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Showing posts from November 26, 2006

identifying marks

LI has wanted to get rid of the picture of himself here since he put it up - but in the interest of being identifiable in the dark corner of a bar in Alphabet City, we let it hang around on this blog. Well, yesterday's meeting was more of a success in terms of translators than of readers of LI - one reader, Mr. NYP, did show up, bearing a delicious tartine like confection baked to honor Vermin Direct. Alas, Mr. Scruggs couldn't make it. Our far flung correspondent, Mr. T, was there, and he pointed out that LI's riff on Coriolanus - hey, we are a literary bunch! - was not necessarily necessary. An old friend of mine, Lorin, who hadn't read my blog, nonetheless said that he believed I was well on my way to becoming a backwards Jesus - but Lorin has always expected me to eventually follow the narrative track of the protagonist in Wise Blood. When I do, he wants to get rights for the made for TV movie. Natasha Wimmer, who just translated Roberto Bolano's The Savage Dete

More details on the LI in NYC thing

LI is swimming against the current of duty today – reviews to finish, papers to edit, clothes to sort through, and cross your fingers for that last check in the mail. So all the pretty things we had to say about Coriolanus are going to have to take a back seat. Shit. In place of commentary on the Romulus and Remus of War and the State, we can only recommend the knee breaking tackle of a review in , the LRB of Christopher Hitchens book on Tom Paine (the very existence of which LI, by the way, bitterly resents – Paine does not deserve to be kidnapped by an imperialist tool with a bungalow Bill vocabulary. Hitchens sticks onto the book a dedication to the man who is currently conferring with the leaders of Iran, Talabani, thus doubling the insult - a book dedicated to a warlord, written by a buffoon, about a man who put the crusher, the kneelock and the backflip on both types). Also, our plans for a NYC LI-orama are on track. We’ve received some heartening emails, some threatening phone c

coriolan - polemos vs. polis

Cavell is a pretty fine reader of Shakespeare, and he tosses out some great bon mots in his discussion of the plays. For instance, this, which begins the essay on The Winter’s Tale in the lectures, In quest of the ordinary. Cavell is giving a philosophical defense of romanticism, and he moves from considering a poem by Wordsworth to the play: Apart form any more general indebtedness of the romantics to Shakespeare, The Winter’s Tale is particularly apt in relation to the romatic themses I have emphasized of reawakening or revival, beginning with the figure of the six year old boy of Wordsworth’s Intimatins Ode and the ode’s idea of the adult’s world as “remains”, as of corpses. In my precedeing lecture I associate this figure, especially in view of his difficulties over remembering, with Freud’s report of a phobia in a five year old boy, partly simply to commemorate Freud’s acknowledgement that he was preceded in his perceptions by the poets, more specifically because of Freud’s conseq


First, some LI stuff. LI is comin’ to NYC – due to the generosity of our far flung correspondent, Mr. T. – next week. And we are thinking of having a happy hour reception for our own self next Monday – which is Dec. 4th, I think - at either Sophie's (5th Street between Aves A and B) or 7B (corner of 7th St and Ave B). But we would like to know if any Gotham LI readers are interested in this, or if you all think that sounds infinitely tedious, the downing of the dominoes in that gray hour when the ball has lost its coherence, and the guests have drifted off to private parties, bearbaiting or bed. Anyway, write me at to tell me if you think this is a good idea. If I get some responses (and please, tell me which bar you think it should be), I’ll pick one of them and a time and inform you in an upcoming post. Oh, and of course, there will be an animated discussion of the Zizekian sublime and last year’s American idol finale… Ho ho ho. I’m joking. I’M JOKING! Okay,

let a thousand pundits pout - Max Boot

The pack of pundits, LI has noted, has generally been pouting about the war they so ardently helped blow into life three years ago. When the American populace goes off the reservation, as they did in 1998 when they refused to knock the president off for his office quickie, the pundits do this. Centrists of mammon, shills of the war culture, the pundits generally consider that they have backdoor privileges on the American psyche, which shuns extremes and loves reforms and finds its true voice in the arthritic angers of the various wattled turkeys that end up on news talk shows, endlessly retreading cliches. This is what the American people love. Strong on defense. Oh how they love defense. And reform, too. Oh how they love reforms. Plus they love spreading democracy. Gots to spread that democracy. The last time the American populace failed their pundit spokesman, in 1998, the turkeys spead their wings. They got angry. It was the death of outrage and the slouching towards Gomorrah. I

please send me a note

Oddness. LI got up this morning, went to this site, and confronted a picture in the middle of the post we put up yesterday that we did not put there. Worse, it destroyed the post. The security of my blog has never been an issue with me, or even a thought in my head. However, the person who inserted that photo should send me an email and tell me how and why you did it, please.