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"A Strange Day" - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
"A Strange Day"

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Mode: pick a "de-" prefix
Muse: replaying The Cure from memory

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frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: January 4th, 2006 11:53 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
This touches on what I was whining about in a couple earlier entries -- one about art and one about life. When we're dealing with a great work of art, or the life of a person, the data set is often so big that it accomodates myriad interpretations. If you think long and hard about ways to shirk responsibility for your own actions, its quite easy to find particular moments in your life that seem to have 'pushed' you in a specific direction. If you think long and hard about great works of art, it's quite easy to find particular moments in the piece that reflect what you are seeking to prove. I am not saying that deconstructing one's life/art is not a worthwhile endeavor. I'm instead arguing that the conclusions one draws from these processes should be carefully balanced by acknowledging these quirks in human perception. Most of the litarary analysis I read does not do this. Nor does the 'shrinking' of the brain, in most cases I've been privy to.

So fuck all that. Do it the right way.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 4th, 2006 02:07 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
You can read the fine print, I see. . . I'm with you about doing things the right way. But there are lots of reasons why it's hard. Not on blogs, but in the academic context. Self-reflexivity can be an impediment to the force of argument that peer reviewers look for. Or just plain space-hungry.
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: January 6th, 2006 04:47 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Well, it is the academic context that I'm at odds with. It's like this little secret shared amongst scholars that what they write and what they feel are separate spheres never meant to mingle. You *know* when you read a piece of criticism that the author is at least partially full of shit, in virtually all cases. In fact, they often take great pains to be full of shit in order to not 'weaken' their argument, because to actually admit flaws in perception is throwing the paper to the sharks. It seems a bit asinine to me. If the argument cannot stand the test of full scrutiny, perhaps it should not be made.

I don't think it needs to be space hungry to be effective. And if woven in and out of the argument properly it makes for a. a more interesting read and b. a feeling that the paper is 'whole.'

Anything worth doing is 'hard' anyway, right?

That said, I should probably account for a flaw in my own perception. The amount of criticism I've read certainly pales next to yours, and much of mine has been culled from unsavory internet sources.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: January 6th, 2006 08:52 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
"Bullshit" is a tricky term, as that rendy micro book by Mr. Frankfurter suggests. But I'll allow that there's plenty of bullshit in academic criticism provided that the counterpoint is also acknowledged, namely that the non-academics who levy such critiques are just as prone to bullshitting. Yes, I've read a lot more criticism than you have. My experience makes it harder for me to say, "The emperor has no clothes on!," but easier to avoid making such declarations in the nude, if that makes sense. . .
frostedfuckhead From: frostedfuckhead Date: January 8th, 2006 06:48 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Yes, it makes sense. And your counterpoint is not only acknowledged, I'm willing to trumpet it from the highest of mountain peaks.

We all produce insane amounts of bullshit, no matter how careful we are. What frustrates me is all this sidestepping. I want to get from point a to point b. If that means getting shit on my shoe, so be it.
elizabeg From: elizabeg Date: January 4th, 2006 05:40 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Holy fuck yes.

I have something to send you sometime on Sebald and seeing the reflection. Anne Carson also, incidentally.
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