Ferdydurke is translated here directly from the Polish for the first time. Danuta Borchardt deftly captures Gombrowicz's playful and idiosyncratic style, and she allows English speakers to experience fully the masterpiece of a writer whom Milan Kundera describes as “one of the great novelists of our century.”
Written in a straightforward way without his famous linguistic inventions, the book presents an engaging account of Gombrowicz’s childhood, youth, literary beginnings, and fellow writers in interwar Poland and reveals how these experiences and individuals shaped his seemingly outlandish concepts about the self, culture, art, and society. In addition, the book helps readers understand the numerous autobiographical allusions in his fiction and brings a new level of understanding and appreciation to his life and work.
Trans-Atlantyk is a semi-autobiographical, satirical novel that throws into heightened perspective all of Gombrowicz's major literary, philosophical, psychological, and social concerns. First published in Paris in 1953, it is based on the author's experience of being caught in Argentina at the outbreak of World War II. The narrator finds himself alone, without family and friends, at odds with the Argentinian literary world and with Polish émigré society. Throughout the book, Gombrowicz ridicules the self-centered pomposity of the Polish community in Argentina. More than this, he explores with prophetic vision the modern predicament of exile and displacement in a disintegrating world.
The form and style of Trans-Atlantyk reinforce Gombrowicz's satire. The novel is written in the idiom of the gaweda, a seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Polish oral genre typical of the conservative culture of provincial nobility, that presents a jarring and sometimes hilarious contrast to the formless and expansive culture of the modern world. Because of its stylistic difficulty, Trans-Atlantyk is the only one of Gombrowicz's works that has never before been translated into English. Now Carolyn French and Nina Karsov have produced a daring and original translation, the product of over ten years of effort, that corresponds roughly in tone and diction to a seventeenth/eighteenth-century English idiom and that conveys Gombrowicz's irreverent and fierce parody of an anachronistic culture in the twentieth century.
Gombrowicz's Diary grew to become a vast collection of essays, short notes, polemics, and confessions on myriad subjects ranging from political events to literature to the certainty of death. Not a traditional journal, Diary is instead the commentary of a brilliant and restless mind. Widely regarded as a masterpiece, this brilliant work compelled Gombrowicz's attention for a decade and a half until he penned his final entry in France, shortly before his death in 1969.
Long out of print in English, Diary is now presented in a convenient single volume featuring a new preface by Rita Gombrowicz, the author's widow and literary executor. This edition also includes ten previously unpublished pages from the 1969 portion of the diary.
Once in the country, however, Fryderyk and Witold quickly bore of their surroundings -- all of their surroundings, that is, but the two teenagers who are staying on Hipolit's farm: Henia, Hipolit's daughter; and Karol, the son of one of the farmhands, who has just returned from a stint in the Polish resistance movement. Both sixteen years old, they have known each other all their lives, and interact as naturally and indifferently as siblings. Witold, however, begins to obsess over their budding sexuality, and imposes on their every interaction an erotic twist that leaves him half-crazed with voyeuristic lust. He is convinced that Karol and Henia must go to bed with each other, and it soon becomes apparent that Fryderyk has the same idea; as their time at the farm progresses, both men turn seemingly innocent interactions with the two teenagers into a sort of erotic chess game. Small pretenses for contact between the young folks -- pointing out that Karol's pant cuffs are dragging in the dirt, for instance, and asking Henia to roll them up for him -- become fantastic acts pregnant with innuendo and possibility. The fact that Henia is engaged to a respectable (if dandyish) older man only makes the game more interesting. Communicating his intentions to Witold through a series of letters left under a brick near the farm's edge, Fryderyk begins to slowly undermine Henia's engagement. He tells the teenagers that he is directing a play, and asks them to mimic a slightly suggestive scene for him -- and then arranges for Witold to bring Henia's fiance, Vaclav, nearby at the most provocative moment. Vaclav of course misinterprets what he sees, and begins to sink into paranoia and suspicion of his young bride-to-be.
Two incidents of violence temporarily disrupt Witold and Fryderyk's games. First, Vaclav's mother is stabbed to death by a young thief in front of all the farm's residents. The tragedy leaves Vaclav even more unstable, and everyone involved shaken.
