Tarallini, a philosophical reflection

In this quarantined world, where yeast and flour seem to have disappeared from every supermarket and, when you finally find them, you and a bunch of other customers have to fight over them as Dwight and Andy fought over Michael’s love, recipes without (or with limited amount of) these sacred goods are more than welcome. Since I want to do my part in this process of culinary pacifism, there you go with one of my favorite snacks and its history.

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Der Zauberberg, self-quarantine and time

Over the last couple of months, I’ve been reading Der Zauberberg (The Magic Mountain), the (in)famous novel by German writer Thomas Mann, published in 1924. In Der Zauberberg protagonist Hans Castorp travels by train to a sanatorium in Davos in the Swiss Alps to visit his nephew Joachim Ziemßen, who is suffering from tuberculosis. During his stay of three weeks, Hans Castorp develops bronchial issues and decides to stay until he recovers. He starts a treatment which consists mostly of long sessions of resting on a comfy lounger, breathing in the pure Alpine air. In this idyllic situation, time quickly becomes a very different experience. In the end, it takes seven years and the outbreak of a major war to pull him back to the ‘real’ world.

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De ‘S’ van vlinderSmoothie

Vanaf de Splijtstofkamer op de 17e verdieping van het Erasmusgebouw kijk ik neer op het S-vormige gebouw. De ‘S’ van Sociale wetenschappen, vermoedelijk. Ik kwam hier om de planten in leven te houden, maar mijn gedachten dwalen af. Ik moet denken aan een poos geleden, toen je een aandenken kon krijgen aan het bouwwerk uit wiens puin de ‘S’ verrijst: een TvA-baksteen.

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Images

I looked around and saw all the
Windows and trees and hairdos
Brick, recemented, old, different
Heights and browns and entrances,
Rusty bikes; the Mediterranean grocery
The organic butcher, Turkish Barbers,
reaching corners, drinking tea in hourglasses
In front—and knew
That all of it would not reach the other end
of this poem.
The cold stairs were mine, the days,
the years, the cats on the window sills.
It didn’t matter.
Tom Waits was no Radio DJ in this world either.
So what the hell.

August 2019

Conversation with Marcel Duchamp

1. Introductie: Guy Diehl

Guy Diehl (1949 – ) is een hedendaagse kunstenaar, geboren te Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Hij staat bekend om zijn realistische stillevens en is sterk beïnvloed door zijn mentoren aan de San Franscisco State University. Dit waren de schilders Robert Bechtle en Richard McLean, beiden eerste generatie fotorealisten. Vanaf 1992 begint Diehl verwijzingen naar de kunstgeschiedenis te verwerken in zijn schilderijen. Vaak zijn dit boeken over een bepaalde kunstenaar, of ansichtkaarten met daarop een bekend kunstwerk afgebeeld. Zijn doel is om de aandacht van de kijkers eerst te vangen door deze objecten, om hen vervolgens te laten nadenken over het werk en het bijbehorende verhaal zelf. Diehl maakt aldus art-about-art, een concept dat al langer bestaat.1

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  1. “Statement,” Guy Diehl Studio, bezocht op 13 mei, 2019, http://www.guydiehl.com/artist-statement-fine-art/.

Splijtstof in the time of Coronavirus

A kindly thing it is to have compassion of the afflicted and albeit it well beseemeth every one, yet of those is it more particularly required who have erst had need of comfort and have found it in any, […].

Giovanni Boccaccio

These are odd, grim, hard times.

To say something smart and meaningful without hurting (even involuntarily) anyone is quite a challenge.

Yet, on behalf of Splijtstof, I am going to give it a shot.

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Spijtstof: De kroon op het monnikenwerk zetten

Maandagmorgen, kwart voor negen, dat is toch geen uur om jong filosofische harten snel te doen kloppen. Te moeten leren hoe in de vroege universitates keer op keer in minuscule nuances de woorden van ‘De Filosoof’ worden bijgepunt. Hoe de antieke wijsheden als moderne vluchtelingen hun weg naar het Westen vonden om daar misschien wel de eerste slachtoffers te worden van een witwasschandaal.

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Off the Record – Christoph Lüthy

The One with the Swiss Dean and a Bottle of Wine

I have been wanting to write this interview for quite a long time. Everything started because Ted, one of our editors, told me (attention, SPOILER ALERT!) about an alleged piece of advice that Christoph Lüthy, professor in the History of Philosophy and Science at Radboud University and dean of the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies, gave to Matt Damon (who, fortunately, didn’t follow it) and to some scones-eating British politician (who, unfortunately, didn’t follow it). This was the rumor I had been waiting for, but then the summer holidays arrived, the Italian seaside distracted me, the new semester started, and all sorts of things every student is familiar with happened. Like a good bottle of Brunello di Montalcino that you save for special occasions, this interview had been put on hold, waiting for the best moment to be written.  And it was still there waiting when the familiar voice of the interviewee himself greeted me with a lively “Buongiorno!” in the koffiehoek (15th floor of the Erasmus Building, the place to be for every philosopher in Nijmegen). The day to open that metaphorical bottle of Brunello di Montalcino had been set, but I needed some insights from one of the persons who knows prof. Lüthy best, namely his wife Carla Rita Palmerino, professor of the History of Philosophy at Radboud University and program coordinator of the Research Master in Philosophy. And no, if you were thinking about a love blossomed within the Erasmusgebouw’s walls, you would be mistaken. Their love blossomed in a way more romantic (but equally cold and foggy) setting, in dear old Scotland, as they recently revealed in an interview with VOX.

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Status Quaestionis – Tim Miechels

“Koffie, altijd koffie”, zegt Tim Miechels wanneer hij plaatsneemt in restaurant Het Gerecht. We treffen hem na college en stellen hem een aantal vragen over zijn onderzoek. Hij promoveert momenteel aan de afdeling fundamentele filosofie van onze faculteit, maar is bij veel studenten bekend van het onderwijs dat hij geeft in bijna alle programma’s van de opleiding Filosofie. Waar gaat zijn onderzoek eigenlijk over?

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