Born 1921—died 2012.

An extract from One-Way Street (1928)

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Walter Benjamin

The German critical theorist and essayist shares ‘The Writer’s Technique in Thirteen Theses’: (more…)

It’s a little known fact that bebop trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie actually ran for president of the United States back in 1964:

“What began as one of Dizzy’s famous practical jokes, and a way to raise money for CORE (Congress for Racial Equality) and other civil rights organizations became something more, a way for Dizzy’s fans to imagine an alternative to the “millionaire’s-only” club represented by Lyndon Johnson and Barry Goldwater.”

Open Culture

The White House, henceforth to be known as the ‘Blues House’ would comprise the following cabinet: (more…)

More at The LARB Blog.

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2001: A Space Odyssey (dir. Stanley Kubrick, 1968)

From BFI: “Director Terry Gilliam reveals insights about Brazil (1985), his Orwellian retro-futurist fantasy. Gilliam also talks about his love of 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), his dislike of middle management bureaucracy, and his experience of casting Robert De Niro.” (Source: BFI)

Sussex University • 28 September 2016

Fail Better samuel beckettAs a supplement to the publication of Excursions Vol. 7, Excursions Journal is holding a one-day interdisciplinary symposium on the theme of ‘Failure’.

The concept of failure is gaining traction as a subject of critical attention. Our recent history has been defined by significant and far-reaching failures: from the failure of the U.S. and U.K. governments to find weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, to the more recent collapse of global financial markets. In the wake of events such as these, the viability of old models of ‘success’ and ‘failure’ has been called into question. Can we resituate failure as not merely an absence, a lack of success, but rather as a category in its own right? Whether figured as a fundamental aspect of modernity, a distinct aesthetic for artistic production, or, as the queer theorist Jack Halberstam has argued, a radical alternative to the restrictive, success-oriented norms of our society, we are faced with the possibility that failure might have a value of its own. (more…)

Source: Tor.com.

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Walter Kaufmann
“Kaufmann saw Nietzsche as something of an early existentialist, which brings us to these vintage lectures recorded in 1960 (right around the time that Kaufmann, a German-born convert to Judaism, also became a naturalized American citizen). The three lectures offer a short primer on existentialism and the modern crises philosophers grappled with.”

Listen at Open Culture.

Source: Open Culture.

Call for submissions to a forthcoming edited collection

About the Proposed Collection

This landmark Companion aims to define the academic field of literature and art history. It is the first volume of its kind to comprehensively survey, question, and attempt to organize, interdisciplinary research across these richly inter-related arts. The book is aimed at literature and art history students, as well as at academics and practitioners, who are interested in mapping out intersections between literature, the visual arts, and their respective academic disciplines. (more…)