Interminable Autonomy :

Bifo’s Symptomatologies of the Present

By Michael Goddard

With creativity and desire hijacked so effectively by work, spectacle and cyberspace what, asks Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi – across three books published in English this year – has become of autonomy today? In this extended review, Michael Goddard traces the development of Bifo’s ‘joyful pessimism’ in the face of an epidemic of emotional and political atrophy”

The recent appearance of no less than three works by Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi, or four if one counts his book on Felix Guattari that was published by Palgrave last year, may give the impression that we are witnessing the fruits of a Bifo conspiracy. Suddenly the market of political and media theory has been flooded with this new and mysterious presence, for who knows what ulterior motives. As a small part of this publishing flurry, I can attest that like most apparent conspiracies it is only partly true. Certainly Bifo is neither new nor mysterious, having been a key participant in Italian, European and global political and intellectual life for the last four decades with a remarkable consistency and prolific output, at least in Italian. In fact it is the Anglo world that is rather slow off the mark regarding the Bifo phenomenon, since a similar collection of writings to those in Precarious Rhapsody already appeared a several years ago in Finnish. What is new (and this is where the conspiracy comes in) is the appearance of Bifo as a figure on the Anglo-American intellectual and political scene, not only or especially via publishing but also through many types of event and presence in a variety of media activist projects…


The Joyful Wisdom (The Gay Science)

Friedrich Nietsche 1844-1900



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