Thursday, January 04, 2007

Busy busy busy

is what I've been, what with licking a poetry manuscript into send-outable shape, trying to put together syllabi for next week & to read those last-minute readings, & anticipating the oncoming semester like a bullet train hurtling at me down a tunnel. Anyway, busyness probably goes to explain why the blog has been so torpid these last few days (weeks? months?): one sign of which is the fact that there's been far more happening in the comments box than on the actual blog. Case in point – this wonderful summation from old chum Paul Naylor of the excellent Singing Horse press:
I have to say I’ve never found Adorno’s critique of Heidegger very persuasive, and I think that has to do with something Norman said in passing, that “you couldn’t have the latter w/out the former,” meaning Adorno’s essay “Lyric Poetry and Society” isn’t possible without Heidegger’s essays on poetry. That’s absolutely right, but it’s something Adorno would be loathe to admit. Adorno was either blind to the fact that he and Heidegger had an immense amount in common philosophically, or he refused to admit it. They both take their lead from Weber’s contention that modernity is characterized by the disenchantment of nature at the hands of instrumental rationality. They both offer a critique of instrumental rationality by drawing attention to that which resists instrumental rationality in particular and conceptuality in general; for Heidegger it’s the “earth” that can’t be totalized in conceptual knowledge, while for Adorno it’s the “non-identical” that resists conceptuality. And both turn to art as the primary instance of that which is non-identical to instrumental rationality. The fact that Adorno either can’t or won’t recognize that common ground and/or influence prevents him from waging a fully “immanent” critique of Heidegger; as a result, what I find in The Jargon of Authenticity and Negative Dialectics are mostly glancing blows that don’t really get at the core of what’s problematic in Heidegger.
See what I mean? Beautifully put, & way smart. (Interesting how in the strange slightly overlapping worlds of poetry & academia, one comes to think of someone as an "old chum" on the basis of maybe a half-dozen actual hours of shared facetime over a decade or more...)
This arresting factoid from the Silli-blog: apparently there were all of 69 whole academic positions in Creative Writing advertised in this years MLA Job List, in contrast to 400 – yes, four hundred – creative writing programs busily minting MFAs & CW PhDs to fill those positions. Ron estimates that this means a production level of 4000 MFAs per year (I think that's high; the MFA program I attended usually generated 8 per year, & the program at Our University is turning out rather fewer, thankfully). He doesn't consider, however, that the AWP (Associated Writing Programs, I believe) runs its own conference & joblist – but I can't believe that they're advertising 3931 jobs this year. However you slice it, that's an astonishing overproduction: somebody's getting ripped off here, folks.
The Archambeau/Park axis continues to blog Adorno's Aesthetic Theory, & I've been roughly interpellated to respond; but it'll take a few days. (Note to Bob: we like Greil Marcus better than Lester Bangs 'cuz he lived & was able to write past his early stuff: but have you ever heard Bangs's records? As someone once said of my poetry, "not bad for a critic.") (And speaking of Lipstick Traces, those of you with fond memories of Marcus's magnum opus might want to check out my own Anarchy, which in some moments I think of as a set of variations on Marcusian themes.)

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