‘Agon’ is a Greek term that means ‘contest’ or ‘conflict’. It can refer to a competition, a desire to overcome, a struggle for power or superiority, or a challenge, rivalry, or dispute. In ancient Greece, athletic or musical competitions that were held as part of religious festivals were also called Agon. In its most archaic sense, Agon suggests a heroic struggle the stakes for which are life and death.
As a contrarian and radical publication, our writers are engaged in an Agon of a special kind—an intellectual contestation. What is it that they contest? Our modern Zeitgeist and the dècadent form of life it spawns.
Zeitgeist is a German term meaning ‘the spirit of the times’, referring to the cultural and intellectual trends that shape a particular historical period.
AGON is a literary home for those who possess the intellectual fortitude, the courage to challenge the dominant attitudes, beliefs, and values of our modern age. An Agon against any Zeitgeist, contesting the prevailing norms and the social imaginary of one's time, is never easy, nor is it a task fit for the faint-hearted.
Seeing the true nature of our modern predicaments requires gaining a critical distance. It demands tuning out the political noise, moving beyond the petty partisanship and tired slogans, and not falling for the establishment’s propaganda, regardless of which party’s color or emblem is on the packaging.
Such an endeavor also requires discipline and imagination in equal measure: the marriage of will and intuition. What's necessary is to cultivate, with Nietzsche, a powerful nose with which to ‘sniff out’ the foul deceptions of our time.
AGON aspires to be the philosophical frontline in the struggle against late modernity in its many faces and forms. It aspires to develop in its readers a ‘pathos of distance’ against their present condition. It provokes them to reflect upon their contemporary habits and entrenched impulses.
AGON will inspire readers toward a radical realization of the many ‘shadows’ that pass for ‘reality' in the modern ‘cave’: it dares readers to confront the make-believe, to overcome the cave and its false idols.
AGON is the publication for the non-conformist, the conscientious objectors to our Zeitgeist. We aspire to be a community for the modern-day heretics—for the dissenting voices who sense the looming danger that the dominant, contemporary ideals pose for human civilization. Join us in this fight.
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Please note that as a publication for provocative thinkers from around the world that serves an international audience, AGON adheres to the rules of logical punctuation, otherwise known as the British style, for quotation marks.
This means that any punctuation which does not belong to the quote itself must be placed outside the quotation marks (only those punctuation marks that appear in the original quote belong inside quotation marks).
We also follow Oxford University Press (OUP) in mandating the use of a serial comma, AKA the Oxford comma, when listing a series of three or more terms.