Giorgio Agamben on Infancy, Gestures, and Gags – Take 1

My grandparents really enjoyed watching live stand-up comedy.  Whether it was at the Lido Beach Club in Long Beach, the Catskills, or in Miami, they relished live-comedy.  But of all the comic moments, my grandmother (on my mother’s side) recently told me of one.  She pointed out how whenever my grandfather saw Milton Berle come […]

Why Have I Been Blogging on Agamben or How Can the “Decisive Historical Gesture” be Comic?

As anyone who has been following my blog will notice, I have been blogging a lot on Giorgio Agamben’s “Notes on Gesture” and his “Fable and History: Considerations of the Nativity Crib.”  The reason I have been pursuing these readings is because I am very interested in thinking through the meaning of comic gesture.  Agamben, […]

Agamben on The Historical as Opposed to the Magical Redemption of Man, Animal, and Nature

What is redemption?  And how would redemption, as understood by Giorgio Agamben, differ from the redemption we hear of in the Torah, the New Testament, or the Koran?  These are big questions that I don’t think can be addressed in one blog entry.  Nonetheless, they should be of great concern for anyone who reads Agamben’s […]

Giorgio Agamben’s Fable, or the Crib as a Historical Gesture – Take 2

What is the relationship of man to animal?  And what distinguishes man from animal.  This is a question which has interested philosophers since Aristotle who argued, in the opening book of the Metaphysics, that animals and men both have sensation and memory; but there is one key difference: man has the capacity for “experience” and […]

Giorgio Agamben’s Fable, or the Crib as a Historical Gesture – Take 1

One of Giorgio Agamben’s most thought-provoking and clear explanations of “gesture” can be found in an essay entitled, “Fable and History: Considerations of the Nativity Crib.”   But, what we find there is not so much a gag.  It is more like a profane illumination that comes to us by meditating on the “crib as a […]

Sessions as Gump, the Americanized Schlemiel

SNL has been making great use out of the schlemiel character.   Larry David’s portrayal of Bernie Sanders as a schlemiel was wildly popular and just recently, Kate McKinnon has portrayed Jeff Sessions as a variation of the Forrest Gump character.  While David’s interpretation of Sanders is more steeped in the Jewish-American version of the schlemiel […]