Four Decades of Semiotext(e)
Like most small presses, Semiotext e is the product of the artistic and intellectual sensibilities of its editors. Lotringer was a hidden child in France during the Holocaust, earned his doctorate in semiotics at the Sorbonne under Roland Barthes, and has taught in the French department at Columbia University since They found common ground in making outrage a source of philosophical insight.
Because of his experiences of changing his name and going into hiding with his parents in the French countryside to escape the Holocaust, Lotringer says he became a specialist in French writing of the s and 40s. The nihilism and mysticism, often bound up in anti-Semitism, of Celine and Simone Weil continually pulls Lotringer back to an era that still haunts him. It made me reckless, I had nothing to lose. Though he was fervently Zionist during his youth, Lotringer has never written about his Jewish background.
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We wanted our reference to be political and in some sense unacceptable. Who would have wanted to be a communist then? So I thought it was the right time to reclaim it. In a sense the communist idea not its reality had never been thought through. It was corrupted from the start by dictature inside and capitalism outside, the two working hand to hand to keep the lid on.
The cold war was some kind of a death dance and we all had to watch our steps.
Hating capitalism seems like a luxury at this point because what else is there? But accepting that as a fact already is playing the capitalist game: cynicism by day and new age by night.
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Jekyll and Mr. Jack Smith kept repeating: I need something to hate. Everything for nothing. At least hate is a strong passion, and most other affects are just special effects of the system. Love, sex, fame, fortune, all pre-cooked, all heavily tampered with. You have to hang on to something if you want to go anywhere. But where is there to go? Most people I know live in the hope of having their picture in the obituary of the New York Times.
I wish the title could have been in French instead of in English, it would have come closer to what we had in mind.
In Haine du capitalisme, the du works both ways: hatred is inherent to capitalism. What is definitely hateful about it is the hatred that it secretes: hatred of life reduced to meaninglessness. Where were you when the U. I was in Los Angeles. I was woken up early in the morning and rushed to see images of the towers in flame on TV. I found the anchors rather lame and the whole show unconvincing. Then my daughter called in panic from New York and it dawned on me that the unbelievable had happened. William Burroughs talked about an outrage of that sort in the late 70s, a low-yield A-bomb exploding in lower Manhattan but to experience it even at a distance is a different thing.
I regretted not being with my friends in New York. The way everyone reacted to the disaster, the collective spirit they demonstrated, was truly admirable. All carriers deliver during normal business working hours and may require a signature on receipt, so please ensure your order is delivered to an address where someone will be available to accept it.
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Hatred of Capitalism - A Semiotext(e) Reader by Chris Kraus - Sylvere | Fruugo
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Related Hatred of Capitalism: A Semiotext
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