Sunday, September 04, 2005

The Latest AEddition(s)

Of course, an apology is in order for the sparse entries, but I finally landed a day job after the school I was teaching at closed suddenly because God did not drop enough funds from the sky.

God has dropped a blessing in another form, however, and the stork should be stopping by circa de April 11, 2006.

That's right, Lisa is pregnant (9 wks). Amongst other things this news is utterly humbling. One is nearly powerless in assisting in the growing process of a human child. Just as one is powerless in breathing, digestion, or making sure hair continues to grow on one's head. This reality above all else (the miracle of life and the mystery of Nature) transforms a cynical humbug into a God-fearing begger.

In other news, here is a brief list of reading that I've completed lately (at work the phones are not ringing):

D. H. Lawrence. “Democracy.” IN Reflections on the Death of a Porcupine and
Other Essays

---, “On Human Destiny.”

Walter Benjamin. “The Storyteller.” In Illuminations.

---, “The Flaneur.” IN Walter Benjamin: Selected Writings Vol. 4 (1938-1940) 19-39.

George Lukacs. The Lukacs Reader. 187-209. “The Ideology of Modernism.”
(Dedicated to Iris Murdoch.)

Raymond Williams. “Metropolitan Perceptions and the Emergence of
Modernism.” IN The Politics of Modernism. 37-47.

Oswald Spengler. “Introduction” to The Decline of the West. 3-40.

Clive Bell. “How to Make a Civilisation.” Civilisation.

I am ashamed to say that this was my first aquaintence with D H Lawrence, but what a find. Lawrence is perhaps one of the most sane writers I have ever read. His critique of democracy
starts with a critique of idealism in general: there are no ideals and thinking thusly is evil. (All men are created equal is his beginning point for a discussion of idealism.) What I love about Lawrence is his conscious ability to make a seeming paradox become true. For instance, he will critique a value or system of thought based on its own internal rules. He says that indeed the ideal world and universe were created out of the Logos (the ideal idea) since mankind formed this ideal himself. Just as a craftsman worships his creation after making it, so mankind has worshiped the ideal God formed out of his own consciousness. Thus what is worshipped is not the ideal but a material reality stemming from the mind of the earthly craftsman. All the while I get the sense that Lawrence is not some blaspheming anti-Christian, but that he agrees with the Judeo-Christian worldview, but is not willing to succomb to its folklike obedience to the power structure setup by those in authority.

Speaking of Marx, Williams, Benjamin, and Lukacs are brilliant and subtle critiques of society from a materialist (i.e. Marxist) point of view--if you're interested.


Blogger mattreed said...


Now be careful what you read. You might accidently name the child after one of the authors. If he get's the name 'Oswald,' you might never be forgiven....

7:10 PM  
Blogger lucas said...

congrats on the forthcoming kid

12:20 AM  
Blogger johanna said...

Wow. Congratulations.

Are you two going to do the insane baby thing where you play foreign language tapes and classical music and read all sorts of literature with some sort of sound augmentation device on Lisa's belly? (happy for you...)

nate just dropped from the sky, btw, and he said, "nice," upon hearing the news.

what a funny kid.

11:11 AM  
Blogger mickrect said...

Thanks everyone!

Matt: There will be NO naming after strange authors' names. Unless, of course, Lisa approves Fyodor Mikailovich Rectenwald.

Jo: Does reading Poe's "Tell-Tale Heart" and "The Raven" before bed count? Cause that's what I did last night. No joke. Mind you I've never had the urge before--and never will again--I sat up awake all night frightened of what I thought was rapping, then a head popped in, opened the lantern...

5:35 PM  

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