Book reviewing has a bias in favor of books we’ve actually read, but sometimes it may also be revealing which books we start but don’t finish. Two that I’ve put aside this year:
- Rage and Time by Sloterdijk — it struck me that this was the same basic argument as Fukayama’s The End of History and the Last Man and that his analysis of resentment was not very likely to add significantly to Nietzsche.
- Benjamin’s -abilities by Sam Weber — I got about a third of the way through this one before I got really sick of being re-convinced of the importance of words ending in -ability for understanding Benjamin’s work. Undeniably a detailed and rigorous reading of Benjamin, this book winds up feeling plodding and repetitious, something that is perhaps understandable given that it is assembled out of forty years worth of Weber’s writings on Benjamin. I will likely return to it for insight on particular writings and themes in Benjamin, but reading it cover to cover was less than ideal.
What about you? Have you set any book aside recently?