The second half of Touraine’s new book is his proposal to “think differently” — penser autrement. It is a continuation of an argument he has been developing in a series of books since 1992: that we don’t need faith in either God or Progress, but in ourselves.
In the mail are two notes from women in his recent past. One says, “I want
to see you.” The other says, “I want to kill you.” (From “On a Page from Rilke,” Above Ground: An Anthology of Living Fiction, 2009)
“Es schwimmt eine Leiche im Landwehrkanal” — “A corpse swims in the Landwehr Canal” — went a music-hall song in the 20s, referring not specifically to Rosa [Luxemburg] but to the post-World War I poor who committed suicide out of desperation.