May 23, 2006

Slowly rereading things as I work on this article on Jolas's Transition. Among them, Jean Michel Rabate's "Joyce and Jolas: Late Modernism and Early Babelism" (Journal of Modern Literature, 1999), Tyler Stovall, "Harlem-Sur-Seine: Building an AFrican American Diasporic Community in Paris" (Stanford Electronic Humanities Review, 1997), Michael North's "Words in Motion: the Movies, the Readies, and 'the Revolution of the Word'" (Modernism/Modernity, 2002).

And Jameson's The Political Unconscious (coming to this through a recent article by Chris Nealon; but remembering struggling through this book in graduate school as if it was a foreign language and now seems so clear)... "My position here is that only Marxism offers a philosophically coherent and ideologically compelling resolution to the dilemma of historicism evoked above. Only Marxism can give us an adequate account of the essential mystery of the cultural past, which, like Tiresias drinking the blood, is momentarily returned to life and warmth adn allowed once more to speak, and to deliver its long-forgotten message in surroundings utterly alien to it."

Keep wondering if the "only Marxism" is sad because of its "only" or sad because the best parts of its possibility--an acknowledgement of how economics shape all things all the time--seem to still not be very well digested yet in the academy. (Speaking of Marxism, or socialism, the films at BAM, "Now-time Venezuela"... videos of heroic workers and heroic industrialism; I kept thinking the chemicals, the chemicals. The best of the films though is the detailed talk about how the factory takeovers are working on a daily basis, working under three bosses instead of one, etc. Lots of information.)

And compulsively gulping down Jennifer Moxley's The Middle Room in manuscript.

From the rereading, I'm also waiting for five books to come in via ILL. I thought this year when I have an expanded Berkeley library card (I get some privileges via Mills) that I would be less dependent on ILL. But the Berkeley library is so overextended, it hasn't been much help. About 80% of what they have that Mills does not have is checked out.

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