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The Cynosure

  Michael Bakunin
  William Godwin
  Emma Goldman
  Peter Kropotkin
  Errico Malatesta
  Pierre-Joseph Proudhon
  Max Stirner
  Murray Bookchin
  Noam Chomsky
  Bright but Lesser Lights
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The following periodical appears in Anarchy Archives thanks to FLA, the Federacion Libertaria Argentina and their project, Biblioteca-Archivo de Estudios Libertarios.

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page 12


has been seen in France, later on in Germany. Now it can be seen in Russia.

Lets move on to what has been taking over my mind and disturbing my sleep for a long time. I have read your Conferences.

A writer in the middle of his work could not come across a more dangerous book. It's one of those works that open up an abyss between the past and the present. After my trip to Italy I could not conceive how I had been able to live before visiting that country. In twenty years it won't be understood how an intellectual life was possible in the North, before those Conferences. I don't have a clear notion of what Steffens(1) has done. I supposed he gave aesthetical theories a new form. Your book is neither a story of conceived literature and executed according to the traditional rules, nor a story of the general culture. I can't correctly defien what it is. I compare it to the fields of gold in California, and I imagine what would happen in them when they were discovered; one could become a millionaire in them or perish miserably. Are we gifted with an intellectual constitution that's sufficiently robust? I ignore it: it doesn't matter very much anyway; the ideas in the air will break the organisms, which are too weak to absorb them.

You tell me that in the School of Philosophy everyone shows hostility towards you. Dear Brandes: would you like it any other way? Aren't you fighting against scholar philosophy? A war like the one you are leading cannot be lead by a civil servant of the actual government. Not slamming their door at you would only prove that they are not afraid.

Concerning the attacks that you are—


(1) Henry Steffens, norwegian critic who studied Schelling's theories in Germany. His courses in Coopenhaguen(1802), about the study of nature, were famous; and it was attempted to take away from him his head post as a professor.

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