Rereading “Critique of Violence”

1. In the second sentence of “Critique of Violence,” Benjamin asserts: “For a cause, however effective, becomes violent, in the precise sense of the word, only when it bears on moral issues.” (277) Ostensibly, Benjamin is pointing to the etymological inheritance carried by the word violent, perhaps a bit clearer in English than in the… Continue reading Rereading “Critique of Violence”

Review: These Truths

History," writes James Baldwin in August 1965, "as nearly no one seems to know, is not merely something to be read." Rather, history derives its profound force from the fact that "we carry it within us, are unconsciously controlled by it in many ways, and history is literally present in all that we do [...] since it… Continue reading Review: These Truths

Review: The Sport of Kings

Question: What do horse breeding and Southern whiteness have in common? Quite a lot, in fact, as The Sport of Kings demonstrates over the course of 500-plus pages. This majestic, sprawling, daring, achingly beautiful book is ostensibly a literary epic about horse racing. It quickly becomes clear, however, that The Sport of Kings, the second novel by author… Continue reading Review: The Sport of Kings