Archives for category: reading

This is … something: Hanya Yanagihara on Lolita.

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Pondering the hermeneutical process that landed Gone Girl on a list of feminist books.

I must admit that I am completely flummoxed by this article. The following paragraph, in particular, confuses me:

If classical Chinese poetry is going to reinvigorate English anew, though, it will need to come to terms with Ezra Pound’s Chinese, and what his translations and poetry did for poetry and translation, as well as for our understanding of China. Pound was a fascist and anti-Semite and translated from Asian poetry without knowing the language in question, so it makes sense that an uneasiness would come from both curmudgeonly specialists in Asian literature repeating the Arnold line of displeasure at his inaccuracies, as well as from Newman-like purveyors of poetic taste who’d rather deny that Pound’s contributions to English have anything to do with his representations of other cultures. Some might even imply that the discursive style into which East Asian poetry has been translated since Pound only reveals the racism behind the enterprise of translating Chinese into English (how many times was Pound mentioned, for instance, as paving the way for “Yi-Fen Chou” and Calvin Trillin’s New Yorker poem?).

I happened to run across the phrase “cultism and aesthetic compromise with the representatives of oppression” this morning; possibly relevant here.

 

More about memoirfrom The Guardian. I’m not sure the analysis in the piece makes its case very convincingly, but the title asserts something worth thinking about. Meanwhile, on the fictional side, I’ve just discovered Tessa Hadley; The Past has some women looking at themselves and noticing things that don’t get a whole lot of play in popular culture.

Edit: Compare this conversation.

I’m not sure exactly how I ended up there, but I just reread a New Yorker article from 2013 that makes “the case against empathy.” I remember being struck by the article the first time around; it dovetailed with some thinking I was doing about social media and tragic narratives, and I’m pleased to be led back to the same area. The line of reasoning in the article is relevant to inspiration porn (see also here, in Ted-talk form) and feminism as well. Hard, good stuff.

 

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