“God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse” (Slavoj Zizek & Boris Gunjevic)

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God in Pain: Inversions of the Apocalypse

Slavoj Žižek and Boris Gunjević

A brilliant dissection and reconstruction of the three major faith-based systems of belief in the world today, from one of the world’s most articulate intellectuals, Slavoj Zizek, in conversation with Croatian philosopher Boris Gunjevic. In six chapters that describe Christianity, Islam, and Judaism in fresh ways using the tools of Hegelian and Lacanian analysis, God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse shows how each faith understands humanity and divinity – and how the differences between the faiths may be far stranger than they may at first seem.

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SEVEN STORIES PRESS:

In God in Pain: Inversions of Apocalypse, pyrotechnic Marxist theorist Slavoj Žižek and radical theologian Boris Gunjević offer us not a religious text but a critical inquiry, a work of faith not in God but in the human intellect. With his contagious zeal and his genius for unlikely connections, Žižek calls the bluff on the West’s alleged atheism and contemplates the bewildering idea of an Almighty that both suffers and prays. Taking on Žižek’s gambits and proposing his own, Gunjević issues a revolutionary clarion call for theology that can break the back of capitalism’s cunning “enslavement of desire.” With gripping examples and razor-sharp logic, Žižek and Gunjević invoke thinkers from Augustine to Lacan and topics ranging from Christian versus “pagan” ethics to the “class struggle” implied in reading the Qur’an and the role of gender in Islam. Together, they confirm and dissect faith in the twenty-first century, shaking the foundations of the Abrahamic traditions.

REVIEWS

“The most dangerous philosopher in the West.” —Adam Kirsch, New Review

“Zizek has only to clap eyes on a received truth to feel the intolerable itch to deface it … Zizek is that rare breed of writer—one who is both lucid and esoteric. If he is sometimes hard to understand, it is because of the intricacy of his ideas, not because of a self-preening style.” —Terry Eagleton

About Slavoj Žižek and Boris Gunjević

Philosopher and cultural critic SLAVOJ ŽIŽEK is internationally recognized for his work on psychoanalysis. He teaches at the European Graduate School and has been a visiting professor at Université de Paris VIII, Columbia, and Princeton, among other institutions. He is founder and president of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis in Ljubljana, Slovenia, and is the author of many books on topics ranging from Christianity to the films of David Lynch.

BORIS GUNJEVIĆ is a theologian, priest, and professor of history of philosophy and liturgy. He has taught in several schools and theological colleges on systematic theology, radical theology, and the history of philosophy, among other subjects. His forthcoming books include A Handbook for Militant Research and The Carpentry of John Milbank. He lives in Zagreb.

Chapters include:

By Zizek:

(1) “Christianity Against Sacred,”
(2) “Glance into the Archives of Islam,”
(3) “Only Suffering God Can Save Us,”
(4) “Animal Gaze,”
(5) “For the Theologico-Political Suspension of the Ethical,”

By Gunjevic:

(1) “Mistagogy of Revolution,”
(2) “Virtues of Empire,”
(3) “Every Book Is Like Fortress,”
(4) “Radical Orthodoxy,”
(5) “Prayer and Wake.”

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“Questions From a Worker Who Reads”, a poem by Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1953)

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Questions From a Worker Who Reads
by Bertolt Brecht (1898 – 1953)

Who built Thebes of the 7 gates ?
In the books you will read the names of kings.
Did the kings haul up the lumps of rock ?

And Babylon, many times demolished,
Who raised it up so many times ?

In what houses of gold glittering Lima did its builders live ?
Where, the evening that the Great Wall of China was finished, did the masons go?

Great Rome is full of triumphal arches.
Who erected them ?

Over whom did the Caesars triumph ?
Had Byzantium, much praised in song, only palaces for its inhabitants ?

Even in fabled Atlantis, the night that the ocean engulfed it,
The drowning still cried out for their slaves.

The young Alexander conquered India.
Was he alone ?

Caesar defeated the Gauls.
Did he not even have a cook with him ?

Philip of Spain wept when his armada went down.
Was he the only one to weep ?

Frederick the 2nd won the 7 Years War.
Who else won it ?

Every page a victory.
Who cooked the feast for the victors ?

Every 10 years a great man.
Who paid the bill ?

So many reports.

So many questions.

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You might also enjoy:

THEATER OF WAR 2

A documentary about Brecht’s play Mother Courage DOWNLOAD [IMDB]

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Poets previously published @ Awestruck Wanderer:

Edward W. Said (1935-2003) – In Search of Palestine (BBC Documentary) + Interview with Salman Rushdie

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“For Palestinian expatriate Edward Said, the return to his homeland amounted to a painful inquiry into his past. This program captures the interconnection between Said’s personal recollections and the shared memory of the Palestinian people. Far from ignoring the contemporary realities of the Middle East, Said’s perspective relates the ruins of history to the complacent and destructive policies of present-day governments, and delivers a powerful articulation of the weaknesses of the Oslo accords. His intellectual legacy provides valuable insight into the circumstances of the second intifada, as well as the faint steps toward peace that have followed. A BBCW Production. Made back in 1998. The film was, as far as I know, never showed on U.S. television.”

