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Showing posts from October 13, 2002
Remora Gotzendammerung The Channel between the French and the English has marvelous metaphysical qualities: as ideas swim back and forth, they suffer a sea-change of sometimes monstrous proportions. French ideas, to the cold Anglo philosophe, at least since Burke, seem like so much congealed vichysoisse: repulsive, illogical, and smelly. Anglo ideas, to the fervent French, are either Blakean visions encoded in logical paradoxes (which is how Deleuze saw Lewis Carroll and Russell) or Benthamite panopiticons -- systems of cruelty diffused by way of capitalist reason, where every man carries to a butcher's market his own meat, and is consequently processed into slices. Peter Conrad is, I believe, Australian. His review of Surya's book about George Bataille in the Observer is both sympathetic and incredulous. LI think he distorts Bataille, but he makes an arguable case. Conrad does contrive an utterly beautiful summary of Story of the Eye: "The etchings made by Han
Remora Nietzsche's birthday (as well as that of one of his commentators, my friend Kathy Higgins) was yesterday. In his honor, here's a translation of one of his Dawn of Day numbers : "The fearful eye - Nothing is more feared by artists, poets and writers than that eye which sees their petty deceits, and which by and by perceives how often they have stood on the border where the paths led either to innocent pleasure in itself or to the making of effects; which can write up the tab for them, when they have purchased too little with too much, knowing when they have sought to elevate and ornament, without themselves being elevated in the least; which penetrates the thought through all the disguises of their art as it first stood before them, perhaps as a shimmering figure of light, but perhaps, also, as a theft of the common-place, that they have had to extend, abbreviate, color, complicate, pepper, in order to make something of it - oh this eye, which spots in your wo
Remora The journalist beat For months, LI has been beating on a drum that is made out of the cyber-skin of James Glassman. The disintegration of the business press, which in the last week saw two more casualties -- Forbes ASAP and Upside -- has not prompted the kind of investigative fervor that is revved up by, say, the kidnapping of blond California tykes. Still, there's a lot to say about it, and we've been boringly, boringly on target about this issue. Well, in memes we trust -- Washington Monthly has an article about this topic by journalist Philip Longman . Longman begins in the self-critical mode, although it never reaches a properly Maoist depth. Here's a couple of grafs from the meat of the article: "I was once proud of my profession and resentful of those who criticized it. For more than 20 years, I rode the great boom in business journalism that began in the early 1980s. I like to believe that at least some of my stories helped to enlighten readers