‘Aan deze zijde van de utopie’ ~ De wijsgerige antropologie van Helmuth Plessner

PlessnerWie een thuis zoekt, een vaderland, geborgenheid, moet zich uitleveren aan het geloof. Maar wie vasthoudt aan de geest, keert niet terug. Telkens weer zijn andere ogen nodig om op een andere manier zichtbaar te maken wat allang gezien, maar niet bewaard kon blijven. ~ Helmuth Plessner

De afgelopen decennia laten een groeiende belangstelling zien voor het werk van de Duitse bioloog, filosoof en socioloog Helmuth Plessner (1892–1985). De organisatoren van het eerste Internationale Plessner Congress, dat in 2000 in Freiburg plaatsvond, durfden zelfs te spreken van een Plessner Renaissance. Misschien is dat enigszins ongelukkig uitgedrukt, omdat eigenlijk alleen van een wedergeboorte gesproken kan worden in Duitsland en Nederland, de twee landen waarin hij werkzaam is geweest. Buiten deze beide landen is het werk van Plessner tijdens diens leven vrijwel onopgemerkt gebleven, zodat daar eerder gesproken moet worden van een late geboorte van een Plessner-receptie. En zelfs in Duitsland en Nederland, waar Plessner een zekere bekendheid verwierf als een van de grondleggers en belangrijkste vertegenwoordigers van de twintigste-eeuwse wijsgerige antropologie en ook als een scherpzinnig interpreet van de ideeënhistorische wortels van het nationaalsocialisme, heeft zijn werk altijd in de schaduw gestaan van zijn tijdgenoot Martin Heidegger (1889-1976).

Voor het aanvankelijk uitblijven van een omvangrijke werkingsgeschiedenis van Plessners gedachtegoed zijn meerdere redenen te noemen. In de eerste plaats is er nog maar weinig vertaald van zijn omvangrijke oeuvre, waarvan een substantieel deel tussen 1980 en 1985 door Suhrkamp is uitgebracht onder de titel Gesammelte Schriften in 10 Bänden.[i] Bovendien zijn, met uitzondering van de Nederlandse, de meeste van deze vertalingen (in het Italiaans, Nederlands, Engels, Spaans, Frans, Pools en Russisch) van recente datum, en dan gaat het voornamelijk om artikelen en andere kleine geschriften.[ii] Zijn omvangrijke filosofische hoofdwerk, Die Stufen des Organischen und der Mensch (1928), is tot op heden onvertaald gebleven (hoewel er al enige tijd een Engelse vertaling in de maak is).

Dat zijn omvangrijke oeuvre tot dusver te weinig aandacht heeft gekregen, komt ook doordat Plessner na de machtsovername door Hitler als Halbjude zijn universitaire lesbevoegdheid in Duitsland verloor en van 1933 tot 1952 – met uitzondering van de jaren tussen 1943 en 1945, waarin hij als onderduiker op verschillende adressen in Utrecht en Amsterdam verbleef – werkzaam was in Groningen, eerst als buitengewoon hoogleraar sociologie en later als hoogleraar filosofie. Deze bijzondere omstandigheden hebben ertoe bijgedragen dat hij aanvankelijk nauwelijks school heeft gemaakt. En voor zover Plessner zelf deel uitmaakte van een filosofische ‘school’ – die van de wijsgerige antropologie[iii] – werd de praktische samenwerking met de twee belangrijkste mederepresentanten, Max Scheler (1874-1928) en Arnold Gehlen (1904-1976), verhinderd door respectievelijk een verstoorde persoonlijke verhouding en een tegengestelde politieke ideologie.
Met dat laatste hangt wellicht de derde reden samen voor de vertraagde receptie van Plessners werk. Zijn bereidheid om zijn eigen denken altijd weer kritisch te blijven bezien, viel op een weinig vruchtbare bodem in een eeuw die bijzonder vatbaar was voor totalitaire verleiding. Waar tijdgenoten als Heidegger en Gehlen de totalitaire ideologie van het nationaalsocialisme omarmden, belichaamt Plessners werk een radicale scepsis ten aanzien van iedere totalitaire ideologie.

