Albert Camus, The Rebel

The Rebel: An Essay on Man in Revolt by Albert Camus My rating: 4 of 5 stars The Rebel is Albert Camus's answer, written in 1951, to the painful question of why the human attempt to overcome oppression, to destroy all religiously and socially prescribed hierarchies, led instead to fascism, communism, imperialism, and the softer … Continue reading Albert Camus, The Rebel

Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley My rating: 2 of 5 stars Don't ask me why I didn't read Brave New World when I was sixteen the way everybody else did—the powers-that-be never assigned it to me in school, and I'm only now catching up to it on my own. I should have read it … Continue reading Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows

In Praise of Shadows by Jun'ichirō Tanizaki My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is Japanese novelist Tanizaki's important essay on aesthetics, one of the great twentieth-century manifestos, though that term suggests a brawling and list-making modernity that Tanizaki is at pains to eschew. In fact, In Praise of Shadows belongs, roughly, to the anti-modern … Continue reading Jun’ichirō Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows

Why Texts Are Not Actions

(via Anthony) With all due respect to both scholars— And let me pause, because in this case I really mean that. Felski's Gender of Modernity is required reading for anyone interested in the socio-political history of modernism, while her recent article "After Suspicion" is crucial to developments in contemporary literary theory. As for Toril Moi, even … Continue reading Why Texts Are Not Actions