The second situation arises when a senior commander in the resistance named Siemian comes to stay at the farm for a few days. Karol has served with him, and snaps to attention immediately. Not long after Siemian arrives, Hipolit receives a distressing order from the local underground authorities; Siemian has lost his nerve and wants to leave the resistance. His high position makes this simply too compromising, and Hipolit has been commanded to murder his houseguest.
Hipolit enlists the help of his other male guests, but none of them -- Witold, Fryderyk, or Vaclav -- can bring themselves to kill the man. Then Fryderyk stumbles upon an outrageous idea: he will manipulate Karol and Henia, and get them to perform the murder themselves. Sure enough, the two teens are obedient, just as they have been when Henia rolled up Karol's pant cuffs or when they performed a scene from a nonexistent play. The men give the teens a knife (much like the one which killed Vaclav's mother), and instruct them to enter Siemian's room and finish him off.
But something goes very wrong. Vaclav, who has been growing more and more unstable and disconsolate over what he thinks is a love affair between Henia and Karol, has entered Siemian's room before the two teenagers, and murdered the commander himself. He then darkened the room and waited. When the teens knock, Vaclav opens the door -- and Karol, mistaking Vaclav for Siemien, murders him. The narrator's frivolous mind games are suddenly made very real, and as the book ends they are, for the first time, and in their moment of catastrophe, brought closer than ever before to their young pawns.
Cosmos is a metaphysical noir thriller narrated by Witold, a seedy, pathetic, and witty student, who is charming and appalling by turns. On his way to a relaxing vacation he meets the despondent Fuks. As they set off together for a family-run pension in the Carpathian Mountains they discover a dead bird hanging from a string. Is this a strange but meaningless occurrence or is it the beginning of a string of bizarre events. As the young men become embroiled in the Chekhovian travails of the family running the pension Grombrowicz’s creates a gripping narrative where the reader questions who is sane and who is safe.
Considered to be one of the most important philosophical works of all time, the History of Western Philosophy is a dazzlingly unique exploration of the ideologies of significant philosophers throughout the ages—from Plato and Aristotle through to Spinoza, Kant and the twentieth century. Written by a man who changed the history of philosophy himself, this is an account that has never been rivaled since its first publication over sixty years ago.
Since its first publication in 1945, Lord Russell’s A History of Western Philosophy is still unparalleled in its comprehensiveness, its clarity, its erudition, its grace, and its wit. In seventy-six chapters he traces philosophy from the rise of Greek civilization to the emergence of logical analysis in the twentieth century.
Among the philosophers considered are: Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Empedocles, Anaxagoras, the Atomists, Protagoras, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Cynics, the Sceptics, the Epicureans, the Stoics, Plotinus, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Benedict, Gregory the Great, John the Scot, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Occam, Machiavelli, Erasmus, More, Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, the Utilitarians, Marx, Bergson, James, Dewey, and lastly the philosophers with whom Lord Russell himself is most closely associated—Cantor, Frege, and Whitehead, coauthor with Russell of the monumental Principia Mathematica.
In his concise Introduction, Eric Steinberg explores the conditions that led Hume to write the Enquiry and the work's important relationship to Book I of Hume's A Treatise of Human Nature.
Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) was one of the leading social theorists in the United States. Her Lectures on Kant's Political Philosophy and Love and Saint Augustine are also published by the University of Chicago Press.
Translated and edited by Walter Kaufmann
Commentary by Martin Heidegger, Albert Camus, and Gilles Deleuze
One hundred years after his death, Friedrich Nietzsche remains the most influential philosopher of the modern era. Basic Writings of Nietzsche gathers the complete texts of five of Nietzsche’s most important works, from his first book to his last: The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, On the Genealogy of Morals, The Case of Wagner, and Ecce Homo. Edited and translated by the great Nietzsche scholar Walter Kaufmann, this volume also features seventy-five aphorisms, selections from Nietzsche’s correspondence, and variants from drafts for Ecce Homo. It is a definitive guide to the full range of Nietzsche’s thought.