Een dergelijke scepsis heeft ook aan het begin van de eenentwintigste eeuw nog niets aan betekenis verloren. In dat licht bezien komt de historische biografie van Carola Dietze als geroepen. Plessners persoonlijkheid, biografie en werk zijn namelijk nauw met elkaar verbonden. Het duidelijkst komt dat tot uitdrukking in zijn politiek gemotiveerde geschriften. Zijn pleidooi voor een open pluralistische samenleving in Grenzen der Gemeinschaft: Eine Kritik des sozialen Radikalismus (1924) vormt een reactie op de overspannen utopische gemeenschapsidealen die in de Weimar-republiek zowel door rechts – de national-völkische beweging – als links – de communisten – werden uitgedragen. En in het in Groningen geschreven en in Zürich gepubliceerde Das Schicksal deutschen Geistes im Ausgang seiner bürgerlichen Epoche (1935, in 1959 in een uitgebreidere editie heruitgegeven onder de titel Die Verspätete Nation: Über die politische Verführbarkeit bürgerlichen Geistes) analyseert hij de religieuze, sociale en filosofische wortels van het nationaalsocialisme, de beweging die hem veroordeelde tot het bestaan van politiek vluchteling. Read more

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The RQ ~ Full Circle

auke-1971

Foto Paul Janssen

The wheel is come full circle.  Shakespeare ~ King Lear

The Quarterly is doing well. The number of monthly visits to our website is steadily increasing, and we receive a lot of article submissions, as well as full text books. In the coming months we will reveal a few new sections of the website. What started as a pamphlet for the books we published, is well on the way to becoming a platform where science, journalism and debate meet.

In the past year, 2016, we have made some choices. The most visible of those is the diminished role of our publishing company, Rozenberg Publishers. Although we will still publish some books, there will not be many new titles annually. See also: http://rozenbergquarterly.com/publishers/

Because nothing is more fun than making a newspaper, our attention will mainly be focused on the RQ. In accordance with our mission statement, we want to develop it into a full-fledged platform for academics, scientists, journalists, authors and artists, in order to offer background information and scholarly reflections that contribute to mutual understanding and dialogue in a seemingly divided world. By offering this platform, the Quarterly wants to be part of the public debate because we believe mutual understanding and the acceptance of diversity are vital conditions for universal progress.

I have come full circle by choosing to focus on the Quarterly. The picture shows me on the Nieuwstad in Leeuwarden, selling monthly magazine Kaktus – a magazine we published with tremendous pleasure in 1971/72. We not only dissected and sometimes destroyed local politics, we also had a pretty good vision of how the world should and could be.
On Saturdays we took to the streets to try and sell our print run of 500 copies. After a year we had to quit. We were too successful, which led to ideological discussions that bring a smile to my face when I think about them.

Not much has changed. Making a newspaper is still the best thing there is. One thing that has changed, is that today we would like to get as many readers as possible. And we dream about those readers hitting the donate button at least once a year. So we might just reach a couple million readers in five years, who believe in the power of reading. To us that means the sharpening of the imagination. It makes the world a bigger place.

Finally, some practical information:
Telephone in the mobile age
Because we work remotely, and in different places most of the time, we no longer have a fixed office phone line.
Contact: info@rozenbergquarterly.com

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The School Of Life ~ Sociology – Alexis De Tocqueville

Alexis de Tocqueville was a 19th century French aristocrat with some crucial things to tell us about the strengths and weaknesses of that once-new and now widespread political system: democracy. Please subscribe here: http://tinyurl.com/o28mut7
If you like our films take a look at our shop (we ship worldwide): http://www.theschooloflife.com/shop/all/

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Towards A New Spur For EU Democracy Building Learn And Engagement ~ Final Report Phase 1

europeNew forms of Societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering as a New Spur for civic and democratic participation at EU level

The project was an initiative of Nea Smyrni municipality, a municipality located about 4 km southwest of central Athens, Greece, named so after the city Smyrna (today’s İzmir in Turkey), from where a large number of refugees arrived and settled in the Nea Smyrni area following the 1922 population exchange between Greece and Turkey.
The municipality implemented the project with the support of the “Europe for Citizens” programme of the European Union.

The main goal of “SPUR” program was to highlight and assess both the value of solidarity and volunteering in the current context of economic and humanitarian crisis inside United Europe as well as to improve the conditions for civic and democratic participation of citizens providing them,as a New Spur, New forms of Societal and intercultural engagement for the enhancement of civic and democratic participation at national and European level.

