On Events, with Chris Gordon
At least we will know. By the end of the month of May, the federal election will have rolled by, and we will know if we live in a political bubble. The month will bring more to us though than just (endless) political discussion. At least we will know that whatever happens in our political arenas, May will bring us valuable – and sorely needed – reflective time. (Oh please, can we just have a little quiet time now?)
To that end, join us as Warren Ward chats with his old friend, the wonderful and completely erudite Lee Kofman, about philosophy at Readings Carlton on Thursday 12 May at 6:30pm. I think it might be just the ticket. His book, Lovers of Philosophy, explores the love lives of seven philosophers, and how their truly most intimate experiences came to shape their ideas. On offer is the significance of Kant’s infatuation, Hegel’s premarital liaisons, Nietzsche’s heartbreak, Heidegger’s hypocrisy, Sartre’s promiscuous polyamory, Foucault’s sexual liberation, and Derrida’s dalliances in extramarital desire. The stories of these philosophers’ love (and sex) lives are recounted against a backdrop of a Europe undergoing tumultuous change. Turns out, the personal is political.
And honestly, if all this is simply too much, do join us online via Zoom (6:30pm, Wednesday 18 May to hear Karlie Noon and Krystal De Napoli explain the connections between the behaviour of the stars and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander environmental and cultural practices, and consider what information they continue to hold. Their new book, Astronomy: Sky Country explores how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are the oldest (and most successful) scientists in human history. Many First Peoples regard the land as a reflection of the sky and the sky a reflection of the land. Sophisticated astronomical expertise embedded within the Dreamtime and Songlines is interwoven into a deep understanding of changes on the land, such as weather patterns and seasonal shifts. And all we need do is look up and listen. Truly, could there be a better remedy for this month of political discourse?
Of course, there is plenty more on offer in the Readings events program: poetry, stories and robust discussion and reflection. Let me leave you with this thought: at least we have writers. At least we have the power to listen, to read, to create. And (at least) we have one another.