Monthly Archives: January 2016

 Ebola in Liberia

“The Ebola virus has been likened to Dante’s Inferno and the Black Death. When journalist Rachel Maher was working in West Africa during the recent outbreak she was struck by the frightening parallels with Albert Camus’ novel The Plague.
The city in Camus’ novel was under siege, just like the capitals of Sierra Leone and Liberia; its citizens were coping with a long state of emergency, the deaths of national figures and loved ones and isolation from the rest of the world.
Mixing oral history interviews with archives and the insights of Camus, Rachel Maher tells the story of this modern plague.
Australian nurse Brett Adamson, who treated victims of the virus in Liberia, reads from The Plague.”’t-touch-1/7113130

jewish philosophy place


Reading Rosie Braidoti sometimes feels like reading comic books, or science-fiction. Metamorphoses: Towards a Materialist Theory of Becoming is no exception.  The book is like a dare. Throughout the course of western culture and into our own popular culture, the “humanity” of women has been called into question. But in our own advanced technological age, the tables turn. With the very concept of humanity itself pressed by science and called into question, there’s a strange logic to aligning women with animals, insects, monsters, and cyborgs. In this work of philosophical science fiction, the “second sex” has turned into a swarming, mutating, transforming entity. In this new ontology, the second sex turns into something completely “other,” now that the subject is no longer one, or once the very idea of a coherent subject has become undone.

Behind the delirious play in Metamorphoses is the seriousness with which Braidoti takes images and…

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The dirt road is frozen. I hear the geese first in my lungs.
Faint hieroglyphic against the gray sky.

Then, the brutal intervention of sound.
All that we experience is a message, he wrote.

I would like to know what it means
if first one bird swims the channel

across the classic V, the line flutters, and the formation dissolves.
In the end, the modernists must have meant,

it is the human world we are weary of,
our arms heavy with love, its ancient failings.

But that was before the world wars, in 1800,
when a young German poet could pick at the truth

and collect the fragments in an encyclopedia of knowledge.
There is a V, then an L, each letter

forming so slowly that the next appears before it is complete.
The true philosophical act is the slaying of one’s self,

Novalis wrote, and died, like Keats, before he was thirty.
They have left me behind like one of their lost,

scratching at the gravel in the fields. Where are they
once the sky has enveloped them?

I stand in the narrow cut of a frozen road leading into mountains,
the morning newspaper gripped under my arm.

But to give up on things precludes everything.
I am not-I, Novalis wrote. I am you.

If, as the gnostics say, the world was a mistake
created by an evil demiurge, and I am trapped

in my body, abandoned by a god whom I long for as one of my own,
why not follow the tundra geese into their storm?

Why stay while my great sails flap the ice
as if my voice were needed to call them back

in the spring, as if I were the lost dwelling place for the flocks?

by Melissa Kwasny