Theater of Cruelty

Giorgio Agamben

The primary opening to the world

MUSICAL LIFE: With The Use of the Bodies and What is Philosophy?, Giorgio Agamben returns to his early main interest before the first homo sacer book – namely to being, to language, to thought and the blissful life. It is also about where you are – where you simultaneously discover life (ontology) and how life could be (politics, the happy life).

A lingering life beyond rationality

HOLDERLIN: Giorgio Agamben makes a loose juxtaposition between Goethe and Hölderlin, between madness and reason. Did the latter allow himself to be pushed psychologically to the limit?

Agamben: A burning house

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.

The permanence and possibility of the crisis

PHILOSOPHY: 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.

Recommended literature this summer

Book tips MODERN TIMES's critics and editors recommend books for the summer holidays.

Truth in the time of the corona crisis

BIOMAKT: Italian philosopher Giorgio Agamben has had several controversial statements about the management of the corona crisis. Agamben states that the media handling of the corona crisis in some perverse way has a similarity to the commercial advertising. And warns against a new, despotic security community.

Permanent state of emergency?

CROWN: Are the European authorities truthful about how long the measures will last? Can you lock up a population for 12-18 months before a vaccine is developed?

The road to true anarchism

Agamben: The archeology of religion, art, politics, and capitalism is not a search for any kind of origin – but a search for a foundation that tears past notions to their roots.

The fire as a source of life

Georgio Agamben brings the reader on track to the essential questions of the transforming power of literature – the relation to the mystery of life itself. 

The Agamben and the Ethics of Abstinence

The community that is to come is a learned, rich, complex and sometimes obscure text. Here and there it borders on the mysticism: Agamben empties the ram of a patriarchal God Father with one hand and reintroduces with Spinoza all the divinity of things with the other, before drawing it all back into the profane, and then holding the "solution", a quivering aura, ahead of us.