If you’ve yet to read Borges, get it together. This collection is the best way to get started. A wonderful sampling of his strange and delightful, haunting fictions and his meandering but pointed essays, I cannot recommend highly enough picking up this volume from one of the greatest writers in both the great Argentine and great Modernist traditions.
Jacques Rancière is (and has been for some time now) doing some of the most interesting work in contemporary philosophy. His gesture is a radical historicization, a situation of organizing categories in their historical context and logic (a gesture which leads Badiou to call him an anti-philosopher); it is a historicization which serves not to limit, but rather to open up new and creative lines of flight. This is an excellent introductory collection to one of today’s most creative thinkers of art and politics.
No facile understanding of the relationship between culture and politics is worth the paper it’s printed on or the time it takes to read. Jameson is rare and beautiful, his analyses are unique in their breadth and subtlety and they have to be to take on the subject that they do. Not only is this book essential reading on political and social interpretation but it is also an shining example of how elegant and creative theory can be.
Reading Aira is too easy. You might think that serious literature can’t be this enjoyable. Aira’s work makes you wrong. This is what great contemporary literature looks like: it’s fun, it’s funny, it’s smart, it’s absurd, it’s fast and it’s strange, but it’s also warm and relatable, and it never alienates. Aira is Borges stripped of filter, having fun; he’s Calvino on the ground; Kafka in the sky.
I read this for the first time while I was packing all my things for a move and I was floored, actually floored. So sad and so beautiful. And peaceful. Not just for the cat-lover, this is one of those wonderful little books in which nothing much really happens and the whole experience of reading it is warmth.