Thursday, April 12, 2007


Finished the last of my written comps yesterday, so today I feel pretty elated. First two and a half days went fine. I did a fine job on the avant-garde and modern american comps and the first half of the theory comps. I sort of ran out of steam in the second half of my theory comps. For the first question I wrote a good essay using Zizek and Jameson to critique the way Marxists have interpreted Hegel's idea of the estrangement. But then a bit into my Derrida essay I just hit the brick wall, so that essay was a bit thin. And then my final essay I used Bakhtin to critique Adorno's ideas of autonomy and Culture Industry and that shouldn't have been the easiest to write but I was kind of sluggish and ran out of time. Nonethelelss I'm sure I passed and I'm pretty psyched to be done with it.

Maybe when all is said and done I'll post some of the essays here. It was funny, I got so coffe-ied up and hyped that my brain started cranking out all kind of information I hadn't tought about for a long time. For example, in the modern american section I wrote an essay about the epic on the 20th century American poetry and all this stuff from Auerbach's "Mimesis" popped into my head (I ended up arguing for O'Hara as the great postmodern epicist/epicurean). All in all it was a good time. I take my orals in a couple of weeks, but that should be much less exhausting.

Unfortunately I still have a whole bunch of things to do. First of all I have to translate a pretty massive essay on Modernism for a museum show in Stockholm. Then I have to write this essay on Parland and Benjamin for the Scandinavianists' annual conference and then I have a bunch of Action to do. Actually, it's not so unfortunate because it's mostly pretty fun.

But I want to put the finishing touches on Pilot and my translation of Johan J├Ânsson's brilliant "Collobert Orbital" - and try to get it published by some press. It's in the Bruce Andrews vein of things, but taken to such an extreme of impotent disgust that it may be difficult for Americans to handle. When I was having dinner with the Ugly Ducklings, Anna Moschovakis discussed her theories of "slumming" - I'm pretty sure she called it "the voluntary impoverishment of language" (though she now doesn't remember using that phrase). Johan is extreme slumming, extreme impoverishment. The impotent subject of the transnational flows of Capital.

Also, we've got the new Action,Yes almost up and running. It's amazingly great. By far the best one we've put together yet.


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