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In the Twilight Zone

Terry Eagleton, 12 May 1994

The Frankfurt School 
by Rolf Wiggershaus, translated by Michael Robertson.
Polity, 787 pp., £45, January 1994, 0 7456 0534 6
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... to power, Horkheimer assembled around him a brilliant coterie of younger intellectuals, of whom Herbert Marcuse and Theodor Adorno were to become the most eminent. In 1934, the Institute, many of whose members were Jews, transplanted itself to the United States and, still under Horkheimer’s mandarin rule, set up home as an adjunct of Columbia ...

From Soixante-Huit to Soixante-Neuf

Glen Newey: Slack-Sphinctered Pachyderm, 29 April 1999

Collected Papers: Technology, War and Fascism 
by Herbert Marcuse, edited by Douglas Kellner.
Routledge, 278 pp., £25, March 1998, 0 415 13780 2
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The Contract of Mutual Indifference: Political Philosophy after the Holocaust 
by Norman Geras.
Verso, 181 pp., £15, June 1998, 1 85984 868 0
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... Georg Lukacs and the sometime OSS and CIA agent, sometime Communist, and active conspirator Herbert Marcuse, who used to begin his lectures with the singsong ‘There are no conspiracies in history.’ The ‘authoritarian personality’ dogma of such Frankfurt School existentialists as Theodor Adorno and Hannah Arendt, is derived from the same ...

The Straight and the Bent

Elaine Showalter, 23 April 1992

Sexual Dissidence: Augustine to Wilde, Freud to Foucault 
by Jonathan Dollimore.
Oxford, 388 pp., £35, August 1991, 0 19 811225 4
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Inside/Out: Lesbian Theories, Gay Theories 
by Diana Fuss.
Routledge, 432 pp., £40, March 1992, 0 415 90236 3
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... overcome in the interests of civilisation; and in the work of Wilhelm Reich, Norman O. Brown and Herbert Marcuse, sexual desire reappeared as a potentially revolutionary force. Dollimore challenges both the underlying heterosexual biases of these sexual liberators, and the romanticising of an innately revolutionary gay sensibility, as in John Rechy’s ...

The Trouble with Nowhere

Martin Jay, 1 June 2000

The End of Utopia: Politics and Culture in an Age of Apathy 
by Russell Jacoby.
Basic Books, 256 pp., £17.95, April 1999, 0 465 02000 3
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Utopias: Russian Modernist Texts 1905-40 
edited by Catriona Kelly.
Penguin, 378 pp., £9.99, September 1999, 0 14 118081 1
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The Faber Book of Utopias 
edited by John Carey.
Faber, 560 pp., £20, October 1999, 9780571197859
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The Nazi War on Cancer 
by Robert Proctor.
Princeton, 390 pp., £18.95, May 1999, 0 691 00196 0
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... In 1967, Herbert Marcuse published a little essay entitled ‘The End of Utopia’, which now reads like a document of a long lost civilisation. Arguing against the pejorative use of the word as a synonym for the absurdly unrealisable, he held that ‘there is one valid criterion for possible realisation, namely, when the material and intellectual forces for the transformation are technically at hand although their rational application is prevented by the existing organisation of the forces of production ...

Sexual Politics

Michael Neve, 5 February 1981

Edward Carpenter, 1844-1929: Prophet of Human Fellowship 
by Chushichi Tsuzuki.
Cambridge, 237 pp., £15, November 1980, 0 521 23371 2
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... in this area, an area that received its most distinguished theoretical support in the writings of Herbert Marcuse. Liberal social theory has always had a sophisticated grasp on the distinctions between the public and the private, in its theories on rights and its notion of democratic activity. To seek a ‘sexual politics’ inside that tradition is ...

Deutschtum

J.P. Stern, 3 April 1986

Reflections of a Non-Political Man 
by Thomas Mann, translated by Walter Morris.
Lorrimar, 435 pp., £19.50, February 1986, 9780804425858
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... and deductive theories of society; against Anglo-Saxon analytical language philosophy (which Herbert Marcuse accused of ‘academic sadomasochism’, ‘self-humiliation and self-denunciation’) threatening to invalidate German ontological thinking. ‘Could it be that German nationalism was part of the Marxist resurgence?’ Johan Galtung asks in ...

