I have done a couple of things recently at Birkbeck (which my spell checker identified as Brickbat!) on Bloch and on Erdmut Wizisla’s book on Brecht and Benjamin. These are now up as podcasts and I thought this should encourage me to reinvigorate this Blog, which I have sorely neglected. I hope I get the time to put more postings up here as well.
Anyway, the sites are here:
I have also responded to one of my own responses to one of the questions asked about transcendence and the transcendental in Benjamin, Brecht and Bloch with the following:
Just to answer again the question about the difficulty of raising the difference between transcendence and the transcendental in Bloch and Kant I found the following today in a response by Zizek to Badiou. IN it he referes back, as he often does to Stephen King and the idea of the undead. He states: ‘ my idea is that this undead is the Kantian transcendental subject. It is non-human precisely in this sense; non-human not in the sense of the animalistic, but rather as the excessive dimension of the human itself. Seen in this way, there is something unique in that which Kant names the dimension of the transcendental’ (Badiou and Zizek Pjhilosphy in the Present, Polity 2009, pp. 78-79). Though it is kind of turned upside down, I think this is an interesting complement to what I was saying about Benjamin and Bloch in that the idea of an undead of the transcendental can also be seen as the not yet of the transcendental. It is something which emerges from but which is in excess to the human, is non-human and yet is a product of the human and, in many ways, can be seen as the future of the human. If we put a positive spin on this idea then the undead could also be termed the not-yet living. Rather than a descent of man into death via a transitional and transformative dimension we could actually see it as a stage in the process of human becoming, in the ascent of the human into the non-human, into that state of human becoming which promises to go beyond what is now understood as human. And yet that transcendence is not something out there, beyond the human but immanent, contained within the human as latent transcendence.