It could seem superfluous to bring together in one place a diverse body of writings produced over more than thirty-five years--among them scholarly studies, sometimes unfashionably earnest in tone and focussed on centuries-old texts,NEW Sz 12 Women’s Converse X Miley Cyrus Chuck Taylor White/Platinum 162238CWOMEN'S NIKE ROSHE TWO CASUAL SHOES SIZE: 9.5 KHAKI BLACK WHITE 844931 200 and political books and essays prompted by moments of crisis or crimes of state some of which are now well over a decade in the past. Or might there be reasons to hope such a collection could be of interest?
Since some of my writings on Renaissance literature, early modern philosophy, and literary and textual theory continue to be cited more than a quarter-century after their first publication, specialists may find their reappearance here, together with lesser-known or previously unpublished texts on similar subjects, of some use.
The receptions of my political essays have tended to be more ephemeral--consisting of an initial flurry of citations, online reproductions in several, or in some cases twenty or more websites, and occasional translations into other languages; and then, if anything,Nike Free RN 2017 Women Running Shoes Glacier Blue/Silver 880840-402 MM1 Size 10Nike Zoom All Out Low 2 Running Shoe a further trickle of alternative-media and scholarly mentions. But even apparently forgotten texts may be of continued relevance for their treatment of issues that are still urgent, political wounds that remain unhealed, and struggles that have become, if anything, more intense than before.
The ethical issues raised by the occupations of Palestine and of Haiti have not been eased by any retreat on the oppressors' part from the violence and effective enslavement they inflict upon their victims, or by any signs on the part of Western governments of a new-found willingness to act in conformity with international law; NEW AUTH Women's Nike Blazer MID DMB 807455 001 Size 7.5WMNS Nike Air Zoom Mariah Flyknit Racer OG SZ 5.5 White Hyper Crimson 917658-100and supporters of the state of Israel's policies of colonization and apartheid have stepped up their campaigns of slander and 'lawfare' against activists who call for an end to what international law defines as crimes against humanity.
The chaos produced by post-9/11 Western aggressions against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa rages on with undiminished violence. And despite major setbacks in Syria to the US policy of deploying jihadi proxy armies against insufficiently submissive states, US aggressiveness in the Middle East shows no signs of abating.
Other issues which have preoccupied me have also remained current. Elections in the United States have become more spectacularly corrupt that ever before. And during the ten-year reign of Stephen Harper that corruption leaked northward into the Canadian electoral system--climaxing in the so-called 'robocalls' scandal of 2011, which exposed the weakness and corruption of Canada's regulatory and policing institutions, the incapacity of our courts,Nike Men's Metcon Repper DSX Training Shoe Black/White 898048 002 See Sizes NIBWMNS Nike Air Max 90 PREM SZ 7 Black Sail Gum Brown 443817-010 and the political immaturity of our mainstream media. (And since Harper's defeat in 2015, proposed reforms to make the Canadian electoral system more democratic have gone nowhere.) Faltering steps toward justice and restitution for First Nations people and toward a prevention of irreversible climate chaos are being countered by the greed and folly of energy corporations and governments. NIKE WMNS AIR ZOOM TERRA KIGER 4 SZ: WMNS 5.5 (880564 001) RETAIL: $120.00Nike Air Huarache Run Premium Womens 683818-201 Linen Snakeskin Shoes Size 6.5The mendacity of our political classes and of the corporate media have advanced to unprecedented levels; and neo-McCarthyist attempts to discredit and silence critical analyses of state crimes against democracy have intensified.
In 1961, a decade before I entered the paths of reflection and interpretation that have resulted in the writings reproduced here, the Canadian poet Irving Layton remarked in the foreword to one of his books that "The Promethean idea of the twentieth century is that men,AH6827-001 Nike Women Air Force 1 '07 Se Premium Black Reflect Silver collectively, can control their own destiny." But Layton was neither a naive meliorist nor an admirer of the technologies or the powers of reason that could enable such control. In his view, "abolishing the law of historical development through strife and opposition" would entail sacrificing "the Dionysian element which is the beginning and assurance of all creativity" (The Swinging Flesh [Toronto, 1961], p. xiv).Women's Sz 7.5 Nike Air Max 1 SE White Black Gold Shoes Trainers 881101-100 Two years later, in another foreword, he offered little hope for the fulfilment of any Promethean ideal: "Only in this century has the distinction between guilty and innocent been systematically wiped out, masses of people put to death for abstract, ideological reasons,New Nike Air Max 1 Ultra Moire Wmn's Run Blue/Pure Plat (704995-402) Sz 7 and deceit and terror employed on so immense a scale as to reduce whole populations to terrified helots" (Balls for a One-Armed Juggler [Toronto, 1963], pp. xx-xxi).
In Greek mythology, Prometheus is a benefactor to humanity, whom he has freed from paralyzing fear by taking away the knowledge we had formerly possessed of the time and manner of our deaths. And as the bringer of fire (stolen from the hearth of the Olympian gods) to humankind, NIKE AIR MAX 90 ULTRA 2.0 SI WOMEN SIZE 7 NEW With NIKE BOX (no box top)!he is the agent who effectively initiated human culture and human history. In Aeschylus' Prometheus Bound, he is the solitary victim of unendurable suffering imposed by the tyranny of Zeus, and yet holds within himself a counter-knowledge that can lead to that god's overthrow.
It is arguable that by the end of the twentieth century what Layton thought of as merely a "Promethean idea" of a collective control of human destiny had become--through medical advances, through technologies of birth control that could relieve population pressures as a source of human conflict, New Nike Free RN Motion FK 2017 Flyknit Women's Running Shoes Grey 880846 005through scientific studies showing the desperate urgency of a shift away from a fossil fuel and carbon-based economy, and through the development of alternative-energy technologies that made such a shift conceivable--an actual possibility.
There is a large irony to this. For just as humanity approached this genuinely Promethean capacity, our social-political elites turned us firmly in the opposite direction, toward intensified class war, a Thatcherite-Reaganite return to pre-New Deal or indeed Victorian values,Womens Nike Roshe Two Floral Spring Garden 7 Black White Multicolor 844933-004 to the dogma (in Margaret Thatcher's words) that "there is no such thing as society," and to the lie that "there is no alternative" to the militarist aggressions and social austerities imposed by globalizing corporate capitalism.
Here is a further, much smaller irony. One might sum up the preceding paragraphs by saying that by the mid to late 1970s humanity was coming close--in an allegorical sense--to having its own "salvation" within its grasp, but that we have proved unable, for complex economic, socio-political, discursive and ideological reasons, to choose what was formally within our power to have.Nike Air Huarache Run Ultra Green & White Women Running Sz 12 NEW 819151 301 When during the late 70s I was working at the University of Sussex on my doctoral thesis on the origins of the legend of Doctor Faustus, Nike AA8024 Air Zoom Prestige HC $150 Women's Tennis Shoes Newand on the playwright Christopher Marlowe's version of that legend--in which the protagonist is damned for the simple reason that he is unable to will his own salvation, and unable to will it because he is in an obscure sense always already damned--it did not occur to me that I was writing in a displaced sense about my own historical moment.
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