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MERRY XENOTISM!
  • postcolonialism
  • contemporary art
  • contemporary literature
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  • contemporary culture
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Current Texts

Jochen Thermann

Jamais je n’aurais dû l’embaucher.

Jamais je n’aurais dû l’embaucher. Il avait pourtant l’air d’avoir toutes les compétences requises pour remplacer mon cuisinier habituel. Schneider s’était mis en arrêt maladie pour ce qui menaçait de devenir un temps indéterminé, et c’est comme cela que je me suis retrouvé tout naturellement à embaucher ce petit homme trapu qui parlait un allemand approximatif. Les affaires devaient continuer à tourner, après tout, les clients avaient faim.

Souvent, les relations complexes que l’on entretient au quotidien et qui s’accompagnent d’un code indéchiffrable ne sont pas suffisamment claires. C’est seulement une fois que les choses nous ont échappé que l’on comprend comment fonctionnaient leurs mécanismes de régulation : comment Schneider organisait ses achats, comment il donnait ses indications à ses aides-cuisiniers, comment il composait ses plats et avec quelle fidélité il s’efforçait de faire avancer mon affaire.

L’aide-cuisinier travaillait en apparence exactement comme lui. Il faisait aussi ses achats lui-même. Il cuisinait de...

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Current Texts

Maria Filomena Molder

So many egoists call themselves artists…

“So many egoists call themselves artists,” Rimbaud wrote to Paul Demeny on May 15, 1871. Even though that is not always obvious, ‘I’, the first person, is the most unknown person, a mystery that is constantly moving towards the other two, the second and third persons, a series of unfoldings and smatterings that eventually gelled as ‘Je est un autre’. That is why ‘apocryphal’ is a literarily irrelevant concept and ‘pseudo’ a symptom, the very proof that life, writing, is made up of echoes, which means that intrusions and thefts (Borges also discusses them) will always be the daily bread of those who write.

Words from others, words taken out of place and mutilated: here are the alms of time, that squanderer’s sole kindness. And so many others, mostly others who wrote, and many other pages, all of them apocryphal, all of them echoes, reflections. All this flows together into—two centuries...

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On Trees, Neophytes, and Druids
On Trees, Neophytes, and Druids

Damian Christinger, Monica Ursina Jäger

Homeland Fictions

Climate change is fundamentally changing the Swiss forests. We’re sitting here on the train to Zurich, watching the winter landscape going past. The white of the snow contrasts with the basic brown tones of the surrounding forests. Contrasting accents of color are given by ivy and the occasional evergreen conifer. When my son, who’s now in kindergarten, travels this same route with his grandchildren, the winter forests will be green. Such at least is the prognosis of the researchers at...
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Arts
Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back

Jelili Atiku, Damian Christinger

Mama Say Make I Dey Go, She Dey My Back

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  • performance
  • spiritism
  • ritual
  • Africa
  • feminism
  • body
  • colonialism
  • ceremony
La molle et voluptueuse décadence du lieu
 La molle et voluptueuse décadence du lieu

Bruce Bégout

L’homme de Venise

Je ne parlerai pas ici de mon métier. Je pratique l’urbex depuis plus de vingt ans et mon blog est le plus consulté sur la toile. J’y ai compilé des centaines de visites sur des sites oubliés, décrit des lieux abandonnés aux quatre coins du monde (tunnels, bases sous-marine, parcs d’attraction, asiles, usines, etc.) narré mes aventures dans ces endroits insolites et reculés qui exercent une grande fascination sur l’imagination moderne. Tout le monde connaît mon nom – un pseudonyme...
Fiction

Maël Renouard

On Memory Atrophy

Externalized memory had always proceeded by contractions, summaries, reductions, selections, breaks in flow, as well as by organization, classification, boiling down. Card catalogues reduced thousands of works to a few key notions; tables of contents contracted the hundreds of pages in a given book. The sign itself was the first abbreviation of experience. An epic stitched of words was an abbreviation of the war, the long years of which were reduced to a few nights of recitation; the written text that recorded the epic was a contraction of the oral narration which pushed aside its sensory richness, melody, life in a thousand details. In accumulating, every level of abbreviation reconstituted an infinite flow, a new dilation that would be contracted in its turn. From the plurality of pages to the index and the table of contents; from the plurality of books to card catalogues.

The abbreviated elements were further arranged, situated...

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Fiction

Stephen Barber

Twenty-four hours in state of unconsciousness

Now the dead will no longer be buried, now this spectral city will become the site for execrations and lamentations, now time itself will disintegrate and void itself, now human bodies will expectorate fury and envision their own transformation or negation, now infinite and untold catastrophes are imminently on their way —ready to cross the bridge over the river Aire and engulf us all — in this winter of discontent, just beginning at this dead-of-night ­instant before midnight, North-Sea ice-particles already crackling in the air and the last summer long-over, the final moment of my seventeenth birthday, so we have to go, the devil is at our heels… And now we’re running at full-tilt through the centre of the city, across the square beneath the Purbeck-marble edifice of the Queen’s ­Hotel, down towards the dark arches under the railway tracks, the illuminated sky shaking, the air fissured with beating cacophony,...

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An immodest proposal
An immodest proposal

Stephen Barber

A War of Fragments: World Versus America

J.G. Ballard’s self-declared ‘Immodest Proposal’ for a global war-­alliance to exact the destruction of America demonstrates the provocatory zeal of his last fiction plans, as well as their enduring prescience. As Ballard emphasises several times in the World Versus America notebooks, he is utterly serious in his concerns and visions. Although the Ballard ­estate declined permission for any images of pages from the World Versus America archival notebooks to accompany this essay, any member of the general public interested to do...
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Discourse
From xenolinguistics to cephalo­pods

From xenolinguistics to cephalo­pods

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  • linguistics
  • communication
  • science fiction
  • utopia
  • communication media
  • semiotics and semiology
Discourse
“Poetry must be made  by all. Not by one.”

Mário Gomes

“Poetry must be made by all. Not by one.”

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  • spatial turn
  • community
  • South America
  • theory of architecture
  • fiction
  • architecture
  • poetics
Digital disrupture
Digital disrupture

Dieter Mersch

Digital Criticism

We really need an analysis of algorithmic conditions and their paradoxes and ambiguities that gives them an adequate framework and horizon. But instead we currently seem to be finding an algorithmic solution of the algorithmic, much as digital solutions are being offered for the problems of the digital public sphere, in the way that IT corporations, for example, use exclusively mathematical procedures to evaluate and delete “fake news,” inappropriate portrayals, or the violation of personal rights. This tends to result...
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Humanities

Marcus Quent

Belief in the world is what we most lack.

It was Gilles Deleuze who in various contexts underlined that what we most lacked was “belief in the world.” The odd remark appears, for example, in a conversation in 1990 with the Italian Marxist Antonio Negri about revolutionary emergence and the political force of minorities. In this dialogue Negri examines his interlocutor’s thought in the light of the “problem of the political,” which connects the various stages of the philosopher’s intellectual biography. Deleuze’s remark here is the reprise of a motif that would be familiar to readers of his second book on cinema, which appeared in 1985, in which Deleuze contends that the “power of modern cinema” is based on its ability to “give us back” our lost “belief in the world.”

At the end of the conversation Negri asks his dialogue partner about the possibility of present-day processes of subjectivization. After initially emphasizing the “rebellious spontaneity” of such processes, Deleuze...

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