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See also:

Edward Said interviewed by Salman Rushdie

PALESTINE by Joe Sacco & Edward W. Said [download the ebooks]

Joe Sacco2

JOE SACCO (1960 – ), “Palestine”
Preface by Edward W. Said (1935-2003)
Download the Graphic novel (PDF, 127 mb, in english):
http://bit.ly/1tnS0sX (via Library Genesis: http://bit.ly/1zZuNPB)

A landmark of journalism and the art form of comics. Based on several months of research and an extended visit to the West Bank and Gaza Strip in the early 1990s, this is a major work of political and historical nonfiction. Prior to “Safe Area Gorazde: The War In Eastern Bosnia 1992-1995” — Joe Sacco’s breakthrough novel of graphic journalism — the acclaimed author was best known for “Palestine”, a two-volume graphic novel that won an American Book Award in 1996. In order to accomplish it, Joe Sacco conducted over 100 interviews with Palestinians and Jews. “Palestine” was the first major comics work of political and historical nonfiction by Sacco, whose name has since become synonymous with this graphic form of New Journalism. “Palestine” has been favorably compared to Art Spiegelman’s Pulitzer Prize-winning “Maus” for its ability to brilliantly navigate such socially and politically sensitive subject matter within the confines of the comic book medium. Sacco has often been called the first comic book journalist, and he is certainly the best. This edition of Palestine also features an introduction from renowned author, critic, and historian Edward Said (“Peace and Its Discontents” and “The Question of Palestine”), one of the world’s most respected authorities on the Middle Eastern conflict.

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You might also enjoy:

Edward Said

EDWARD W. SAID – The Question of Palestine
(Vintage, 1980, 265 pgs)
DOWNLOAD E-BOOK  (via libgen.org)

Arthur Rimbaud: days of a teenage poet during the Paris Commune (1871)

Verlaine & Rimbaud, Brusselx, 1873

Verlaine & Rimbaud, Brussels, 1873

From Jon Savage’s Teenage – The Creation of Youth Culture:

Rimbaud2Rimbaud was the poet of France’s darkest days. During the winter of 1870-71, Arthur Rimbaud lived on the front line of the Franco-Prussian War, in the small town of Charleville near the Belgian border. On New Year’s Eve, his family sheltered in their house while Prussian shells pounded the nearby medieval fortress of Mézières, just across the river Meuse from Charleville. At the age of 16, Rimbaud was surrounded by the detritus of war: maimed soldiers, smashed cities, disfigured landscapes.

He reveled in the destruction. “I saw a sea of flames and smoke rise to heaven”, he later wrote, “and left and right all wealth exploded like a billion thunderbolts.” As the second son of a French army colonel who had deserted the family ten years earlier, Rimbaud had more than enough reason not to love the military. When his older brother Frederick enthusiastically enlisted, he found it “contemptible”; after France had been defeated, he went around Charleville telling everyone how lucky his country was. It was as though the downfall of France had set him free.

At 16, Rimbaud was the archetypal provincial youth who had long outgrown his family and his hometown. He couldn’t wait to get away. The chaos created by the Franco-Prussian War externalized his internal fury and gave him an opportunity to test himself. That winter, he ran away from home and, somewhere amid the wasteland of the Prussian front line, he experienced a revelation: “Along the open road on winter nights, homeless, cold, and hungry, one voice gripped my frozen heart: ‘Weakness or strenght, you exist, that is strenght.’ “

Two months later, Rimbaud saw his fantasies become real, as the capital city’s poor rose up with thousands of students and workers in the short-lived Paris Commune. For a brief period in April and May 1871, anarchists were in charge of the capital, and young poets ran the police force. Rimbaud was one of only thousands of young vagabonds who flocked to revolutionary Paris like moths to a flame: so many that the Commune formed two battalions from their numbers, the “Pupilles de la Commune” and the “Enfants Perdus”.

Although the Commune was smashed within weeks of Rimbaud’s visit, the 16-year-old took away the sense of liberation that he had experienced and determined to apply it to his own work and life. The two would become indivisible. On May 13, 1871, he wrote his friend Paul Demeny, “The problem is to attain the unknown by disorganizing all the senses. The suffering is immense, but you have to be strong, and to have been born a poet.”

