Mehdi Belhaj Kacem: A Catharsis of Pleonexia

Mehdi Belhaj Kacem is a highly enigmatic thinker: an autodidact in the history of philosophy, a well known actor in French cinema and self-proclaimed anti-philosopher who had a major public break with his former mentor Alain Badiou around the same time as the Arab spring was taking off. I just finished his first major work translated into English, …

Affects and Lacanian Theology

One of the more admirable aspects of Colette Soler's work is her allegiance to theological concepts, which we should remember, Lacan himself took very seriously. In Lacanian Affects: The Function of Affect in Lacan's Thought, theological and philosophical concepts such as sin, guilt, God, and the ethics of virtue--all of which were crucial to Lacan's understanding of …

The Queen Mob’s Teahouse

My first post as a blogger for the new webzine Queen Mob's Teahouse is here. I wrote about the affect of shame in Lacan. This is a fun and creative collective for poets and writers of all different stripes. The brainchild of Berfrois, another website I have written for over the years.

Mourning, Psychoanalysis, and the Death of Adulthood

The widely read essay by A.O. Scott, "The Death of Adulthood in American Culture" argues pretty convincingly that the changing heroes and anti-heroes of contemporary television provide a glimpse into a larger shift in contemporary life, a shift that now means adulthood as we have come to know it, is conceptually untenable. The essay received a critique for …

From Shame to Love: The Politics of Hamlet. Interview with Simon Critchley

I recently interviewed the philosopher Simon Critchely on his new book, (co-written with his wife and psychoanalyst Jamieson Webster) entitled, The Hamlet Doctrine: Knowing Too Much, Doing Nothing for the online magazine Berfrois. There's a lot this book opens up not only for Shakespeare studies, but also for psychoanalysis. The idea that mosts interests me in …

The Hysteric-Obsessional Dialectic in True Detective

"This world is a veil. And the face you wear is not your own." Preacher Joe TheriotIn one of the most telling lines in True Detective, Cohle says to Hart, "you're obsessed, just not with your work." Not only is this deeply funny for its brutal honesty and for the quick-witted retort of Cohle, it …

Captured in the Image: Cynicism and Culture Jamming

We used to read the news like a Dadaist — piecing together the seemingly random series of signifiers to reveal an underlying or deeper truth. In this disarray and slanted piecing together of phrases, certain slips make themselves apparent like a series of cracks in the Real, bringing into relief the symptoms behind the news …