Thursday, December 04, 2008

Hey, I'm giving an exam right now, so I'm technically working...

Y'know, every time I think of throwing over my day job in the academy & becoming a free-lance critic/writer type – well, actually every time I think of that a bill comes in the mail, & I'm reminded of how useful an actual income is – I think about the very few folks out there who actually have the big magazine-mass audience-public intellectual gigs. I think about James Wood, whose writing puts me to sleep faster than three double martinis with a quaalude chaser. 

Or I think about Adam Kirsch, who's somehow unaccountably convinced people that he knows something about contemporary poetry. If you care to get mildly or grandly irritated, check out Kirsch's latest in the New Republic on Slavoj Zizek, the malign genius who – if we're to believe Kirsch – "is engaged in the rehabilitation of many of the most evil ideas of the last century." An astonishing farrago of out-of-context quotations, superficial misreadings, and ad hominem attacks. Kirsch makes David Lehman on Paul de Man seem subtle.


William Keckler said...

"...makes David Lehman on Paul de Man seem subtle..."


I was just thinking of a time I was going on about the "de Man thing" and the poet at the other end of the colloquy informs me suddenly that de Man one of his beloved teachers and mentors...

Barry Swabsky, I think...

Maybe I dreamt this, but I don't think so.

He made an eloquent defense.

If I'm remembering the wrong vilified notable, I apologize, but I'm fairly certain that's the one.

I always believe the villainous stories. They make for better movies in my head.

But if you hear anything about me, it's a total lie.

Agni Dei come to me when they need to borrow a halo.

William Keckler said...

Erm, Schwabsky.