Friedrich Kittler: Short Cuts (2002) [German]

29 September 2014, dusan

A collection of essays and interviews.

Dass er seit eineinhalb Jahrzehnten den Geisteswissenschaften ihren Computer-Analphabetismus vorbuchstabiert, hat Friedrich Kittler vor allen akademischen Ehren den Titel des “Enfant incompatible der Humanities” eingebracht. Aus dem Inhalt: Interviews mit Alexander Kluge, Über Michel Foucault, Computeranalphabetismus, Das Jahrhundert der Landvermesser, Der Kopf schrumpft, Der Schleier des Luftkrieges, Gespräch mit Paul Virilio, Die Zukunft auf Siliziumbasis, Interview mit Peter Weibel, Jeder kennt den CIA, Krieg im Schaltkreis, Medien und Drogen in Pynchons Zweitem Weltkrieg, Memories are made of you, Provisorische Maschinen, provisorische Moral, Rock Musik: Ein Missbrauch von Heeresgerät.

Edited by Peter Gente and Martin Weinmann
Publisher Zweitausendeins, Frankfurt am Main, 2002
Short Cuts series, 6
ISBN 3861504243, 9783861504245
288 pages

Kittler’s bibliography at Monoskop wiki


Plato: The Republic (c380-360 BCE–)

27 September 2014, dusan

The Republic (Περὶ πολιτείας; Peri politeias) is Plato’s best-known work and has proven to be one of the most intellectually and historically influential works of philosophy and political theory. In it, Socrates along with various Athenians and foreigners discuss the meaning of justice and examine whether or not the just man is happier than the unjust man by considering a series of different cities coming into existence “in speech”, culminating in a city (Kallipolis) ruled by philosopher-kings; and by examining the nature of existing regimes. The participants also discuss the theory of forms, the immortality of the soul, and the roles of the philosopher and of poetics in society.

Passages, manuscripts, editions, translations and studies (Monoskop wiki)

Aristotle: Poetics (c347-335 BCE–)

24 September 2014, dusan

Aristotle’s Poetics is the earliest surviving work of dramatic theory and the first extant philosophical treatise to focus on literary theory.

The Monoskop wiki hosts passages from the Poetics selected to highlight the ambiguity of the terms central to theory of art and literature, particularly poiêsis, mimêsis and technê (in two Greek versions and three English translations), and an annotated source bibliography of editions and translations of this work into various languages.


Luciano Canfora: The Vanished Library: A Wonder of the Ancient World (1986–) [Italian, English]

17 September 2014, dusan

The Library of Alexandria, one of the wonders of the Ancient World, has haunted Western culture for over 2,000 years. The Ptolemaic kings of Egypt—successors of Alexander the Great—had a staggering ambition: to house all of the books ever written under one roof, and the story of the universal library and its destruction still has the power to move us.

But what was the library, and where was it? Did it exist at all? Contemporary descriptions are vague and contradictory. The fate of the precious books themselves is a subject of endless speculation.

Canfora resolves these puzzles in this unusual book. He recreates the world of Egypt and the Greeks in brief chapters that marry the craft of the novelist and the discipline of the historian. Anecdotes, conversations, and reconstructions give The Vanished Library the compulsion of an exotic tale, yet Canfora bases all of them on historical and literary sources, which he discusses with great panache. As the chilling conclusion to this elegant piece of historical detective work he establishes who burned the books.

Publisher Sellerio, Palermo, 1986
Sixth edition, 1990
203 pages

English edition
Translated by Martin Ryle
First published by Hutchinson Radius, 1989
Publisher University of California Press, 1990
ISBN 0520072553, 9780520072558
205 pages

Review (Julia Haig Gaisser, Bryn Mawr Classical Review, 1991)
Review (Hugh Lloyd-Jones, The New York Review of Books, 1990), Response
Review (Evelyn Edson, Vergilius, 1991)

Publisher (EN)

La biblioteca scomparsa (Italian, 6th edition, 1986/1990, 7 MB)
The Vanished Library (English, 1989/1990, 10 MB)

Angel Rama: The Lettered City (1984–) [Spanish, English]

16 September 2014, dusan

“Angel Rama’s La ciudad letrada was published in 1984, shortly after he had died in a plane accident in Spain. Since then, it has quickly established itself as one of the most daring, perspicacious and innovative analyses of Latin American history, literature and political culture. However, because it was not completed due to his untimely death, the book was an incomplete synthesis of several decades of literary criticism and history. Even if Rama had not written La ciudad letrada, his place on the canon of Latin American letters would have been secured by his pioneering work on intra-American comparative literary studies. Rama, appropriating a term from Cuban anthropologist Fernando Ortiz, introduced into Latin American literary studies the term ‘transculturation’, which sought to conceptualize the interaction between indigenous, criollo and mestizo cultures in Latin America, and in this way he gave a hermeneutic key for unlocking many key texts of Latin American letters.

Rama’s book is surely about letters, literature and writing, but it is also about cities, space, spatialization and the relationship between the syntax of languages and the order of space. The book is, in fact, what one may call a philosophical-historical-cultural essay that uses literature and the ‘writer’–el letrado–to elaborate a wide-ranging interpretative thesis about Latin America as a cultural unit. Its genre is thus not a literary theory, comparative literature, or even cultural studies, even if it contributes to these. In German one calls this genre Geistesgeschichte, which is neither a spiritual nor an intellectual history, but rather a history of the animating logic of a culture.” (from a review by Eduardo Mendieta, City, 2006)

First published by Ediciones del Norte, Hanover/NH, 1984
With an Introduction by Hugo Achugar
Publisher Arca, Montevideo, 1998
ISBN 9974400244
126 pages

English edition
Translated and with an Introduction by John Charles Chasteen
Publisher Duke University Press, 1996
ISBN 0822317575, 9780822317579
141 pages
via Oral Majority

Commentary (Cora Gorman Malone, 2010, in EN)
Commentary (Brantley Nicholson, 2011, in EN)

Publisher (EN)

La ciudad letrada (Spanish, 1984/1998, 6 MB, no OCR)
The Lettered City (English, pages 40 and 56 missing, 1996, 9 MB, no OCR)

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