Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Agamben, Critchley

A new issue of the kick-ass Contretemps focuses entirely on Agamben. The opening piece is penned by Agamben himself, and takes Derrida's Politics of Friendship as a loose point of departure. Flippantly, for now, it seems to me that Agamben's reading of Aristotle (and in particular his certain faith in etymology) and his remarks about this painting are at serious odds with Derrida's project. That is, I'm not sure Derrida would be so inclined to stress the near-blind closeness of 'friendship' so much as a certain vigilance and silence, a wariness or discomfort, even. On the level of ontology, Agamben and Derrida are perhaps rather at odds, but it would be expecting too much, I suppose, for Agamben to acknowledge these differences, at least in a public manner. In any case, the entire issue looks essential. Elsewhere, while touching on "Crypto-Schmittianism" and deriding those who call Bush stupid, Simon Critchley seeks to encourage laughter.

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