Sunday, March 12, 2006

marking time

Okay, so our spring break is almost over, & I've accomplished not too much. Poked away a bit at a piece of writing that's already way past due, did some radical house-cleaning, tried to catch up on my teaching some, and so forth. No, I'm not at AWP. Can't say I'm missing the conference itself – I've never been particularly invested in the whole institutional framework of academic pobiz – but it would be nice to hang out with some of the people who're there, and Austin is by far one of my favorite cities. Anybody with sense who's at AWP will be going to the Gospel Brunch at Stubb's Barbeque tomorrow: 1st-rate rhythm-&-blues live gospel, & bucketloads of ribs, brisket, chicken, and catfish.
I've been reading my way, not too rapidly, thru a stack of books I bought two weekends ago at Louisville, including John Xiros Cooper's Modernism and the Culture of Market Society (Cambridge UP, 2004). A book written with sort of zest & panache one misses in most academic studies, but pretty relentlessly depressing. I'll no doubt say more about it, but suffice it to say that Cooper's take on literary modernism and late capitalism makes Teddie Adorno look like a gay and laughing optimist.
On the last "official" day of break – yesterday – I drove down to Ft. Lauderdale and bought books, among them Slavoj Zizek's Iraq: The Broken Kettle (Verso, 2004). Like most of Mr. Z's books, this one comes across as the sometimes-almost-ramblings of an extremely brilliant ADHD patient. But there're insights on every page, even if he feels obliged to relate every last damn thing to Lacan. The money quote, on the first page:
Of course the people don't want war....But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy, and it's always a simple matter to drag the people along....All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
Dick Cheney on a secret CIA tape? Paul Wolfowitz in his cups? Nah – it's their ideological mentor, Hermann Goering, speaking at the 1946 Nuremberg trials.
Some new links on the right: Amy Letter & Brian Spears' Incertus, Michael Peverett's Michael Peverett, Kate Greenstreet's Every Other Day, and Bill & Lisa Howe's Slack Buddha Press (with dandy pictures of Keith Tuma & chris cheek).

1 comment:

Edmund Hardy said...

I used to be annoyed about the relentless nature of the Lacan through Hegel obsession in Zizek - but these two sets of ideas increasingly seem like a rhetorical pattern - like a horizontal Hegel always passing through the inevitably vertical Lacan... And if it energises the man to keep up his work-rate, then it must be good...