Z e t e o
Reading, Looking, Listening, . . . Questioning
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 2 Comments
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  Once upon a time, there was a wildly popular “school” of thought called “existentialism.” Ordinary educated persons read works of existential writing and attended plays by existentialist dramatists; existential themes were bandied about in pubs and cafes; even the mass media took note of the way in which existentialist philosophy had broken the boundaries […]

ZiR
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  Kierkegaard appears unexpectedly on the “Opinionator” page of last week’s New York Times. He’s discussed in “The Stone” by a canny and sensitive philosopher, Katalin Balog. She finds the Danish thinker just under the surface of the Hungarian movie about the Holocaust, “Son of Saul,” which was recently awarded “Best Foreign Language Film” at the […]

ZiR
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I remember in the ’60s being fascinated by the writing of Erik Erikson. I’m not sure if he’s read much today. But there I was last week in the quiet of my new home, Portland, Maine, in the quiet of Longfellow Books, gazing fondly at the titles: Young Man Luther, Gandhi’s Truth, Childhood and Society. […]

ZiR
Categories: Ed Mooney, ZiR | 2 Comments
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                        Post-secular spirituality features:   1) posthuman ethics; 2) posthuman subjects; 3) totalistic re-positioning   I’ll read anything — almost. Once a month it’s my habit to browse stacks of journals out of my field. Looking for promising titles, I’ll glance at the first page or so to get the drift, then tag the […]

ZiR
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  I returned last night from a concert that featured, among other things, two movements from Bach’s unaccompanied cello suites. By pure luck, I had been reading an essay by Edward Said on Bach’s life and work. Bach cavorts with immortality. As my exposure to the cello suites confirmed once more, Bach’s work is inexhaustible […]

ZiR
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  It turns out that a runaway best-seller in Germany is a local forest ranger’s book about the communal life of trees. The Hidden Life of Trees will appear in English translation next fall. Trees help each other out. If their limbs block a neighbor’s light, they’ll sometimes lean away, and many trees do better […]

ZiR
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I was startled to read in yesterday’s Boston Globe that a scholarly paper on “the God particle” (the Higgs boson) had 5,154 authors. I wondered if they hired a stadium for the signing and celebration. I usually think of science as dancing with poetry. An odd couple, you’ll say, but I’ve learned from Thoreau that […]

ZiR
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I’m not sure what led me to open Moby Dick again. It’s become a book to browse rather than “get through.” And when a passage pops up, one can’t be in a rush. Going slowly I can unravel serpentine sentences that so often deliver gold. Why just now? Perhaps because I’ve moved to the seacoast […]

ZiR
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    I have a friend who has published an award-winning book of poems titled “Having Listened.” He writes in the shadow of Boston, near the Arnold Arboretum, designed by Fredrick Law Olmsted. We walked there recently, a patrician park overseen by Harvard University. It has no end of whispering trees and rolling paths. It’s […]

ZiLL
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The Self is Disposable, Isn’t It? Not for most of us for most of the time. But its reality can be brought into question. There are exotic cases of apparent persons who seem to lack a self. Bureaucracies and the structures capitalism seem to deflate any rich sense of self. And the splendor of brain […]

ZiR
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Nothing is more fascinating — and frustrating to others — than our capacity to manipulate the image or story we present to others. In an acute way this capacity to pretend or impersonate raises the question of who we are beneath public appearances. The clash between public appearance and underlying reality plays into the hands […]

ZiR

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A Syrian man holds lifeless body of his son, killed by Syrian Army, Aleppo, Syria, October 3, 2013, photo by Manu Brabo - AP

Nothing is more fascinating — and frustrating to others — than our capacity to manipulate the image or story we present to others. In an acute way this capacity to pretend or impersonate raises the question of who we are beneath public appearances. The clash between public appearance and underlying reality plays into the hands […]

ZiR

February 8, 2017

How does the slogan “man is a wolf to man” fit in with your later, somewhat hopeful image of camaraderie in the class struggle? I mean, if your starting assessment of human nature is correct, then doesn’t the class struggle actually come down to one group of savage beasts fighting another, the exploited class merely comprising those wolves with less opportunity to express their lupine ferocity? And don’t the exploiters no less than the exploited regularly turn against one another, so that besides the strife of classes, there is also the strife of each wolf against every other wolf? Wha...

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Beyoncé

Nothing is more fascinating — and frustrating to others — than our capacity to manipulate the image or story we present to others. In an acute way this capacity to pretend or impersonate raises the question of who we are beneath public appearances. The clash between public appearance and underlying reality plays into the hands […]

Article

December 13, 2016

Any doubts I may have had have been thoroughly quashed.

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Bakewell on Sartre: “Of course, he was monstrous. He was self-indulgent, demanding, bad-tempered. … I disagree with quite a lot in Sartre. But then there is the question of ‘character’—and Sartre is full of character. He bursts out on side sides with energy, peculiarity, generosity, and communicativeness.”

Nothing is more fascinating — and frustrating to others — than our capacity to manipulate the image or story we present to others. In an acute way this capacity to pretend or impersonate raises the question of who we are beneath public appearances. The clash between public appearance and underlying reality plays into the hands […]

Review

November 29, 2016

What a nice review ! I've read Bakewell and admire her courage and skill in mixing biography and philosophy in such an attractive way -- and I admire your skill in presenting the figures and themes of existentialism in an equally attractive way ! Mazel tov !

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