Monday, February 19, 2007

Great Moments in Fiction

I am reading Gregory Maguire's sequel to Wicked--Son of a Witch. I loved Wicked--it's heavy-handed, at times, but I think there's something to be said for books that allow (demand from) readers an identification with witches. So, here's a delicious bit from the new one:

A notion of character not so much discredited as simply forgotten, once held that people only came into themselves partway through their lives. They woke up, were they lucky enough to have consciousness, in the act of doing something they already knew how to do: feeding themselves with currants. Walking the dog. Knotting up a broken bootlace. Singing antiphonally in the choir. Suddenly: this is I, I am the girl singing this alto line off-key, I am the boy loping after the dog, and I can see myself doing it as, presumably, the dog cannot see itself. How peculiar! I lift my toes at the end of the dock, to dive into the lake because I am hot, and while isolated like a specimen in the glassy shade of summer, the notions of hot and lake and I converge into a consciousness of consciousness--in an instant, in between launch and landing, even before I cannonball into the lake, shattering both my reflection and my old notion of myself.
That was what was once believed. Now, it seems hardly to matter when and how we become ourselves--or even what we become. Theory chases theory about how we are composed. The only constant: the abjuration of personal responsibility.
We are the next thing the Time Dragon is dreaming, and nothing to be done about it.
We are droll and ornamental, and no more culpable than a sprig of lavender or a sprig of lightning, and nothing to be done about it.
We are an experiment in situation ethics set by the Unnamed God, which in keeping its identity secret also cloaks the scope of the experiment and our chances of success or failure at it--and nothing to be done about it.
We are loping sequences of chemical conversions, acting ourselves converted. We are twists of genes acting ourselves twisted; we are wicks of burning neuroses, acting ourselves wicked. And nothing to be done about it. And nothing to be done about it (127-128).

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Objects in History

So this has been an exciting Valentine's week...

1) Started reading "System of Objects" and am disconcerted by Baudrillard's prescience.
Have been reading bits of Josh's blog--a new project he's doing on the IPOD. It's all about the fetish-ing of such an
object--the dildo-ey insertability of our little obsessions. And Baudrillard talks about the relationship between size and
function--that the larger something is, like a living room or a car, the more vessel-like it is. IPODs are both vessel and
insertion, yeah? There's the seductive size, they're slippability--but they also carry something of us with them. Like, aside
from the whole argument about the diminution of public spaces, there is also the exercised/exorcised choice--that I
don't want to be a part of your commercial public space. Instead of being assaulted by advertisements and pitches, I can
run to my own sounds. I can "Take Your Mama" out without having to hear about your newest deals on stereo equipment
or dating service.
3) Got an interview at a school in California. So, that'll be my first view of the Pacific, which I'm kinda excited about...

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bad news

This is the first blog I've ever written--and it was prompted by some bad news. As well as a newfound love for an old enemy... Isn't that what blogs are allabout?