You Got Style
· Pointed Takes on Style Delineated ·
October 31, 2005
· Literacy, Halloween Style ·
Stemming from my cleaning a desk Saturday to make room for a new computer, it's ordered less by space than by time — and for serious consideration of college-level literacy. Here is my tale.
In papers horizontally filed and archeologically found, I chanced to spot an old letter I'd sent a few years ago to my local newspaper. The paper had done a piece on a forty-year-old who had started reading through the dedicated help of our college staff. You can imagine what personal courage it took to tell his story. My thank-you letter appeared as
It so happens I've some youngsters at my door begging Halloween treats. Understandably, I'd like to tell them how Martin Luther, four-hundred-eighty-eight years ago tonight, changed the world by showing that the real trick — always requiring "missing what we call a target" — demands more "leading out."
As I recall, Luther posted reasons why on his church door and created a Reformation by his effort — one with true Literacy, Halloween Style as its start.Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)
October 18, 2005
· An Ironic Turning Place ·
Our Wednesday discussion dealt with one such, David Wilson, the curator of The Museum of Jurassic Technology in Los Angeles. The book we discussed, Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder: Pronged Ants, Horned Humans, Mice on Toast, and Other Marvels of Jurassic Technology (1995), examines the MJT and puts me in mind of the odd serendipity of my topical connection there: the strange, perhaps ironic fact that Wilson's museum occupies an old L. A. barber shop I haunted as a kid in the 1940s.
But it is the larger topic — almost as Booth discusses it — of irony itself that matters here; for in Mr. Wilson's Cabinet of Wonder, Lawrence Weschler extends Booth's fine take on irony by noting a Rilke quote drawn from the Letters to a Young Poet — one happily fit in his text to the thought that "The first layers are just a filter"*:
Though I can't begin to mark the richness of Wilson's place — much less that of Weschler's fine book — I can at least mark a modest effort, made some twenty years ago now, to examine another American artist, Henry James, in his short story "The Real Thing." It too dwells in the ironic slip between reality and appearance, and I thought to include it.
I've some added notes, but it's offered here as drafted — not under the influence of Wayne Booth but that of Paul de Man — as an early, academic effort toward deconstructive anti-deconstructive theory. Should that sound like a bunch of "unreliable narration," I'll let you, of course, be the judge.
*In context, Wilson has told Weschler (on p. 62) "I don't understand the difference [between aesthetically and ethically just men]" :
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October 9, 2005
· Figurative Rhetoric: A Ringing Endorsement ·
What I've in mind here is a fine new weblog, called Figures of Speech, It Figures, by Jay Heinrichs. Here's Jay's entry for October 4:
If you want other sharp figures of speech every day, do tune in, for Jay has the sense to teach us all rhetoric, Rhetoric, RHETORIC with, well . . .
But I doubt Jay's a republican, Republican, REPUBLICAN.Permalink | Comments (5) | TrackBack (0)
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