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Drinking to excess has been a striking problem for industrial and post-industrial societies – who is responsible when a ‘free’ individual opts for a slow suicide? The causes of such drinking have often been blamed on heredity, moral weakness, ‘disease’ (addiction), hedonism, and Romantic illusion. Yet there is another reason which may be more fundamental and which has been overlooked or dismissed, and it is that the drinker may act with sincere philosophical intent. The Existential Drinker looks at the convergence of a new kind of excessive, habitual drinking, beginning in the nineteenth century, and a new way of thinking about the self which in the twentieth century comes to be labelled ‘Existential’. A substantial introduction covers questions of self, will, consciousness, authenticity, and ethics in relation to drinking, while introducing aspects of Existential thought pertinent to the discussion. The Existential-drinker canon is anchored in Jack London’s ‘alcoholic memoir’ John Barleycorn (1913), where London claims he can get at the truth of existence only through the insights afforded by excessive and repeated alcohol use. The book then covers drinker-texts such as Jean Rhys’s interwar novels, Malcolm Lowry’s Under the Volcano, Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend and John O’Brien’s Leaving Las Vegas, along with less well-known works such as Frederick Exley’s A Fan’s Notes, Venedikt Yerofeev’s Moscow–Petushki, and A. L. Kennedy’s Paradise. The book will appeal to anybody with an interest in drinking and literature, as well as those with more specialised concerns in drinking studies, Existentialism, twentieth-century literature, and medical humanities.

[.] (Sontag 2003 : 112–13) Muppidi argues, against Sontag, that comparing Bosnia with other intra-European genocides (from which late-twentieth-century European understandings of genocide came) would have been different. Indeed, comparisons with Jewish suffering were an important moral instrument throughout the Yugoslav wars – even, in constructing narratives of national victimhood, among speakers implicated in ethnopolitical violence themselves (Macdonald 2003 ). If the attachment to urban identity that sustained besieged

in Race and the Yugoslav region

civilised values. For Atwood, a late-twentieth-century postcolonial observer, the distinction between the savage other and the civilised self is less clear-cut. As David Spurr points out: ‘As modern civilised human beings, we assert authority over the savage both within us and abroad, but the very energy devoted to such an assertion acknowledges its own incompleteness as authority’ (Spurr, 1993 : 7). The

in Frontiers of the Caribbean
Case studies from the Victorian period

-​century’s stereotyping of the habitual drunkard to the twentieth-​century’s Existential drinker.2 In the nineteenth century the typical excessive drinker we see represented in different media is the first type of drinker that Jack London identifies in John Barleycorn, the unimaginative fall-​in-​the-​gutter type, a ubiquitous figure of the period. The second type of drinker, the one who sees the truth of life’s meaninglessness, the one who strives for an authentic self against a conventional public, is only to be glimpsed: the figure who repeatedly confronts his own death through

in The Existential drinker
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twenty years have not been a good career choice at all. It is another reason for the waning of the Existential drinker  –​being a heavy-​drinking writer constructing semi-​autobiographical fiction has had its day in terms of professional advancement. What Sams ignores is that those previous writers did not see it as a career package at all, or at least not in the same way that Sams is now obliged to view it. The previous writers were committed to the drinking and the writing, regardless of where it took them. Towards the end of the twentieth century, then, there is a

in The Existential drinker
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For the love of God

expression within the terms of the Christian logos, notwithstanding the vast denominational, theological, and interpretative variations. To this extent, then, Christianity has generally been implicated in the perpetuation of an understanding of love in binary terms, thus affirming the seemingly irreconcilable division between the embodied love of eros and the spiritual love of God: the agape that Anders Nygren and Reinhold Niebuhr so insistently defended at the beginning of the twentieth century. As I noted in the previous chapter, for Nygren particularly but implicitly

in The subject of love

meaningful in late-twentieth-century Yugoslavia, shows how everyday German-language racialised imaginaries in the region could remain. German fascination with Native Americans, ignited by Karl May's Winnetou novels (1875–1910), inspired hobbyist re-enactment groups and many popular films, and arguably represented a certain racial exceptionalism itself (May's white German protagonist, allied with Natives against villainous Americans, embodied a brotherhood with the Indian hero that distanced the nation from its own colonialism) (Sieg 2002 ). This fascination was directly

in Race and the Yugoslav region
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3237TheStructureofModernculturaltheory.qxd:2522Ch1.qxd 6/8/08 10:39 2 Adorno as educator Miserabilism and hope – Dialectics – Paradoxes – Principles and themes – Counter-heteronomics: an overview – Culture industry – Jazz and jazzness – Dependency – Authoritarianism – High art – Liquidations – Autonomy – Postmodernism – Benjamin – Ethics and educationality It is commonplace to invoke Theodor Adorno as probably the greatest Marxist cultural theorist of the twentieth century. If there is any reason to read him in the twenty-first century, however, this is as

in The structure of modern cultural theory
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Once more, with feeling

chapters will selectively draw out and evaluate certain themes, concepts, and arguments from within the rich archive of critical theory, particularly those of its so-​called ‘first generation’, in order to highlight the latter’s hitherto underappreciated concern with the affective, emotional, and sensate aspects of experience. Chapter  1 sets out the theoretical terrain on which the wider project is based. I begin by revisiting some of the founding tenets of critical theory in the context of the establishment of the Institute for Social Research in the early twentieth

in Critical theory and feeling
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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.