I can’t count the number of writing workshops that I’ve sat through at university where a professor has told us that we shouldn’t write like the philosophers that we read. Sure, I always thought: who would suggest otherwise? Enter Josep Maria Esquirol, Professor of Philosophy at the University of Barcelona, with The Intimate Resistance.
Building on the works of Nietzsche, Esquirol develops the idea of nihilism, explaining how our lives are a form of resistance against it. In his theory, home is a form of sanctuary, medicine is resistance against death, and language can protect us from emptiness… I think. Even armed with two philosophy-based degrees, it takes an excruciating amount of effort to unpick relatively simple concepts.
Some readers may here be thinking, “isn’t that how philosophy is supposed to be written?” No! There appears to have been a deliberate effort to write as convolutedly as possible in The Intimate Resistance, and if so, it worked. As a result, the bursts of thought that build connections between contemporary philosophers are deeply intriguing and the great slabs of uninvited poetry make for pretty but exasperating reading.
The Intimate Resistance, Josep Maria Esquirol [trans. Douglas Suttle] (Fum D’Estampa)
Price: £10.99. Info: here
words ALEX PAYNE
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