Quick Hits

I greatly enjoy all of the blogs linked below; here are some particular entries that have held on to my mind:

pas-au-del&#xe0 thinks about Mimetic Rivalry in the context of the literary weblog universe. The inchoate nature of the audience for many of the less established blogs seems to be mirrored by the sometimes tentative form and intent of the writers themselves, things I am happy to see brought out in writing and dialogue.

The Reading Experience excavates the subtext of Arts and Letters Daily and turns up a plum of neo-conservatism. I stopped reading the site a while back because I too got tired of seeing links to Dinesh D’Souza, Keith Windschuttle, and Camille Paglia. Given the choice between educating people as to the motives of such sites and simply ignoring them, I’ve chosen the second option, but I’m glad Mr. Green can mount such a cogent attack. But I’m glad there’s enough space on the web that good writers and critics don’t have to define themselves in opposition to Dutton, but can create their own autonomous spaces.

Golden Rule Jones quotes the angst of Robert Walser, the man so driven to write that he scribbled on backs of envelopes, on any paper at hand. And yet Walser’s work is so much more dense and evocative than that of, for instance, Daniil Kharms.

Spurious, who has been on a wonderful roll lately, finds some sanguinity in Kafka. I’d add that the “contented death” he mentions is reflected in Kafka’s proposed ending to The Castle, where after K. dies, word comes down from the Castle that K. will be allowed to live in the village in which he has spent the entire book. Only after his death is he accepted into the community by the authority.

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