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


David 1977 year.

My eyes start hurting when I look at this picture.

I feel about the same way I met him in April 2006 right after his appearance on Charlie Rose show

I thought then:

′′ You can’t believe it! This man is literally a boy from my childhood fantasies. It can’t be real.”

Still, I can assure you that David was actually like this: very bright, very smart, selfless, caring, touching, defenseless and very beautiful.”

Sometimes he said to me: ′′ You can imagine, I wake up at night and think: how did I become so famous? how did this even work out? who would have thought this would happen to me?”

I told him that I know a lot of people who talk about the opposite topic for hours: how they should take a more important position, be more respected or get more money like their best, not appreciated or noticed. None of them would have ever occurred to doubt that even the share of the attention they got is deserved.

If they were in the place of David, they would say: ′′ Here I am finally in the center, in the height, above all. I’ve always had to do this. But finally justice prevailed!”


via fb share nov 20:

Misha Verbitsky taught me a lot. I started reading it (initially full of eerie horror) two years before I met David Greber.Now I understand that I don’t read Verbitsky’s blog, I would never write to Greber and if I met David by chance, without reading Verbitsky, I wouldn’t understand a word from what Greber is saying.


from interview nika did about david on what would have been his 61st bday:

The first part of the interview about David

Original Tweet:

David argued that for the ancient Greeks modern Americans would look like slaves – working for food and having very little influence over the social order around them.

gare enslavement law

David has been, and continues to be, under constant attack precisely for his methodology.


David Graeber’s notebooks ready to be read and commented on.

Original Tweet:


nika on friendship


The inner dialogue.

Original Tweet:

As I walked to the hotel at night, I thought about the way my life has changed so radically since David’s death. I have, in more ways than one, lost my sense of home. I am constantly moving from country to country, from city to city, and I don’t know where to get my footing or even how to do it.

David kept a record of all things: he took notes of the conversations he was having, the books he was reading, the lectures he was listening to. It was as much a routine as my morning exercise.

When it came to writing, David was disciplined, hourly and daily decoding the world

It seems that we can divide his writing into several types: direct communication (social networks, WhatsApp, Skype, messaging on the phone, e-mail), academic papers and books, and his notebooks, which formed their own territory because they were infinitely private. It was a very special job – very close to being a painter: writing, turning pages, carrying around notebooks that captured his inner dialogue. 

Through notes, paraphrasing other people’s thoughts toward the development of his own.

document everything ness.. and hosting life bits as part of means to undo our hierarchical listening.. capturing that itch-in-the-soul ness (rheingold (mom) art law et al)


feb 12 2023

David would be 62 today. Happy birthday, dear! 
with @davidgraeber

Original Tweet:

So our challenge is to try not to turn David into a monument, but to be guided by his texts in order to continue what he called care: working on each other so that we may all be free. 

ie: a nother way


love this post fb [and patreon –] [and twitter –] post via nika.. esp last line:

I have lived all my life among unfamiliar cultures, changing countries of residence for 30 years, and my knowledge of all historical eras and national histories is very sketchy. I have to get used to the constant uncertainty..

embracing uncertainty.. perhaps actually the natural dance of an undisturbed ecosystem (but in even ‘easier’ .. more delightful/spontaneous way)

I have difficulty understanding social codes, which makes me almost autistic.. t Generally accepted practices differ even between Western countries. Germans and Englishmen behave differently than the French, Italians, or Israelis. Some are offended by things that pass unnoticed by others. For example, some attach incredible importance to punctuality; for others, it does not exist as a fact. 

yeah that.. i feel we are all autistic ish.. but .. higashida autism law: i think that people w autism are born outside the regime of civilization. i think that as a result of all the killings in the world and the selfish planet wrecking .. a deep sense of crisis exists.. autism has somehow arisen out of this..  we are like travelers from the distant past.. and if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the earth.. that would give us a quiet pleasure..

Perhaps this is the most inconvenient and even dangerous thing in the life of a permanent immigrant. 

(to me) only in sea world.. if we were all legit free.. would just be called life.. as the day (the whimsy ness of uncertainty).. carhart-harris entropy law et al

On the other hand, @davidgraeber said that all immigrants are true anthropologists because they have to interpret an unknown culture not as a leisurely activity but to survive in it. 

David himself was actually born as an anthropologist. His exile from the normal for most people world, where social codes are stable and well known, began at an early age. His parents had an “impossible marriage” between a Jewish woman and a German man, which resulted in the Jewish part of David’s family abandoning them. 

The German half of the family lived too far away. As a very young man and anarchist, David’s father had gone to war in Spain, and when he returned, he settled in New York City. 

After enrolling in an elite private school, David, with his working-class background, found himself among the American elite. He became best friends with one of the Rockefeller heirs. 

His journey of “one among strangers” continued throughout his life

So it was very easy for me to connect with David. We were both from nowhere and tried to keep our eyes open so as not to stumble.. t

on augmenting interconnectedness.. imagine if we could use tech to ‘easily’ connect others (and more so.. easy because outside of sea world)


nika fb share may 7 2023:

Once upon a time, I wrote a text about modern art with David. The text was mostly the result of my annoyance both at the artworld and my relationship with my ex-boyfriend.

nika on art et al

This was entirely my project that David supported. I wrote the text, leaving paragraphs and parts for David, knowing where and what he would add from his other essays, books or our conversations.

David is a genius writer, though a lot, but he edited the text pretty quickly, rearranging parts and editing the style.

It seems to me that it is obvious that there are too many references in the text to my Soviet past and Russian culture, to entire areas that David simply could not know. He really enjoyed all of it. He said that for the first time his partner is not an anthropologist and he himself has a lot to learn.

David was attracted to the path connected to the romantics and the birth of the concept of “culture” in the West and the connection with Boise. We bought books and read Novalis together.

After David died, I constantly hear about all our shared texts that “obviously he wrote this alone to please his wife.”

oi.. nika & silvia on divorce et al

Recently, I received a request to publish our text, addressed only to David, although the essay collection has two names.

When I responded yes, seeing David was no longer with us, I received a response: “how good we are able to honor his name.”

We need to understand that this is still an art world, where everyone comes out of their skin declaring themselves feminists, but what about women living in science, academia or, sorry God, in business?