Includes a Modern Library Reading Group Guide
One of the most controversial figures on the intellectual scene, Ayn Rand was the proponent of a moral philosophy—and ethic of rational self-interest—that stands in sharp opposition to the ethics of altruism and self-sacrifice. The fundamentals of this morality—"a philosophy for living on Earth"—are here vibrantly set forth by the spokesman for a new class, For the New Intellectual.
From the Paperback edition.
For the legions of readers who treasure Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, and who savor cogent analysis and provocative discussion of Ayn Rand's thoughts and beliefs, Understanding Objectivism takes the stimulating study of Rand's philosophy to the next level.
Yet the work goes far beyond a mere critique of contemporary events. Historically remote developments, indeed, the birth of Western history and of subjectivity itself out of the struggle against natural forces, as represented in myths, are connected in a wide arch to the most threatening experiences of the present.
The book consists in five chapters, at first glance unconnected, together with a number of shorter notes. The various analyses concern such phenomena as the detachment of science from practical life, formalized morality, the manipulative nature of entertainment culture, and a paranoid behavioral structure, expressed in aggressive anti-Semitism, that marks the limits of enlightenment. The authors perceive a common element in these phenomena, the tendency toward self-destruction of the guiding criteria inherent in enlightenment thought from the beginning. Using historical analyses to elucidate the present, they show, against the background of a prehistory of subjectivity, why the National Socialist terror was not an aberration of modern history but was rooted deeply in the fundamental characteristics of Western civilization.
Adorno and Horkheimer see the self-destruction of Western reason as grounded in a historical and fateful dialectic between the domination of external nature and society. They trace enlightenment, which split these spheres apart, back to its mythical roots. Enlightenment and myth, therefore, are not irreconcilable opposites, but dialectically mediated qualities of both real and intellectual life. "Myth is already enlightenment, and enlightenment reverts to mythology." This paradox is the fundamental thesis of the book.
This new translation, based on the text in the complete edition of the works of Max Horkheimer, contains textual variants, commentary upon them, and an editorial discussion of the position of this work in the development of Critical Theory.
Deleuze and Guattari's 'A Thousand Plateaus': A Reader's Guide offers a concise and accessible introduction to this extremely important and yet challenging work. Written specifically to meet the needs of students coming to Deleuze and Guattari for the first time, the book offers guidance on:
- Philosophical and historical context
- Key themes
- Reading the text
- Reception and influence
- Further reading
In this far-reaching study, Peikoff identifies the three methods people use to integrate concrete data into a whole, as when connecting diverse experiments by a scientific theory, or separate laws into a Constitution, or single events into a story. The first method, in which data is integrated through rational means, he calls Integration. The second, which employs non-rational means, he calls Misintegration. The third is Disintegration—which is nihilism, the desire to tear things apart.
In The DIM Hypothesis Peikoff demonstrates the power of these three methods in shaping the West, by using the categories to examine the culturally representative fields of literature, physics, education, and politics. His analysis illustrates how the historical trends in each field have been dominated by one of these three categories, not only today but during the whole progression of Western culture from its beginning in Ancient Greece.
Extrapolating from the historical pattern he identifies, Peikoff concludes by explaining why the lights of the West are going out—and predicts the most likely future for the United States.
Introduction. Bibliography. A Note on the Text.
1. Idea for a Universal History with a Cosmopolitan Intent (1784)
2. An Answer to the Question: What Is Enlightenment? (1784)
3. Speculative Beginning of Human History (1786)
4. On the Proverb: That May Be True in Theory, but Is of No Practical Use (1793)
5. The End of All Things (1794)
6. To Perpetual Peace: A Philosophical Sketch (1795)
Glossary of Some German-English Translations. Index.
Hayim analyzes key existential concepts of negation, temporality, choice, anguish, and bad faith, and carefully situates them in the different relations of self to the otherrelations of indifference and destruction, as well as relations of engagement and pledge. She joins the two orders of beingontology and sociology - and establishes intellectual and ethical continuity between the phenomenology of Being and Nothingness, Sartre's momentous early work and neglected sociological categories in his later works. Critique of Dialectical Reason and Notebooks for an Ethics.
