The Odd Couple: Kairos and Masochism

Going through Roland Barthes lecture notes (for his lectures in Morocco in 1978), I came across an odd relationship, one I have never seen posited by any scholar; namely, the relationship between Kairos and Masochism.  Giving some thought to it this morning, it occurred to me that timing may in fact have something to do […]

Comic Exposure to Targeting: A Levinasian Reading of Andy Kaufman and Phillip Roth’s Portnoy (Part II)

The reflection on and implementation of comic targeting has a long history which stretches back to the origins of Greek philosophy.   The reflection on the target is of utmost importance for thinkers who wish to establish this or that kind of hierarchy or agonistics between appearance and reality, the mind and the body, being and […]

A Note on Paul Celan’s Minor Language in “Conversation in the Mountains”

Although Celan’s “major” language was German (a language he was raised with and wrote his poetry in), Celan’s work was also influenced by “minor” languages.  The contrast between major and minor languages comes from Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s book Kafka: Toward a Minor Literature.    In the book, the proposal is made that we rethink […]

Boredom, Laughter, and Kierkegaard’s Rotating Kata-Strophe (Take 1)

Soren Kierkegaard’s interest in irony is well-known.  His book The Concept of Irony addresses irony and, throughout his work, one can find many passing references to it.  Moreover, Kierkegaard’s concept of irony has been written on by many different scholars.  I am not a Kierkegaard scholar, nor do I aspire to be one; nonetheless, as […]

But can the fool(ish) text do Humanity any Good? Maimonides, Derrida, and Gasche (Part II)

Echoing Jacques Derrida’s reading of Stephen Mallarme’s “Mimique,” Gasche writes that: If the mime of “Mimique” only imitates imitation, if he copies only copying, all he produces is a copy of a copy.  In the same manner, the hymen that comes to illustrate the theatrical space reduplicates nothing but the miming of the mime.  Miming […]

Charles Baudelaire, Walter Benjamin, and the Daemonic (Take 1)

In an essay on Walter Benjamin entitled “Walter Benjamin and his Angel,” Gershom Scholem notes that one of the things that disturbed him most about Benjamin was his interest in the daemonic.  Scholem, in this essay, notes that Benjamin’s interest increased the more he delved into the work of the Parisian poet and cultural critic […]