August 03, 2004

I've just been reading around.

Interesting article at The Believer website on the MLA by Gideon Lewis-Kraus, "In the Penthouse of the Ivory Tower," which somewhat perfectly explores the unresolved issues of the audience for academic writing.

Half way through the most recent issue of Critical Inquiry which has a good article by Jerome McGann on beauty (good reading of Charles Bernstein's "The Klupzy Girl") and also Adriano Sofri on optimisim and the largeness/smallness of the world.

Did a speed reading of Selected Essays of Wilson Harris looking for something on literature and political education for this collection I'm trying to put together but I don't think his essays will work. His classic "Tradition and the West Indian Novel" doesn't seem direct enough. The essays are a little thin in general. Many of them book reviews. Didn't really get me finally. A nice paragraph here and there on the greatness of art. But not much othewise.

Also recent issue of PMLA on science fiction. Sat down and read it straight through hoping to find some stuff useful for this prose thing I'm writing. But also most of it felt thin. I have to confess I got more out of the advertisements in the back. There is a Delany essay, and he is one of my favorite essayist, but it isn't one of his best. Most of the essays seem to be missing the more interesting work on science fiction by people like Donna Haraway.

Going away for a week on Friday. Not sure how much more I'll get read before then. But hope to pick up with the binge reading once in Italy.

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