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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

on 6 December 2012
a recent purchase as this influential thinker continues to inform + influence.

"on the shores of politics" is a relatively modest book (8 x 5") with just 107 pages, but packed with much food for thought as Ranciere expounds (often repeatedly) on the definition,use + malaise of the use of politics to shape,manipulate but ultimately cloud the real issues in society. Aristotle treatise on politics some 2000 years ago is a recurring reference point for Ranciere as are Socrates + Pierre Leroux . themes of equality,fraternity + the influence/manipulation of the masses make for interesting, thought provoking themes.

the translation by Liz Heron seems good, with only some the gallic author's sometimes academic writing + assumption of reader knowledge to latin philosophical phrases ("melos","potestas" etc) to make reading sometimes a little opaque. however the general intellectual thrust + overall clarity of Ranciere's writing still emerge to question the very fundamentals of politics + their use in society be it now or 2000 years ago. the lack of an index or key concepts or wider reading is a shame though.

there is undoubtedly much to absorb in Ranciere's writing here + in his expanded thoughts on politics and aesthetics (not covered in "On the Shores of Politics") but sustained effort is required of the reader in disseminating Ranciere's rather obtuse, elliptical writing style. i will leave you will at least a tiny taster of what lies within :

"politics thus calls forth the social dimension wherein public honour and private gain are persued with equal passion but in a mutually exclusive fashion" ..of the "the self-diminished political realm" and of of "the lost resource for collective action"

recommended, but i will delve deeper into this author's work for possibly clearer texts. 3 stars going on 4.
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