I have been busy with my dissertation, and hence pretty absent from this space. I reiterate that you should subscribe to this blog with an RSS reader if you haven’t already, because you never know when the skies might open up and I’ll decide to write another post. One thing I will be doing occasionally is writing at the new blog of my friend Matt: Songs About Radios. It’s an idea whose time has come, an intelligent and articulate music blog that thinks and feels about music rather than simply concerning itself with staying ahead of the indie rock curve. Here’s a quote from his inaugural post:
And so, I hope this little space where my hand is on the dial will be a chance for some of us to share our love of music. In the posts that follow, I’ll do my best to share some of my favorite artists, new and old, familiar and obscure. Rather than trying to keep up with the latest currents in music (there are already enough blogs reposting practically every track on Pitchfork.com), I’ll stick to music that is meaningful to me, and I’ll make an effort to tell you why in language that’s more heartfelt and less impenetrable than the academic blog which I’m leaving behind.
Along those lines, I’ve written a brief comparative piece about “Thunder Road” by Bruce Springsteen and “Crucify” by Tori Amos for his “Parallel Lines” series, which will concern itself with articulating specific points of comparison and contrast between particular songs.
You will also perhaps be interested in the efforts of my mysterious colleague Milo Cantos, who has just started a blog called Zombie Public Speaking in which he will post from his prolific musical recordings, some of which feature myself on flute, vocals, or melodica. He promises to keep it brief, and I highly recommend him if you like your music to feature any of the following: Ph.D.-level lyrical cleverness, garage-electronic production, irony, earnestness, distortion, orchestral instruments, and/or people laughing in the background.
I apologize, again, for my extended absence. A personal crisis has kept me out of the blogosphere and firmly entrenched in the real world, dealing with practical matters. Things should be settling down soon, though, and I promise to return with gloriously eloquent thoughts on Modernist novels and Korean monster movies and all of the other important things in life.
Today I am pleased to introduce you to a new online publication that has been created, designed, and edited by Matthew T. Marco, a good friend of mine: The Never-Ending Noodle. It’s a food blog, sort of. Rather than focusing on recipes and reviews — though it may eventually come to contain things like that — it’s site that features interesting writing for food people by food people. From Matt’s publisher’s note:
Ultimately, I founded this periodical on this concept, to refract our lives’ experiences through a prism of culinary metaphor, because it’s a metaphor that is very nearly universal. The first three articles here are a start in that direction, the primi piatti of a feast of verbage that deeply investigates the relationships between palettes and personalities, between cultures and comestibles.
I have written one of these inaugural articles: “It Ain’t Easy Being Green: Memoirs of a Veggie Cowgirl”. It’s an account of the ass-backwards way in which I became a vegetarian, and it features a snappier writing style than I generally get to use here when talking about weighty literary matters. To whet your appetite, the first paragraph:
I became a vegetarian reluctantly. My two best friends in high school were vegetarians, so for years I had no choice but to champion the life of the carnivore. While Kate and Jessica wrinkled their pretty noses, I was the girl going out with the boys for all-you-can-eat ribs at Big Ed’s Barbecue. I believed in the food chain, meat was delicious, but also—and not unimportantly—eating meat marked me as a different kind of girl, one who made dirty jokes and drank hard liquor and just might be talked into a ride on the mechanical bull in the back corner of Big Ed’s.
It’s about ethics, it’s about gender, it’s about food snobbery, and I like to think it’s a pretty good time. Matt has written an article on metaphor and noodles and new beginnings, and Nikhil Moturi rounds out the first issue with an article on the role of Dosas in his transition to a new life on the other side of the country. I recommend both of them highly. And if you, too, are a person with a deep and personal relationship to food, we are looking for new writers and would love to have you on board.
It will be a few more days before I get together something new for you folks; I am off to Las Vegas for the weekend. Ah, and what would Simone Weil think of Sin City? Expect answers when I return.
That was mostly a joke, I think. In the meantime, allow me to recommend some interesting work my colleagues have been doing. The blogosphere has been an exciting place lately, so exciting that I have not been able to keep up with it in a timely manner! surlacarte has been writing a series of posts on de Man’s concept of irony in response to a post Kugelmass put up a few months ago. Kugelmass’ original post is here, and plenty interesting, but not strictly necessary to understanding either of surlacarte’s new posts: Part 1, and Part 2. The first post lays out his objections to Joe’s reading, and the second one makes an intriguing connection to Pascal’s wager. Kugelmass has responded with an exciting post at The Valve in which he lays out a theory of reading which treats texts as invitations — an idea I will eventually have Things To Say about after my return.
If theorizing about irony is not your bag, surlacarte has also jumped in to the Neruda discussion with an interesting post that is in dialogue with Joe’s and my posts on Poem XIV from Viente Poemas de Amor. surlacarte’s Spanish puts mine to shame, and he raises a number of interesting issues about the poem’s translation, as well as providing an insightful interpretation of my reading to which I will respond soon. Stay tuned!