Friday, May 02, 2008
Thursday, May 01, 2008
review of Tom McCarthy's 'Tintin and the Secret of Literature'--his novel "Remainder" is well worth seeking out--
"McCarthy is telling us less about, say, what literature is than what it isn't. We come to a novel expecting it to tell us everything that it can, to be replete. McCarthy lifts the rug to show us that the more a story tells us, the more it hides. Channeling Barthes, McCarthy characterizes Tintin -- whose exploits so often involve misread missives, misunderstood map coordinates, misconstruction of another character's language -- as standing "guardian . . . at the heart of a noise." In all his adventures around the globe, Tintin is constantly trying to decode clues he's been given, constantly finding himself mired in perils, from which he inevitably escapes, only to compulsively reboot the fiendish cycle again and again. All his labors turn out to be frustratingly like those of Sisyphus -- unending. Whenever he figures out a particular enigma, it only unleashes more enigmas, sending him off on yet another quest. For McCarthy, as for Barthes, this is the "secret" of literature..."
Posted by Peter at 7:35 AM
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
a new edition of Thomas Middleton
"Sometimes quietly moved to tears, sometimes unable to contain my laughter . . . I thought, again and again, why was I never told to read this? . . . Why have I never seen this performed? . . . why have I never been introduced to this Dickensian, Dostoevskian riot of life? Vindice, DeFlores, and Beatrice Joanna I’d encountered in college, but what about Allwit and all the rest? Lucifer, Candido, Quomodo, Sir Bounteous Progress, Dampit, Pieboard, Tailby, Weatherwise, Pompey Doodle, Captain Ager, Plumporridge, Simplicity, Simon, George, Lepet, the Yorkshire Husband, the Black Knight and Fat Bishop and White Queen’s Pawn, the Tyrant, the Lady, the Young Queen, the Duchess of Milan, Mistress Low-water, Mill, Valeria, Hecate and Madge Owl, Livia and Bianca and Isabella – where have you people been all my life?"
nice online edition
Posted by Peter at 12:00 PM
Monday, April 28, 2008
farewell to cool clarinetist Jimmy Giuffre one of the West Coast musicans who brought so much light and space into the jazz of the 50's & 60's...
youtube of The Train & the River which you may remember from the opening minutes of "Jazz on a Summer's Day"...
the classic Bley/Swallow trio's Free Fall can be found here...
Posted by Peter at 8:48 AM
The Gilded Age, past and present
"When it came to practical matters, neither the business elites of the first Gilded Age nor our own "liquidators," "terminators," and merger and acquisition Machiavellians ever really believed in the free market or the enterprising individual. Then, as now, when push came to shove (and often way earlier), they relied on the government: for political favors, for contracts, for tax advantages, for franchises, for tariffs and subsidies, for public grants of land and natural resources, for financial bailouts when times were tough (see Bear Stearns) and for muscular protection, including the use of armed force, against all those who might interfere with the rights of private property.
So, too, while industrial and financial tycoons liked to imagine themselves as stand-alone heroes, daring cowboys on the urban-industrial-financial frontier, as a matter of fact the first Gilded Age gave birth to the modern, bureaucratic corporation -- and did so at the expense of the lone entrepreneur. To this day, that big-business behemoth remains the defining institution of commercial life. The reigning melodrama may still be about the free market and the audacious individual, but backstage, directing the players, stands the state and the corporation.
Crony capitalism, inequality, extravagance, social Darwinian self-justification, blame-the-victim callousness, free-market hypocrisy: Thus it was, thus it is again!"
Posted by Peter at 7:03 AM
Sunday, April 27, 2008
Posted by Peter at 8:25 AM