Readings for 24 March 2014

Various and sundry topics on the docket today, y’all:

  • Conspiracy theories, the Orthodox Church, and Russia’s East-facing foreign policy.
  • What’s left of our books when we’re gone?  What’s left of any of our creations, thoughts, contributions?
  • Basil Bunting, the great, forgotten High-Modernist poet, and an excerpt from his great work, “Briggflats.”
  • Eudora Welty’s “quiet greatness
  • On T. S. Eliot’s legacy
  • Death, translation, and Tolstoy
  • To defend the humanities, we need to stop defending them.  I find myself in much agreement with this sentiment; while I am quite close to having a Ph.D. in a humanistic discipline, I have for a few years now believed that only two things will actually save the humanities–either their de-institutionalization, returning them to passionate, interested amateurs who want their lives, communities, thoughts, and politics enriched by them, away from the deadening influence of boring professional ideologues, or through the institutional humanities stopping taking themselves so seriously.  “You’re correct that we do not train people for high-paying careers, so we’re going to stop with all of this ‘critical thinking’ blathering and attempts to shoehorn art and human experience into the scientific method.”  We make that clear, and then we might be able to begin to figure out what our goal and purpose actually is.
  • Create your own portable, open-access library.

A video explanation of the last link:

LibraryBox v2.0 from Jason Griffey on Vimeo.

Finally, some old-time jazz to get you through the day:

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