Tones – Lessons – Circles – Clearing – Destination – Watching, a story (The following is a work of satire. The people and events depicted, including those based on real people and events, are all entirely fictional.)
*Matt Jakubowski has some nice things to say about The Dreadful Point at his blog, but I’m most excited to have been part of his decision to start making his own books.
*I’m embarrassed to have to admit once again that I’d never heard of critic Greg Tate before his death last month. After reading a few examples (here, here, here, and here), I plan to become better acquainted with his work.
*On the other hand, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve reread Italo Calvino’s Uses of Literature, yet the latest was somehow still the first I noticed this:
Literature is like an ear that can hear things beyond the understanding of the language of politics; it is like an eye that can see beyond the color spectrum perceived by politics. Simply because of the solitary individualism of [their] work, the writer may happen to explore areas that no one has explored before, within [themself] or outside, and to make discoveries that sooner or later turn out to be vital areas of collective awareness…
But there is also, I think, another sort of influence that literature can exert, perhaps not more direct but certainly more intentional on the part of the writer. This is the ability to impose patterns of language, of vision, of imagination, of mental effort, of the correlation of facts, and in short the creation (and by creation I mean selection and organization) of a model of values that is at the same time aesthetic and ethical, essential to any plan of action, especially in political life.
*In a similar vein, Edmund Berger traces what he calls elsewhere an American “‘vernacular surrealism’ that prefigures new, dynamic & collectivist forms of life”. Each of these, in different ways, seems to speak to my current hopes for the project.
Next issue: March 2022