Monday, January 7, 2008

Eng Major Talk


Genius is Always the Enemy of GENIUS

However intense my experience,
I am conscious of the presence &
criticism of a part of me, which, as
it were, is NOT a part of me, but
Spectator sharing no experience,
but taking note of it. And that is
no more I than it is you.

When the play, it may be the tragedy,
of life is over, the Spectator goes his
way. It was a kind of fiction, a work
of the imagination only, so far as he
was concerned.

This double-ness may makes us
poor neighbors and friends

You wouldn’t expect Obama or Hillary
to talk this way, true? Not on any
stump, stage, or 60 minute

These kinds of notions go without
saying in most contexts and I'm
classifying them as English
Major talk.

(What Thoreau calls a double-ness,
is really ternary: the part of me which
is NOT a part of me and then also that
not NOT-part of me which is drawing the
distinction: me, Spectator & Commentator,
or as I recommend to English Majors &
fellow travelers: yin, yang, and the yin-
yanger—3 faces of “eve” or however
you characterize triad, trickster &
trinitarian noggin notion.)

As I said, this kind of talk goes
without saying....

(a former student told me this
morning: “a truth is a truth until
it's told, and then it's a half-truth”)

... in any “Church” or “State” context
and can barely be tolerated in School
Mode where you'd think it might have
a chance where we’re just fooling with
life-altering ideas here; don't worry—
putting them in play is all: schola
leisure time activity & at least temporary
immunity which is to say literally “to be
protected against municipal obligations.”

English Majors mess with language more
better than them other disciplinarians
gots to get something done, go
where, cover ground & have
thing measurable to show
for it, damnit &
this double
doubling boil &
makes us
poor citizens
& friends
& neighbors
times when
it goes better
with out saying.

xxxooo, English Major

It is only by remaining
collected, and refusing to
lend himself to the point
of view of the practical
man, that the critic can
do the practical man any

From Matthew Arnold,
“Function of Criticism,”
half truth waiting its complement
or what’s a college for?

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