Tag: excerpts (page 1 of 2)

Excerpt from a Work in Progress (Coming Along Fine, Thanks)


A half-coherent murmur drifts up from the back of the bus. Forced to find a position between the impending Gaza invasion’s moral aporia and a night at Big Ben, I choose the bulwark of a temporary, recalcitrant silence.

Another Excerpt from a Work in Progress

The disorganized, shocking play of light in the city gives way to the focalizing power of the Kremlin, which is able to organize and focus the force of individuals into a single concentrated locus: “All the colors of Moscow converge prismatically here, at the center of Russian power. Beams of excessive brilliance from the car headlights race through the darkness. The horses of the cavalry, which has a large drill ground in the Kremlin, shy in their light.” Figuring Russian life as a luxurious spectrum, the Kremlin is the lens that focuses Benjamin’s experience of Moscow’s quotidian landscape, reconfiguring small moments of peasant-like daily activities through the emblem of Russian power they perpetuate. Light itself is the agent of the particular form of modernity that Benjamin discovers in the Moscow (the electric car headlights frighten the cavalry horses, a military division that is already obsolete by 1927, the year Benjamin visits Moscow) and through its figuration the political economy of the place finds body in his writing.

Reading Lists for the Oral Exams

1. The Organizational Imagination: Cutting, Mapping, Filing and Transcribing in 19th, 20th, and 21st Century Literature and Philosophy*

2. Humanism, Antihumanism, Posthumanism

3. Making Americans: Immanence, Transmission and “The Natural” in American Fiction

*This list has nothing to do with this … though it might.

Walter Benjamin – On Some Motifs in Baudelaire

In the mid-nineteenth century, the invention of the match brought forth a number of innovations which have on thing in common: a single abrupt movement of the triggers a process of many steps. The development is taking pace in many areas. A case in point is the telephone, where the lifting of a receiver has taken the place of the steady movement that used to be required to crank the older models. With regard to countless movements of switching, inserting, pressing, and the like, the “snapping” by the photographer had the greater consequences. Henceforth a touch of the finger sufficed to fix an event for an unlimited period of time. The camera gave the moment a posthumous shock, as it were. Haptic experiences of this kind were joined by optic ones, such as are supplied by te advertising pages of a newspaper or the traffic of a big city. Moving through this traffic involves the individual in a series of shocks and collisions. At dangerous intersections, nervous impulses flow through him in rapid succession, like the energy from a battery.

One Sentence From A Work-In-Progress

“Such contextual moments appear rather as deictic splinters lodged in the writing.”

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