Thursday, July 06, 2006

RIP: Philip Rieff, 83

Philip Rieff, who died last Saturday, was a conservative sociologist who published "Life Among the Deathworks" earlier this year after a silence of 26 years.

"Deathworks" were "an all-out assault on something vital to the culture". Famous deathworks included Joyce's Finnegan's Wake, Robert Mapplethorpe's photographs, and the whole range of Sigmund Freud's theories, which Rieff saw as an "extended deathwork".

Rieff recommended inactivism, as even the best-intentioned action could only make things worse. Now he has achieved that state, may God have mercy on his soul.

Philip Rieff, 83; Noted Sociologist Wrote Books About Cultural Decline - Los Angeles Times

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