10 June 2008, 11:43 am
[J]ust as wine becomes for a good number of intellectuals a mediumistic substance which leads them towards the original strength of nature, steak is for them a redeeming food, thanks to which they bring their intellectualism to the level of prose and exorcise, through blood and soft pulp, the sterile dryness of which they are constantly accused.
Roland Barthes, “Steak and Chips”, in Mythologies, (Vintage, 2000; orig. English transl. 1972; orig. French 1957)
15 March 2005, 1:22 pm
Complicities: The Intellectual and Apartheid, Philosophy and Postcoloniality Series. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2002.
Published at H-Net Review.
MARK SANDERS’S Complicities: The Intellectual and Apartheid is a difficult book and it is difficult partly because of its intellectual genealogy. Though developed from what the author calls “incidental remarks in the responses of Jacques Derrida and others” during the mid-1990s debates about complicity, European intellectuals and Nazism, carried out mainly in the New York Review of Books, Sanders’s affiliation to a Derridean form of reading is more than incidental (p. x). I do not mean this in a pejorative sense (as is now de rigueur in contemporary reactions to the work of late-twentieth-century theory). On the contrary, the strengths of Derridean reading come to the fore in this book because it makes difficult or complicates notions of resistance, responsibility, and complicity. Another intellectual affiliation of this book may illuminate this point.