By Tariq Ali, Daniel Bensaïd
Author note: David Fernbach (Translation)
Publish 12 months note: First released in August sixth 2013
n the vintage culture of the philosopher--activist, Daniel Bensaid tells the tale of a lifestyles deeply entwined with the heritage of either the French and the foreign Left. From his kinfolk bistro in a staunchly crimson local of Toulouse to the founding of the Jeunesses communistes revolutionnaires within the Nineteen Sixties, from the joyous explosion of may well 1968 to the painful adventure of defeat in Latin the USA, from the re-reading of Marx to the "Marrano" path, Bensaid relates a lifetime of ideological and useful fight within which he unflinchingly sought to appreciate capitalism with out ever succumbing to its temptations.
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Extra resources for An Impatient Life: A Memoir
As Canadian Marxist critic Larry McDonald has, in a shrewd reading of George Grant, pointed out manifestly, there is no reason to believe “that a materialist philosophy cannot formulate, within history, a concept of the good that inspires human activity with a spiritual sense of meaning and purpose” (1984:127). Second, the material aspect of life forms the basis of our existence and becomes primary: our consciousness or ideas are “determined” (see Williams’s expanded and refined definition 1987:204–216 and Jameson’s redefinition 1981:29– 41) by our social existence.
Terry Eagleton, in his first massive study of aesthetic issues from a Marxist perspective, The Ideology of the Aesthetic, has attempted to reverse partly earlier verdicts on Marxism as merely economic determinism by refurbishing Marx’s materialist theory of the bodily (197–204). From Eagleton’s contribution, we can identify some class- and gender-specific ramifications. On the one hand, since Marx’s historically appointed agents are the proletariat (including women) or the working class, their varied emotions, feelings and concrete experiences, not those of the bourgeoisie, command our full attention (see Feuer xviii–xix).
However, such an idealist philosophical view on poetry and reality does not go unchallenged for long; even in Plato’s time, it is his very student, Aristotle, who posits a radical alternative to his mentor’s teachings and idealist position. 2 Aristotle’s Materialist Reversal of Plato’s Scheme: Nature, Things, Men and the Multiplicity of Possibilities In The Mirror and the Lamp, Abrams sets up a paradigm for comparing and analysing divergent critical theories. There we have four “coordinates”, themselves variables, not constants: the universe, the artist, the work and the audience (6).