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Steven Earnshaw

-​raising on the part of individual readers and society. What looks like an inability to control a self-​destructive drinking habit is also a determination to drink at all costs, as she describes how her being ‘rescued’ always involves being treated as an animal who has no discipline, where putative saviours talk about her in the third person, clean her up, eliminate the booze, take away clothes and belongings, lock her in:  ‘Oh, but it’s not so awful. After the first time it happens, you realise  –​they can’t keep it up forever, they have other concerns, they lose patience

in The Existential drinker
Steven Earnshaw

technocratic governance. Rhys’s four novels present the reader with a complex of self, consciousness, and modernity, inflected by an argument that women are forced to live differently in the world from men, and therefore experience and understand the world differently from men. One of the major achievements of the novels is the way in which they render the various states of consciousness of the female protagonist in the modern world, and what I look at in this chapter is the way in which Rhys integrates questions of gender, consciousness, modernity, alcohol, and the self

in The Existential drinker
Abstract only
Hélène Cixous and the feminine divine

This book is about abundant, generous, other-regarding love. In the history of Western ideas of love, such a configuration has been inseparable from our ideas about divinity and the sacred, often reserved only for God and rarely thought of as a human achievement. The book is a substantial engagement with Cixous's philosophies of love, inviting the reader to reflect on the conditions of subjectivity that just might open us to something like a divine love of the other. It follows this thread in this genealogy of abundant love: the thread that connects the subject of love from fifth-century-b.c.e. Greece and Plato, to the twentieth-century protestant theology of agapic love of Anders Nygren, to the late twentieth-century poetico-philosophy of Hélène Cixous.

Open Access (free)
In the beginning was song
Mads Qvortrup

profound implications for his philosophy. The whole tenor of his prose had a musical aura about it. His works were composed rather than written – which, perhaps, explains his eloquence. Readers of Rousseau’s work in the original French have been struck by the rhythmical patterns. Rousseau’s prose reads as a melody: ‘just as in his musical compositions, in his prose Jean-Jacques knew how to quicken and retard tempo for the sake of emphasis’ (McDowell 1968: 19). This musical quality was not unintended. Through the melodious tone he wanted to prove a philosophical point

in The political philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau
Rupture and integration in the wake of total war

The development of the European Union as a community-based project of integration with decision-making powers outside the constitutional architecture of the nation-state is the most significant innovation in twentieth-century political organisation. It raises fundamental questions about our understanding of the state, sovereignty, citizenship, democracy, and the relationship between political power and economic forces. Despite its achievements, events at the start of the twenty-first century – including the political, economic, and financial crisis of the Eurozone, as well as Brexit and the rise of populism – pose an existential threat to the EU.

Memory and the future of Europe addresses the crisis of the EU by treating integration as a response to the rupture created by the continent’s experience of total war. It traces Europe’s existing pathologies to the project’s loss of its moral foundations rooted in collective memories of total war. As the generations with personal memories of the two world wars pass away, economic gain has become the EU’s sole raison d’être. If it is to survive its future challenges, the EU will have to create a new historical imaginary that relies not only on the lessons of the past, but also builds on Europe’s ability to protect its citizens by serving as a counterweight against the forces of globalisation. By framing its argument through the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, Memory and the future of Europe will attract readers interested in political and social philosophy, collective memory studies, European studies, international relations, and contemporary politics.

Anastasia Marinopoulou

practice?  5 3 Structuralism and poststructuralism 53 The present chapter will show that even if structures help the reader of epistemology to understand the scientific edifice, there can be no performative structure with dysfunctional or non-​existent subjects of action. Even if structures influence subjective action, subjects maintain the capacity to realize structures and exert criticism or negate the existent and coercive function of structures. Subjects create rationality by means of dialectics that is transformed into conscious action and the realization of

in Critical theory and epistemology
Steven Earnshaw

15 8 Frederick Exley, A Fan’s Notes (1968): authenticity ‘I’ve discovered what alcoholism is’. Before readers get to the main narrative of Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, they are given a few pointers as to what they might expect to be its major themes. The first signpost is the subtitle, ‘A Fictional Memoir’, indicating a confusing, confused, or paradoxical genre. The confusion is exacerbated with the preliminary ‘A Note to the Reader’, beginning ‘Though the events in this book bear similarity to those of that long malaise, my life, many of the characters

in The Existential drinker
Steven Earnshaw

0 21 11 John O’Brien, Leaving Las Vegas (1990): suicide Yes, of course I’m an alc, he thinks. What about it? It’s not what the story is about. William Kennedy’s Ironweed was published in 1983, at a time when the West’s prevailing inclination was for consumerism and a deregulated market. While not dealing directly with the Great Depression and poverty, as a reader might expect of a novel set in 1930s America, Ironweed nevertheless appears to offer its contemporary audience a deliberate counterweight to the politics and economics of its time by focusing on

in The Existential drinker
Fugitive souls and free spirits
Steven Earnshaw

Francis to shake off, and propels him throughout the rest of his life. The novel is ostensibly realist, but Francis sees and converses with dead people from this violent past in a fashion little different from the way in which he talks to the living.2 While there is no intimation that the deceased characters exist in the physical world shared with the novel’s other characters, their solid presence to 91 William Kennedy, Ironweed 199 Francis does mean that the reader has to pay attention to the question of who is solely a projection of Francis’s inner world and who

in The Existential drinker
Life projects
Steven Earnshaw

For the reader, at the level of the novel, such interpretations miss the significance of a structure founded on repetition:5 the drinker continually analyses his self, and indirectly what a self is, in a manner that London’s John Barleycorn argues is more truthful than the evasions of everyday sobriety, even if Birnam continually doubts the honesty of this incessant self-​scrutiny. The conflicting ideas presented to the reader about the reasons for drinking, coupled with the novel’s form and self-​referential nature  –​ Birnam considers writing a book which sounds

in The Existential drinker