Men Writing As Women, And Vice-Versa

A few days ago, I excerpted a passage from James Baldwin‘s If Beale Street Could Talk (Bantam, New York, 1974)  in which the central character, a young woman named Tish, describes her–and her boyfriend, Fonny’s–perceptions of Bell, the policeman who has sent Fonny to jail. Tish: But I was beginning to learn something about theContinue reading “Men Writing As Women, And Vice-Versa”

The Pleasures Of Books Never To Be Written

In ‘The Flaubert Apocrypha’ (from: Flaubert’s Parrot, Vintage International, New York, 1990, pp. 115-116), Julian Barnes writes: If the sweetest moment in life is a visit to a brothel which doesn’t come off, perhaps the sweetest moment in writing is the arrival of that idea for a book which never has to be written, whichContinue reading “The Pleasures Of Books Never To Be Written”

Descartes, The Planned City, And Misplaced Philosophical Desires

In Part 2 of Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking for Truth in the Sciences Rene Descartes, as a prelude to his ‘clearing away’ of prior philosophy, writes: [T]here is very often less perfection in works composed of several portions, and carried out by the hands of various masters, than inContinue reading “Descartes, The Planned City, And Misplaced Philosophical Desires”

Foucault And Kripke On Names And Rigid Designators

In ‘What is An Author‘, Michel Foucault writes: The author’s name is a proper name, and therefore it raises the problems common to all proper names. (Here I refer to Searle’s analyses, among others.’) Obviously, one cannot turn a proper name into a pure and simple reference. It has other than indicative functions: more than anContinue reading “Foucault And Kripke On Names And Rigid Designators”

The Author’s Offspring, the Finished Deal

A few days ago, I received my author copies of my latest book. Five paperbacks, neatly bundled up in a cardboard parcel bearing an impressive array of stamps and customs bills. I tore open the cardboard (with my bare hands, no less!) Inside, they were wrapped up in clear plastic, neatly and tightly stacked onContinue reading “The Author’s Offspring, the Finished Deal”

What the Brain Can Tell Us About Art (and Literature)

In ‘What the Brain Can Tell Us About Art‘ (New York Times, April 12, 2013), Eric R. Kandel writes: Alois Riegl….understood that art is incomplete without the perceptual and emotional involvement of the viewer. Not only does the viewer collaborate with the artist in transforming a two-dimensional likeness on a canvas into a three-dimensional depictionContinue reading “What the Brain Can Tell Us About Art (and Literature)”