Simon Critchley’s Impossible Objects

As I wrote in my last post, Simon Critchley is a philosopher eager to communicate his ideas to people outside the academy. He considers philosophy ‘a way of relearning to look at the world’. I read Critchley’s books because they offer insight and  a way to read philosophers I find more opaque (for example Derrida, Blanchot, Levinas). He encourages me to explore more deeply the recurrent themes that have exorcised thinkers since Plato.

This book, Impossible Objects, if you haven’t read Critchley, is a primer to his dominant themes (to date): mortality and nihilism, the ethics of deconstruction, neo-anarchism, humour and tragedy and secular faith. During the course of the nine interviews that make up the book, Critchley riffs on Wallace Stevens, Beckett, Kafka and the epiphanic discovery of Can’s song ‘Halleluhwah‘. If you have read Critchley I imagine you need no encouragement to obtain this book by whatever means are your habit.

2 thoughts on “Simon Critchley’s Impossible Objects

  1. A year ago I listened to Critchley giving a talk on Augustin – just to find out I really know next to nothing about medieval philosophy …
    When I was a student I read his: “Very Little Almost Nothing”, which was very interesting. I would like to read his: “The book of dead philosophers” – do you know it?

    • Yes, Sigrun, I know it well. I read it, but then it lingered on my bedside table for almost a year, and I kept dipping in and rereading parts. It is superficially light-hearted and very funny, but through the humour I learnt quite a bit. I particularly enjoyed Critchley’s argument that for the origins of philosophy you must look further east than the Greeks.

      My knowledge of medieval philosophy is pitiful. I’ve yet to read Augustine.

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