Diary

J.P. Stern: This great wall has fallen down, 7 December 1989

... a better message to the people than did the assorted ideologies from Rosa Luxemburg through Herbert Marcuse to Jürgen Habermas. Deep worries remain. Is all this not bound to lead to demands for the reunification of the two Germanies? When Chancellor Kohl declaimed, Wir sind ein Volk, could most of his audience fail to recall the rest of that ...

Ackerville

Gary Indiana: Nymphomania, antic incest and metaphysical torment, 14 December 2006

Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker 
edited by Amy Scholder, Carla Harryman and Avital Ronell.
Verso, 120 pp., £10.99, May 2006, 9781844670666
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... attention on Acker’s lifelong involvement in politics and the visual arts, her studies with Herbert Marcuse, and the influence on her writing of conceptual art, the Black Mountain poets and Burroughs’s cut-up technique. Most helpfully, Wollen sheds light on the split identities Acker assumes in her novels, discussing her appropriations of other ...

Nicknames

Adam Phillips, 9 March 1995

Femininities, Masculinities, Sexualities: Freud and Beyond 
by Nancy Chodorow.
Free Association, 132 pp., £8.95, July 1994, 1 85343 380 2
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... utopianism in the inspired writings of Norman O. Brown and the rather more academic treatises of Herbert Marcuse (the concept of surplus repression could only have come out of a surplus of university teaching). Very quickly the masters of scarcity returned with their bracingly joyless language of lack and absence: of the ‘truth’ of the Depressive ...

The Life of Henri Grippes

Jonathan Coe, 18 September 1997

Selected Stories 
by Mavis Gallant.
Bloomsbury, 887 pp., £25, April 1997, 0 7475 3251 6
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... pockets, knew he was ageing, irreversibly, minute by minute. Some of the students thought he was Herbert Marcuse and tried to carry him on their shoulders to Le Figaro’s editorial offices, which they hoped he would set on fire. But it’s not enough for Gallant simply to offer us jokes at Grippes’s expense. If the jokes are to have substance and ...

Ceaseless Anythings

James Wood: Robert Stone, 1 October 1998

Damascus Gate 
by Robert Stone.
Picador, 500 pp., £16.99, October 1998, 0 330 37058 8
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... the cross-country train – ‘to meet all his pals. The Frankfurt school. Theodor Adorno and Herbert Marcuse and Thomas Mann.’ Although Adorno helped Mann with Doctor Faustus, Mann had no especial proximity to the Frankfurt School, so Stone is technically wrong. But the little list is wrong because it is so obviously the ‘correct’ list of ...

Shoplifters of the World Unite

Slavoj Žižek, 25 August 2011

... society, through the satisfying of the barbarian’s ‘basic instincts’. In the 1960s, Herbert Marcuse introduced the concept of ‘repressive desublimation’ to explain the ‘sexual revolution’: human drives could be desublimated, allowed free rein, and still be subject to capitalist control – viz, the porn industry. On British streets ...

Death (and Life) of the Author

Peter Wollen: Kathy Acker, 5 February 1998

... Born and brought up in New York, she had first attended Brandeis University, and it was because Herbert Marcuse left Brandeis to become a Professor at UC. San Diego that Acker left to follow him out west to Southern California. Then, in San Diego, she not only continued her academic relationship with Marcuse: she ...

Qui êtes-vous, Sir Moses?

C.R. Whittaker, 6 March 1986

Ancient History: Evidence and Models 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 131 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3003 2
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... of the United States – over fifty of them according to Jay, including such towering figures as Herbert Marcuse and Franz Neumann, by whom Finley was influenced at Columbia. Several years later another exile from Nazi Europe, the Austrian Karl Polanyi, who had served as a WEA lecturer in Britain during the war, came as visiting professor to Columbia ...

In the bright autumn of my senescence

Christopher Hitchens, 6 January 1994

In the Heat of the Struggle: Twenty-Five Years of ‘Socialist Worker’ 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 288 pp., £12.50, November 1993, 0 906224 94 2
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Why You Should Join the Socialists 
by Paul Foot.
Bookmarks, 70 pp., £1.90, November 1993, 0 906224 80 2
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... his clinical evisceration of the work of R.D. Laing, and for his hilariously mordant critique of Herbert Marcuse. (This is important, because a feature of the IS, as it called itself, was that it was inoculated against certain Sixties fads in advance.) Over the next several months we continued to meet and (while I was doing a ridiculous job of teaching ...

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