Sunday, 28 September 2008

Knackademic (Week 3)

Trying to meet all the demands listed in self-mortification (see below) will produce a delayed and intermittent "service". In lieu of posting the following are out / due out:

‘‘The End of the Monarchy of Sex’: Sexuality and Contemporary Nihilism’, Theory, Culture & Society 25.5 (September 2008): 104-122.
[lengthy, and a little dull. Like most things I write I'm not sure I even agree with myself]

Horror temporis’, Collapse vol. IV ‘Concept Horror’, ed. Robin MacKay (May 2008): 277-284.
[again, I have my doubts, although read the pieces by Reza, Iain Hamilton Grant, and James Trafford]

Forthcoming, as they say
‘Through a glass darkly: Badiou’s critique of anarchism’, Anarchist Studies 16.2 (October 2008).
[a little basic, and rather flat in parts, but better questions than answers]

Review essay of Yannis Stavrakakis, The Lacanian Left (SUNY 2007) and Ian Parker’s Revolutions in Psychology (Pluto 2007), Historical Materialism.
[described as "curmudgeonly"]

‘Be reasonable!’: Review of Jürgen Habermas, Between Naturalism and Religion (Polity 2008), The Philosophers’ Magazine.
[hopefully out, I made an (unnecessary) meal out of writing this]

A few other things require urgent re-writing due to the horrified realisation when I re-read them that they seem to have been written by some kind of idiot.
Your time may be better spent looking at the new issue of Cultural Logic, which has a very strange (but that goes with the territory) piece on Non-Marxism (PDF here). Or reading Owen's thoughtful comments on the state and revolution.


it said...

You know, Ben, I very carefully read your KF piece. It's really fucking good. Am also constantly impressed by your ability to pre-empt deadlines.

Benjamin said...

I enjoy doing this stuff, although seem to have hit a brick wall confidence wise..

Dominic said...

I wanted to scold you for being needlessly self-deprecating, but am genuinely afflicted by the same disease - not false modesty, but being seriously plagued by the nagging conviction that everything I've written is shit, even though at some other level I know it isn't and am even quite proud of much of it.

The only thing to do in my limited experience is let what's already written lie, accept others' good opinion of it as provisionally correct, and never re-read - once the last draft is in - until you've practically forgotten you ever wrote the fucking thing in the first place.

I lost a quarter-completed PhD to my own debilitating disgust at everything I'd written up to that point, and years later I look back at it and some of it's really pretty good. If I'd just kept on writing it would probably have gone OK. One really does have to just keep on writing...plenty of far less talented people do (this is what my dad calls the "bigger prats than me" rationale)...

Benjamin said...

I realised self-flagellation is indulgent and I like your dad's point. There's a very thin line between necessary self-criticism to ensure good writing and Bernhardian meltdown / preciousness. All I can say is that the Badiou / aesthetics piece I was re-writing really needed it.
You're also probably right on avoiding too much re-reading; what concerns me, at some fundamental level, is I never feel I have a take / position on things. Still this operant nihilism is what keeps me going.