All greats in one bar

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October 13, 2016 by AK

The good news today is the Nobel prize in literature going to Bob Dylan

for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.

Yes – a great tradition, and an author whose work is well known and much loved.

Malcolm Bull, an Oxonian at Princeton, is suspicious of greatness, German or American or Eurasian. That’s OK, but in the course of objecting, he says this:

The spectre of a Heideggerian Trump has already been raised by the endorsement Trump received from Alexander Dugin, the Russian occultist and political theorist sometimes referred to as ‘Putin’s Rasputin’.

Mentioning Heidegger, Dugin and Trump in one sentence makes for comical effect, like a joke beginning, “Heidegger, Trump and Dugin walk into a bar.” The hackneyed (Ras)putin pun serves to confuse readers, not to help them understand Dugin’s place in the Russian political serpentarium. In all likelihood, Dugin is a successful self-promoter who has managed to convince some people that he has special access to Putin and wields some influence in the Kremlin.

On the other hand, there is demand for “spirituality” among Russia’s ruling elites, which makes people like Dugin potentially dangerous. Bull’s sentence about a Heideggerian Trump endorsed by Dugin is no less hilarious for that.


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