Some of my favorite books.

Christmas Book Wishlist 2014

I am happy to note that some of the items from last year’s Christmas wishlist were in fact fulfilled: the Mao Cap (minus the red star), Ernesto Cardenal’s Zero Hour and Other Documentary Poems (sent by the ever generous William Small), and Edberto Villegas’ Barikada (which I just read earlier this month). The rest I’ve…

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Badiou on Poetry and Communism

In the last century, some truly great poets, in almost all languages on earth, have been communists. In an explicit or formal way, for example, the following poets were committed to communism: in Turkey, Nâzim Hikmet; in Chile, Pablo Neruda; in Spain, Rafael Alberti; in Italy, Edoardo Sanguineti; in Greece, Yannis Ritsos; in China, Ai…

xu lizhi

I Fall Asleep, Just Standing Like That (Poem)

《我就那样站着入睡》 I Fall Asleep, Just Standing Like That By Xu Lizhi (许立志), the Foxconn worker who committed suicide on 30 September 2014, at the age of 24, in Shenzhen, China. Translated and originally published by the Nao Project. 眼前的纸张微微发黄 The paper before my eyes fades yellow 我用钢笔在上面凿下深浅不一的黑 With a steel pen I chisel on it…

Amulet

Roberto Bolano’s Amulet

Amulet is my third Roberto Bolano book after Nazi Literature in the Americas and Third Reich, all first-rate fiction from a now very popular Latin American writer. After reading Amulet, I truly understand why Bolano has been very popular among the literary-minded in the last decade. His books are filled with poets, fictionists, literary admirers,…

P50 - Copy

‘The Great Purge’

A month ago, I began a ‘Great Purge’ of my books to solve the problem of the acute shortage of shelf space. I sold the books guilty of constricting the available room in my book case to my friends in Facebook. The term ‘purge’ has acquired a rather negative connotation stemming from decades of western…

cultural revolution

Alain Badiou Defends the Cultural Revolution

In the context of a debate with Marcel Gauchet on the theme ‘communism and democracy’ I invoked certain characteristics of the Chinese Cultural Revolution in service of a complex argument. This proved sufficient for Laurent Joffrin to abandon instantly the toil that doubtless occupies all of his time – the soft laying-off of almost a hundred…