Beyond the Pale

Exercises in Provocation

By Renzo Llorente

Format: Paperback

An innovative collection of social and political aphorisms by an American philosopher living in Madrid. His writing reflects an American's obsessions and viewpoints, but is also affected by his experience of living in Europe. The result is the detachment that serves a writer and intellectual so well. These really are "exercises in provocation".

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Vagabond Voices

Founded in 2008 and based in Glasgow, Vagabond Voices is an independent publisher that is both Scottish and fervently European in its aims. Vagabond is committed to introducing new titles from Scottish authors and translating fiction from other languages. Our library reflects our aims to promote literary ambition and innovative writers, and to challenge readers.

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"Whence the condemnation of loitering? Why this aversion to what is, after all, the definitive metaphor for 'the human condition' (loitering: to remain in an area for no obvious reason - Merriam-Webster's)?" (Aphorism, I, 8) And this is a book for loitering and loiterers. You can ramble through it or simply dip in at will. It says something about our times that the aphorism has almost but not quite disappeared from contemporary English literature, and the reason must, at least in part, be our attitude to time: "It may seem remarkable that those who have the least time - old people, the elderly - have the most patience, but this is no doubt the true hallmark of their wisdom. Having grasped that it makes no difference in the long run whether they do one thing or another, they are indifferent to the delays that prove such a torment for the rest of us." (Aphorism I, 29) Renzo Llorente's aphorisms challenge the accepted faith in the free market without adopting another form of blind dogmatism: "We demand cheaper goods, knowing full well that lower wages are usually the key to lower prices; members of oppressed groups compete against one another for opportunities and benefits (...and by demanding cheaper goods); radical groups find themselves obliged to use violence in order to combat injustice and oppression: in capitalist society, moral entrapment is the order of the day.


" (Aphorism II, 26) He challenges our religious conceits in a similar manner: "Theology is the pious form of sophistry." (Aphorism I, 25) Like many writers of aphorisms, Llorente does not provide absolutes but encourages reader to think for themselves: "It is little wonder that people are happy to grant that so-and-so - usually a writer, thinker, political activist or the like - is the 'conscience of our time': it relieves them of the responsibility of having a conscience of their own." (Aphorism I, 5)

Additional Information

Additional Information

Format Paperback
Imprint Vagabond Voices
Publication Date 24 Sep 2010
ISBN 9780956056085
Number of Pages 112

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