The powers of photography have in effect de-Platonized our understanding of reality, making it less and less plausible to reflect upon our experience according to the distinction between images and things, between copies and originals. It suited Plato’s derogatory attitude toward images to liken them to shadows—transitory, minimally informative, immaterial, impotent co-presences of the real […]

In the 8th book of his Description of Greece, the 2nd century CE Greek writer Pausanias describes a curious cave in Phigalia, Arcadia, dedicated to Black Demeter (Demeter Melainai). It was here, Pausanias tells us, that the goddess went after being raped by the god Poseidon and when her daughter Persephone had been abducted by […]

Take a look at the Basquiat painting Untitled (1982) that just sold for $110.5 million at the recent Sotheby’s auction. What do you see? While you’re thinking about it, consider what Sotheby’s sees: Untitled is among the most important paintings by the artist still in private hands. The vast canvas marks a critical moment in […]

After an intense week reading Eric Baudelaire’s Anabases, for today’s post I want to share with you a fun project that is more tangentially related to the core themes of Minus Plato. Back in August 2015, I founded Myth Club Columbus, an informal Sunday morning class for my son, Eneko and some of his friends. A typical […]

There are a total of 40 footnotes in Anabases, all of which are found in Homay King’s essay “Anti-Odyssey”. The majority of these footnotes lead us to theoretical texts of Plato, Aristotle, Nietzsche, Freud, Bergson, Barthes, Derrida, Deleuze, Agamden and Badiou. Several others take us to works by artists Jeff Wall, Hito Steyerl and Walead […]

In an interview, Eric Baudelaire describes one of the origins for his interest in the idea of the Anabasis theme as follows: I don’t know why this figure is so important to me, but I remember already being touched by it when reading Charles Baudelaire’s Flowers of Evil (1857) as a teenager. You can look […]

Today I am busy writing my review – the one I mentioned yesterday – and so I didn’t have time to write a polished post. But here are my working notes, which will have to suffice for you to speculate on the kind of post it would have been, if I had written it. Watching […]

Dear Eric, Rereading what I wrote about Anabases yesterday it dawned on my how I cannot allow this week of posts about your book to become anything approximating a review. I am currently months behind the review of another book and taking this mode of writing on at the same time seems especially perverse. That […]

Anabases begins (unlike Xenophon’s Anabasis) with a preface, of sorts, written by Morad Montazami. In this brief text (‘Coming Back, Coming Up, Coming About’), the first third of which acts as the blurb for the book, split between the inside front and back cover flaps, Montazami offers a series of suggested strategies for making our […]