Category Archives: Uncategorized

Arrival’s Fatalism

If all time is eternally present All time is unredeemable. — T S Eliot, ‘Burnt Norton’ * For those who have not seen Denis Villeneuve’s 2016 science fiction film Arrival, I’ll offer a brief synopsis. Spoiler alert. The film opens … Continue reading

Posted in Arrival, Denis Villeneuve, film, free will, metaphysics, philosophy, science fiction, Ted Chiang, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The irreducible significance of literature: David Wellbery on Goethe, Cavell and de Man

David E. Wellbery is LeRoy T. and Margaret Deffenbaugh Carlson Professor at University of Chicago, where he chairs the Department of Germanic Studies and is a member of the Committee on Social Thought. A renowned scholar of the German tradition, … Continue reading

Posted in academia, aesthetic experience, aesthetics, cognitivism, Goethe, idealism, interviews, literary form, literature, Paul de Man, philosophy, poetry, Stanley Cavell, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Literature Away from Home: Jake Schneider on Translation, Little Magazines and More

Jake Schneider is the editor-in-chief of SAND, Berlin’s English literary journal. His translation of Ron Winkler’s poetry collection Fragmentierte Gewässer (Fragmented Waters) was released by Shearsman Books last October. He works as a freelance translator from German to English. Interview by Chris Fenwick SAND is … Continue reading

Posted in Berlin, Germany, interviews, language, languages, literature, magazines, poetry, translation, Uncategorized, writing | Leave a comment

The Totality of Facts

In 2013 I attended the European Quizzing Championship in Liverpool and wrote a piece about it. The original was so long and misshapen it took me two years to get around to editing it. I finally did, and it’s up … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetic experience, Berlin, criticism, cultural memory, David Markson, essay, ethics, Frances Yates, memory, philosophy, quizzing, Uncategorized, Wittgenstein | Leave a comment

Ana Lily Amirpour, ‘A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night’ (2015): Redacted Facebook rant

It’s all surface. Every shot is pure style, but not in a good way. It’s got the logic of a music video: simply an excuse for letting cool images float around. Yes, you can talk about that kind of language … Continue reading

Posted in Ana Lily Amirpour, bullshit, criticism, film, pointless rants, postmodernism, reviews, Uncategorized, Wes Anderson | Leave a comment

Brandom on genealogy and semantic naiveté

Last week, Berlin played host to a great conference on Robert Brandom, specifically the Hegel book that’s been appearing on his website over the last few years. The line-up was impressive: John McDowell, Robert Pippin and Terry Pinkard all presented, … Continue reading

Posted in concepts, genealogy, Hegel, ideology, inferentialism, philosophy, Robert Brandom, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

If an artwork is morally dubious, does that make it aesthetically bad?

This stupid question needlessly dominates so much discourse about the “ethical criticism” of artworks. I wish it could be torpedoed out of sight. The question is stupid because (i) the answer is obviously “no”; (ii) it risks conflating two forms … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetic experience, aesthetics, criticism, ethical criticism, ethics, philosophy, pointless rants, Uncategorized | Leave a comment