". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Authentic Literary News Reported in the NY Times

This hasn't happened, it feels like, in years.

Of course the death of Updike. It's hard to comprehend Updike has died. He's been a presence as writer and critic my whole life. He was never my favorite writer or the most interesting speaker on literary matters, but he got more interesting as time went on -- or maybe, the older I got?

And the conflicting views of the much lauded Bolaño -- Latin Americans and his widow say he wasn't a druggie outlaw revolutionary. That the U.S. publishing, promo and critical machinery manufactured that figure because that's what they imagine. It sells, especially to that always most desirable young male demographic (why is this demographic so much more desirable than the young female demo, or, for that matter adults of whatever persuasion?). If this profile was deliberately manufactured it confirms again that the U.S. is stupid in every aspect of its so-called culture. Evidently we have a deep-seated need for our artists and musicians to be tortured and be 'bad boys'. We don't need to take them seriously and we can feel superior to them.

Maybe that's why I liked Updike. He wasn't tortured, he wasn't bad, he loved and enjoyed life. He was an adult, whose fiction dealt with adult matters.

Then there's the bad news reported in the NY Post:

[ FOR the nation's magazines, seven is proving to be an unlucky number.

Ron Burkle's magazine distribution company Source Interlink Cos. is joining Anderson News in demanding publishers pay an additional 7 cents for each copy of a magazine that it delivers to retailers, regardless of the actual number of copies sold by those retailers. ]

This could be the death knell for many small, valuable publications, like The Nation. One wonders then, what Mr. Burkle will do after he's driven all the magazines he distributes out of business? How stupid is capital? As stupid as this so-called culture, evidently.

And finally, this is the current hottest theater ticket in town, dealing with racism and cultural appropriation and cultural identy, "The Shipment," written by young playwright, Young Jean Lee. The New Times describes it like this: "An Evening in Black and White From a Playwright Who Is Neither."

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