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Showing posts from July 26, 2020

The colonized and the exiled

Normally, histories of Europe talk about colonialism in terms of a mother country, or center, and a periphery. But in actuality, the periphery was located in Europe itself. It was located in Europe’s peasantry. Colonialism and the agricultural revolution in Europe are parts of the same process – the process that gave us capitalism and, more generally, the process of production that has become the norm, either achieved or striven for, across ideologies, for the last century. The doubling of the European and the American savage is the secret heart of the noble savage myth. While conventional histories attribute the noble savage idea, wrongly, to Rousseau, and attribute the savagery solely to the Indians, in actuality the topos was as much about the European peasant, about the laws and norms concerning the forest and the field, which is what Europe largely was, as much as America, up through the 17th century in England and France. And of course all through the 19th century for much of Pru

notes on le carre

I read a lot of early or mid John Le Carre novels this month. Vacation, what? An interesting experience. At the back of the reader's mind is a little hole, a leak, a sense of the futility of all the excitement of finding the mole, of placing the agent, of playing the game. It had, in the end, nothing whatever to do with the end of the Soviet Union. It did, of course, end the lives of many people, and in a more general sense - as the vast price for actually making anti-communism a state activity -produced millions of casualty, besides distorting beyond repair the fragile hopes of a post WW2 social democratic order. George Smiley, that hidebound reactionary with the cheating wife, is not so much a tragic figure as a puzzling one: why waste his intelligence to become an intelligent agent? There is, in the books, not one shred of the idea that the British government is a democracy - these people could be working for Franco, or Pinochet, save for the clubbish glass of sherry or two.

my canon - a poem by Karen Chamisso

My canon What’s Uh huh Uh Huh Among all the best that has been said and thought? In what canon Is it to be sought? That’s the way (uh huh uh huh) ran up my leg and up my spine as I bumped it out at club Limelight in 1989. It led me (I like it) to a sweet fuck If not to something worse at least from Mama’s point of view and perhaps Wordsworth’s. It was already a funny tune from the age of Kitsch (uh huh uh huh) But it melted my honey right enough with some Georgia Tech bubba. I’ve forgotten the particulars (it’s the essences we remember) - all I know is that my canon has many different members. - Karen Chamisso Like Comment Share m