‘Songs and Sonnets’ is the usual title of Donne’s lyric poems about erotic love – do we forget them as empty temples, styles passé, words of courtship ‘hung aloft’, unreachable, unused ? Take a long breath and ‘attempt a long view.’ Poems aren’t tombs but follies to be explored. Romantic love itself is a convention – looking at hot naked people reflects the way we have learnt to look. ‘… we find ways to enjoy older models without trying to make any one of them stand, nakedly, for the whole history of poetry, let alone for the truth about love.’
Richard Marshall reviews Christopher Burt’s The Poem Is You and Thinks Dylan’s In Good Company.
A Sutartine is a Lithuanian multipart song sung by women, comprising multiple melodies of three to five pitches, which often run in parallel seconds. These songs are nearly extinct and are listed by World Heritage in their List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
By Amanda Oosthuizen.
In practice, storytelling codifies the neoliberal logic by which universities increasingly evaluate research. In her book Undoing the Demos, political theorist Wendy Brown described how under this logic, academics are made “not into teachers and thinkers, but into human capitals who learn to attract investors, game their Google Scholar counts and ‘impact factors,’ and above all, follow the money and the rankings.” This logic has been internalized by many scientists and granting agencies.
By Yarden Katz.
Irenosen Okojie’s prose is luxurious, rich and evocative, frequently funny, sensual. Her writing also carries a sharp bite, razor edges that cut you up if you slip into an easy groove. Her stories are fable-like in the way she anthropomorphizes animals, legendary creatures, plants, inanimate objects and forces of nature. They traverse continents, fetishes, curses, incredibly strange goings-on and serious traumas. Winner of the Betty Trask Award this year for her intoxicating debut novel, Butterfly Fish, Okojie has made a name for herself as a unique voice in British fiction.
Kit Caless talks to Irenosen Okojie for 3:AM Magazine.
Trump sounds familiar because he is doing on a grand stage what they are told to do every day from pulpits across America. They are told to stick to their guns and to reject the evolution crap and the carbon dating crap and more generally the logic and inductive science crap, and they know that it is HARD. But here is Trump, a man who can proudly, unashamedly, stand up to Renaissance and Enlightenment-forged principles of rational inquiry and rational discourse.
EJ Spode takes down the Calvinist roots of American Anti-Intellectualism – hard.
Internal criticism, for Geuss as for Adorno, is not typically ‘productive’ in offering a solution for the problems criticized. But here he also offers a second implicit response to the charge of bleakness in developing a philosophical account of ‘utopian thinking’, an imaginative activity that addresses discontents and persistent, unsatisfied desires in the present.
John Rapko reviews Raymond Geuss‘ Reality and Its Dreams.
People and countries have done an enormous amount of damage in their attempts to bring about the best possible world. Communism is an obvious example. But so is British imperialism, which was not grubby self-interest all the way down, but at least in part a sincere attempt on the part of people who felt they were superior to other people to magnanimously improve the lot of their inferiors. In much of the world today there are no more chilling words than “I’m from the United States and I’m here to help you.”
Continuing the End Times series, Richard Marshall interviews Dale Jamieson.
The language of city living and the urban experience is everywhere around us, but beyond new development industry marketing speak, what do such terms actually mean? At the heart of the book is a story about the socio-economic and architectural transformation of one city over the past 40 years. That city is London, the author’s place of birth and current employment, and that story about the capital is detailed, engaging, witty, and occasionally angry.
John P. Houghton reviews Dejan Sudjic‘s The Language of Cities.
Calamity Jane by Herself
New poetry by Joe Turrent.
It was such an exciting moment, an honour to have this man, ‘The Greatest’, in our living room, with a bunch of excited kids outside our apartment door, in a ball, pressed up, listening, waiting to see this great man. Perhaps that is part of the power that this photograph has over me. It was a moment of shared joy and excitement for our family, an extraordinary moment, which was a rare thing, glowing for a short while before being snatched away by the act of the cut. A reminder of what our family life was like in reality.
This photograph is both that moment and that moment being taken away. It is at once sweet and painful, whole and fragmented. It is a photograph of three events spanning time. The day Muhammad Ali came to tea; the day my father cut the photograph; and the day my mother glued it back together, shortly after my father’s death. This photograph shows us all together, yet split by a fault-line. Together and not together. Both/And, not Either/Or.
Salma Ahmad Caller explores the complexity of identity through her photograph of a photograph with Muhammad Ali.