Kostas Axelos, The Game of the World, trans. Justin Clemens and Hellmut Munz – Edinburgh University Press, April 2023

Kostas Axelos, The Game of the World, trans. Justin Clemens and Hellmut Munz – Edinburgh University Press, April 2023

It’s great to see this excellent translation of an important book is nearly out. I’ve updated my bibliography of Axelos’s work in English. Only two other books are available in English – Alienation, Praxis, & Techne in the Thought of Karl Marx (out of print) and Introduction to a Future Way of Thought: On Marx and Heidegger (open access).


A philosophical treatment of play in the twentieth century

  • Appeals to a potentially broad audience including those interested in thinking through globalisation today
  • The magnum opus of an influential French-Greek intellectual whose contemporaries and influences include Derrida, Deleuze and Lefebvre
  • Approaches philosophy in a systematic as well as fragmentary manner
  • Anticipates the key term of contemporary Heideggerian scholarship (German Irre, French errance) and confronts it through play
  • A French reprint of Le Jeu du Monde was published by Les Belles Lettres in January 2018

Kostas Axelos traces his thinking on the world deployed as play from Heraclitus through to the culmination of metaphysical philosophy with Nietzsche, Marx and Heidegger.

At the heart of Kostas Axelos’s ambitious and pioneering system, this encyclopaedia of fragments has long exercised a powerful influence in French thought on play, game and world. Axelos could not have asked for more sympathetic, attentive and poetic translators in Clemens and Monz. His anglophone readers and interlocuters await.– Stuart Elden, University of Warwick

Kostas Axelos (1924–2010) was a Greek-French philosopher and translator. A specialist in Heraclitus, Karl Marx and Martin Heidegger, as well as in Friedrich Hölderlin and Stéphane Mallarmé, he taught and researched at the Sorbonne, as well as at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique and at the École Pratique des Hautes Études. The Game of the World is his magnum opus, and as yet only the third English translation from his vast and important body of work.

Justin Clemens is Associate Professor in Culture and Communication at the University of Melbourne. He has published extensively on psychoanalysis, contemporary European philosophy and Australian art and literature. His recent books include What is Education? edited with A.J. Bartlett and The Afterlives of Georges Perec edited with Rowan Wilken.

Hellmut Munz teaches Digital Media at RMIT University, Melbourne. He is the author of The Game of Confusion. Kostas Axelos examined his PhD.

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