On December 16, 2016 /15:00

Simon GlendinningProf. Simon Glendinning (LSE) will give a talk on the French poet and essayist Paul Valéry and his conception of European modernity, entitled “The European Hamlet”.

Prof. Glendinning is one of the leading philosophers in the United Kingdom today. Among his best-known publications are the books: Europe’s Promise (2017), Derrida: A Very Short Introduction (2011), In the Name of Phenomenology (2007), The Idea of Continental Philosophy (2006), and On Being with Others: Heidegger-Derrida-Wittgenstein (1998). Recent articles include: “Nietzsche’s Europe: An experimental anticipation of the future” (2016), “Derrida and the Philosophy of Law and Justice” (2016), “Varieties of Neoliberalism” (2016), “Settled-there: Heidegger on the Work of Art as the Cultivation of Place” (2014), “Cavell and Other Animals”  (2015), “The End of the World Designed with Men in Mind” (2013), “Three Cultures of Atheism: On Serious Doubts about the Existence of God” (2013), “Wittgenstein and Heidegger and the ‘Face of Life’ in Our Time” (2013), “The Heading of a Problem: On the Future of the Model of Two Models of Philosophy” (2012), “Argument All the Way Down: The Demanding Discipline of Non-Argumento-Centric Modes of Philosophy” (2010). In addition to being the Professor of European Philosophy at the LSE, Prof. Glendinning is the Director of the UK’s Forum for European Philosophy.

Abstract
"The European Hamlet"

Reflecting on the condition of Europe in 1919, the French poet and essayist Paul Valéry offered what some thirteen years later, in 1932, he would call a “summary” of “the state of the European spirit facing its own disarray”. That summary was a remarkable description of a “Hamlet of Europe” looking over "an immense sort of terrace of Elsinore", and seeing millions of ghosts. At one point this Hamlet picks up a skull that he identifies as Kant’s, and proceeding from the skull of Kant, the ghosts of Hegel, Marx, and whoever Marx begat. In 1993, and recalling Valéry's text, Derrida noted that when Valéry recalled his own text in 1932, and cited the original summary, he omitted one sentence from it when he did so. Just one. The one that mentioned Marx in the skull of Kant. Derrida was very single-minded about this omission, searching for where the specter of Marx might have been “inscribed elsewhere” in Valéry’s work. In this lecture, Professor Glendinning picks up the trail of Derrida’s ghost hunt, and tries to show, beyond Derrida’s findings, the place where Marx’s name – but not only his name – got inscribed in Valéry's extraordinary 1932 text “Politics of Spirit”.

Reflecting on the condition of Europe in 1919, the French poet and essayist Paul Valéry offered what some thirteen years later, in 1932, he would call a “summary” of “the state of the European spirit facing its own disarray”. That summary was a remarkable description of a "Hamlet of Europe" looking over "an immense sort of terrace of Elsinore", and seeing millions of ghosts. At one point this Hamlet picks up a skull that he identifies as Kant's. And proceeding from the skull of Kant, the ghosts of Hegel, and Marx, and whoever Marx begat. In 1993, and recalling Valéry's text, Derrida noted that when Valéry recalled his own text in 1932, and cited the original summary, he omitted one sentence from it when he did so. Just one. The one that mentioned Marx in the skull of Kant. Derrida was very single-minded about this omission, searching for where the specter of Marx might have been "inscribed elsewhere" in Valéry's work. In this talk I will pick up the trail of Derrida's ghost hunt, and show, beyond Derrida's findings, the place where Marx's name - but not only his name - got inscribed in Valéry's extraordinary 1932 text "Politics of Spirit".Prof. Glendinning’s presentation is open to all who wish to attend. The meeting will be held at the Saint-Petersburg State University, Institute of Philosophy, Room 24 (Mendeleevskaja linija, 5). The working language is English.

Contact person: Artemenko Natalia, PhD in Philosophy, Department of Cultural Studies, St. Petersburg State University, Institute of Philosophy (n.a.artemenko@gmail.com).

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