Programme notes

articles
Daniel FinnErdoğan’s Cesspit

As the AKP’s crackdown on political dissent continues and Erdoğan’s autocratic ambitions become ever more apparent, his Western apologists lament the fall from grace of a man—moderate and liberal-minded—who never existed.

Cengiz GunesTurkey’s New Left

Can the Peoples’ Democratic Party, the most successful left-wing force in Turkey’s history, avoid the fate of its vanquished predecessors? Cengiz Gunes describes the party’s trajectory, its roots in Turkish socialism and the Kurdish national movement, and the distinctive political appeal with which it has sought to overcome the tensions between them.

Régis DebrayCivilization: A Grammar

Cameos from the motley, tangled lives of history’s major spatial divisions are woven with reflections on the Americanization of French culture, revealing the grammar of hegemony—imprint, impress, imperium—behind the rise, rule and fall of civilizations.

obituaries
Roberto SchwarzAntonio Candido 1918–2017

Pioneer analyst of a Brazilian literary space, Candido surveyed Western cultural centres and their contending theories, not simply to measure up local experience, but to test them against it. Portrait of a gifted teacher and literary critic, subtle master of his country’s complex ex-colonial condition.

Charnvit KasetsiriBen Anderson 1936–2015

Affecting tribute to the author of Imagined Communities, tracking a friend’s life from birth in pre-war Yunnan to exclusion from Suharto’s Indonesia, area studies at Cornell to delvings into popular Siam, recovery of the international context of Filipino revolt against Spain, and final return to Java.

articles
Franco Moretti & Leonardo ImpettTotentanz

Pivotal to Aby Warburg’s enigmatic Atlas Mnemosyne—which attempted to track morphological similarity from classical art down through the Renaissance—was the idea that there may be formulae for pathos. If so, what can quantitative analysis tell us about them?

Rebecca LossinAgainst the Universal Library

A librarian reflects on her profession’s destructive and preservative urges, from microfilming of newspaper archives in the 1940s, via stress-testing experiments and de-acidification gassings to digitization and the coming of the ebook, as the library becomes a hollowed-out portal onto the private sector.

reviews

Thomas Meaney on Wolf Lepenies, Die Macht am Mittelmeer: Französische Träume von einem anderen Europa. Sardonic retrospect of persistent French delusions of a Latin Europe.

David Broder on Domenico Losurdo, Il marxismo occidentale: Come nacque, come morì, come può rinascere. Western Marxism in the light of an ‘Eastern Marxism’ staged as its political remedy by Italy’s leading historian of liberalism.

article
Esther LesliePhilosophy as Cabaret

Esther Leslie on Jörg Später, Siegfried Kracauer: Eine Biographie and Graeme Gilloch, Siegfried Kracauer: Our Companion in Misfortune. Contrasting approaches to the most variegated outrider of the Frankfurt School.