David Foster Wallace on post-modernism


“Postmodern irony and cynicism’s become an end in itself, a measure of hip sophistication and literary savvy. Few artists dare to try to talk about ways of working toward redeeming what’s wrong, because they’ll look sentimental and naive to all the weary ironists. Irony’s gone from liberating to enslaving. … The postmodern founders’ patricidal work was great, but patricide produces orphans, and no amount of revelry can make up for the fact that writers my age have been literary orphans throughout our formative years.”

My favorite auteurs


Malgorzata Szumowska (Polish)
Pawel Pawlikowski (Polish)
Krzysztof Kieslowski (Polish)
Andrei Wajda (Polish)
Bernardo Bertolucci (Italian)
Paolo Sorrentino (Italian)
Akira Kurosawa (Japanese)
Asghar Farhadi (Iranian)
Denis Villeneuve (Canadian)
Michael Haneke (German)
Alejandro Inarritu (Mexican)

Paul Thomas Anderson
Joel and Ethan Coen
Wes Anderson
Terrence Malick
Spike Jonze
Tom Ford
Rob Reiner
Judd Apatow
Roman Polanski
Ron Fricke
Noah Baumbach

Andrei Zviagintsev
Andrei Tarkovsky
Kirill Serebrennikov
Sergei Loznitsa
Ivan Vyrypaev
Bakur Bakuradze
Aleksei Balabanov

Nikolai Berdyaev and ‘the Russian idea’

He lived from 1874 – 1948. A Marxist early in life but later moved towards philosophy and embraced a ‘Christian existentialist’ worldview. Protested both the Tsar and the Bolsheviks. In 1922 had a midnight interview with Dzerzhinsky and instead of sniveling he stood up to him and gave him a dressing down about the totalitarian tendencies of the new Bolsheviks. Dzerzhinsky let him go (Solzhenitsyn later eulogized this moment in his writing).

In 1922 exiled from Russia, goes to Berlin but not long after moves permanently to France where he was a thinker/writer/philosopher.

Berdyaev is famous for formulating his conception of ‘the Russian idea.’ He builds upon Solov’ev’s notion of Russia as the Third Rome, arguing that this failed, but that it, as it were, was sublimated into the “Third Internationale.” Here is the quote: 

The Russian people did not achieve their ancient dream of Moscow, the Third Rome. The ecclesiastical schism of the seventeenth century revealed that the muscovite tsardom is not the third Rome. The messianic idea of the Russian people assumed either an apocalyptic form or a revolutionary; and then there occurred an amazing event in the destiny of the Russian people. Instead of the Third Rome in Russia, the Third International was achieved, and many of the features of the Third Rome pass over to the Third International. The Third International is also a Holy Empire, and it also is founded on an Orthodox faith. The Third International is not international, but a Russian national idea.