“The common use of the argumentative essay in US schooling dates back to unprecedented growth in higher education and a literate middle class in the early 20th Century. College was no longer the purview of an elite group from similar backgrounds, and more students meant two things: an insufficient number of teachers trained in writing instruction and a more diverse student body, less likely to share knowledge of the same philosophical or literary texts to write about.”
Read the whole thing.
Now my problem is named, I spend too much time in survival mode.
I have learned there are the things you love, and the things you must do to support the things you love, and the things you should not do, or should not do too much of as they are not in your best interest. If you diagram these, you can learn a great deal.
Mayhew has three tiers but I would have a fourth, between the lowest and the middle tier, where I do the things I must do in order to enable myself to do the things I really must do. That additional tier is the survival mode tier. I am forced to spend some time in it, but I am also trained to see myself there, to think of myself as a person fighting for their life and not even thinking about rights … except to think, at a deep level, that the people who have and deserve rights are not those who are fighting for their lives.
I will see what all of these perceptions can do for me, and for us. How can we spend less time in survival mode, and off the bottom activity tier? Identifying them as we have done here is a good start.
A crumbling volume I am putting into recycling is Artaud, Les tarahumaras, in Gallimard/idées, 1971. I bought it used 10 years later. The text was composed between 1937 and 1948, after Artaud’s 1936 trip to Mexico. I marked some passages in it when I read it.
P. 18: Westermers when asked a question react as though they knew it was they who were responding, and not someone else. The Tarahumaras are not like that.
Pp. 18-19: A European would never accept the idea that his sensations, emotions, ideas, were not his own, that another person could have experienced them in his body. The Tarahumaras do make a distinction between what are one’s own thoughts and what are the thoughts of the other, even if one thinks both thoughts oneself.
P. 73: The Renaissance and Humanism diminished humanity because they denied the perhaps superhuman, but natural laws of the earlier period: from the Renaissance forward Man tried to cut nature down to his size, rather than reach up to its size. Nature was denied and only the human was considered henceforth.
p. 131, on ceremonies and priests: Mais il faut surtout entendre les Paroles qu’ils se renvoient de l’un à l’autre avec des signes qui senblent extraits des limbes même de l’Eternité et qui sont faits pour supporter et manifester quelque chose, et ce quelque chose est l’Esprit du Verbe qui roule comme une boule de flamme devant le Seigneur Dieu, et dont eux Tarahumaras se souviennent, disent-ils, d’avoir été et d’être la Volonté et le reflet.
Mais c’est si clair. I feel guilty and nervous about doing work because I know I will be interrupted as soon as I really start.
It all had to do with the self serving agenda of others. “Your work is just play, and you will see that relatively soon. Your real role is to serve me, and I am also the only one who can and will support you when your work becomes serious and you are sidelined from it. Serving me, not becoming expert at something that challenges me, is your first and only real duty — and everyone else already knows it is all you are capable of.”
This is why I feel people have a right to disrupt work. It is also why I do not like to start work — if I start, I will continue, and if I continue, I will experience a very great violation to get me to stop. To avoid repeating this experience of violation, it is best not to start.
Ricardo Piglia once pointed out that the apocryphal quotation at the beginning of Domingo Sarmiento’s Facundo (1845) — the French sentence “on ne tue point les idées,” written by Sarmiento on a wall after being attacked by a federalist gang — can be taken as an emblem of Argentine literature in its foundational moment. Not simply in its banal content, but primarily in its form and in the discursive economy that presides over its historical inscription. By relating how Rosas’s dictatorship, “after sending a committee in charge of deciphering the hieroglyph,” (Sarmiento 5) must have wondered what in the world it could mean, Sarmiento draws the line between civilization and barbarism with a mere epigraph: barbarians are, of course, those unable to read the sentence. More than in the utopian vision it voices, “the sentence’s political content resides in the use of the French language” (Piglia 15). A voracious student of foreign languages, Sarmiento located in the transculturation of European sources a sine qua non condition for the construction of a modern civilized Argentine nation. Transculturation is, however, always already torn apart by aporias, not the least of which plagues the authorship of Sarmiento’s epigraph. Sarmiento attributes it to Fortoul, but Groussac later argued that it was in fact taken from Volney, only to be contradicted by Verdevoye, who noted that it does not appear either in Fortoul or Volney, but in Diderot. The exercise in tracking down sources naturally does not matter in itself, but as an emblem of the predicament of an entire national literature. Designed to found a nation by alienating, domesticating, and eventually transculturating that nation’s originary barbarism, the letrado’s civilizing gesture is from the beginning contaminated by a savage, barbaric relationship with its sources, emblematized in recurrent erroneous and second-hand attributions. (– I. A.)
Filed under Arts, Resources
I am not convinced we are really postnational yet. And I am behind the times, so I should read this old piece.
The term ‘post–nationalism’ has been proposed to designate the emergence of political bodies in the wake of economic globalisation. However, not only is the ‘post–national landscape’ strongly redolent of nationalism, but nations themselves continue to correlate with the political subject in ways that cannot be dismissed. In Spanish political debates the notion of ‘post–nationalism’ has been deployed along with the concept of ‘patriotism of the constitution’, vulgarising their original philosophical use. In this context both terms do ideological duty against the peripheral nationalities in an effort to relegitimise the centralised control of the state. In this article I ‘deconstruct’ the self–serving duality between ‘constitutionalists’ and ‘nationalists’ by showing that traditional state nationalism overlaps with the ‘constitutionalist’ position. Subsequently, I consider whether some form of Habermasian detachment of nation from state can be contemplated for Spain.