Rage and Time: A Psychopolitical Investigation

Peter Sloterdijk, Author, Mario Wenning, Translator , trans. from the German by Mario Wenning. Columbia Univ. $34.50 (248p) ISBN 978-0-231-14522-0

A brilliant and conceptually rich analysis of the influence of rage on the development of Western culture. Tracing rage from its earliest Greek articulation as Thymos in the Iliad , Sloterdijk (Critique of Cynical Reason ) argues for a notion of rage both as a motivating force in man’s struggle for reward and recognition and as a foundational feature of the human understanding of time. According to the author, modernity has downplayed the primacy of rage in favor of a Freudian focus on desire as more fundamental to psychic life. These claims provide the framework for a demonstration of how rage has operated in the development of the “psychopolitical” history of the West, a history characterized by various attempts to “save” and “invest” rage, utilizing its force to further particular ideological ends, primarily religious and revolutionary. Though frequently hampered by excessive academic jargon and a theoretically questionable oscillation between the non-equivalent notions of Thymos and rage, the book offers a fascinating account of the historical dynamics of social development, one capable of holding a vast array of phenomena, from Biblical psalms to the 2005 Paris riots, within its purview. (May)

Reviewed on: 02/08/2010
Release date: 04/01/2010
Open Ebook - 256 pages - 978-0-231-51836-9
Paperback - 248 pages - 978-0-231-14523-7
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