John Pistelli

writer

My Year in Books, 2018

Looking back, I see that I did a lot of rereading in 2018. Some of it was out of necessity (teaching), and some for pleasure. Some of it showed up … Continue reading

31 December 2018 · Leave a comment

Terry Eagleton, Literary Theory: An Introduction

Literary Theory: An Introduction by Terry Eagleton My rating: 3 of 5 stars Strange the books one fails to read. The very fact that you are supposed to have read … Continue reading

13 December 2018 · 1 Comment

Theodor Adorno, Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life

Minima Moralia: Reflections on a Damaged Life by Theodor W. Adorno My rating: 5 of 5 stars It helps to know that this 1951 book, an unclassifiable philosophical masterpiece consisting … Continue reading

28 November 2018 · 3 Comments

Samuel Johnson, Selected Essays

Selected Essays by Samuel Johnson My rating: 4 of 5 stars This Penguin Classics collection of essays by the great English critic and moralist Samuel Johnson is devoted largely to … Continue reading

6 October 2018 · 2 Comments

Richard Rorty, Achieving Our Country

Achieving Our Country: Leftist Thought in Twentieth-Century America by Richard M. Rorty My rating: 2 of 5 stars Richard Rorty is a Pragmatist philosopher: he believes that ideas and actions … Continue reading

4 May 2018 · 1 Comment

Elaine Pagels, The Gnostic Gospels

The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels My rating: 4 of 5 stars In this 1979 classic of popular non-fiction, religious scholar Elaine Pagels explains to a broad audience the theological … Continue reading

8 November 2017 · 1 Comment

Why Speech Is Not Violence

Psychologist Lisa Feldman Barrett has written an article for the New York Times entitled “When Speech Is Violence.” It begins: Imagine that a bully threatens to punch you in the … Continue reading

15 July 2017 · 4 Comments

Boris Groys, In the Flow

In the Flow by Boris Groys My rating: 4 of 5 stars For a long time, God was our anchor: the gaze of the deity secured our place in the … Continue reading

1 July 2017 · 3 Comments

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 … Continue reading

25 June 2017 · 4 Comments

Carlo Rovelli, Seven Brief Lessons on Physics

Seven Brief Lessons on Physics by Carlo Rovelli My rating: 4 of 5 stars Now I am not going to go so far out of my depth—or so far off-brand—as … Continue reading

20 June 2017 · 1 Comment