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Showing posts from February 14, 2016

suggestions for black history month

I'm thinking that for black history month we should imagine equality among the races. That would mean, for instance, that black median household income would have to triple - triple - to be on parity with white median household income. That means black unemployment would have to drop a whole 5 percent. If white unemployment were at the same level as black unemployment, we would be talking about a depression. That means that at a minimum, of the eleven million people per year who are served with warrents or have to spend a night in jail or make bail or are otherwise processed through the American gulag, only 10 percent, rather than 40 or 50, would be black. Wow, what a picture. America without apartheid. It is only a dream if we don't demand it, speak it, and talk about it 12 months of the year.

so much depends upon

So much depends, in the William Carlos Williams poem, on a red wheelbarrow glazed with rain water. Lily Briscoe, in To The Lighthouse, thinks “so much depends… upon distance.” The echoes here are arbitrary – and yet not entirely so. These are both modernist promts, both programmatic and surprisingly inside the programmatic space, in the art, which is no longer, if it ever was, innocent of the frame that it knows it will eventually bear. The innocence of the past is, of course, a construct of nostalgia, but it is, as well, a necessary fiction for getting us started, for the project of being contemporary. At some point in that project, retrospectively, we know we will have to dismantle that innocence, expose its never-was. But so much depends upon timing, here. I’ve been working on my novel this month, trying to finish it up at least to the point of sending it out with a few chapters uninhabited, but planned – and I’ve been immersed in Woolf, from the diaries and letters to the novels