On Compassion

“Compassion is not a character trait like a sunny disposition. It must be learned, and it is learned by having adversity at our windows. . .”

James Baldwin - Photograph by Dmitri Kasterine

James Baldwin: Dark Days

James Baldwin, the writer who has forged passion into eloquence for black people since 1948, at his house in the south of France. At fifty-six, he sees no progress in black education in the last quarter-century. The problem, he says, is the persistent delusion called white supremacy.

Susan Sontag


Two essays by Susan Sontag are devoted to an analysis of myths surrounding paradigmatic diseases of modern times and metaphors that turn physical illnesses into a moral matter and lead to public shaming of their victims.

Nicolai Fechin - The Slaughterhouse, 1919


As Ronald Gottesman points out in this discerning introduction, Upton Sinclair was a passionate believer in the redemption of mankind through social reform. His expose of the interlocking corruption in American corporate and political life was a major literary event when it was published in 1906, and caused an almost immediate reform in pure-food legislation.


How Veganism Became Mainstream

True, vegetarianism has been growing for many years, but did anyone foresee its most extreme variant rapidly ‘crossing the chasm’ to go from an oddball niche to a standard lifestyle choice?

Hannah Arendt: Society and Culture

Hannah Arendt warns that mass culture increasingly utilizes the classics and other genuine works of art, transformed and made digestible, for entertainment. Since the appetites of the entertainment industries are insatiable, they will in time consume the classics, and thereby destroy culture.

La folla, cos’è? – di Pier Paolo Pasolini

Avendo fatto in questi giorni (a Zafferana, in Sicilia, c’era un’atmosfera da linciaggio) esperienza della folla, mi è stato naturale rispondere subito a una lettera, firmata da Massimo Baldini, che mi pone delle domande, appunto, sulla folla (argomento della sua tesi di laurea).

Pier Paolo Pasolini on Abortion

Who is in favour of abortion? No one evidently. One would have to be mad to be in favour of abortion. The problem is not to be for or against abortion but for or against its legalization.

Slavoj Žižek: The Pervert’s Guide to Ideology (2012) – Traduzione italiana

L’ideologia è così radicata nella società che ha influenzato i nostri sogni. Se vogliamo cambiare la nostra realtà, dobbiamo prima cambiare i nostri sogni. Applicando la teoria psicoanalitica all’interpretazione cinematografica, Slavoj Zizek tenta di scoprire il significato nascosto di molti film hollywoodiani.

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