as an event without mourners. This was my response with regard to his observations on Jacques … Continue reading

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Tony Blair: Idealist, Liberal or just Confused?

People fell in love with Tony Blair when he was elected Labour Prime Minister in May 1997.  Ten years later they hated him. Parliament had been lied to over the Iraq war. There never were convincing reasons to believe Iraqi … Continue reading

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Victor Klemperer, the German-Jewish academic who chronicled everyday life in Hitler’s Germany

Victor Klemperer was a German-Jewish academic whose survival of the Hitler years made possible his unique and irreplaceable testimony. Through 1931-1945 he kept detailed diaries of daily life in Dresden. There were sketches of a few friends who became Nazi … Continue reading

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Vaclav Havel died four years ago: Leaving was his last play

Former Czech President and dissident leader Vaclav Havel died on December 18, 2011. To the end he wanted to return to his first calling, as a playwright. His success on stage was part of the Cold War as we knew it, … Continue reading

Posted in Cold War, Europe, Literature in Translation, Theatre, Writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Thomas Mann, Freud and Music

Thomas Mann’s reputation as a writer rests on three or four great achievements. One was to have achieved the consummate novel of ideas.[1] In the quarter century after his death in 1955 this view prevailed.  The Magic Mountain  (1924) was … Continue reading

Posted in Europe, German Literature, Nietzsche in Turin, Philosophy and Philosophers, The Secret Artist A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud, Things German | Tagged , , , , , ,