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August 08 2016

Beyond Good and Evil by Friedrich Nietzsche sofarsoShawn gave 4 stars to Beyond Good and Evil (Paperback) by Friedrich Nietzsche
This was the last of Nietzsche's oeuvre that I had to read, I saved it for last because it’s so hustled as Nietzsche at his most incredible so it was something I could look forward to slogging through the swamps of his more mundane works. Nietzsche is hyped as this great subterranean immoralist, I suppose I was expecting too much, or maybe I'd just been thoroughly inducted into Nietzsche's thought, that by this last read, he had already worn through me. Genealogy is better; and if you're going personal, Gay Science, is where he's at his best.

Nietzsche's writing is so scattered and aphoristic, it's almost impossible to summarize, so I kept putting off writing this review until I stumbled across Leo Strauss's Note on the Plan of Beyond(1); and then I didn't know what to write until I noticed, in true Straussian style, what Strauss didn't write. Considering who Strauss is and his expertise as a Platonic medievalist, he never mentions aphorism 195, where the great slave revolt in morals begins. However, he does give a precise and shocking interpretation of the will to power: as a vindication of God! The philosophers of the future as the apotheosis of 'natural' man. Plato versus Homer indeed.

(1) https://archive.org/stream/LeoStrauss...

June 08 2016

Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges sofarsoShawn gave 5 stars to Ficciones (Paperback) by Jorge Luis Borges
I came to reading Borges by way of Baudrillard, the reason should be self-evident (Exactitude in Science), but I suppose nothing really is, and any relation of "the how" would sound like a Borges tale in itself and we'd be back right where we started. But goddamn what a ride it is! Forking paths and revolutions like a tilt-a-whirl at the amusement park, where has Borges been all my life? Upon reading these circuitous locutions on fake books all the dubious meanders of history become resolved, everything awry gets set right and placed exactly in the place it should be placed, like the after-the-fact Lascaux caves. Stories of note:
1. Tlon, Uqbar, Orbis Tertius
2. The Babylonian Lottery
3. Three Versions of Judas

May 24 2016

Collected Papers, Vol 2 by Sigmund Freud sofarsoShawn gave 5 stars to Collected Papers, Vol 2: Clinical Papers, Papers on technique (Hardcover) by Sigmund Freud
These are the papers which are the subject of Lacan's infamous first Seminar* and is actually how I came to read them. After this work up, how could I not?

"If we are under the impression that we are here to stand back in admiration of the Freudian texts and marvel at them, we will certainly be well satisfied. The freshness and vivacity of these papers is not surpassed by any of Freud’s other writings. At times his personality is revealed in them in so direct a manner that one cannot fail to remark it. The simplicity and frankness of tone are in and of themselves a kind of education."

I wasn't disappointed. Now after that interpolation on to the rest of the seminar.

*This isn't the particular edition of Freud's papers I read (full title of teh works: Zur Technik der Psychoanalyse und zur Metapsychologie // On the Technique of Psychoanalysis and Metapsychology). As it wasn't listed on GoodReads, I was in want of a place holder.
13 Hours by Mitchell Zuckoff sofarsoShawn gave 4 stars to 13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened In Benghazi (Hardcover) by Mitchell Zuckoff
A thrilling read, yes - when the ambassador's compound is burning, but the GRS team is stuck at the annex because of a recalcitrant CIA boss - that movie trope of the stuck-up captain, "but this isn't procedure!" comes into into life. And a sad read... yes? Two ex-military GRS operators die, Tyrone 'Rone' Woods on his last mission and a father of two with one on the way, and everyone's best friend Glen 'Bub' Doherty. Reading this, I asked myself, is that how those towards the further end of left would respond? Is it sad? Or do they take a secret delight and find identification with the terrorists? When the towers came down did they react, "how dare they"? Or though some convolutions, searchingly found they did in fact deserve it?

I saw that one of the Bernie Bros (Irony Bros) bought a ticket to see this and I wonder what his response was. He's into MMA so he still has some of the brute about him; he's not a complete neuter like so much of the left. Leftists frevel in the destruction of traditional hierarchies, so what could be more left than cheering on the destruction of American military might? Did his sympathy lie with the dead Americans or more ambivalent, turned round into hate - the punishment wasn't enough - and, perhaps, more should have died?
New comment on sofarsoShawn's review of Ficciones
by Jorge Luis Borges

Jenny wrote: "Cool review, bruh. ;)"

haha thanks Jenny!

April 25 2016

Submission by Michel Houellebecq sofarsoShawn gave 5 stars to Submission (Hardcover) by Michel Houellebecq
What most struck me when finished this book was how sanguine Francois' whole transition was, from unconvinced atheist having banal internet hookups to Muslim polygamist. The political backdrop, France electing the Muslim Brotherhood to power, was secondary, but hung like a shadow to Francois. There was barely a struggle, both politically and personally, French Socialists and the UMP aligning like they so often do to stop Marine Le Pen in the presidential run-off and Francois convinced of the own emptiness of his life (and the Republic), converting to Islam as a career move, and further enticed by the prospect of his own connubial teenager. Though the Jews go through a sort of soft expulsion, or make Aliyah, as they say - thank G_d for that Jewish state - the benign ease in which it all happens is terrifying; because why not? The Socialists have already capitulated, it cannot survive without the support of the Muslim vote, the UMP is bleeding support to the benefit of Le Pen, and the atheist humanism of the secular West is an empty vessel crying to be filled. So why not Islam? This is the terrifying trajectory Houellebecq sets out in Submission.
Simulations by Jean Baudrillard sofarsoShawn gave 4 stars to Simulations (Hardcover) by Jean Baudrillard
"Simulations" is the precursor to "Simulacra and Simulations" and you can tell it is much less established as a written work. There are some forays into the post-modernism which are hard to swallow, like his explanation of the duality of why there was two WTC towers: something to do with a binary system of logic - yeah I know. However, because Baudrillard's theory on the procession of simulacra is his preeminent hypothesis on dealing with reality/hyperreality this precursor to "S &S" may be minuscule, but also substantial book for its understanding.

April 04 2016

Human, All Too Human by Friedrich Nietzsche sofarsoShawn gave 4 stars to Human, All Too Human (paperback) by Friedrich Nietzsche
I'm find it a little strange nowadays to finish a book without some sort of ceremony... A Goodreads paragraph or two should do it :) Thus:

So MANY aphorisms! My preference is weighted: Volume I, as I found it much more enjoyable, you could tell what period of life Nietzsche wrote. Volume II also pretty good but so many aphorisms started to drag, by The Wanderer and His Shadow I was dying for a complete book. By their nature, I found the litany of aphorisms jarring; because they can each potentially contain holistically different ideas, you have to gain your bearings for each one. Volume I I found the most cohesive, which may have been why I liked it the most. From the outset he takes a strange (for the authour) and disappointing swerve towards science and the men of theory; strange and disappointing because I like my Nietzsche when he's at his most "irrational".

June 10 2015


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