For Rimbaud, poetry was a mystical calling. He followed the visionary dark line that began with the Romantics and passed through Edgar Allan Poe and Charles Baudelaire to its conclusion. After 1871, his poems were full off revolutionary turmoil, antibourgeois invective, pagan mysticism, and wild prophecies all melded together into a consistent cosmology. Above all, his visions were apocalyptic: “This is the time of the sweat bath, of oceans boiling over, of underground explosions, of the planet whirled away, of exterminations sure to follow.”

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You might also enjoy

TEENAGE

TEENAGE

A film by Matt Wolf

Based on the book by Jon Savage
“Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture (1875-1945)”

Download: http://bit.ly/U775zv (torrent)

“Teenagers didn’t always exist. They had to be invented. As the cultural landscape around the world was thrown into turmoil during the industrial revolution, and with a chasm erupting between adults and youth, the concept of a new generation took shape. Whether in America, England, or Germany, whether party-crazed Flappers or hip Swing Kids, zealous Nazi Youth or frenzied Sub-Debs, it didn’t matter – this was a new idea of how people come of age. They were all “Teenagers.”

A hypnotic rumination on the genesis of youth culture from the end of the 19th century to the first half of the 20th, TEENAGE is a living collage of rare archival material, filmed portraits, and diary entries read by Jena Malone, Ben Whishaw, and others. Set to a a shimmering contemporary score by Bradford Cox (Deerhunter / Atlas Sound), TEENAGE is a mesmerizing trip into the past and a riveting look at the very idea of “coming-of-age.”

http://www.teenagefilm.com/

Charles Baudelaire’s “L’Ennemi” (The Enemy) / A poem from “The Flowers of Evil” (French & English)

Rochegrosse - Baudelaire

Fleurs du Mal –  illustration by C. Rochegrosse

L’Ennemi

Ma jeunesse ne fut qu’un ténébreux orage,
Traversé çà et là par de brillants soleils;
Le tonnerre et la pluie ont fait un tel ravage,
Qu’il reste en mon jardin bien peu de fruits vermeils.

Voilà que j’ai touché l’automne des idées,
Et qu’il faut employer la pelle et les râteaux
Pour rassembler à neuf les terres inondées,
Où l’eau creuse des trous grands comme des tombeaux.

Et qui sait si les fleurs nouvelles que je rêve
Trouveront dans ce sol lavé comme une grève
Le mystique aliment qui ferait leur vigueur?

— Ô douleur! ô douleur! Le Temps mange la vie,
Et l’obscur Ennemi qui nous ronge le coeur
Du sang que nous perdons croît et se fortifie!

— Charles Baudelaire

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The Enemy

My youth has been nothing but a tenebrous storm,
Pierced now and then by rays of brilliant sunshine;
Thunder and rain have wrought so much havoc
That very few ripe fruits remain in my garden.

I have already reached the autumn of the mind,
And I must set to work with the spade and the rake
To gather back the inundated soil
In which the rain digs holes as big as graves.

And who knows whether the new flowers I dream of
Will find in this earth washed bare like the strand,
The mystic aliment that would give them vigor?

Alas! Alas! Time eats away our lives,
And the hidden Enemy who gnaws at our hearts
Grows by drawing strength from the blood we lose!

— William Aggeler, The Flowers of Evil (Fresno, CA: Academy Library Guild, 1954)

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Poets previously published @ Awestruck Wanderer:

“At my back I always hear Time’s winged chariot hurrying near…” – A poem by Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

A Dance to the Music of Time, by Nicholas Poussin (1594-1665)

A Dance to the Music of Time, by Nicholas Poussin (1594-1665)

To his Coy Mistress
by Andrew Marvell (1621-1678)

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.
We would sit down and think which way
To walk, and pass our long love’s day;
Thou by the Indian Ganges’ side
Shouldst rubies find; I by the tide
Of Humber would complain. I would
Love you ten years before the Flood;
And you should, if you please, refuse
Till the conversion of the Jews.
My vegetable love should grow
Vaster than empires, and more slow.
An hundred years should go to praise
Thine eyes, and on thy forehead gaze;
Two hundred to adore each breast,
But thirty thousand to the rest;
An age at least to every part,
And the last age should show your heart.
For, lady, you deserve this state,
Nor would I love at lower rate.

But at my back I always hear
Time’s winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.
Thy beauty shall no more be found,
Nor, in thy marble vault, shall sound
My echoing song; then worms shall try
That long preserv’d virginity,
And your quaint honour turn to dust,
And into ashes all my lust.
The grave’s a fine and private place,
But none I think do there embrace.

Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may;
And now, like am’rous birds of prey,
Rather at once our time devour,
Than languish in his slow-chapp’d power.
Let us roll all our strength, and all
Our sweetness, up into one ball;
And tear our pleasures with rough strife
Thorough the iron gates of life.
Thus, though we cannot make our sun
Stand still, yet we will make him run.

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Poets previously published @ Awestruck Wanderer: