Jonathan Freedman, author of The Temple of Culture: Assimilation and Anti-Semitism in Literary Anglo-America, is nothing if not a formidable scholar. His views on art, aesthetics, and the whole Jewish-American phantasmagoria have long been an inspiration to me. And I’ve been following him ever since I thought my interests might kind-of sort-of dovetail with American-Jewish Literature. Granted, this was not of choice; the reading list for candidacy where I completed my MA included one minor, very strange book I had never heard of: Henry Roth’s Call It Sleep. At the time, I was an avowed Europeanist. I guess I thought that they had it right in the years prior to 1950: Europe, at least in my view, was the way of the past as much as it was the future. But Roth’s novel brought all of the things that had driven me as an intellectual—aestheticism, the artist as visionary, place as visionary space, cinematic experience, etc.—to an uncomfortably comfortable place in New York. Continue reading
I went to Poland for the summer, started a PhD at the University of Michigan, and forgot all about our poor little blog. Things should be up and running again soon. Be prepared to hear way less about Poland, way more about Comparative Modernisms, and to read less academic-y type stuff.
Here is an incomplete list of the things that I have been thinking about lately:
- HD, who lived in a castle with her lover, her lover’s gay husband, and her child
- Modernism and film
- Pigs, and how wonderful they are
- Close-Up, an experimental film company started in part by HD
- The unholy vortex of the academic job-search
- Fiction writing
I am also, right, now thinking of sleep. And that is all.