Saturday, March 19, 2005

My stick is kind of boring and canonical, I realize, and suspiciously androcentric. But with the desert island stuff especially I find I crave writing that's full of talk and personalities, and lots of it. Much as I love Gertrude Stein, The Making of Americans doesn't quite fit the bill. But perhaps I should substitute the Franklin 3-volume edition of Emily Dickinson (which I'm lucky enough to actually own: a birthday present from my own Emily) for the Milton. Joyce has to stay: I'm gonnna be craving urban experience on that island. Proust is one of those never-had-time to get around to it deals (though I've read about half of Swann's Way)—if you've got the time, why not do it in French? Hopefully I'd be completely fluent by the time I was rescued.

Trying not to be utterly disheartened by the swelling roar of religio-political fanaticism that our polis is currently drowning in: the Schiavo mess, the "nuclear option" in the Senate, ANWAR drilling, IMAX afraid to show films about evolution—the list goes on, in large ways and small. We are sliding into the Dark Ages here, people. I'm increasingly revolted by religiosity and tribalisms and patriotisms of all descriptions. Where's our Voltaire? Where to find the ceaseless and bitter and accurate mockery that our political culture so richly deserves? The table is so far to the right it's on its side—when will the machine say TILT?

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