Archive for The Writer’s Notebook - page 5

Perspectives:  Tyranny and American Populism

Perspectives: Tyranny and American Populism

I am happy to announce a new feature on my website. “Perspectives” will bring to my blogs features that interest me from current news, literature, art, social science, philosophy and other topics that catch my eye. These days, political campaigns feature big money, television, questionable…

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Yeats on the Dangers of Being Bourgeois

Yeats on the Dangers of Being Bourgeois

The hearth is as dangerous as alcohol. W.B. Yeats

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Here We Go Again:  Kafka Against the World

Here We Go Again: Kafka Against the World

Im Kampf zwischen Dir und derWelt, sekundiere der Welt:   In the struggle between you and the world, take the side of the world. (Kafka’s Notebooks)

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What is a novelist to do?  From David Shields:  Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

What is a novelist to do? From David Shields: Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

The American writer has his hands full, trying to understand and describe and then make credible much of American reality.   It stupefies, it sickens, it infuriates, and finally it is even a kind of embarrassment to one’s own meager imagination. The actuality is continually outdoing…

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Karl Marx on Men and History

Karl Marx on Men and History

Men make their own history, but they do not make it just as they please.   Karl Marx “18th Brumaire of Louis Bonaparte”    

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Marshall McLuhan on Tools and History

Marshall McLuhan on Tools and History

We shape our tools, then our tools shape us.   Marshall McLuhan  

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Donald Barthelme on the Writer’s Task

Donald Barthelme on the Writer’s Task

The writer is one who, embarking upon a task, does not know what to do.   Donald Barthelme  

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Theodor Adorno on the Relation Between Art and Ideology

Theodor Adorno on the Relation Between Art and Ideology

The greatness of works of art lies solely in their power to let those things be heard which ideology conceals.   Theodor Adorno

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Robert Byron on the Problem of Nationalism 1937:  Sound Familiar?

Robert Byron on the Problem of Nationalism 1937: Sound Familiar?

Somebody must trespass on the taboos of modern nationalism in the interests of human reason. Business can’t. Diplomacy won’t. It has to be people like us.   Robert Byron “The Road to Oxiana” (1937)  

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The William T. Vollman Take on American Experience:  Desire

The William T. Vollman Take on American Experience: Desire

My critique of America remains fundamentally incoherent…All I know is that although I live a freer life than many people, I want to be freer still. I’m sometimes positively dazzled with longing for a better way of being. What is it that I need?  …

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