July 06, 2004

Didn't get as much reading done on airplane as I thought I might. But the good news was that I was sleeping all the way there.

On the way back though...

Lee Haring, "Techniques of Creolization" . . . a few useful moments. I like its formal focus.

Sianne Ngai's "Stuplimity: Shock and Boredom in 20th Century Aesthetics" which was perfect and I read it right after I had made a note to admit to the unreadability of Finnegans Wake in my paper and found this by Sianne on Making of the Americans...

"few savvy, postmodern readers are likely to admit to being
"bored" by The Making of Americans and perhaps even less likely
to being "shocked" by Jeff Koons or Cindy Sherman. By pointing
to what obstructs critical response, however, astonishment and
boredom ask us to ask what ways of responding our culture makes
available to us, and under what conditions. As "dispositions"
which result in a fundamental displacement from secure critical
positions, the shocking and the boring usefully prompt us to
look for new strategies of engagement and to extend the
circumstances under which engagement becomes possible. The
phenomenon of the intersection of these affective dynamics, in
innovative artistic and literary production, will thus be
explored here as a way of expanding our notion of the aesthetic
in general."

Also, Neil Lazarus "Postcolonialsm and the Dilemma of Nationalism: Aijaz Ahmad's Critique of Third-Worldism"... fairly hard hiting on Ahmad's work. helped me think some about his work which I have mixed feelings about.

Finished Brownstein's World on Fire which I thought was very amazing and good. It fails when he brings in quotes (the material both not that interesting and his incoporation of it not that skilled; he wants to talk with others but can't seem to give them any sort of respect that will let them come off as not part of the drudgery of the poem). Very much in the Peter Dale Scott tradition (with its disregard for the aesthetics of poetry; both using the form more to collect information; long conversational lines; placing of self in complicated world politics). This one will stay with me for some time. Despite its moments of troubling sexism (or maybe that is too strong a word, something weird about gender going on here where it gets tied up with his personal relationships so women who reject him end up being part of the evil system with their cell phones, etc.; they just can't see things the way he does; but then no one can--this book is very much rooted in individual experience, very 70s feel to it). And also despite Brownstein's inability to not be pious, even though he keeps admitting to it, sort of. Would like a little more attention to collectivity somewhere. But still, interesting book.

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