ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Reflections on the Political Present

K N Panikkar Lineages of the Present: Political Essays by Aijaz Ahmad; Tulika, New Delhi,
THIS collection of essays by the author of the widely acclaimed earlier work, In Theory, makes compelling reading on the political and ideological present. These essays, written over a period of 15 years, cover a very wide spectrum from democracy and dictatorship in Pakistan to a critique of Derrida's Spectres of Marx, Each of them, the author states, is an effort "to make the opacity of the present intelligible" by reflecting on the making of the present, and on "the historical sedimentation, even contradiction, that went into that making". Although they do not "observe the protocols that are proper to history as an academic discipline'', they are embeded in a view of history, firmly rooted in Marxism and critical of post-structuralist, post-modernist, sub- alternist paradigms of interrogating social reality. This theoretical engagement makes these essays a significant intervention in contemporary academic and ideological debates.

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