Japan

I have had a fetish for Japanese furniture since I was about two, and I think I should indulge it. I want this pillow in Ya Gasuri blue cloth (or navy). I want real tatami mats and a kakebuton.

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Byung-Chul Han

Solo las diferencias que se pueden consumir están permitidas. No se puede amar al otro al que le han quitado la alteridad, sino solo consumirlo. Quizá sea por eso por lo que hoy crece el interés por el apocalipsis. Uno siente el infierno de la igualdad y quiere escapar de él.

That is from an article in ABC, a newspaper not of our stripe, but the piece is interesting.

I would like to read Byung-Chul Han. Here are some excerpts from The Burnout Society and The Transparency Society.

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Milton

I cannot praise a fugitive and cloistered virtue, unexercised and unbreathed, that never sallies out and sees her adversary, but slinks out of the race where that immortal garland is to be run for, not without dust and heat. [. . .] That virtue therefore which is but a youngling in the contemplation of evil, and knows not the utmost that vice promises to her followers, and rejects it, is but a blank virtue, not a pure; her whiteness is but an excremental whiteness.

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Jorge Manrique

I decided to revisit a famous text by this poet and thought: how amazingly 15th century! And it is; in fact Manrique died before 1492 and missed the entrance of the “Indies” onto the global stage. This makes him profoundly removed or foreign, I feel, because he is at the same time so close to it.

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One Hundred Years of Solitude and the Inevitability of Race

I will go here, but will have to come up with something on women characters not women writers, I fear. I might argue that certain incomprehensible or hard to interpret classics are crystal clear if you think in forbidden terms about gender and race.

Cien años de soledad becomes very clear, for instance, if you read it through a racial lens. Pettway is talking about the invisibility of race but I say that race, while invisible, is also inevitable since it is what unravels the maze of short circuits one finds in this and many other texts.

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My shadow resumé

Others have written shadow resumés of failures, but mine is of roads not taken. In the years in which I was realizing what my real interests were, I had these intuitions:

24-25. Realize I wanted a B.S. in Economics, and to go from there. (What I could have done, with my M.A. and partial Ph.D. in Comparative Literature, emphasizing Latin America: move programs, to Latin American Studies.)

25-28. Founding member of a union that is still going strong, system wide.

28-29. Realize I wanted to move from poetry and poetics to critical race theory.

30. Realize I would rather teach beginning Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science or History than beginning foreign languages.

31-32. Dream of a second Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies, leading to work in international organizations.

34ff. Dream of the J.D., to work on immigration, trade, globalization, human rights, criminal defense, and the global prison industrial complex.

42ff. Intense work on program building, student and faculty rights, funding, research support, curriculum modernization, governance, academic freedom.

In retrospect it is quite clear what I was discovering during those ten years. I acted on none of this because I had already gone so far on this road.

Now I must stay on this road but must cause it to resemble those roads as much as I can. At least I am in Spanish, a more convenient field than some.

There is something else as well: the reason I was always attracted to the fields I was was that nobody in the family was in them, knew about them, approved of them.
I felt, and feel free in them, autonomous, my own person in ways I never could allow myself to be in arts or humanities or literature.

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Jill Stein

I have decided to vote third party if Hillary Clinton is the candidate. Louisiana will vote Trump in any case, and my vote will not make a difference to that; if I thought it would I would vote Clinton for Roe v. Wade and some related things.

But her militarism and foreign policy disasters mean that the vote would also sit heavy on my conscience — too heavily, considering that it would do nothing good. And the feeling of being coerced would weigh on me, too.

A third party vote would be a vote of no (or little) confidence in the Democratic Party and I think they need to receive this message. This is going to be my eleventh Presidential election and I have voted third party at least three times, perhaps more. I am just not a Democrat, even though I register that way faute de mieux and vote that way sometimes.

Here, meanwhile, is a very interesting post on how Clinton will win because she is a Christian. I keep thinking that the Hillary-firsters have got to be more comfortable than I am with this.

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