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Showing posts from February 6, 2005
Metaphysical absence Lately, the star blogs we usually visit – mostly political/cultural ones – have been seriously mired in the dog days. CT has taken to two irritating habits. One is bullying Ward Churchill, who owes his entire leftist celebrity to the rabidity of the right and who has therefore been taken as a token target by the soft left – condemn this man and you are “serious” – even though, really, our only stake here is to express our distaste for lynch mobs. The second CT habit is responding in outrage to the Instaborg. Here, the who cares widens into an abyss of yawns – the number of discursive objects greater than that of being outraged by the Instaborg is surely one of those Greek letter constants that signifies the number of molecules in the universe times the number of possible moves a player could make in a chess game. Then there is the outbreak of demystifying some faux journalist/GOP activist who operated as a ringer in the White House press corps – a funny idea in i
Before the law I’ve been having great fun, lately, reading The House by the Medlar Tree – as Verga’s I Malvoglio is translated. Verga, like most European novelists of the late nineteenth century, seemed to have received Zola as a total shock to the system. In England, Zola didn’t have quite the same effect – the English merely thought he was dirty. Dreiser, in America, did take hints from Zola, but Dreiser probably read him in English. In other countries, though – in Portugal, Spain and Italy – the Zola effect was pervasive. It would be fair to say, I think, that there was only one other novelist in the nineteenth century who exerted a similar international attraction – Walter Scott. ..................................................................................... Advertisement We charge a competitive rate for content and copy editing, proofing, indexing, and translating. We specialize in humanities and the social sciences. We have, in the pas
“They’ve put a knife in my hand, but it is a knife with only a handle; others are holding the blade.” – Mehdi Bazargan, interview with Oriana Fallaci, 1979 LI’s friend Mr. Craddick implied a bit of an objection to LI’s use of booboisie in yesterday’s post. Indeed, LI, recently, has tended towards the sarcastic – or, as our brother likes to say, ‘sour-castic.’ But it would tax a saint to read stories such as this one, by NYT’s fan of all things occupation, Dexter Filkins, without feeling the sullen throb of dark humors. ..................................................................................... Advertisement We charge a competitive rate for content and copy editing, proofing, indexing, and translating. We specialize in humanities and the social sciences. We have, in the past four months, completed a diverse array of projects including: -- substantive editing of a book on process ontology; -- substantive editing of a monograph on migration i
NOTE FOR THE DAY: We haven't had a lot of editing or translating action, lately, over at RWG Communication. So remember, folks, he said in his radio voice, whether you need your paper edited so that it meets the highest academic standards, or you need translation done from French or German into English, contact: We now return you to your regularly scheduled program.... LI – who has the ears of a monomaniac for this kind of thing – has noticed that a huge pall has fallen over Iraq’s election in the American press. When the press doesn’t have a narrative – like, Freedom Loving Iraqi Prime Minister Allawi Sets Pace – they don’t have news. So what is the narrative coming out of Iraq? Alas, it seems that the eight points we printed as a sort of progressive program in Iraq are going to be battered to hell. Not that we expected secularist, anti-occupation forces would win squat in the elections. We didn’t expect, however, that the pro-theocratic element would
St. Paul's epistle to the Washingtonians In The Historical Aims of Science, an essay by the Australian philosopher of science, Stephen Gaukroger, in the British Journal for the History of Philosophy, there’s a nice passage on what made the Scientific Revolution in Western Europe different from the boom and bust Renaissances characteristic of previous cultures, from the Greeks to the Arabs in Baghdad to the Sung Chinese. For Gaukroger, what we are looking for is not progress, but consolidation: “The question we need to raise here is that of the consolidation of the Scientiic Revolution, and the establishment of the legitimacy of the scientific enterprise. The consolidation of the Scientific Revolution was in part due to the ability of its proponents and apologists to draw on the often novel ways in which theories were being justified, to extrapolate from this to the legitimation of the existence of the new science as a long-term project, and to articulate a range of cogni
“A s a small child Kipling was brought up by his Indian ayah. The family house in Bombay was near the burning ghats where the dead bodies were incinerated. Vultures flapped and lolloped on the look-out for tidbits. So, one day, a child's hand was found in the family garden. The young Rudyard was forbidden by his mother to mention it. "I wanted to see that hand," he writes in his autobiography, Something of Myself.’ Craig Raine’s rambling essay in the Guardian review ostensibly shows, against the convention of literary criticism and the dictates of common sense, that writing has a descriptive power equal to reality’s power to exist for description. Or is reality’s a power? In any case, we don’t believe Raine’s claim for a second. It leads him to this amusingly absurd passage: “In an early chapter of The Bostonians, Henry James considers Ransom's Southern dialect and announces that it is not in his power by any combination of words to render Ransom's speech
Over at Pierrot’s Folly (aka Scratchings) they’ve been having a lively discussion about the numerous sins of the Democratic party and what to do about it from a lefty perspective. Is it time to found a new party? Go to the Greens? What? Ever since LI was a little wet behind the ears protestor in the Reagan era (my eyes were firmly directed to America’s support for mass murder in Central America, and not the major disaster, Afghanistan being cooked up by Reagan’s busy little paramilitary rightists), I’ve heard the cries of outrage, and uttered many a cry myself. Lately, however, in the light of the cold rage lit in my belly by the election of 2004, I’ve been rethinking the terms of that outrage. At the time, I was struck by the free rider paradox that seemed, to me, to explain the election. My perspective since then has broadened, but along the same lines. At some future time, we will mount a defense of deficit spending and an analysis of how progressives became the curious inher