It’s that feeling again, that nameless anxiety, the squeeze of the shoulders and tightness of the neck, the shallow breathing: shouldn’t I be doing something? Starting a campaign. Joining a political party. Writing erudite polemical rants for The Guardian. Almost anything other than what I’m doing now, in fact. Which is sitting on the sofa, listening to music.
I’ve just finished reading Alain Badiou’s Being and Event, a somewhat weighty tome that excited and frustrated me in equal measure. The exciting parts were the numerous philosophical insights that seemed to confirm and extend various vague intuitions I had held for some years, to an extent that no other work of philosophy so far has. The frustrating parts were the ones in which Badiou attempted to demonstrate the logic of these insights using a mathematical language that remained, despite the author’s best efforts and patient encouragement, mostly beyond my ability to grasp.