These forms – away from extremist or populist movements and radicalized behaviors and beyond xenophobia, intolerance and any discrimination against the vulnerable or excluded people within EU societies and underprivileged and disadvantaged populations, which often include youngsters and people of non – EU origins :
a) Stabilize the social welfare, health, employment, education, environment, culture, etc. systems, which brutally affected in times of economic recession and poverty,
b) Protect further the fundamental rights, in particular of minorities,
c) Help restore law and civil parity for a decent living,
d) Promote and foster the economy and the development and finally,
e) Consolidate the faith, to the principles and values on which the European ideal is founded, in particular of the different types of Eurosceptics, and put forward the achievements of the United Europe and the cost of no Europe creating a new positive narrative for Europe and Europe integration.

Information about the four (4) non-formal education events: 
[Also visit the website of the project “SPUR” http://dnsspur.gr/en for the analytical programmes, videos and photos. Presentations: http://dnsspur.gr/en/presentations/

afisa-spurTowards a New Spur for EU Democracy Building learn and engagement.
New forms of Societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering as a New Spur for civic and democratic participation at EU level was funded with the support of the European Union under the Programme “Europe for Citizens”

Event 1
Participation: The event involved 155 citizens, including 119 participants from the city of Nea Smyrni but also from various areas of the city of Athens, capital of Greece, and its suburbs and municipalities of Athens (Greece), 5 from the Greek entity-partner IMEPO/Greece, 4 participants from the city of Brossac but also from other cities of France (France), 3 participants from the city of Porto de Mós, (Portugal), 8 participants from the city of Mali Lošin but also from other cities of Croatia, (Croatia), 2 participants from the city of Gdynia but also from other cities of Poland, (Poland), 2 participants from the city of Česká Třebová (Czech Republic), 2 participants from the city of Pazardzhik Region (Bulgaria), 1 participant from the city of Comune di Castel Goffredo (Ιτaly), 5 participants from the city of Primaria Municipiului Bucuresti (Romania), 3 participants from the city of Strovolos but also from other cities of Nicosia region (Cyprus), as well as 1 participant from the city of Amsterdam (Nederland)

Location / Dates: The event took place in Nea Smyrni (Greece), from 21/04/2016 to 22/04/2016

Short description: The aim of the event was “Citizens on the Move” for a New Europe with the following Topics for development
• Development of citizens’ understanding of the EU policy making-process, EU history, values and diversity
• Deepening of the discussion on the future of Europe and on what kind of Europe citizens want.

Event 2
Participation: The event involved 151 citizens, including 117 participants from the city of Nea Smyrni but also from various areas of the city of Athens, capital of Greece, and its suburbs and municipalities of Athens (Greece), 5 from the Greek entity-partner IMEPO/Greece, 4 participants from the city of Brossac but also from other cities of France (France), 5 participants from the city of Porto de Mós, (Portugal), 2 participants from the city of Gdynia but also from other cities of Poland, (Poland), 1 participant from the city of Česká Třebová (Czech Republic), 3 participants from the city of Ljubljana (Slovenia),5 participants from the city of Pazardzhik Region (Bulgaria), 2 participants from the city of Comune di Castel Goffredo (Ιτaly), 3
participants from the city of Primaria Municipiului Bucuresti (Romania), 3 participants from the city of Strovolos but also from other cities of Nicosia region (Cyprus), as well as 1 participant from the city of Amsterdam (Nederland)

Location / Dates: The event took place in Nea Smyrni (Greece), from 11/05/2016 to 13/05/2016

Short description: The aim of the event was “Defining the local good – Searching the European good” with the following Topics for development
• Promoting innovative opportunities of democratic and civic participation
• Reinforcement of already existing instruments for participation in civic dialogue at local and EU level.

