Friday, December 11, 2020

Favourite books 2020

Every time Dennis Cooper posts his favorite (sic) fiction and non-fiction of the year, it alone exceeds the number of books I'm able to read in a year let alone the number from which it was presumably narrowed down. This is why I suggested a couple of years ago such pages choose only "axe books", if only to give us a chance. Those below aren't necessarily axe books, but I'll limit myself to three works of fiction published this year, and three non-fiction, only one of which was published this year. The links go to my reviews, so called.

Novels, etc.
Lars Iyer – Nietzsche and the Burbs
Rob Doyle – Threshold
Sam Pink – The Ice Cream Man and other stories


Non-fiction
Lissa McCullough – The Religious Philosophy of Simone Weil

"Most of the unorthodox or anti-orthodox elements in Weil’s religious thought stem from her unusual conception of the creation of the world as a withdrawal of God....This means that the act of creation, for Weil, is a radical act of self-transfiguration of God by God: creation is already the crucifixion or passion of God."
Willem Styfhals – No Spiritual Investment in the World: Gnosticism and Postwar German Philosophy
"Kafka’s nihilistic experience, paradigmatic for modernity in general, was not the atheistic realization that there is nothing beyond this world; it was ultimately a religious experience of divine nothingness."
Joseph Kuzma – Maurice Blanchot and Psychoanalysis
"Blanchot proposes to read the Freudian unconscious as a radical exteriority, something that is not only indeterminate and unknowable, but that pulls man outside himself, outside everything he believes himself to be, outside everything that would comprise for him a center point.…an irreducible otherness that precedes any installation of identity – an obscurity more ancient than even the most primitive form of consciousness....an outside that is neither another world nor a hidden world."

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