To honor the final year of my thirties as well as the recent publication of my constraint-based Faulkner-inspired memoir, AS I STAND LIVING, which chronicles the year I became a father, I’m going to document my various sources of media input each week: art, literature, music, movies, television, and so on. New updates every Monday until I turn forty (March 19, 2018).
Jamila Woods – Holy
“What to do with a language that dis-members you?” Allison Conner on M. NourbeSe Philip’s She Tries Her Tongue, Her Silence Softly Breaks.
And an excerpt from her masterpiece, Zong!
This tab has been open on my work computer for a while, since we screened Murnau’s Sunrise. Ebert on the film, “…silent films had a language of their own; they aimed for the emotions, not the mind, and the best of them wanted to be, not a story, but an experience.”
Revisiting ole Frank Kermode’s Sense of An Ending and I can’t get past the opening line without rolling my eyes,”It is not expected of critics as it is of poets that they should help us to make sense of our lives; they are bound only to attempt the lesser feat of making sense of the ways we try to make sense of our lives.”
Jonwayne – Rap Album Two (2017)
Putting syllabuses together for the fall. Revisiting J. Culler’s short little intro to theory. “Theory in literary studies is not an account of the nature of literature or methods for its study…[i]t’s a body of thinking and writing whose limits are exceedingly hard to define.”
M.H. Abrams’s Glossary of Literary Terms:
Roland Barthes in S/Z (1970) proposed a distinction between a text which is “lisible” (readable) and one which, although “scriptible” (writable) is “illisible” (unreadable). Readable texts are traditional or “classical” ones—such as the realistic novels by Honoré Balzac and other nineteenth-century authors— which for the most part conform to the prevailing codes and conventions, literary and social, and so are readily and comfortably interpretable and naturalizable in the process of reading. An “unreadable” text (such as James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, or the French new novel, or a poem by a highly experimental poet) is one which largely violates, parodies, or innovates upon prevailing conventions, and thus persistently shocks, baffles, and frustrates standard expectations.