Tuesday, 29 March 2005

The Bounds of My Shame Knows No Bounds The Little Professor and the good people over at the Refuge for the Literate have disclosed their horrifying intellectual inadequacies. I refuse to be bested so lightly, so I present to you some books A. Cephalous has never read: Hawthorne's The Marble Faun: One of the few books I abandoned while in the middle of the penultimate chapter. I trudged through 454 pages and emerged with first-degree purplings over 91% of my body: "You have an advantage over me! I am no true creature of the woods; while you are a real Faun, I do believe. When your curls shook, just now, methought I had a peep at the pointed ears!" However, having read Megan Marshall's article on Hawthorne's treatment of Elizabeth Peabody in this week's New Yorker, I'm more than willing to hike the well-manicured gently gradient path to the moral high ground occupied by Cornell West, John Carlos Rowe, Eric Cheyfitz, etc. and declare my disapproval of Hawthorne's behavior reason enough to avoid reading anything he wrote ever again. Frank Harris' The Bomb: Atop the stack of books I must read on pain of painful death stares Harris' fictional account of the Haymarket riots. Necessary to my dissertation? Certainly. Riddled with so many egregious typographical errors as to make some of my students' hasty "efforts" look carefully edited ? Absolutely. Tom Wolfe's The Right Stuff: I teach literary journalism. I teach the research skills necessary to write the interior monologues for which Wolfe is so famous. But I haven't read anything he's written since 1979 except The Bonfire of the Vanities and a couple of chapters of I am Charlotte Simmons. Am I a fraud? Because I feel like a fraud... I'm stopping here. Any further and those gnawing doubts would feast on my insecurities...before asking the waiter to doggy-bag what's left.
CFP: Transgendered Trans/Portation: "The El Word" The inimitable David followed his early morning scorching of Soviet Realism with a screed I present untranslated, unaltered and unadulterated: Speaking of, are Some Gay Guy and Some Guy one and the same? (I mean the folks leaving comments on your blog; no grand, sweeping comment on society and sexuality was implied. Normally I wouldn't need to say that, but you spend all day surrounded by people who say things like "queering " and really mean it. Any day now your English department will hold a conference on queering public transport systems. The keynote speaker will ask the provocative question, "Are city buses gendered, and if so, does that imply the existence of /trans/gendered city buses? What radical, transgressive artists have addressed the plight of transgendered city buses in their work?" Then he'd be interrupted when half the audience walked out in protest, because by discussing city buses, he was marginalizing schoolbuses and even subway trains. Then my fucking head would explode from the sheer pointlessness and, if there was any justice, so would all of theirs.) -- Anyway, if Some Gay Guy and Some Guy are indeed one and the same, would you pass on my sincere compliments on his /unbelievable/ laziness, per the "Things I haven't read" thread? I'm so tempted to write a CFP for a panel on "Transgendered Trans/Portation: 'The El Word.'" It'd look like this: CFP: Transgendered Trans/Portation: "The El Word" In multiple locations, activists and scholars are currently mapping the intersections of queer theory and public transportation. Recent years have seen an efflorescence of queer work on "the gaze" as a site of resistance for queer and transgendered commuters. Papers should explore how this gaze implicates voyeurs and exhibitionists in power dynamics and interrogate the dynamics these looking relations entail and cultivate. Topics may include: An analysis of gazing queerly, Queer gazes, gazes in queer spaces. The interuption of the transgendered gaze by ruffled newspapers, staring out the window, moving to the other side of the bus. Performativity of transgendered identity and its relation to the gazes of bewildered old widows who lost children in Korea and Vietnam and who wish this once they could get to Macy's and back without a counter-hegemonic force invading her personal space. Looking at "Others" as a tool of identity construction. Conversely the psychological effect of the gaze of the other. The ways in which specific theories of transgendered spectatorship affect interactions between characters in the text. The specular relationship between the reader and characters in books cleverly marketed as "subway fare." Disrupting the gaze: fragmentized narratives of missed stops, appointments and opportunities for radical performances of transgendered identities before captive audiences in buses/trams/subways/airplanes. Transcontinental performances of transgendered identities. You know what's really sad? I could go all night. Jesus Creeping Shit!

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