February 15, 2016 at 1:02 am (China, Literature, Lu Xun, Nietzsche, Poetry, Romanticism, Uncategorized)
Tags: Bataille, Bryon, China, Chinese Literature, comedy, Cultural Revolution, Literature, Lu Xun, Nietzsche, philosophy, Revolution, Shelley, tragedy, Xi Jinping
Daggers and Spears: Lu Xun and Nietzsche on Cultural Revolution
O my brothers, not long will it be until new peoples will arise and new fountains rush down into new depths.
For the earthquake—it chokes up many wells, it causes much languishing: but it brings also to light inner powers and secrets.
The earthquake discloses new fountains. In the earthquake of old peoples, new fountains burst forth.
Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra, ‘On the Old and New Law Tablets’, 25.
Lu Xun – On ‘China’s Nietzsche’
Lu Xun was nineteen when Nietzsche died in 1900. He had already begun to write poetry, in classical Chinese style, and came into contact with Western literature in Nanking, where he attended a mining school. It was not until the following year however that he, with a government stipend to study mining in Japan, intensified his relationship with the available threads of world literature, European, British, and Russian – and Nietzsche. The work of which he had the most access was Thus Spoke Zarathustra and Japanese renditions of his thought, including the Untimely Meditations. Lu Xun travelled to Japan at the right time – amid the chaos of the post- war years, the reformation toward modernity, Japan sought to become an industrial and military power with the aid of Western, i.e. ‘Modern,’ science, including Western medicine and literature.
Lu Xun immediately recognized the political and cultural significance of literature, especially that of the English Romantics, Byron and Shelley (to the exclusion of the more introspective poets Wordsworth and Keats) in their individuality and defiance of a corrupt and oppressive cultural and political order. He found a similar though deeper message in Nietzsche, one simultaneously of a poetic and philosophical order. Yet, it is the meaning of this influence, and of Nietzsche’s message, that has remained controversial.
This current writing will be an attempt to dissolve this controversy through the exposure of the intellectual and artistic affinities of Lu Xun and Nietzsche upon their own respective and overlapping topoi. It could be argued that Nietzsche had his most immediate impact in Japan, which already by 1903 (at a time which Lu Xun was already in Japan) had a ‘Nietzsche Dispute’, and had experienced ‘Nietzsche fever.’ Such an intellectual event could hardly have been missed by Lu Xun, and his first essays of 1907 and 1908 mention Nietzsche, echo Nietzsche, yet, from the perspective of a Chinese radical democratic ‘Mara’ poet.
Lu Xun is not served well by the name of ‘China’s Nietzsche’ – unless, that is, it is clear what we mean by ‘Nietzsche’. Such clarity seems to have been lacking in many of the early receptions of Nietzsche, especially in regards to the notion of the Übermensch, which in the context of the early Japanese reception resembles more closely Zarathustra’s ape, a caricature of Zarathustra, of which Nietzsche had already anticipated, and which he warned would be due to poor reading, in his own prophesy of widespread mis-understanding of his philosophy. In this light, I will cast into the light the caricature of Nietzsche in order to exorcise it from our subsequent discussions.
To read the rest of the essay, please visit Daggers and Spears: Lu Xun and Nietzsche on Cultural Revolution.
January 24, 2016 at 4:05 am (Adorno, Aesthetics, Art, Cultural Revolution, Death, Derrida, German Romanticism, Hegel, Heidegger, Holderlin, Kant, Literature, Nietzsche, Poetry, Revolution, Temporality, Uncategorized)
Tags: Adorno, Badiou, Derrida, Empedocles, Foucault, Heidegger, Holderlin, Kant, Mortality, Nietzsche, Poetics, Walter Benjamin
June 13, 2015 at 1:02 am (Aesthetics, deconstruction, French Revolution, Holderlin, philosophy, Poetry, Revolution, Romanticism, Temporality)
Tags: Adorno, ancient greek philosophy, Benjamin, constructivism, death, deconstruction, Derrida, Foucault, Heidegger, Holderlin, Mortality, Nietzsche, nihilism, philosophy, Poetics, poetry, Romanticism
Mortal Thought will be published in 28 July 2016 by Bloomsbury Publishing.
Holderlin and Philosophy
Mortal Thought explores the radical philosophical innovations of the poet-philosopher Friedrich Hölderlin (1770-1843) and their seminal influence upon philosophy from the 19th century to the present day. The study casts into relief Hölderlin as a tragic philosopher in the age of romanticism, responsible, according to Foucault, for the radical ‘return of time’ to Western thought. Beginning with the point of departure of Hölderlin in Kant and the post-Kantian debates, Luchte explores the emergence of Hölderlin as poet-philosopher and revolutionary, his influence upon the four dominant strands of Continental philosophy – Nietzsche, Heidegger, Critical Theory and post-structuralism – and his relevance for our own era.
