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Martin Puchner

Martin Puchner teaches in the department of English and comparative literature at Columbia. His most recent book is Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes.

Ibsen's Modernism

Martin Puchner, 8 February 2007

Henrik Ibsen died in 1906, acknowledged as the founder of modern drama. Today, he is the most performed dramatist in the world after Shakespeare. It was an unlikely success story. Born in 1828 in an isolated town in Norway, when the country was still dependent on its long-time coloniser Denmark, Ibsen grew up speaking a language known by few and lacking any great dramatic tradition. In order...

A state of exception

Martin Puchner, 16 December 2004

In April, days before the Abu Ghraib story broke, the Supreme Court was hearing Rasul v. Bush, the case of a British citizen captured in Afghanistan and held at the US naval base at Guantanamo Bay, without being charged and without access to legal counsel. There were, it turned out, intimate connections between the Abu Ghraib scandal and the Rasul case: Major General Geoffrey Miller, for...

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