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Showing posts from November 7, 2021

numerus clausus a poem by Karen Chamisso

  Numerus clausus   A little extermination is mixed into the formula. In indifferent arms they lay   smudged by the dark angel from whose connosieur’s fingers they were untimely taken.   -          Untime being their time in the ward, the asylum, the camp, the out-of-the-way.   Its monopoly over the heart’s promptu surges. Henry Darger’s worlds   Charlotte Solomon’s worlds. Feel the animal warmth throat hunger, caried dribble   onlooker. In our larger crime their scheduled prowling. In our time.

conservatism from the margins

  Conservatism from the margins Conservative parties have long dominated the political scene in the top OECD countries, and dominate policy choices even when so called “social democratic” or progressive parties are elected. That degree of domination has not, so far, been matched with an intellectual history of the movement that does not merely move from head to head: from, say, St. Thomas Aquinas to Edmund Burke. I   am too much the left-bot, the Marx reader, to think that this is satisfactory. I take the conservative claim to monopolize or articulate “common sense” as a clue to understanding how the conservative effect emerged in the modern world. I’d maintain that the effect has two sources: one, rooted in the establishment – the alliance of landowners and Capital   – adopted a   strategy well summed up by the Prince in The Leopard with the famous phrase, “everything must change so that everything stays the same”. But Burke, I think, is an emblem of another kind of conservatism:  

University of Austin (the real one)

  I suppose it is time to announce this: I, too, am starting a university I am calling University of Austin! A total alternative to "credentialled" liberal universities. Our curriculum consists of curated YouTube videos. We encourage students to take out those sweet sweet loans now! Our distinguished faculty will be such personages as Albert Einstein and Cicero and Robert E. Lee - all on Youtube of course, but we aree in negotiation to bring in character actors to portray them for you, our students - cost is no object! many of these fine actors will be found at blood banks, but we will provide them with employment - which is where some of that sweet sweet loan money will be going tol In our classes, students will learn to oppose the horrors of political correctness, big government (get those loans now!), and entitled "minorities" - as opposed to the good ones! - who are even now brainwashing our youth. Also, evolutionary psychology will be taught (on many excellent

The villainous empath

  Wayne Booth’s book, The Rhetoric of Fiction, appeared in 1961 – a year of Cold War promise. It became one of the references for the exploration of fiction by a New Criticism that was organized to explicate poetry. Booth used tools of both New Criticism and the traditional philology of sources – notebooks, letters – to explicate (a word tendered in the classroom to gently initiate the vaguely astonished, note-taking, crewheaded rows into the arcana of literature) the novel. Among the canon that passed through his hands was The Aspern Papers. I’ve been re-reading the Aspern Papers, thinking about its highly nasty narrator, and I’ve turned to the explicators for some discussion. Booth’s notion is that James set himself a rather impossible task – an irresolvable double-focused task: on the one hand, the goal of the Aspern Papers is to obtain material – letters especially – from a poet of the romantic period, a sort of American Shelley, from his now aged and dying lover, Juliana Bordere