Clive Barnett at Pop Theory says a bit about Sloterdijk here. His suggestion that Sloterdijk is “all the rage in spatial-theory-land” at the moment seems a bit strong, given that his two references are to a journal issue I co-edited and a book I’ve edited. Actually I think he has been barely discussed by geographers, with the exception of Nigel Thrift, and Nigel and I are the only two people in geography departments who feature in the journal issue or book. As monolingual as most geographers seem to be, that isn’t going to change until Spheres is translated, if then.
Actually, one of the purposes of the journal issue and the book was to have the spatial angle on Sloterdijk at the forefront of his Anglophone reception, albeit a second-wave reception after the late 1980s one that fizzled out. I wanted it to be different with him, despite the many problems I have with his politics. Usually the geography model is to take a thinker who has been translated, introduced, appropriated and discussed by other disciplines… and then discover the spatial aspects. It happened with Foucault, Deleuze, Derrida, Agamben, Badiou, etc. Some of the early Geography appropriations are good; some are pretty shoddy. What would change if Geography was at the forefront, actually doing some of the intellectual labour – the translations, the introductions, beginning or being at the forefront on the appropriation, etc. That was at least some of my thinking. We shall see what impact the edited Sloterdijk Now book has in and beyond Geography when it comes out.
What I can say is that two of the chapters do discuss the Honneth/Sloterdijk dispute in detail – one as a sociology of knowledge type piece on his role as a public intellectual (by political theorist Jean-Pierre Couture) and one as part of a broader argument about his stylistic strategies (by the translator and composer Wieland Hoban).