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Sunday, 28 June 2009

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tomemos

Great takedown, SEK. I'd add, about this part:

And he uses the word "baleful" to describe an "eye" in Fugitive Days.

I'd hazard a guess that "baleful" is used to describe an eye, a glance, a gaze, a glare, or some other ocular noun more than any other class of noun. By now, "baleful" practically means "Hostile, esp. of the eyes or gaze." Far from being some proof of authorship, it's actually a near-cliche.

StevenAttewell

Ah, now that's some good snark.

Interestingly, I'm fairly sure that baleful came from the Celtic myth of Balor, the Firbolg (giant) king, who had one giant eye that would slay anyone who it looked upon, who slew Nuada of the Silver Arm, and was in turn slain by Lugh, the son of the Sun.

Ah, I spent my childhood well.

StevenAttewell

That's weird. I (StevenAttewell) wrote that last line.

Rich Puchalsky

The baleful eye ... of Sauron! Clearly this proves that Tolkien created Obama. It's the Orcification of America!

No, I don't have anything against orcs. I'm not a racist.

Ahistoricality

Give Cashill credit, though: the Stein-Beckett-Obama connection is chilling, though.

Ben Alpers

What, no quotes from Georges Bataille? Aren't they teaching you literary types the classics anymore?

cp

One of Cashill's books is entitled How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture, and should probably be subtitled The Jack Cashill Story.

Josh E.

This must be satire.

Given Obama's age, "Mekong Delta" was not likely a part of his vocabulary, but that does not stop him from writing about "the angry young men in Soweto or Detroit or the Mekong Delta."

Anyone younger than 50 has never heard of the Mekong Delta. True Fact!

SEK

And he uses the word "baleful" to describe an "eye" in Fugitive Days.

tomemos, I almost snarked about Obama and Ayers having a penchant for "eyes" instead of eyes, but that seemed one step too far.

the Stein-Beckett-Obama connection is chilling

Ahem:

Being President is funny being yourself is funny as you are never yourself to yourself except as you remember yourself and then of course you do not believe yourself to be the President . . . you do not really believe yourself why should you, you know so well so very well that the President is not yourself, the President could not be yourself because you cannot remember right and if you do remember right it does not sound right and of course it does not sound right because it is not right. You are of course never the President to yourself because you are black and have a funny name.

That's weird. I (StevenAttewell) wrote that last line.

And the others one too, right Steven? I think I'm missing something (or TypePad's HTML is screwy again).

What, no quotes from Georges Bataille? Aren't they teaching you literary types the classics anymore?

Ben, normally people ask whether I named the blog after Bataille, not whether I'm familiar with him. Which I am, mind you, but us fancy folks aren't supposed to admit we've read voyeuristic novels that border on pornography (unless they're written by Joyce).

One of Cashill's books is entitled How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture, and should probably be subtitled The Jack Cashill Story.

CP for the win!

Anyone younger than 50 has never heard of the Mekong Delta. True Fact!

Well, duh. Wait, what was that? Swift boat what? Huh? Anyway, yes, Cashill for the win!

Righteous Bubba

Or have you been reading Jonah? The mind buggers.

deebs

Nice work. However, I noticed a small factual error: Ed McBain is not a "living mystery writer." He's a dead one.

StevenAttewell

SEK:

Typepad did something weird, where it looked like my posts were coming out as Tomemos', but it seems to have fixed now.

John Protevi

Ha! Very good. Just the thing to brighten up a Monday morning. Thanks, JP

SEK

Or have you been reading Jonah? The mind buggers.

I think the consensus is that I read Jonah and he pretends to have never read me.

Ed McBain is not a "living mystery writer." He's a dead one.

I thought Evan Hunter died, but "Ed McBain" lived on---that seems not to be the case. I must be thinking of some other immortal pseudonym.

Sarcastro

I'm fairly sure that baleful came from the Celtic myth of Balor...

Probably not. Bale, in the sense baleful uses, comes from Anglo Saxon via the proto-Germanic *balwom. Cognate with Old High Germanic balo, Old Frisian balu and Old Norse bol. Most likely derived from the PIE base *bheleu- "to beat."

I do not know for sure but I'd hazard to guess that Balor, like the Norse Baldr, derives from a root word for "prince" or "lord" that also gave Old English the word baeldor. Most likely the PIE root *bhel-, "to swell (with strength or pride)".

I'd be surprised if the semitic baal had anything to do with it (baleful or balor that is), but it's not outside the realms of possibility what with Phoenician traders visiting Britain as early as 1500 BCE and Celtic raiders troubling Anatolia from the 5th century BCE onwards.

kamper

Minor point, perhaps, but neither Obama nor Ayers "misquote" Sanders. In both of the examples (see Cashill's original article), they reference the notion, introduced by Sanders but long since entered into the vernacular, that Chicago is hog butcher to the world. Like saying the Midwest is the breadbasket to the country or that Wasilla is the meth lab to Alaska.

deebs

"I thought Evan Hunter died, but "Ed McBain" lived on---that seems not to be the case. I must be thinking of some other immortal pseudonym."

Nope, I'm pretty sure nobody has as yet taken up the "Ed McBain" mantel, but even if somebody had it'd still be false or, at the very best, highly misleading to say "Ed McBain is a living mystery writer" (if I published a book under the pseudonym "Mark Twain" with the permission of his estate, would that make "Mark Twain is a living American writer" a true proposition?)
Incidently, "Evan Hunter" is also a pseudonym. His real name was Salvatore Lombino.

SEK

Point taken, post corrected. (Though that sentence loses some zing, damn it, but better to be accurate than stylish.)

Tom

Cool. I visit a link from Salon and wind up on the blog of an RLPAer!

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