nika on david

[image via heather fb share same day]

such a lovely/insightful writing from nika dubrovsky on david graeber via:

Homme de Lettres and how to share the corpus of work

Original Tweet:


notes/quotes from writing []:

immediately upon meeting David, I had the feeling I had always known this man, that despite the distance between us he was now my brother, an old friend, a comrade.

watching my amanda (esp description at 40 min) – and soul mate ness

Many people who knew David personally described him as having made a similar impression. Most people don’t open themselves up so fully and quickly to strangers. David almost always did.

thurman interconnectedness lawwhen you understand interconnectedness it makes you more afraid of hating than of dying – Robert Thurman 

David Graeber was my husband, but he was also an amateur guitar player, a lover of Japanese and Kurdish food, an anarchist, a science fiction enthusiast, a professor, a writer, and in a seemingly impossible way a kismet friend to hundreds if not thousands of people all over the world.

Shortly after his death, my friend Simona Ferlini explained that the word “corpse” shares its etymology with corpus, referring to a body of laws or, in particular, a collection of works.

David Graeber was what the French call an homme de lettres. He lived to share his ideas, experimenting with as many ways of expressing them as he could

I am thinking of creating a wiki environment for all who would be interested to join, including and above all non-academics, so that we are able not only to read his texts or examine scans of David’s (very beautiful) diaries, but to have a space to complete, rewrite, compose and develop his works, thereby creating our own.. In other words, to set up some version of the International Proletkult, using David’s texts as a basis.

Perhaps this will continue the space of sharing content, creating conditions for working together, that David was arranging all his life. Through his corpus David’s magical power to form direct emotional and intellectual connections with people, in person or through his texts, will make his legacy a living and constantly evolving project in which all of us, his readers and fellow writers, will be involved. By commenting on, thinking about and developing his projects, his thoughts, we will constantly shift the boundaries of the public and private, using our own experiences, our bodies and minds.

I would like to believe that this opening to a collective body of work is most consistent with the type of care David would practice and approve


Here is my text about @davidgraeber and the body of work in the beautiful series of publications created by Novaramedia.

Original Tweet:

David Graeber’s Archive Should Continue to Uphold the Ideas He Championed in Life

His work should continue to encourage cooperation.

by Nika Dubrovsky

13 September 2021

oh my..

It has been a year since David died and it is still hard to believe it.

For the last five months of his life, he had been ill, complaining of several strange symptoms, but the doctors he’d been seeing about them had found nothing significant or life-threatening.

The shock I felt that fateful afternoon, watching my husband collapse on the beach in Venice – the very same lido in which Luchino Visconti shot Death in Venice – still hasn’t faded.

Before David died, I had never seen a corpse. When my grandparents died, for all sorts of reasons, I never saw their dead bodies. A childhood friend died in a car accident, but when he was buried, I stood far away and managed not to look. Looking at David in that hospital in Venice, it seemed as though he had just fallen asleep. He was calm, smiling a little even.  

Shortly after David’s death, my friend Simona Ferlini explained that the word “corpse” shares its etymology with “corpus”, referring to a body of laws or, in particular, a collection of works. That I would, so soon after our marriage, find myself dealing not only with David’s body, but his body of work as well, is, of course, a great personal tragedy. 

I will likely spend the rest of my life going through David’s corpus, experiencing the destruction of most of what was so dear, familiar and precious to me. Locked in a small studio in the middle of a pandemic-stricken London for an entire year, I spent the majority of my time sifting through his archives; the writings he did not have time to publish, his diaries, his correspondence – the effluvia of any great thinker like David.

In this work, he lives on. I find myself continually unable to contain my admiration for David, or to contain my joy at looking through all the things that made him who he was, that made him laugh, that fueled his courage – and how curious and unexpected it all seems in aggregate on the other side of his life.  t

I believe his project has been quite a success; David did, indeed, make our world a slightly better place.. t

And after his death, this process must continue..t – especially today, when changing the world isn’t just a matter of ideological design but of ensuring the very survival of the planet and all of us who live on it

so much love