Toward an Antifascist Aesthetic
Knausgaard attempts to reconstruct the emotions of those who were attracted to National Socialism, on grounds that it is impossible to understand “the last major utopian movement in the west” without understanding what moved Germans to embrace Nazism.
August 14, 2020
Germany’s Bold Experiment
The more a country tries to define its identity solely through culture, the more it turns in on itself. “The question is not who we are, but who we can become,” the late British social theorist Stuart Hall said. Germany is poised uneasily in that polarity.
December 12, 2019
Reading Arendt Is Not Enough
Trump’s victory was for many people a shock moment. It dramatized how close we have moved toward the return of totalitarianism, so we grabbed books by revered humanist writers from the 1940s and 1950s, telling us how to resist. The writings of George Orwell and Arthur Koestler, but above all, the work of the German-born political philosopher Hannah Arendt gained huge popularity.
May 2, 2019
World War I Relived
“Life can only be understood backwards,” the Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard observed, “but it must be lived forwards.” When we try to identify with people who did not know what happened next, we shed new light on them, and on what did happen.
November 8, 2018