Event 3
Participation: The event involved 152 citizens, including 122 participants from the city of Nea Smyrni but also from various areas of the city of Athens, capital of Greece, and its suburbs and municipalities of Athens (Greece), 5 from the Greek entity-partner IMEPO/Greece, 2 participants from the city of Porto de Mós, (Portugal), 4 participants from the city of Gdynia but also from other cities of Poland, (Poland), 1 participant from the city of Česká Třebová (Czech Republic), 1 participant from the city of Ljubljana (Slovenia) ,5 participants from the city of Pazardzhik Region (Bulgaria), 1 participant from the city of Comune di Castel Goffredo (Ιτaly), 3 participants from the city of Primaria Municipiului Bucuresti (Romania), 3 participants from the city of Strovolos but also from other cities of Nicosia region (Cyprus), 4 participants from the city of London (United Kingdom) as well as 1 participant from the city of Amsterdam (Nederland)

Location / Dates: The event took place in Nea Smyrni (Greece), from 14/06/2016 to 16/06/2016

Short description: The aim of the event was “Creating long immersion volunteering youth networks” with the following Topics for development
• Local community-minded young citizens as educated and experienced in dealing of the European sides of social issues, empowered to make more informed decisions and take meaningful action as members of the European society who weigh in on issues that impact the democracy in EU

Event 4
Participation: The event involved 179 citizens, including 145 participants from the city of Nea Smyrni but also from various areas of the city of Athens, capital of Greece, and its suburbs and municipalities of Athens (Greece), 5 from the Greek entity-partner IMEPO/Greece, 2 participants from the city of Brossac but also from other cities of France (France), 5 participants from the city of Dublin (Ireland), 5 participants from the city of Mali Lošin but also from other cities of Croatia, (Croatia), 4 participants from the city of Gdynia but also from other cities of Poland, (Poland), 1 participant from the city of Česká Třebová (Czech Republic), 3 participants from the city of Ljubljana (Slovenia), 1 participant from the city of Comune di Castel Goffredo
(Ιtaly), 3 participants from the city of Strovolos but also from other cities of Nicosia region (Cyprus), 4 participants from the city of London (United Kingdom) as well as 1 participant from the city of Amsterdam (Nederland)

Location / Dates: The event took place in Nea Smyrni (Greece), from 11/07/2016 to 12/07/2016

Short description: The aim of the event was “Learning critical EU social and political issues” – “Particular Interests and Social Partnership” with the following Topics for development
• The Disability, Ecology and Migration Strategies based on societal and intercultural engagement and volunteering as a new spur for EU Democracy
• How people with particular interests harmed by the EU could be equal active citizens in Union
• The accessible pathways for Eurosceptic individuals to ensure an inclusive and participative democratic life at EU level
• Innovative models of cooperation between state, governmental and national institutions, the economic sector and voluntary unions of citizens

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PARIS SCRATCH ~ bart plantenga [RQ’s First Advertorial]

parisscratch

advertorial /ˌadvəːˈtɔːrɪəl/ – noun: advertorial; plural noun: advertorials – a newspaper or magazine advertisement giving information about a product in the style of an editorial or objective journalistic article.

The complete PARIS SCRATCH is now available from Sensitive Skin.

The skill and intensity with which plantenga chronicles these sorties into life lived at the edge should ensure his place in the next pantheon of great bohemian saints and sinners.
Kevin Riordan, Chicago Reader, Coal Hill Review

I’m really excited to announce this because PARIS SCRATCH is a magical book containing 365 [1 per day] not quite poems; not quite journal entries – “zen blink meta-factual snapshots of everyday Paris life” where the author lived for some 3 years, deejayed, worked everyday jobs and wrote for outlets such as Paris Passion, Paris Free Voice, The Frank, etc.

“A marvelous book – imagine Baudelaire taking a camera & throwing out his pen in a rebellious manner then taking snapshots of everything that comes his way…”
• Nina Zivancevic, author of Living on Air & Death of NYC 

bart plantenga spent much time roaming the Paris streets, but instead of documenting with a camera he chose a pen instead, scribbling observations while walking in ragged notepads in a handwriting not quite illegible.

I really like the way he describes it: “Wandering the streets & writing simultaneously fuses two key creative acts – if worn shoe heels & barely legible scribbles can be considered manifestations of creativity. When you live in a city long enough, you wake up one day & what was fascinating & compelling yesterday suddenly becomes the background for routine. You may not even notice you’ve stopped looking, curiosity curbed, eyes down to the ground & fixed on getting from point A to point B.  To reinvent my relation to my surroundings – first Paris & later NYC – I came up with the Unloaded Camera Snapshots series, a simple exercise to document the ‘snapshots’ of everyday life. They served as attempts to re-pollinate existence with the fecund, oft-neglected details of the everyday, la vie quotidienne.

plantenga was born in Amsterdam, grew up on the American East Coast, lived all over America, moved to Paris and eventually back to his native Amsterdam. He is the author of the much-excerpted novel Beer Mystic, which Luc Sante described as: “Top-fermented, with a good nose, an acrid middle, a dry finish – bubbly and acidulous in reserved measure – and with ambient yeast peculiar to the Lower East Side, the kind that turns concrete to dust. Plantenga is a poet and a prankster as well as a distinguished bathtub brewer. He deserves immediate investigation.”

