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Showing posts from January 4, 2015

Reflection after solidarity with Charlie Hebdo

After solidarity, reflection. I’ve noticed two tendencies in the responses to the mass murder of the Charlie hebdo artists. The first is pretty much the total theme of Andrew Hussey’s rather astringent column in the NYT. According to this theme, the journal went too far. Hussey enlivens the usual complaint by pursuing two different and contradictory complaints. One is that they were past their shelf life, old 68s – as he points out, Wolinski was guilty of being 80. Hussey implies that 80 was about the median age of the editorial board to make the point that this irresponsible May spirit has now been totally discredited. The other complaint, though, makes them totally relevant, creating threats to the French abroad and being hated by the whole of the immigant banlieux. Hussey sees, with justice, that the immigrant banlieux have a lot to justly complain about.  The other tendency, which one expected – such being the moronic inferno of this world – is that Charlie Hebdo was defending o

academics, charlatans, and the mystery of what we learn

In the 2000s, while I wasn’t looking, a lot of work was done on Bakhtin’s life. And that work crashed down one sancrosanct image after another, since it turned out that Bakhtin was quiet a creative liar about his own life. For instance, he gave a couple of stories to interviewers about his education, tracing his path from the University of Odessa to the University at St. Petersburg. Alas, it turns out this path was taken by another Bakhtin, his brother. Nikolai. Mikhail Bakhtin also alluded to stints at German univesities, borrowing the C.V., this time, of his friend Kagan Matvei Kagan. More substantially, Bakhtin sometimes seemed to indicate that he had written certain works by certain of his friends, notably Voloshinov’s Marxism and and the Philosophy of Language and Medvedev’s The Formal Method in Literary Scholarship. Such was the hype about Bakhtin in the late seventies and eighties that Bakhtin’s name was actually put on some editions of these books. Brian Poole, who made the