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One of the Guardian Unlimited Books' top 10 literary blogs: "A home-grown treasure ... smart, serious analysis"

The Bookaholics' Guide to Book Blogs: "Mark Thwaite ... has a maverick, independent mind"

Tuesday 14 February 2006

Mitchell on Heidegger ... and John Gray

The enowning blog brings my attention to a blogcasted conversation with Andrew Mitchell about the philosophy of Heidegger. (More on Stanford podcasts.) Mitchell is a Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Stanford University with research interests in contemporary continental philosophy, philosophy and literature, and he is in conversation (the programme is called Entitled Opinions and it has a great archive, with programmes on Robert Musil, Michel Tournier, Virgil, Proust, Camus and more) with Robert Harrison (author of the superb The Dominion of the Dead).

enowning itself has recently had some interesting things to say about the provocative John Gray. For me, Gray's anti-humanism is leaden and unsophisticated and you can sense that the bloke was once scarily right-wing, but he seems to be what passes muster as a public intellectual these days so I'm glad to see enowning bothering to read him carefully:

Gray is here following a common pattern: Heidegger is considered an important philosopher by those who have read him; I don't understand him; Heidegger was a Nazi; Nazism is universally condemned; I'll simply dismiss Heidegger's way of thinking by ascribing his politics to it. It is, of course, Heidegger's own fault that his critics can avail themselves of this excuse, but it doesn't say much for the critics either.

Posted by Mark Thwaite
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Reader Comments

Sunday 22 April 2007

Rob says...

I'm not sure what you mean by "scarily right-wing". From what i read he was a free marketeer but then denounced it in his book" False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism".

Monday 23 April 2007

Mark says...

Hi Rob,

I wrote, "Gray's anti-humanism is leaden and unsophisticated and you can sense that the bloke was ONCE scarily right-wing."



Monday 23 April 2007

Rob says...

I don't think he was. His many books before straw dogs suggest he was more of a liberal than he is now. He now thinks liberalism and the human race would be better off dead. If anything, he's more right wing.

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Memorial Tablet

Squire nagged and bullied till I went to fight,
(Under Lord Derby’s Scheme). I died in hell—
(They called it Passchendaele). My wound was slight,
And I was hobbling back; and then a shell
Burst slick upon the duck-boards: so I fell
Into the bottomless mud, and lost the light.

At sermon-time, while Squire is in his pew,
He gives my gilded name a thoughtful stare:
For, though low down upon the list, I’m there;
‘In proud and glorious memory’... that’s my due.
Two bleeding years I fought in France, for Squire:
I suffered anguish that he’s never guessed.
Once I came home on leave: and then went west...
What greater glory could a man desire?

-- Siegfried Sassoon
Collected Poems (Faber and Faber)

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The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or two

Pre-order Anu Garg's new book: The Dord, the Diglot, and an Avocado or Two: The Hidden Lives and Strange Origins of Common and Not-So-Common Words (ISBN 9780452288614), published by Penguin more …

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The New Spirit of Capitalism The New Spirit of Capitalism
Luc Boltanski; Eve Chiapello
Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM Horizons Touched: The Music of ECM
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