Tag Archives: Heidegger

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

Posted in Britain Today, Current Affairs, Europe, German Literature, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German, Who are you? | Tagged , , , , ,

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

Posted in A Shoe Story, Europe, German Literature, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

A Year in Philosophy

  According to A.J. Ayer, the history of philosophy, in the hands of ‘the old men’ who ran Oxford philosophy before the war, consisted in ‘repeating what Plato had said’.The annual lecture series at London’s Royal Insitute of Philosophy, in … Continue reading

Posted in Anyone's Game - my latest novel, Philosophy and Philosophers, Things German | Tagged , , , ,

The Natural History of Destruction

The title, and the concept, belong to W.G. (“Max”) Sebald, who died so tragically young. I suggested in my book A Shoe Story that a literal translation of Luftkrieg und Literatur [‘Airwar and Literature’] would have been more helpful and drawn more … Continue reading

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Siegfried Kracauer’s idea of ‘Mass Ornament’

Mass society as its own ornament was how the German social critic Siegfried Kracauer understood the street life of the dying years of the Weimar Republic. You can find this clever idea which brings us right to the present day … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Britain Today, Current Affairs, Things German, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Bad Boys of Philosophy

Here’s a passage I so admired in a review in the Times Literary Supplement, my weekly reading, five years ago, that I’ve kept it earmarked ever since. It sums up what philosophy means to many of us who take it … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Nietzsche in Turin, Philosophy and Philosophers, The Secret Artist A Close Reading of Sigmund Freud | Tagged , , , ,

Getting away to Europe to write: an English confession

I had to get away from my desk. From the train window, on this nearly last day of April, the sun shone through a basin of mist somewhere in Essex.  Between glances through the thick window, the phrase ‘the ecstases … Continue reading

Posted in A Shoe Story, Art History, Cold War, Current Affairs, Europe, Philosophy and Philosophers, Who are you?, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment