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Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read. Want to Read saving…. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. Preview — Pocket Pantheon by Alain Badiou. Alain Badiou draws on his encounters with this pantheon — his teachers, opponents and allies — to offer unique insights into both the authors and their work.

These studies form an accessible, authoritative distillation of continental theory and a capsule history of a period in Western thought. Get A Copy.

Hardcover , pages. Published July 21st by Verso first published February 28th More Details Original Title. Other Editions 9. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

To ask other readers questions about Pocket Pantheon , please sign up. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Average rating 3. Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Jul 02, Mac rated it it was ok.

Authoritative, accessible, distillation — sounds like tasty French vodka to me. Collected here are not introductory essays about eleven philosophers from post-war France, but eleven eulogies of one sort or another, each coming from a different publication or event and each with an entirely different audience from the one preceding it. In some cases, we have a five-to-ten page sketch, based mostly on personal stories and loosely connected to ideas.

It makes for a very uneven book in tone, substance, and style. The description of the English edition is not very good. This is not a "journey through 20th-century philosophy," as such, but rather a collection of short tributes to leading French philosophers that Alain Badiou knew to some degree personally, in each case presented or published shortly after their deaths.

It is not comprehensive; it is arguable if it even has much in the way of historicity. What it does feature is a selection of reflections on the work and contributions of fourteen remarkab The description of the English edition is not very good. What it does feature is a selection of reflections on the work and contributions of fourteen remarkable thinkers, mixed with a dose of pathos and eccentricity. The difficulty of each piece varies widely.

In some essays, not much training in philosophy is necessary to follow the thread of Badiou's remarks; in others he burrows deep into what will sound like opaque jargon to non-specialists. I think there are points in which his views of the meaningful contributions of his former colleagues are very insightful, and would be helpful to anyone wanting to learn more about this generation of French philosophers.

I would not recommend this, though, as a primer of any sort. One idiosyncrasy of this volume is that in his various encomiums, Badiou has a habit of differentiating himself from the concepts of his subject near the end of every essay. Sometimes this has the tone of a clarification about his personal bias; other times it makes his prior homage seem to lose part of its sincerity.

This comes across as particularly strange when he follows that immediately with some very grief-laden final dedication to mourning. In some cases, though, it has only whet my appetite for the work of the thinkers themselves. View all 3 comments. May 10, Chris Schaeffer rated it liked it.

A series of Badiou's reminiscences and memorials for late peers in the French philosophy game. Here's the thing-- as everyone knows, Verso has a little bit of a reputation for grubbing after money and riding a few cash-horses like Zizek and, I suppose Badiou in a way unbecoming of their leftist ethos. I personally sort of roll my eyes when somebody comes around with these accusations, but in reading this I did find myself wondering what the utility of this book was, and why it merited such a l A series of Badiou's reminiscences and memorials for late peers in the French philosophy game.

I personally sort of roll my eyes when somebody comes around with these accusations, but in reading this I did find myself wondering what the utility of this book was, and why it merited such a lavish hardcover release. Some of the pieces are really good. The pieces on Althusser and Sartre are terrific. But many of his subjects, maybe a bit over half if I recall, are not and have never been in print in English, and if they, in expensive and out of print university editions.

The whole package feels a little superfluous. It's neat to have, and well written, I love Badiou, but I sort of envisage the product being better served as a little pocket-paperback or even a series of PDFs on the Verso site.

Aug 29, Steve rated it really liked it Shelves: philosophy. This book is a quick read that's a tour through 20th century French philosophy. Many of the people discussed were Badiou's friends and teachers. As for Lacan, Sartre, Althusser, Lyotard, Deleuze, Foucault, and Derrida, Badiou seemed fairly accurate and always interesting, though it's been some time since I've read most of them.

He also seemed to be spending a lot of time explicating and perhaps arguing against Deleuze. Jul 20, Tosh rated it really liked it. This is a beautifully designed and quirky book by French philosopher Alain Badiou. It's basically him riffing off his fellow contributors to the school of thinking and thought. All French, all controversial, all uber-aware of the world that we live in - and this small handy book is sort of a perfect bathtub book for me. Each chapter is devoted to one individual - and at times Badiou argues with their thoughts, yet shows great respect to those who walked among and before him.

Mar 21, Ryan Farrow rated it it was ok Shelves: philosophical. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit glad to be done with this book, and not only because some of it was obscure and impenetrable to me. What's really contained in this collection is the opposite; 13 essay-eulogies dedicated to lost French philosophers, most of which w I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little bit glad to be done with this book, and not only because some of it was obscure and impenetrable to me.

The physical construction of this book is quite cool; it's a small hardcover with an appearance not too dissimilar to a pocket bible, and best of all it actually does fit inside a regular pocket. I appreciate that it's built to last and to travel, so kudos to Verso for that. As for the content, this is far from accessible, with a proliferation of complex terminology and specific historical, political, local and literary references which makes sense given these disparate pages are addressed to audiences intimately familiar with the figures and philosophies addressed.

I missed a lot, no doubt, but in addition some of it was just straight up unengaging for someone unfamiliar with most of the people included. That's not necessarily a point against the book, objectively, but at the same time this is a collation of passages and speeches collected across the years, and far from a complete or logical work, so that should be taken into account for anyone curious.

So why did I read this book? Well, because I was curious mostly. There were about of the texts which yielded very little to me, a smattering that I understood but which bored me, and a handful that I would call positively experienced by myself. I'll briefly address the latter of these categories and leave the rest un-criticised for the time being, for reasons littered in the above review. In order: the chapter on Lacan which opens the book was short, but interesting enough.

Of all those addressed in this book, he's the figure I know the most about, so I was both pleasantly introduced to the book, and disappointed that his presence within it was so brief; the Sartre chapter was also interesting, offering a pretty unique perspective on the man; the Hippolite chapter which follows was one of the more enjoyable for sure.

Much more personal and subjective then the rest, it was better off for it; finally the chapter on Borreil and his literature analyses actually makes him the only philosopher here that I was not previously aware of that I subsequently am excited to delve deeper into. Probably my favourite chapter here. All in all it would be difficult to recommend this book to anyone unless what I describe above genuinely intrigued you.

I'll probably return to this some time in the future, when I'm more knowledgable on the figures and context that permeate this work, but for now I'm in no hurry to dwell on what I read.

This is between a 2 and a 3 for me, but it gets the benefit of the doubt since I'm mostly culpable for not being more engaged and being arrogant enough to assume I could pull more from it without being very familiar with what was in store.

Suffice to say that this is by no means an introduction to the key figures of postwar philosophy; if it was, it would be appallingly French and - with the exception of the final chapter on Francoise Proust- male. That does still grate, and it is somewhat shocking that there are no chapters at least on, say, De Beauvoir or Wittig. But it is less of a problem because his intent is not to provide an introduction to postwar philosophy, but to commemorate and the book is largely a collection of previously published essays and obituaries the lives of philosophers that he has known - in spite of his opening claim that "neither death nor depression should be of interest to us", most of the essays are preoccupied with exactly those questions.

That shouldn't be surprising, as Badiou himself nears the end of his life - aware of his status as the last of the youngest generation of philosophers active in At times the book shows signs of Badiou's own retreat into the position of public intellectual - there's a sense that he wants to help create a French canon - but it also includes forceful statements of political commitment which I think remain genuine. His comments on these philosophers are interesting enough as philosophy, but also as history - as fragments of relationships which remind us that philosophy is a world as much as a field.

Whilst you're unlikely to learn a great deal about Sarte or Derrida from what Badiou writes - unless you had a good grounding already - the book is actually pretty readable as an introduction to Badiou; he has rather more to say here about e. It should also be said that, as little as you might glean from the text of the chapters themselves, there is enough here to pique interest in French philosophers who decidedly aren't read much in Britain - if they are translated at all - and it's worth reading it is, after all, quite cheap just for those moments of discovery.

May 25, Liam Gleeson rated it liked it. Interesting texts but can't help feeling a little lost, not quite the introduction I was hoping for. Jan 04, E rated it liked it.


Pocket Pantheon: Figures of Postwar Philosophy

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Pocket Pantheon : Figures of Postwar Philosophy



Pocket Pantheon


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Pocket Pantheon by Alain Badiou


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