Wednesday, September 25, 2013


what a peculiar thing it is to be holding a seminar on anxieties, and the way they are represented in contemporary art and text... this is meant to be post-Kafka, post-Pierrot lunaire, post-the rite of spring, post-Munch's Scream. Today we launched into Dada and the Cabaret Voltaire and my favorite, Kurt Schwitters and his collages and his Merzbau, that building out of detritus he would find on the street, and so on, and whose structures were torn down repeatedly, in Germany, Norway, and England. Never mind, I will play his Ur-Sonate next time just to hear his shrieking of those magnificently non-meaning but echoing notes.

So many encounters, with people, art, and text, are chance and marvelous ones, so many are not. Every encounter with a class of participants to whom you feel close is a great one, as is every dissertation you direct that seems quite extraordinary: it happens, and happens, and re-happens.

Were my papers for my courses at Bryn Mawr as strenuous to read and write as the ones I receive now? Are people just brighter? very odd, and very worth continuing, it seems to this participant. 

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