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the politics of time

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I didn’t realize that Peter Osborne’s The Politics of Time is available on-line and in full. Shows how the world’s changed in only a few years. I heard about this book just as I was finishing my PhD not too many years ago, and checked it out of my university’s library. It was astoundingly good and helpful… The stuff on Heidegger and Benjamin, in particular, left a real mark on me and has influence my work significantly. But the problem was, back then as I was finishing up, that there was only one copy in our library and as soon as I would get my hands on it, it would get recalled. I hemmed and hawed because it was out of print, and the only copies on Amazon were selling for more than $100. Eventually, that’s just what I paid for it – and probably had it back in my hands too late to use it the way I needed to.

At my previous job, I insisted that my graduate seminar of 20+ students read it… Even if it was unlikely that all or any of them would be able to get their hands on copies. (I reproduced the last chapter for them…) Anyway, all of this would have been moot if it had been on-line as it is now. So, you know, obviously – go read! It’s free!

Written by adswithoutproducts

July 9, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in temporality, theory

7 Responses

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  1. Thanks for bringing this to my attention as I really should be reading it for my next book (aaarrrggghhh) which may concern ‘the politics of time’.


    July 10, 2009 at 9:12 am

  2. The story of this book and you is a bit painful. How many authors have written excellent work only to have it constricted from very interested readers through pricing and availability. Perhaps now the vice-grip of university library bottlenecking is starting to break. How long can the imprint and imitation of the “rare tome” last upon our reading experiences (and a bit sad that that wonderful feeling when you really do finally get to that one copy, and have it in your hands in the stacks, will have changed as well.)


    July 10, 2009 at 3:00 pm

  3. This is a huge help, thanks for posting; just getting into Ricoeur and this fits quite nicely in the procession… if you have any more suggestions for narrative+politics texts i’d love to hear them; summer is a wonderful thing, no?


    July 13, 2009 at 4:52 am

  4. w,

    summer is ok… except that I’m speed writing / editing a manuscript, which is a lil bit stressful and makes me miss the very but differently stressful weeks of teaching a little bit.

    More narrative and politics texts, hmmmm… You know, the ones that have been most important to me have been the really obvious ones. Lukacs, Benjamin’s “The Storyteller” as well as by extrapolation and genre translation the Baudelaire stuff, Jameson’s The Political Unconscious, tons and tons of Barthes (think I’m gonna try to write a big piece on Barthes and China soon, btw). More specifically, one book that I really like and that more people should look at is Elissa Marder’s Dead Time about Flaubert and Baudelaire and, well, time. Oh and also the very end of the modernism chapter of Erich Auerbach’s Mimesis – the start of my second project is nowhere but there.


    July 13, 2009 at 10:48 pm

  5. kvond,

    The funny thing is, the Middlesex people are good people and obviously doing this for the right reason, but more widely there’s a big push on in the UK for all of us to do this as much as we can, as citation-count is going to become one of the big indexes of department rankings and thus funding in this meritocratically socialist (ahem) university system they’ve got over here.


    July 13, 2009 at 10:50 pm

  6. ads,

    I definitely understand that. This will be my first summer with a “project”, much less one I’m being paid to write. Definitely different than academic stress.

    Thanks for the recommendations, definitely. Barthes outside of i/m/t is a big gap in my reading, and I’ll definitely look into the Marder.. the more recs I get from you the more I’m glad my uni has a great library..


    July 17, 2009 at 8:01 am

  7. Contract should be grouped with retract, intractable, traction, and other words that share its root. ,


    October 13, 2009 at 8:28 am

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