In Othello’s Vise

OR OUR OTHELLO’S VICE Othello isn’t easy. As A.C. Bradley noted in 1913, “from the moment when the temptation of the hero begins, the reader’s heart and mind are held in a vise, experiencing the extremes of pity and fear, sympathy and repulsion, sickening hope and dreadful expectation.” I find this to be terribly true; in fact I have a hard time reading Othello or watching a production of Othello, and I think this is not only due to the fact that I ‘know what’s coming’ (as I do, or we all do, with most of Shakespeare’s classic plays) but…


+++ “…He who is willing to work gives birth to his own father.” -Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling +++ “A man should learn to detect and watch that gleam of light which flashes across his mind from within, more than the lustre of the firmament of bards and sages. Yet he dismisses without notice his thought, because it is his. In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty.”-Emerson, Self Reliance+++(via The Anxiety of Influence)  

Maybe she’s born with it, maybe it’s Maybelline

Summer reading I’ve been so excited to get to; also, prep for a trip to Japan! And because I just got back from the Ithaca booksale and have all these wonders sitting on my desk, and because the process of checking boxes off on a list is probably my greatest pleasure in life. So, Matthew, here is your summer syllabus: Criticism/theory, in this order: 1. Jonathan Culler, The Pursuit of Signs. 2. D.T. Suzuki, Zen and Japanese Culture 3. Thomas Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite 4. Heidegger, Being and Time (again)5. Harold Bloom, The Anxiety of Influence6. Jonathan Culler, On Deconstruction7….