May 11, 2015 at 5:33 am (Anti-Austerity, Banks, Bataille, Censorship, Creativity, Death, deconstruction, Dionysian, Dionysus, European Left, Great Britain, Hellenic Paganism, Joyce, Literature, Poetry, Tabloids, United Kingdom)
Tags: Anti-Austerity UK, Apocalypse, Corruption, dadaism, feminism, Ginsberg, Hugo Ball, Instant Karma, Literature, mayan prophecy, mythopoetics, Novel, Occupy, poetry, Protests, Radical Politics, Rebellion, Russell Brand, State Violence, Supernatural, surrealism, surveillance, United Kingdom
‘From the re-incarnation of a Dadaist Poet fixated on an Edwardian pornographic photo to the end of British Civilisation in an Apocalyptic Earthquake, this novel sprawls across the devastated landscape of the ‘teens of this century. The seedy underworld and the seedy overworld clash in a kaleidoscope of sex and violence leaving only the ‘feral children’ to make their own world from the wreckage.’
—- Robert Gilham
February 19, 2015 at 2:54 am (Anti-Austerity, Banks, Bataille, BBC Leaders Debates, Cameron, Creativity, Cultural Sustainability, Death, deconstruction, Deleuze, Democratic Community, Europe, European Central Bank, European Commission, European Union, Finance Capitalism, freedom, Greece, Greek philosophy, IMF, NATO, Occupy Democracy, Occupy London, Occupy Wall Street, Open Rights, philosophy, Poetry, Scotland, Syriza, Thrasymachus, Troika, Wales, Wales and the European Union)
Tags: democracy, Drop the Debt, ECB, European Commision, Greece, IMF, Let Greece Breathe, NATO, Syriza, Troika
February 8, 2015 at 5:16 am (Adorno, Aesthetics, Anti-Austerity, Banks, Bataille, BBC Leaders Debates, Being and Time, Brixton, Cameron, Campaign For Nuclear Disarmament, Captivation, China, Coalition Government, Creativity, Cultural Sustainability, Death, deconstruction, Deleuze, Democratic Community, Diogenes, Diversity, Dylan Thomas, Equality, European Union, Financial Crisis, General Election 2015, Greece, Greek philosophy, Green Politics, Hung Parliament, Inclusion, Innovation, New Left, Nietzsche, Occupy Britain, Open Rights, Poetry, Scotland, Squatting, Sustainability, Thrasymachus, UK General Elections 2015, Wales, Wales and the European Union)
Tags: Greece Solidarity Campaign, Mass Demonstration in Support of Syria and the Greek People 15 February 2015, Syriza, Syriza London
Athens Without Slavery:
The Battle for Europe
Syriza the the New European Left
‘First We Take Manhattan, Then We Take Berlin’ – Leonard Cohen
‘First We Take Athens, Then We Take Madrid’ – Syriza with Podemos
‘First We Take Athens, Then We Take London’ – Anti-Austerity UK
‘A Spectre is Haunting Europe…’ – Karl Marx
European Democracy and the Limits of American Hegemony
A spectre is haunting Europe, the spectre of Greek democracy.
We have been here before in Greece, of course… at least four times.
First, there is the celebrated original emergence of democracy millennia ago; second, the Greek War of Liberation from the Turks (1821-1832), immortalised by the poet Bryron; third, the attempt by Leftist partisan organisations (EAM, KKE, ELAS) to form a Provisional Government in 1946 (in the stead of the Right-Monarchist government, returned from exile, and elected in 1946 in elections which the Left had boycotted), but defeated by the intervention of the United States and the United Kingdom, thus beginning the Greek Civil War (1946-1949), which ended with thousands of deaths and Greek membership of NATO; and fourth, the re-emergence of democracy in 1974 after the fall of the US backed military junta installed in the 1967 pre-elections coup d’etat, the so-called ‘General’s Coup’, eventually replaced by the government of exiled Constantine Karamanlis, which put the monarchy up for a referendum, and with its rejection by the people, negotiated a new presidential constitution, and inaugurated the Greek Republic in 1975.
And, now, fifth, with the people’s mandate, Syriza, the Coalition of the Radical Left, has taken power in Athens – not ironically with the help or participation of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), who were re-legalised in 1974 – promising the people of Greece not only the ‘end of austerity’, privatisation, unfair strike laws, among other transformations, but also, and more fundamentally, the end to the system of oligarchy, propped up by seventy years of external intervention and centrist-conservative governance (New Democracy or PASOK).
Indeed, as we have repeatedly seen in recent modern and contemporary histories, democracy, the vote, the pebble (psḗphos) of the people does not often seem sufficient to challenge the hegemonic narrative of the victor of the war of Europe, the United States.
December 15, 2014 at 2:23 am (Aesthetics, Bataille, Being and Time, China, Chinese, Chinese New Left, deconstruction, Democratic Community, Mao Tse Tung, Marxism, Nietzsche, philosophy, Philosophy Lectures, Poetry, Taoism, Uncategorized, Wittgenstein)
Tags: Adorno, Aquinas, Aristotle, Augustine, Bataille, Critical Theory, Deleuze, Derrida, Early German Romanticism, Early Greek Thought, existentialism, Fichte, Foucault, Hegel, Heidegger, Holderlin, Kant, Lectures on Western Aesthetics, Marx, Nietzsche, Phenomenology, philosophy, Philosophy Lectures, Plato, Poetics, Post-structuralism, Ranciere, Renaissance, Romanticism, Sartre, Schelling, Schopenhauer, Shanghai University of Finance and Economics, temporality, tragedy, Walter Benjamin
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