His short story collection Wiggling Wishbone and novella Spermatagonia: The Isle of Man earned him positive reviews and favorable comparisons to JG Ballard, Philip K. Dick, William Gibson. Andrei Codrescu, National Public Radio described his writing as “frightfully intelligent.”

His books on yodeling YODEL-AY-EE-OOOO: The Secret History of Yodeling Around the World [Routledge, 2004] Yodel in HiFi: From Kitsch Folk to Contemporary Electronica plus the CD compilation Rough Guide to Yodel received worldwide attention: NPR, BBC, Al-Jazeera, ABC television, WNYC, WFMU, Rolling Stone, Vanity Fair,Washington Post, Entertainment Weekly, UTNE Reader, The Wire, Village Voice, London ReviewNew York Times Magazine featured Yodel-Ay-Ee-Oooo in its “6th Annual Year of Ideas”. The books have created the misunderstanding that he is one of the world’s foremost yodel experts.

His work has appeared in many academic journals, popular magazines, literary journals: [Ambit, Evergreen Review, Vokno, Exquisite Corpse, Downtown, Urban Grafitti, Fringecore, Sandbox, Carolina Quarterly, Mississippi Review] and mainstream media: The Guardian, Times of London, American Heritage, American Book Review, Actuel, New Hampshire, Michigan Today, Brooklyn Rail, KLM Holland Herald, American Lawyer…

He also writes about refugees for both Vox Populi & Truthdig.

He has lectured/read at the Library of Congress, Rotterdam Opera Days, Sound Escape Conference [Toronto], NYU Fales Library, The Brooklyn Bridge Reading, & countless venues around the world.

Anthologies: Nation-KGB Nonfiction Reader; Waiting for a Train: Jimmie Rodgers’s AmericaUp Is Up, But So Is Down: New York’s Downtown Literary Scene; Reggae, Rasta, Revolution: Jamaican Music from Ska to Dub [Simon & Schuster]; Sonic Geography Imagined and Remembered; Semiotext(e) SF, Crimes of the Beat, Radiotext(e),Noirotica #3, Fiction International, Best American Erotica 1994 [Simon & Schuster]

He is one of the co-founders of the NYC-based Unbearables writing group, which has produced numerous anthologies and countless thematic lit events since their founding in the later 1980s.

He is also a DJ-radiomaker and has produced guest radio shows for the BBC and VPRO (NL), has appeared on a dozen NPR radio shows, as well as NBC and ABC TV plus public radio in the Netherlands, France and Switzerland. He has produced his radio show Wreck This Mess since 1986 in NYC (WFMU), Paris (Radio Libertaire) & Amsterdam (Radio 100/Radio Patapoe/Mixcloud) where he now lives.

“Paris Scratch” is a beautiful, picturesque read that I’ve been savoring slowly for a couple of weeks now. In the tradition of writers like Georges Perec, Roland Barthes, Patrick Modiano, Jean-Paul Clebert, with echoes of Queneau’s “Exercises in Style,” Plantenga captures a Paris that finds beauty and wonder in simple exchanges between prostitutes and shopkeepers, children, workers, and random passersby. … The synthesis of poetry and prose, the homage to the visual image, and the recognition of the sublime beauty of the unspectacular, make this a compelling and immensely satisfying read. Sip this book like cognac.
Alfred Vitale, author, academic, editor of RANT

The companion to Paris Scratch, NY SIN PHONEY IN FACE FLAT MINOR (Sensitive Skin) documents New York using the same tactics and will appear in November 2016.

Please let me know if you are interested. Thanks so much,
Blandine Broche

* For free pdf or paper reviewer’s copy: contact us & we will forward your request to the publisher.

The INSANE Logic Of The YODEL

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Printing A Book, Old School

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