Category: literature

Move over

The world will survive without Gawker, Splinternews, and Deadspin. And, it has to be said, no one seeking political insight turns to a sports journalist.

The world would be harmed irreparably if real journalistic ventures like the NY Times or WaPo were to fold.

That said: There’s a symbiotic relationship between the Times and WaPo on one side, and Trump on the other. Each benefits from other’s existence.

One of the US’s biggest exports under Trump is race hate.

When a meeting of Klansmen at the Emmett Till memorial becomes a pop-up Trump campaign rally.

At this stage, bubonic plague would top Trump by double digits. He’s political roadkill.

People are surprised Trump was booed at MSG last night. They apparently don’t realize that he stuck NYC with unpaid tax bills, ugly architecture, and several hundred cases of STDs.

Bern and Harris supporters react strongly whenever Buttigieg gets attention.

Bible-based companies tend to engage in shady business practices (see Under Amour).

“When Analytics Fails” could be the title of A. J. Hinch’s new book.

Any nineteenth-century writer or poet worthy of mention did opium and absinthe.

Allegretto leggiermente

Everyone is watching the debate to see if Tulsi Gabbard speaks in Russian.

Harold Bloom no longer matters. He lost the war over “the canon.”

Jeet Heer managed to complete and tweet his senior thesis on Bloom, The Joker, Scorsese, and castration anxiety.

Even Michael Corleone testified in open Senate session.

Man up, Don Giuliani.

According to Jacobin magazine, Trump’s noble savages are not really responsible for Trumpism, only the super elite. And Obama.

Their “progressive views” on the economy apparently include racist views about racial/ethnic minorities and foreigners.

Compared to the Trump Crime Family’s business dealings at home and abroad, Hunter Biden is a paragon of virtuous entrepreneurial behavior.

The chav Eggsy is the prototype for Trump’s MAGAts.

Many parole violations would have occurred had Trump maintained accurate White House visitor logs.

Colleges are not job training centers.

Reelin in the years

I notice journalists, especially from the NY Times, congratulate each other inordinately. Rarely, however, does one self-congratulate/self-hug himself like Ken Vogel does.

Maybe people who bashed Hillary Clinton are finally having second thoughts about doing so.

President Bonespurs forgot that right-wingers lost the first Civil War. He’ll take a deferment from the civil war to come.

The civil war will last until the Deplorables run out of meth and oxy.

Bernie Sanders says there’s voter suppression in New Hampshire. Unfortunately for Bern, they aren’t suppressing votes for Warren and Biden.

To be fair, Bern’s plan to eradicate billionaires is more in line with the dictatorship of the proletariat than a plan that saves the bourgeoisie from themselves

Which begs the question: why is Bernie running for president? It seems like a distraction from the duties of a revolutionary leader.

Answer: Bern will burn the Democratic Party to the ground. That was always his plan. The notion of  winning the nomination is only a pipe dream used to keep his benighted followers in line.

Lukacs’ reactionary stance towards literary modernism reminds one of the limits of dialectical materialism.

I guess nothing is forever 21.

Dickensian

Dickens gentrified Grub Street.

He wrote to the popular taste — which at the time was in thrall of sentimentality — and thus diminished his literary art.

Dickens did create iconic characters: Tiny Tim, Scrooge, Oliver Twist, the Artful Dodger, Uriah Heep, Wilkins Micawber, etc.

The idea of the writer (the novelist) as an artist, initiated by Flaubert and formalised by Henry James, only gained traction in the second half of the nineteenth century. By the time Joyce and Woolf arrived on the scene, the now self-conscious, serious work of literary art had become inaccessible to the popular taste against which the British modernists waged an aesthetic war.

Woolf words

The eyes of others our prisons; the thoughts of others our cages. — “An Unwritten Novel”

… I want to think quietly, calmly, spaciously, never to be interrupted, never to have to rise from my chair, to slip easily from one thing to another, without any sense of hostility, or obstacle. I want to sink deeper and deeper, away from the surface, with its hard separate facts. — “The Mark on the Wall”

‘Good books?’ she said, looking at the ceiling. ‘You must remember,’ she began, speaking with extreme rapidity, ‘that fiction is the mirror of life’… ‘Well, tell us the truth,’ we bade her… ‘Oh, the truth,’ she stammered, ‘the truth has nothing to do with literature,’ and sitting down she refused to say another word. It all seemed to us very inconclusive. — “A Society”

Adieux au prolétariat

From a political standpoint, it is time to stop romanticizing today’s American “working class.” It is time to drop the noble savage imagery and face the reality is that it is a class that fully embraced the “values” of misogyny, racism, and xenophobia displayed in Mr Trump’s campaign. This embrace reflects the degraded state of working class cultural values (in the old days, it might have been characterized as a “culture of poverty”). Mr Trump made these values a centerpiece of his campaign and he was rewarded by the massive support of this electoral demographic. Consequently, right-wing identity politics is no longer distinguishable from working class identity politics.

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Mr Trump is the champion of the characters who populate “dirty realist” American novels. Carver country is Trumpland.

Und Sie wissen nicht, mit wem Sie reden

There will always be angry men shouting on the touchline of life.

The infelicitous confluence of the confessional disposition (or self-surveillance ala Foucault) and the rising prominence of visual media (tv and film) marked the advent of the confessional writer and his/her distortion of the writing workshop dictum “write what you know.” This writer type shares nothing in common with Montaigne but everything in common with Rousseau.

The aesthetic value placed on the vérité humaine by realism and naturalism meant the novel should be “true to life.” It did not mean the novel should be an exposé of the writer’s personal life or feelings. The contemporary concern with authenticity dates from the 1960s; in the worst cases, “authenticity” is manifested in narcissistic auto-narratives.