Snow Day
March 2, 2009, 3:03 pm
Filed under: editorial meta-blogging, Photos | Tags: , ,


Greenough Street Snowfall

Today’s a much-needed (and appreciated) snow day, thanks to the winter storm that left a foot of snow in the Boston area over the late night and morning.  Trudging along in windy squalls, avoiding foot-high snow banks, and hitting the trains and buses for an hour and change on five hours of sleep just seemed cruel and unpleasant.  

The snowblowers, plough trucks, and shovels are hard at work outside as this entry is being written.

Posting has been a little slow, and will likely be so for a couple of months.  Your dedicated tirado/thrown staff of one is working on some academic research and writing in preparation for a grad school admissions bid.  Fret not, however.  Some posts are in the works.

Image: From the last snowstorm that hit Boston, February 18, 2009.  Greenough Street, Jamiaca Plain, MA. Taken by tirado/thrown.


Joining the Chorus: A Rant
January 29, 2009, 12:49 pm
Filed under: Blogs, Books, Ideas, Literature, Writing | Tags: , , ,


Sound Taste’s latest entry, A Universal History of Infamy, sparked the motors this morning. A fantastic post. Not only does she point out a lacuna in American literary criticism (a patent “…lack of imagination”), she ties it to the poor habit that can’t seem to think of Latin American literature as anything other than magical realism.

It is a point well-worth reiterating.

Maybe it’s that Jose Saldivar’s”The Dialectics of Our America” is current subway reading and that precious spare time has become consumed with the meaning of identity in current ponderings, but this question of ‘realness’ as a cipher for a personal identity has been bothersome.

Does the drive for ‘realness’ through appropriating the experience of ‘the other’ (well-intended or not) serve to fostering identity in the face of groundlessness? Another question: what are editors and marketers at the big (sinking) houses (and the critics they give free shit to) thinking when they promote crappy reading? It points to a market-driven logic that’s simply dizzying.  Just a few paragraphs in, and we already find ourselves in a thicket of ethical issues regarding identity, commodity, and the production of meaning.

But maybe the dirty secret is that personal dirt sells books. The kookier the habit, the deeper the suffering, the better to move units under the guise of real criticism, the thought seems to go. Why not vindicate one’s moral superiority as a reader-observer in the manner we seem to enjoy watching train wrecks unfold nightly on reality television shows ginned up to produce such marvelous human drama?

Besides, why should I care if Bolaño shoveled smack? This 19th-century way of thinking that writing, even fiction, is a mode of self-disclosure is so bankrupt. It lends itself to the pseudo-profound thoughts that writing and language are simple reproductions or reflections of reality. What a cruel and depressing way to treat the gift of language.

Week in Review: Among Other Things, Writing is Difficult

A quick survey of items summoning bits of time and attention over the last week: