Edvard Munch described man's basic existential conditions: loneliness, fusion fantasies and an ecstasy that ends in vampirism and screams. But was Hans Jæger the source of inspiration for "Scream"? This essay looks at both love entanglements, naturalism and decadence – from Kristiania and Berlin.
Cecilie Hellestveit: Bad news from the Eastern Front – the war that changed everything Everyone is affected by the war in Ukraine: both family finances and official budgets, aid cuts, military rearmament, global energy policy, nuclear policy and, not least, bloc politics, and it also creates increased tension around the globe. So where is the overview, or a deeper understanding? Researcher Cecilie Hellestveit has her new book Bad news from the Eastern Front unfortunately carried out a serious 'cherry-picking' of sources and arguments where she conveniently develops backwards what confirms the generally acceptable.
Do many still have fascist longings today, or can one always blame seductive leaders? A closer dive into the 100-year-old Italian fascism and its descendants says something about the dangers we are now likely to face.
Role models: In public Latin America, independence heroes Bolívar and San Martin or Che Guevara and Evita are either idolized or satanized through paintings and photographs. This book takes a closer look at why.
FUTURE: Environmental disasters, global warming, crisis of civilization and planetary apocalypse have given rise to ideas about the doom of the earth and the end of time. Through a radical anthropology, a couple of authors make an attempt to restore our faith in the world.
PHILOSOPHY: Italian Giorgio Agamben describes and envisions different courses for our thinking than today's more technologically nihilistic will-driven production paradigm. Two books delve into other possibilities than the 'fire' he believes we find ourselves in. In this essay, Astrid Nordang tries to bring out some of this complicated material.
PHILOSOPHY: While postmodernism involved an explosion, today's posthumous condition, according to Marina Garcés, involves a liquidation of all possibilities – an implosion. Yes, are the hopes we cling to today just market-adapted needs for hope?
WOMEN: Art done by men is simply given more attention: in collections, in exhibition programs, in art literature, in the art market. But what about the large number of female artists over the past 500 years?
AUTHORITARIAN: What happened after the height of freedom ideals, the fall of the Iron Curtain and Bill Clinton's fusion of liberal politics with market forces? Today, the Chinese's mastery of original Western technology and surveillance seems limitless.
USA / CHINA: Is the current systemic divide between the US and China insurmountable? According to US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken: "Our relationship with China will be competitive when it should, cooperative when it can, and hostile when it has to." On the other hand, China is now led by a man who, according to book author Kevin Rudd, has considerable intellectual resources . Under his leadership, China has grown into a superpower.
ISRAEL: Ami Ayalon has been at the forefront of Israel's military actions. As naval commander and as head of the country's internal security service he had a creeping sense that the country he so passionately defended was maneuvering into a strategic impasse.
MODERNIZATION: The Nigerian professor Olùfèmi Táíwò looks at power relations between the formerly colonized and colonialists. All states strive to adapt modern institutions to their own history, cultural context and ideological climate. But can the demand to decolonize the language become absurd?
DIRECT DEMOCRACY: We need a new social system with commons and decline. And it is possible to achieve it. We have enough experience and knowledge from previous times. It's just a matter of getting started, writes Yavor Tarinski in a recent debate book.
ABUSE: Three men in their forties informed their former school, the Jesuit Canisius College in Berlin, about how two priests had sexually abused them decades ago. This led to countless disclosures – not only of the abuse itself, but of the church's consistent secrecy.
NATURE: Afforestation is the cozy climate solution everyone likes. Fred Pearce believes it is far more important to fight logging and rather let the forest grow back on its own. He points out that with 25 per cent more trees, these would be able to pull as much as 200 billion tonnes of CO000 out of the atmosphere – enough in itself to keep us below the target of a 2 degree temperature rise by 1,5.
CHINA: About China, it is important to be curious and willing to learn before making judgments. But how to understand something that is so fundamentally different from the culture we ourselves come from?
POEM: The reader of this book is cautioned against reading too large parts consecutively. You then run the risk of a wild language machine starting up in your head, so that you start writing books yourself.
PUBLIC: Precht and Welzer want more "well-intentioned disputes" about views – not social media's definition, personorientering and arousal production. Their book has been met with everything from total rejection and hesitant acceptance to detailed criticism.
Is it possible to simultaneously touch on four major themes, such as sin and evil, the desire for knowledge and conquest, relationships and competition, or the fear of death itself? Let me try in this essay – about Thomas Hylland Eriksen and Dante.
MODERN TIMES has chosen to print an extract from the book Grønt manifesto by our regular critic. "Quality of life rather than forced growth": Three small but powerful words, which provide a key to changing the direction of social development, where our eternal pursuit of 'the most possible' is rather adjusted to the appreciation of 'adequate'.
Under the heat of the Israel lobby, The Bay Area Book Festival humiliated one of the most gifted and courageous writers in the United States, Alice Walker. Do you remember her writing The Color Purple, for which she received the prestigious Pulitzer Prize?
Shaul Magid: More Kahane. The Public Life and Political Thought of an American Jewish Radical From Jewish identity in New York to messianic racism in the West Bank: The controversial rabbi Meir Kahane, whose thoughts live on with certain radical settlers in the West Bank, is the subject of a new and thorough biography.
Bruce Weber: The Treasure of his Youth: the photographs of Paolo di Paolo It would be almost fifty years before Paolo di Paolo's daughter found the pictures his father had taken, and confronted him with his hitherto unknown past as a (Italian) celebrity photographer.
The power goes out, exchange rates fluctuate, bread prices explode, fuel disappears. There are also still traces of the explosion. Yet Beirut's hard-pressed citizens time and again manage to find a foothold in chaos. And the chaos is contributing to Beirut never becoming a clean-up city.
Agamben's sketches for a theory of civil war are thus perhaps also a contribution to a new theory of revolution. Revolution beyond politics. Where the revolution is finally thought beyond any notion of a state and standing upright like a soldier who salutes. MODERN TIMES has chosen to print the afterword to Agamben's book about the civil war.
Here are some of the darkest chapters in Norwegian press history in the intimate flirtation with fascism in the thirties – where Adolf Hitler's rise to power was welcomed. Moreover, later, a Norwegian prime minister paid tribute to Nixon, while the United States was behind abuse after abuse.
MODERN TIMES brings, due to today's attention to Russia, a look at the Soviet Union 50 years ago. In the book from 1972, Herbert Marcuse describes and assesses the conditions, condition and possibilities of the Soviet Union – and Soviet Marxism as an ideology.
Full 100-page MODERN TIMES including the appendix Orientering and Modern Times Review comes out quarterly in early March, June, September and December) with international book reviews (non-fiction) and comments / essays. According to the physical newspaper (and PDF), the articles are published regularly online (see the newsletters).