Hayim makes accessible to the social scientist a rich repertoire of existential motifs and perspectives on community and group interactions and their inextricable bond to the life practice of the individual. The author contends that the massive language of a "sociology of things" instills in the human actor a feeling of helplessness and gross inferiority vis-a-vis the social world. She offers, in contrast, the existential emphasis on the importance of substituting live human experience for mechanistic processes of explanation and of establishing a language of conscious choice and responsibility in place of the massive language found in orthodox social analysis. The new introductory essay suggests the influence of Sartre on new discourses in sociological and social-psychological theory, especially with reference to our contemporary disaffection with classical notions of emancipation and other "universalized discourses," as well as in reference to current debates on "essentialism" and "self-identity." Hayim's book will interest a wide variety of readers including phenomenologists, sociologists, admirers of Sartre's theories, and students of existential social psychology.
The book emphasizes the relationship between models and the traditional goal of logic, the evaluation of arguments, and critically examines apparatus and assumptions that often are taken for granted. Philosophical Logic provides an unusually thorough treatment of conditional logic, unifying probabilistic and model-theoretic approaches. It underscores the variety of approaches that have been taken to relevantistic and related logics, and it stresses the problem of connecting formal systems to the motivating ideas behind intuitionistic mathematics. Each chapter ends with a brief guide to further reading.
Philosophical Logic addresses students new to logic, philosophers working in other areas, and specialists in logic, providing both a sophisticated introduction and a new synthesis.
In his thorough introduction of more than a hundred pages, Michael Howard takes readers through these thought-provoking chapters: Is Art Dead? To Muse or Amuse Artistic Activity As Spiritual Activity The Representative of Humanity Beauty, Creativity, and Metamorphosis New Directions in Art Lectures include: The Aesthetics of Goethe's Worldview The Spiritual Being of Art Buildings Will Speak The Sense Organs and Aesthetic Experience The Two Sources of Art The Building at Dornach The Supersensible Origin of the Arts Truth, Beauty, and Goodness Christ, Ahriman, and Lucifer Plus a bibliography and index
This important new interpretation is based on the most comprehensive study of Machiavelli's writings to date, including a detailed examination of all of his major works: The Prince, The Discourses, The Art of War, and Florentine Histories. It helps explain why readers such as Bacon and Rousseau could see Machiavelli as a fellow moral philosopher, and how they could view The Prince as an ethical and republican text. By identifying a rigorous structure of principles behind Machiavelli's historical examples, the book should also open up fresh debates about his relationship to later philosophers, including Rousseau, Hobbes, and Kant.
Besides what a few grumpy critics claim, Postmodernism is not a bunch of meaningless intellectual mind games. On the contrary, it is a reaction to the most profound spiritual and philosophical crisis of our time – the failure of the Enlightenment.
Jim Powell takes the position that Postmodernism is a series of “maps” that help people find their way through a changing world. Postmodernism For Beginners features the thoughts of Foucault on power and knowledge, Jameson on mapping the postmodern, Baudrillard on the media, Harvey on time-space compression, Derrida on deconstruction and Deleuze and Guattari on rhizomes. The book also discusses postmodern artifacts such as Madonna, cyberpunk, Buddhist ecology, and teledildonics.
His central concern, Žižek has proclaimed, is to use psychoanalysis (especially the teachings of Jacques Lacan) to redeploy the insights of late-modern German philosophy, in particular, the thought of Kant, Schelling, and Hegel. By taking this avowal seriously, Adrian Johnston finally clarifies the philosophical project underlying Žižek’s efforts. His book charts the interlinked ontology and theory of subjectivity constructed by Žižek at the intersection of German idealism and Lacanian theory. Johnston also uses Žižek’s combination of philosophy and psychoanalysis to address two perennial philosophical problems: the relationship of mind and body, and the nature of human freedom. By bringing together the past two centuries of European philosophy, psychoanalytic metapsychology, and cutting-edge work in the natural sciences, Johnston develops a transcendental materialist theory of subjectivity—in short, an account of how more-than-material forms of subjectivity can emerge from a corporeal being. His work shows how an engagement with Žižek’s philosophy can produce compelling answers to today’s most vexing and urgent questions as inherited from the history of ideas.