Born in Bloemfontein in 1940, Justice Koolhaas was raised in Utrecht and Lausanne. Her twin, Patience, died shortly after birth. Justice always felt that her philosophical interests were a search for presences that haunt everyday life beyond the reach of conventional rationality. Her recently discovered oeuvre extends theory in the humanities and arts beyond its existing frontiers and expectations.
She came top her class at the Sorbonne. She studied under Roland Barthes and was privately admired and supported by several European intellectuals. Despite this, she found few doors open to her in the academy. Her sense of foreignness became integral to her work, particularly her adherence to writing in Dutch, which kept her out of print, along with other more personal reasons. Since her death in 2011, her family has committed to ensuring that all her work is published posthumously. Its purview hybridises disciplines ranging from philosophy to sociology to anthropology to cultural studies to media studies to her most beloved subject area of all, art. Her span of theorists, writers and artists includes Pierre Bourdieu, Hélène Cixous, Guy Debord, Jacques Derrida, Tracey Emin, Donna Haraway, G.W.F. Hegel, Martin Heidegger, Franz Kafka, Julia Kristeva, Barbara Kruger, Jean-François Lyotard, Karl Marx, Marshall McLuhan, Friedrich Nietzsche, Plato, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Hannah Wilke, Frank Zappa, and Slavoj Žižek.
C.M. Cohen completed his linguistics PhD in 1980. He worked as an interpreter for the U.N. for 23 years before acting as a consultant translator whose clients have included the South African government, the Commonwealth Games committee, the Antarctic Survey, and several mining corporations. He is now retired. His friendship with Koolhaas, along with his professional experience outside academia, bring a deep empathy in his translations and introductions of her highly stylised literary and philosophical legacy.
Bots: A Posthuman Novella Glitched from an Essay on Surrealism and A. I.
by Justice Koolhaas
Written on a vintage word processing machine with a malfunction that corrupted text, ‘Bots’ glitches together a new paradigm of consciousness for literature in a technological age. Better known as a cultural theorist, Koolhaas has achieved the most extreme book since ‘Finnegans Wake’. Cohen’s introductory essay explains how she adds to post-humanism with a surprising influence: Maurice Blanchot.
Essays on Modern Art: Hannah Wilke
by Justice Koolhaas
Koolhaas’s rich exploration of the body, blood, psychiatry and language in the work of Hannah Wilke leads to a question: should men be banned from art? This anniversary essay comes with expansive introductory material that elucidates how male hegemony suppresses women’s creativity with labels such as ‘narcissism’, and yet retreats behind ‘rationality’ to manage anxieties about menstruation.
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