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Archive for the ‘theory’ Category

foucault / chomsky on larry king

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Now that would be something, eh? Not quite that, but not altogether different either:

Via threequarksdaily:

(The second part of the show is available here…)

Two things.

1) I’d never seen video of Foucault before. Strange. And strange how it changes your sense of someone once you have seen footage.

2) I found myself wondering, as I watched this, if my own work / ideas / findings could be spelled out as succinctly as Chomsky and Foucault do here. That’s not normally how we think (are taught to think) about things in the subfield of “theory.” Can’t just read extracts. Summary doesn’t do justice. There is a point to be made performatively by not reducing to the sound bite. Right? But – oh is it ever obvious, I know – there’s something to this. How many of us could pull it off today?

(Quite possibly I’m just sharing the echoes of what it’s like to draw near the end of (a first draft of???) your first book. Which is my day job, right now. I’m cramping crazily on the last few pages – there’s so much more to be said! Why can’t I stop hiding behind the particulars and just say what it is that I’ve been samizdating all along? Would it even work? Is there a point? Or just hithering thithering ambiguity / complexity?

The next book, I hope, will be simpler….)

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July 6, 2006 at 10:53 pm

Posted in teevee, theory


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Spurious today, on Blanchot, literature, and community or communism.

What happens when Blanchot’s writings are refracted through the prism of what he calls community? They shift slightly, or shimmer in a different way.

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June 28, 2006 at 9:43 am

beauty and politics

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Isobel Armstrong, on Eagleton’s The Ideology of the Aesthetic:

Eagleton’s is a worst-case reading, and has to be attended to. But the best answer to this case might well be to retheorize a flagrantly emancipatory, unapologetically radical aesthetic. This would refuse the conservative reading of the aesthetic as that which stands over and against the political as disinterested Beauty, called in nevertheless to assuage the violence of a system it leaves untouched, and retrieve the radical traditions and possibilities with which the idea of the aesthetic has always been associated. I would regard with dismay a politics with subtracts the aesthetic and refuses it cultural meaning and possibility.

I’m not entirely satisfied with the “flagrantly emancipatory” aesthetic that Armstrong proposes in the chapter on Eagleton, which takes a somewhat predictable shape defined by experimentally contradictory betweenness and ambiguous play, but I am sure that she’s asking the right question in the paragraph above.

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June 18, 2006 at 11:49 pm

Posted in aesthetics, theory

what’s left

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Via 3quarksdaily:


Frederic Jameson, “What’s Left of Theory”

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June 9, 2006 at 10:58 pm

Posted in theory