In Spain, every other novelist is reading Zygmunt Bauman, Richard Sennett, Byung-Chul Han, etc, trying to figure out what’s happening in the world, and bringing it into their books. Today I started reading Isaac Rosa’s novel Happy Ending, and it’s Bauman’s Liquid Love in the form of a novel (plus, great art, of course.) The author credits Bauman in the acknowledgements, so please don’t assume I’m inventing this out of an obsession with Bauman.
I’ll be damned if I ever found a writer in English who is doing anything of the kind. One! I only want one.
There are also great book-length essays in Spanish that don’t simply list the symptoms (khm, khm, Douglas Murray) but try to develop the insights of Bauman and Co.
I also heard Bauman mentioned by Ukrainian intellectuals. He’s an indispensable thinker everywhere, it seems. But not in the US. Even in academia nobody knows who he is.