Complicated and primitive!

In case you missed it on The Baffler. . .

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© DAVID HUGHES
"All Hail the Grumbler!" by Russell Jacoby
2© JOSEPH CIARDIELLO
"Man Is Not a Rock" by Joseph Brodsky and Elizabeth Markstein
3© U.S. EMBASSY
"The Empire Strikes Back" by Scott Beauchamp

Hi friends,

"We are complicated enough to build machines, and too primitive to make them serve us," Karl Kraus wrote in 1908. Put that in your e-cigarette and smoke it.

Remember The Kraus Project from, what, 2013? Proving that our memories are long and our themes eternal, we finally got around to reviewing the book. Russell Jacoby, in the best treatment you'll find, says the writings of Karl Kraus—a.k.a. "The Grumbler"—are more relevant than ever, though he somewhat rues the late-night bull session happening in the footnotes (courtesy the book's translator and editor, Jonathan "Footnote" Franzen). 

Okay then: All hail the grumbler(s)!

Speaking of e-cigarettes, our current issue contains among its many provocations the first English translation of an interview with Russian poet (and heavy smoker) Joseph Brodsky—the first he gave after being expelled from the Soviet Union in 1972.

Fast forward to May 31 in New York. We're cosponsoring a theatrical adaptation of the Brodsky interview at the Secret Speakeasy. Won't you join us? "The question is," Brodsky says, "what should we remain alive for? Man is not a rock, he can't exist just for his own sake. There's always the 'what for.'" RSVP here.

And say, have you subscribed?

Yours,

The Baffler

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© ADOBE
5© NATALIE
"Down with Dynamism" by Robert Appelbaum
6© NATE STEINER
          
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