Saturday, January 22, 2011

Ross on Rimbaud

I can't begin writing about Kristin Ross's The Emergence of Social Space without saying how exciting I found it.  No dry literary and cultural criticism, Ross lets the dynamism of her subjects come through in her writing, presenting unique insights along the way.  Ross writes of two events, linked by time, that transform the notion of space: the Paris commune and Arthur Rimbaud's poetic life.  I say linked by time and not by direct participation because rather than try to present her own take on the debate over Rimbaud's presence at the Paris commune, she eschews this question altogether by focusing on the similarities between the commune and Rimbaud in terms of changing attitudes toward society.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Reminder from a Neocon

There is a human tendency (I'm loathe to ever think of things in terms of human nature which, by implication, is unchangeable) that causes people to utter pronouncements on subjects they know nothing about and refuse to subject these beliefs to the test.  There seems to be an element of pride that prevents people from appearing ignorant on a topic of which they truly know little.  This causes individuals to look ridiculous in the face to reality at the best of times and can lead to disaster when formulated into policy on a state level.  The list of problems caused by the latter kind is long as the earliest age of the historical record.