. 2015. “Antoine Doinel’s Spleen: Truffaut Misreads Baudelaire
This essay examines the intertextual dialogue between François Truffaut’s cycle of autobiographical films, known as the Doinel cycle, and Charles Baudelaire’s collection of poems The Flowers of Evil (Les Fleurs du mal), and collection of prose poems The Spleen of Paris (Le Spleen de Paris: Petits poèmes en prose). The focal point is the fourth Doinel film, Bed and Board (Domicile Conjugal, 1970), and the poem “Spleen IV” in The Flowers of Evil. By applying Aner Preminger’s (Preminger: 2006) cinematic adaptation of Harold Bloom’s “anxiety of influence” theory (Bloom: 1973) and “misreading” concept (Bloom: 1975), I argue that the explicit and implicit references to Baudelaire are not a homage, i.e. a mere expression of admiration, but a complex and multilayered misreading, which encompasses the dual movement of admiration, as well as rebellion, towards the forefather. The wrestle with Baudelaire is a significant milestone in Truffaut’s journey towards finding his own voice on the one hand, and towards establishing his position as an important (re)former of modernist cinema on the other. Furthermore, along with a considerable contribution to thematic interpretation of Truffaut’s film(s), the misreading of Baudelaire is distinctly important as it reveals that Truffaut’s cinema is rooted in poetry, as, and perhaps even more than, it is rooted in prose fiction. On a larger scale, this suggests that the cinematic medium corresponds to the hybrid genre of prose poetry
. 2015. “A Single Market in Healthcare Services by Stealth?
Member States have up to now been reluctant to extend the Single Market sphere to the healthcare service trade, despite indications that market forces are at play. Forming part of a wider project on the construction of markets in Europe, this paper explores whether market integration is taking place in healthcare services from a narrow trade perspective. Applying an analysis based on measuring trade through the four modes of service supply, the paper finds that an internal market is gradually being formed within different layers of healthcare services provision, and to a higher degree than political developments at EU level would lead us to expect.
. 2015. “The European Union as a Social Actor? An Analysis of Social Protection in the EU’s Electricity Sector
Social regulation at the EU level is on the increase at least when it comes to the electricity sector and following the gradual liberalization of the sector. This paper asks how and for what reasons social protection of vulnerable consumers has been introduced into the process, focusing on the period between the second and third directives on electricity sector liberalization (2005-2009). In this period these protections grew substantially, gaining a more binding and a more transnational nature, a process led by the Commission and the European Parliament. This development runs counter to our understanding of the electricity sector reform in the EU as focused primarily on the creation of open competitive markets. The paper argues that the introduction of protection of vulnerable consumers in the electricity sector reform facilitates (rather than hinders) the process of economic reform, by adding political and democratic legitimacy to the liberalization process. It asserts that adding social protection to economic reform in this case is instructive regarding the development of the EU as a regulatory state and the regulatory state more generally. Economic reform and economic regulation create the conditions for, and require, more social protection and social regulation. Separating the social and economic spheres may seem like an economically efficient strategy, but may ultimately have the opposite effect.
. 2015. “Freud, Religion, and Messianism
This paper (1) seeks to address Freud’s early theory of religion and to uncover its basic antieschatological structure. I argue that Freud identified in Totem and Taboo (1913) a fundamental religious impulse, at the infrastructure of human history, which commits history to constant struggle between guilt and rebelliousness. This impulse, the product of the murder of the primal father, prevents, in the Freudian formulation, the fulfillment of the ideal of reason within history. Compared with German Idealism theories of history and nature, Freud’s theory of religion subverts the organizing structure and purposeful causality of historical progress, and hinders all hopes for a Hegelian End of History. Freud’s anti-messianic theory of religion thus not only negates the eschatological vision of German philosophy, but allows for political action by rejecting hopes for transcendental salvation. If Freud’s critique of religion usually assigns Freud to the tradition of Kant and Hegel, the proposed reading of Freud’s theory of religion establishes his place in counter-Enlightenment philosophy, alongside Nietzsche and Heidegger.
(1) The author would like to thank the Center for Austrian Studies, European Forum at the Hebrew University and the City of Vienna for the generous financial support which made this paper possible, and Prof. Christoph Schmidt for his careful reading of the manuscript and his illuminating and valuable suggestions.