‘Nausea’ And Psychedelia: Was Antoine Roquentin Tripping?

My re-reading of Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre‘s existentialist classic, for this semester’s independent study on existentialism has now prompted me to blog on it two days in a row. Today, I find myself returning to a question which I had first considered a couple of decades ago during my first reading of Nausea: Was Antoine RoquentinContinue reading “‘Nausea’ And Psychedelia: Was Antoine Roquentin Tripping?”

Jean-Paul Sartre On ‘An Odd Moment In The Afternoon’

In Jean-Paul Sartre‘s Nausea, Antoine Roquentin offers us a characteristically morose reflection about a very particular hour of the day: Three o’clock. Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do. An odd moment in the afternoon. Today it is intolerable. [New Directions edition, 2007; pp. 14] Monsieur Roquentin isContinue reading “Jean-Paul Sartre On ‘An Odd Moment In The Afternoon’”

Reviewing Doug Henwood’s ‘My Turn’ In Jacobin Magazine

My review of Doug Henwood‘s book My Turn: Hillary Clinton Takes Aim At The Presidency has just been published by Jacobin Magazine. Here is a pull-quote: [Henwood’s] insistence on grounding his many rhetorical and analytical fusillades in the material conditions of US life ensures that his detailed, unflinching look at the Clintons’ long public history cannot beContinue reading “Reviewing Doug Henwood’s ‘My Turn’ In Jacobin Magazine”

From Austerlitz To Auschwitz

I’ve only recently read Elie Wiesel‘s Night (last week, in fact), and as is my habit, I skipped the preface (by Robert McAfee Brown) and the foreword (by François Mauriac) and went straight to the text. Once I was done, I returned to these preliminary sections. In the foreword, I read Mauriac describe his encounter with a youngContinue reading “From Austerlitz To Auschwitz”

Donald Trump And Organized Labor’s Death Wish

Over at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi makes note of a distinctive and troubling feature of modern American political life, the seeming death wish of American organized labor: Every four years, some Democrat who’s been a lifelong friend of labor runs for president. And every four years, that Democrat gets thrown over by national labor bossesContinue reading “Donald Trump And Organized Labor’s Death Wish”

My Daughter And The Hillary Clinton Candidacy

In the first draft of my review–forthcoming in Jacobin–of Doug Henwood‘s My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets The Presidency, I had included some lines that did not survive the first editorial take on my submission (I await, with some trepidation, the next editorial lowering of the boom.) Here is how it read: Hilary is no…Eleanor Roosevelt…sheContinue reading “My Daughter And The Hillary Clinton Candidacy”

Democracy, The ‘Anti-National,’ And The Seditionist

In my essay in The Los Angeles Review of Books on the Puerto Rican nationalist Oscar López Rivera, currently serving a fifty-five year jail term in Federal prison for seditious conspiracy, I had written: The Alien and Sedition Acts of 1798 remain a blot on American democracy; John Adams deeply regretted — till the dayContinue reading “Democracy, The ‘Anti-National,’ And The Seditionist”

Tim Parks On Writerly Conformity

At The New York Review of Books blog, Tim Parks writes of the “general and ever increasing anxious desire to receive positive feedback” on writing: It is a situation that leads to…an intensification of conformity, people falling over themselves to be approved of….Announce an article…on Facebook and you can count, as the hours go by,Continue reading “Tim Parks On Writerly Conformity”

The February 16th Brooklyn College Student Coalition Protests

On Tuesday, February 16th, in my capacity as departmental delegate for the philosophy department, I attended the monthly Faculty Council Meeting at Brooklyn College. During the meeting, members of the Brooklyn College Student Coalition, who were attending the meeting (as non-voting observers), staged a protest action, which consisted of a reading out of their demandsContinue reading “The February 16th Brooklyn College Student Coalition Protests”

Turgenev’s Hamlet And Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man

This semester, I’m running an independent study on existentialism with a pair of students from the English department here at Brooklyn College. Our reading list includes seven novels, four plays, and extracts from several philosophical texts. We kicked off our readings two weeks ago with Dostoyevsky‘s Notes from Underground. Because my students had purchased theContinue reading “Turgenev’s Hamlet And Dostoyevsky’s Underground Man”