Reviews from 11/2016

The Reader

film reviewed by Rob Mason on 26 November 2016

The Reader is a film about lost love and human emotions and although it has a somewhat melancholy feel about it, there is a certain poignancy that evokes subjective feelings. The story is presented in three parts, the first part (circa 1955)t tells of the sexual relationship of a teenager, Michael (David Kross) and a 30 year old woman Hanna (Kate Winslet). The second part of the story is portrayed 8 years later and introduces Ralph Fiennes as Michael.  The story involves Hanna going on trial for a…Read

The Sociology of Consumption

Book reviewed by Patricia Hogwood on 22 November 2016

The Sociology of Consumption: A Global Approach, authored by Joel Stillerman, offers a long-overdue account of the processes and cultural relevance of consumption in the twenty-first century.  Patricia Hogwood finds much to admire in this solid introduction to the diverse theoretical literatures on consumption and its exploration of the new opportunities and challenges arising for governments and citizens alike due to rapid changes in contemporary practices of consumption.  

The author: Joel Stillerman explains on page 43, that shopping malls orginated in the U.S. after WW2. Victor Gruen, the designer of some of the…Read

The Arcades Project

reviewed by Tim Worstall on 18 November 2016

The Passagenwerk or Arcades Project was an unfinished project of German literary critic Walter Benjamin, written between 1927 and 1940. An enormous collection of writings on the city life of Paris in the 19th century, it was especially concerned with Paris' iron-and-glass covered "arcades" (known in French as the passages couverts de Paris).

Benjamin's Project, which many scholars believe might have become one of the great texts of 20th-century cultural criticism, was never completed due to his death under uncertain circumstances on the French-Spanish border in 1940. The Arcades Project has been posthumously edited and published in many languages…Read


Book reviewed by Rob Mason on 1 November 2016

Published as "Wissenschaft als Beruf," Gesammlte Aufsaetze zur Wissenschaftslehre (Tubingen, 1922), pp. 524-55. Originally a speech at Munich University, 1918, published in 1919 by Duncker & Humblodt, Munich.


Ideas occur to us when they please, not when it pleases us. The best ideas do indeed occur to one's mind in the way in which Ihering describes it: when smoking a cigar on the sofa; or as Helmholtz states of himself with scientific exactitude: when taking a walk on a slowly ascending street; or in a similar way. In any case, ideas come when we do not…Read