Taking advantage of a little Sunday shyness then, (and shivers on my part, having just hiked/dog-chased a few dark and slippery miles of the Appalachian Trail in sleeting snow along the Tennessee, North Carolina border), also in untimely spirit of a simple sort, here is a bit of a printworld article on LS that appeared back in the July-August issue (#27.5) of the American Book Review (humble cost: $4 and sendable to American Book Review, Illinois State University, Campus Box 4241, Normal, IL 61790-4241 – the issue includes a very good article by Pierre Joris on Rasula/American poetry, and an interesting exchange between Joseph Tabbi and R M Berry on narrative transcendence, Lyotard and Wittgenstein).
Michael Joyce is the author of Othermindedness: The Emergence of Network Culture among other, better-known things (though I recommend that one). It is a very kind article (and typically gracious– as those who know Michael will attest).
Blogs seem the most Calvinist of networked pursuits, a constancy of good works measured out not in coffee spoons but in relentless soupçons of comments and track-backs, cross-postings and intertwinings (or what Ted Nelson, the erstwhile John the Baptist of Hypertext, called intertwinglings)...
Long Sunday, of course, summons (and its home page subheads) Kafka's...phrase only matched in its melancholy evocation by my ex-wife Martha's characterization of August (she also a prof) as "a month-long Sunday night"...
Although, of les nostalgies des jours I'm partial to T.Bone Walker's, "They Call It Stormy Monday, but Tuesday's Just the Same," closely followed by John Berryman's "Dream Song 134," which goes
Sick at 6 & sick again at 9
was Henry's gloomy Monday morning oh.
Still he had to lecture
That may be neither here nor there, but it is characteristic of the mix of discourses that take place on this particular Long Sunday, where current topics range as of this writing from Disney's trade of Al Michaels for a rabbit; to a conservative critic who "has neither a sense of humor about Nietzsche nor any familiarity with Derrida's oeuvre" (I myself, no conservative, fall into one or more of these categories as well); to a touching Valentine's Day meditation copied over from Alain Badiou; to a heartfelt plea from someone seeking, at long last, to apprehend calculus.
I know (I know!) there are seventy times seventy blogs out there that exhibit a similar range of discourse and interests (and seven times seven hundred thousand that wish to). The margins of this one, like most, are beriboned with outbound links to similar realms. But the point is (or at least the point of this brief piece is) that I look in here now and then, most of the times not completely able to follow the conversations, never (yet) tracking-back or commenting (and uncertain whether I can do both), not quite knowing all the characters (okay, Michael Bérubé I met once briefly, although I doubt he'll remember; and among contributors there's Matt Christie, whose name I failed to mention above, former student, currently among my teachers).
I mean (I mean!) that is the point. There are these places, this one full of bright conversation (or consistent wit, viz., another Matt, also formerly a student - a pattern here? - whose Sane Magazine, subtitled, "wonderful rubbish," is always, to quote John Lennon, "worth a larf," especially its horoscopes).
What's more (what's everything), these folks are smart, in the way of a (surely apocryphal) story someone swore to me was told to him by the poet Michael Palmer – swore as only the literati are wont to swear regarding their urban folklore – of how one day in Heidegger's seminar, while the philosopher Giorgio Agamben, then barely in his 20s, was delivering an oral report, the master Heidegger turned to another philosopher, also in the seminar, and whispered, "The Italian...He's smart!"
Given a world in which the stupids, like birdshot, are seemingly ascendant, where I don't do track-backs, don't get much Nietzsche humor (although I admit to laughing aloud more than once at Lance Olsen's bittersweet new novel from FC2, Nietzsche's Kisses), I'm on occasion happy (paraphrasing A & S – the early Starbucks bloggers, not the bespoke tailors) to live in the smarts' world rather as a spectator than as one of the species.