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I have always, deeply, violently, detested those who look for a position (political, philosophical, religious, whatever) in a work of art rather than searching it for an effort to know, to understand, to grasp this or that aspect of reality. Until Stravinsky, music was never able to give barbaric rites a grand form. We could not imagine them musically. Which means: we could not imagine the beauty of the barbaric. Without its beauty, the barbaric would remain incomprehensible. (I stress this: to know any phenomenon deeply requires understanding its beauty, actual or potential.) Saying that a bloody rite does possess some beauty—there's the scandal, unbearable, unacceptable. And yet, unless we understand this scandal, unless we get to the very bottom of it, we cannot understand much about man. Stravinsky gives the barbaric rite a musical form that is powerful and convincing but does not lie: listen to the last section of the Sacre, the "Danse sacrale" ("Sacrificial Dance"): it does not dodge the horror. It is there. Merely shown? Not denounced? But if it were denounced—stripped of its beauty, shown in its hideousness—it would be a cheat, a simplification, a piece of "propaganda." It is because it is beautiful that the girl's murder is so horrible.” If Mihailo Markovic was not who his Western friends and collaborators had thought he was, who was he? Did he jettison his humanist beliefs to cozy up to a new regime? Or had he been a wolf in sheep’s clothing all along?
Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in - OceanofPDF [PDF] [EPUB] Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in - OceanofPDF
But Zivotic and his followers made their real reputation as peace activists. During the war years, the Belgrade Circle expanded to include a motley array of workers, filmmakers, intellectuals, and artists. At its height it had five hundred followers, who convened every Saturday for public events geared toward interethnic dialogue and peace.merece este libro. Este ensayo sobre la novela es una obra fabulosa. Tiene una estructura muy a la Kundera donde puedo ver muchas de sus ideas generales plasmadas en sus libros, y lo más importante, me ayudó a comprender cosas que se escapaban de mi entendimiento para poder comprender más lo que Kundera trata de decir. This was particularly evident when Puhovski himself edited a special issue of Praxis in 1973. He received a submission from the well-known Serbian novelist Dobrica Cosic. It was a short piece that argued that true socialism was not possible in an unenlightened society and that faith in the people — of which Cosic claimed to have little — was the “last refuge for our historically defeated hopes.” Which people and what hopes? The article did not specify. But Puhovski detected a disturbing nationalist message all the same. Nor was he impressed with the article’s argument or its rigor: “I had the junior approach of believing that philosophy and sociology were specialized fields,” he recounts with a touch of sarcasm. “I didn’t think Cosic’s piece was up to the level. It was bad nationalist propaganda.” He turned it down. Four forms of communism's disintegration, which also means the collapse of four ancient European ventures
Testaments Betrayed | Faber / 2002 AP English Language and Testaments Betrayed | Faber / 2002 AP English Language and
Yugoslavia, despite Tito’s bold initiatives, fell far short of this ideal. In Yugoslavia’s hybrid economy, the much-touted self-managing enterprises were exposed to market pressures, on the one hand, and capricious state control, on the other. Regional oligarchies took root: In the end, local power brokers manipulated and ignored workers’ councils in much the way managers do everywhere. But the Praxists saw these problems as evidence that self-management had not gone far enough. They were at once self-management’s most passionate exponents abroad and the Yugoslav system’s fiercest internal critics.
In his second novel written in French (after Slowness), Czech-born novelist Kundera employs spare prose in the service of a meditation on the precarious nature of the human sense of self. Recently Continue reading » Despite the general intolerance for opposition, some philosophical currents called for a radicalization of Yugoslavia’s socialist democracy and a more humanist vision of social change. Prominent among these was the Praxis group, which from 1964 to 1974 produced among the most innovative Marxist journals internationally, also bound to the experience of a socialist state. Such was Praxis’s prestige, its yearly summer school attracted figures from Herbert Marcuse to Erich Fromm. At the end of the 1980s, the balance among Yugoslavia’s nationalities began to collapse, and many Praxis leaders joined the wave of ethnic chauvinism. There was little trace of the humanism the group had long preached.
Testaments Betrayed: An Essay in Nine Parts by Milan Kundera
Much has changed since Gerson Sher traveled to Yugoslavia to research his dissertation amid the political and intellectual ferment of the late 1960s. For one thing, the idiosyncratic country that captured his imagination no longer exists. Nor does Praxis, the group of Marxist humanist philosophers Sher studied. But this is not the only reason he responds warily to a request for an interview: “I am appalled,” he says, “that you should be interested in Praxis at this time.” The original version of this immensely engaging, painstakingly composed journal about a provincial doctor who makes house calls was hailed in France upon its publication in 1997. Like the physician Continue reading »Praxis International‘s American editors were not particularly perturbed that, with the exception of Supek, they had lost the Zagreb contingent. Says Seyla Benhabib, “The question of ethnicity was irrelevant. They were all Yugoslavs. To us outsiders, it wasn’t even like asking, ‘Are you Italian American or Irish American?’ It was more like asking, ‘Are you Bavarian or from Berlin?'” At its inception, the philosophical journal Praxis was merely the successor to Pogledi, a political journal issued from Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, in the 1950s. Pogledi was a casualty of state interference: It lasted only three years. Chief among the defunct journal’s contributors had been the University of Zagreb sociologist Rudi Supek, who participated in the French Resistance as an emigre during World War II and later led an underground prisoners’ organization when he was interned at Buchenwald; and the University of Zagreb philosopher Gajo Petrovic, a Serb from Croatia who gravitated toward the early Marx, existentialism, and Heidegger. Birnbaum remembers, “Supek and Petrovic were impressive for their moral rigor, their utter disdain of careerism. They were people you loved to be around.” From the ashes of Pogledi, Supek, Petrovic, and their colleagues went on to start their summer school on Korcula in 1963 and a new journal, Praxis, in 1964. The group that formed around these ventures consisted of a close-knit circle of friends and colleagues — some from Supek’s and Petrovic’s departments at the University of Zagreb and another eight from the philosophy department at the University of Belgrade.