My latest for the European Conservative: a review of Byung-Chul Han The Dispearance of Rituals.
I am not an expert on Han’s sources—Gadamer, Foucoult, Baudrilland, Barthes, and others—so I take Han’s arguments simply as presented in this work. They display some of the characteristics of post-modernism which make it such a frustrating area to work in: sweeping generalisations, simplistic contrasts, dubious historical claims, and inconsistencies. To give an extreme example, Han appears to believe that ancient warfare did not involve projectiles (arrows and so on), which I think would have been a surprise to anyone living at the time. To some extent, one has to go along with him and see if a sound argument can be constructed out of the impassioned and intriguing elements he presents.
Read it all there.
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