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Art, baseball, story and self-reference: post-modernism can’t make you more naked than naked.

So I got into a discussion this weekend about movies and television shows and books, and we were throwing stories around, by which I mean naming and recommending and panning narratives by title, and there wasn’t that much more to it, except that when you’re dropping the references to which the referents are hundreds or thousands of pages or dozens of hours as the final product of thousands of person-hours of writing and directing and costumery and millions of dollars or blood and tears invested, then the mind can reel a bit when you try to wrap your head around it.

by Zaphod

On the face of it, though, it was just a bunch of people talking about the books and movies and TV shows that they like. The idea that one could be entertained or enlightened by the exchange of references seems to be a source of some angst. It need not be a source of guilt. Postmodernism isn’t really going to destroy anything worth caring deeply about after all, except maybe its adherents’ career prospects, eventually. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mending walls and reading minds: explicating poetry and finding real human connection with fictional characters

So, as the result of a Facebook conversation that is totally tangential, I just reread and explicated Frost’s “Mending Wall.” I forgot how much I missed poetry. And prose, for that matter, but really just dialogue and subtext and the myriad gaps that are open to interpretation in any scene. It set my mind spinning and I wanted to get some of it down. What I got? Explication, David Foster Wallace, social anxiety, mindblindness, Borat’s cousin, and the flip side of existential loneliness.

Kopaniec Stone Wall

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