I've been thinking about Pierre Bourdieu and also about what I think are common and reductive misreadings of Bourdieu. Bourdieu says two things which will often strike people as incompatible enough that they pay attention only to the first, to wit: That acquired tastes provide those who acquire them symbolic capital.


I've been thinking a bunch about free indirect style -- I may try to incorporate this issue into a short talk I'm giving in April. Or not.


Kathy Acker's first book appeared, in at least one version, as The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula by The Black Tarantula (in 1975, as published by Viper's Tongue Books).


the erotic mask
Worn the world over by illusion
To weddings of itself and simple need.


There is adjustment between the animal and its food, its parasite, its enemy. Balances are kept. --Emerson, Fate


The standard kilogram is losing mass! A couple of keys weigh less than they used to, or anyhow one key does.


I began this as a reply to Timothy Morton's extremely helpful comment on entropy in letters and words (following Shannon, whom I've used elsewhere in discussing the editing of Shakespeare). In fact all the comments were wonderful, so let me say thanks. Thanks!


Following up on my earlier post on Nantucket, as well as all the discussion here about Ngrams, I want to offer a few spontaneous speculations based on a new paper that's the talk of at least a couple of neighborhoods in the town.


The estimable Waggish has been pondering Hamlet's notorious explication of the action in The Murder of Gonzago, that the murderer who pours poison into the porches of the player king's ear is "one Lucianus, nephew to the King."


I was intrigued by this (abstract) mathematical analysis of structural balance in social groups because I was teaching Richard II all week, and thinking about my favorite book on Shakespeare, Richard Decker's Anatomy of the Screenplay.


William Flesch's picture
William Flesch
William Flesch is the author, most recently, of Comeuppance: Costly Signaling, Altruistic Punishment, and Other Biological Components of Fiction (Harvard, 2008), and The Facts on File Companion to 19th Century British Literature.  He teaches the history of poetry as well as the theory of poetic and narrative form at Brandeis, and has been International Chair Professor at the National Taipei University of Technology (2012) and Old Dominion Fellow of the Humanities Council and Visiting Professor at Princeton (2014-15).


The Facts on File Companion to British Poetry: 19th Century
Facts on File | 2009
Harvard University Press | 2008