The world is text. Mallarmé and Flaubert described this possibility at the end of the nineteenth century and Derrida proclaimed it again more recently. But now we can say that the world is literature. It is turning literary through the Internet.
It's been a while since I posted to Arcade. So many deadlines! Several times a day I find myself mumbling, "But at my back I always hear / Time's winged chariot hurrying near."
The book I've been blogging occasionally about for the last year or more is now coming out in June. I've just written this op-ed piece to accompany its release:
I would like to start my contribution at Arcade by proposing a distinction between “comparative literature as content” and “comparative literature as form.”
In a fascinating parable, "A Story In Two Parts, With An Ending Yet To Be Written," posted on the National Humanities Center's On the Human Web site, Paula Moya tells the tale of a researcher named Kitayama who travels from the land of Interdependence to the land of Independence, conducts research into the way that culture shapes perception, and finds his results grossly misinterpreted by journalists (as reinforcing racist narratives of essential ethnic differences).
Who After Osama? My Answer Is Salome, or, Salome Korkota's Secular Dream After Postmodern Fundamentalism
Teaching Milton this semester, I think I made a couple of connections that must be obvious, but that I'd never quite seen before (or maybe I had: these days I'm finding the obvious striking again, which I don't know whether that's a good or a bad thing).
...oh God I'm going to catch some heat for this. When I used the phrase “as a recovering Marxist” at Johns Hopkins a few months ago, I was met with a constant barrage of “critique” for the rest of the conference. No one expects the Spanish Inquisition!