Essays

22nd March 2020

Walking Paris
by Jeremy Allan Hawkins

Written before Macron's lock-down, of course, Jeremy Allan Hawkins observed that Parisians were walking through their city again. But did he see the same type of dilly-dallying, louche, truth-seeking, urban hanger-on as Baudelaire's flaneur? Or the existential and psycho-geographical explorers of Guy Debord's Situationists? Not quite...
21st March 2020

The Future of Notre Dame in Paris
by Clarisse Godard Desmarest

The tragic slowness of our reaction to the coronavirus and the putting of systematic safety measures in place has contrasted with the relatively swift and mature reaction of the French (and other nations) to this emergency. But is it a sign of a wider conservative and sclerotic inability to act that has taken hold of our society? How could we measure these things? Clarisse Godard Desmarest sets the ball rolling with a description of the terrible fires at both Notre Dame in Paris and Glasgow School of Art, and the reaction of the authorities in each case.
19th March 2020

Paris, Capital of the 19th Century
Walter Benjamin

The introduction to Benjamin’s Arcades Project, was written in 1938 but not published until long after his death. It is an attempt to categorically reveal how, through the apparent chaos and convulsions in 19th century Parisian culture and society, great explorations and exposés of the realities of the epoch and its ramifications for later generations, are afforded us by examination of the lives and works of its inhabitants.
14th March 2020

Infancy
by James Mooney

The man with the black horseshoe moustache had been allocated one of the breakfast tables that stood in a row against the glass panels. The hotel was so quiet this morning that all of its breakfasters were able to sit, as in fact they did sit, against the glass...
2nd March 2020

A Contest of Will : Who wrote Shakespeare? Queen Victoria, Aurelia’s Aunt, Mr Welbecker or Malvolio?
by Owen Dudley Edwards

Taking inspiration from James Shapiro’s Contested Will Owen Dudley Edwards takes a wry look at the absurdist snobbery and the sheer daftness of the ‘who really wrote Shakespeare?’ tradition.
20th February 2020

Aesthetics, Technological Politics and the Video Age
by Ravi Sundaram

In an age of surveillance capitalism is it no longer viable to put hope in the creative possibilities Walter Benjamin believed were opened to humanity through technological advances in media? –Or can a new poetics of infrastructure disrupt the sinister operations of corporate power? Ravi Sundaram surveys the will in the media.
14th February 2020

1917 AND ALL THAT
by Owen Dudley Edwards

Hailed as a significant technical achievement, Owen Dudley Edwards sees the film 1917 as a great humanising agent.
13th February 2020

Confessions of a Thug: Pakiveli

The hybridiser needs history as a pantry of costumes, wrote Nietzsche, that hymnographer of the Will. What is artist Hardeep Pandhal cooking up for us at The Tramway?
6th February 2020

Beethoven 250
by Iain Matheson

It’s a quarter millennium this year since the birth of THE Romantic hero, the Thunderer himself, Beethoven, who claimed to have taken ‘fate by the throat’ and would never ‘let it bend me completely to its will’. Iain Matheson picks his way through Beethoven’s will and his work.