Sunday, April 26, 2009

Nealon, Jeffrey T. Review of Bernard Stiegler's ACTING OUT. NDPR (April 2009).

Stiegler, Bernard. Acting Out. Trans. David Barison, Daniel Ross, and Patrick Crogan. Stanford: Stanford UP, 2009. Acting Out consists of a very fine translation of two brief 2003 books by French philosopher and social critic Bernard Stiegler: Passer à l'acte, which is translated under the title "How I Became a Philosopher"; and Aimer, s'aimer, nous aimer: Du 11 septembre au 21 avril, which is rendered here as "To Love, to Love Me, to Love Us: From September 11 to April 21." "How I Became a Philosopher" is an account of just that, a memoir of Stiegler's "passage to the act" of philosophy, with special emphasis on his five years of imprisonment for armed robbery (1978-83), where he first began this difficult passage. This text is a lyrical, elliptical, and philosophically rich recounting of Stiegler's own transformation, under the most dire conditions, in and through the practices of thinking. "To Love" is a very different kind of text, a piece of social criticism that takes the form of an extended meditation on what Stiegler calls the "loss of individuation" (39) under contemporary consumption capitalism, pointing out the toxic, violent effects of de-individuation for both the individual and the community (or, in Stiegler's preferred Hegelian vocabulary, the "I" and the "we"). . . . Read the whole review here:

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