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Showing posts from November, 2010

The Bloody Chamber? You Wait For The Caffe Nero Edition

An essay on Angela Carter is the next thing I have to do for my degree course. Oh dear. I hate Angela Carter. Well, hate might (might) be a strong word for how I feel about her. She actually bores me senseless.Or is it her?

It could be the universal approbation of her work that bores and annoys me. Feminist critics and male academics seem to think she's wonderful. "Sophisticated" people who drink lattes instead of coffee and like their bars to have sofas in them praise her lavishly. Her complete wondrousness appears to be the received wisdom of the literate professional classes.

But look at her book The Bloody Chamber. Is it really so incredibly innovative and intellectually marvellous - can it really be so 'out there' - to take a bunch of old fairy stories and folk tales, with their androcentric emphasis, and rewrite them from an empowered feministy perspective? That's the sort of reasonably interesting (but not especially so) idea that every intelligent perso…

10/11: What Really Happened

I was there. The journalists were there too, but they were looking for a story. They had to go to the place where the glass was being broken, the placards burned, the fire extinguisher recklessly slung. If they had walked with the other students and finished off in a giant, good-tempered, weary scrum at the other end of Millbank cheering speeches they couldn't hear by student leaders, the journalists would have been thrown out by their editor the next time they showed up at the office.

The journalists didn't really know the students either. They could put a microphone in someone's way and snatch the odd soundbite about Nick Clegg or tuition fees or lies and hypocrisy, but they couldn't know the students; their world is simply too far removed. I knew the students, though. I knew the people I had come up from Northampton on a coach with, and I got to know the people who were marching all around me in that unbelievably long, loud, and, yes, happy train of  humanity going p…

Karl Marx, Ron Whitehead, Bill Blackolive, Me

I'm taking a break at the moment from an assignment I have to write on Marxist Literary Criticism for my degree course. It's a tough one, and it's going to take some time. Not because Marxism is hard to understand, but because the text we have to apply it to is a difficult one: the opening pages of Charles Dickens' Bleak House, which at first sight has almost nothing meaty in it for me to use. Yes, the High Court of Chancery is an institution supported by a particularly capitalist ideology which itself is supported by agreement rather than enforcement which itself might be an example of interpellation since it doesn't seem to be helping very many people etc. etc. etc.; but how the hell to word that on a cold, grey Monday with a 1000 word limit and only 6 days left to complete it?

F**k knows. I was ruined over the weekend by the purchase of a cd which closed with a 1961 reading by Allen Ginsberg of his poem "Auto Poesy to Nebraska". Such freedom! such humou…