For my first legit post in this forum I would like to immediately link to my man Frank Rich’s article in the NY Times. The parallels between his argument and the one I made in my piece in The Exception are pretty strong, this isn’t entirely surprising because I really like his style of writing and the way he assembles his arguments and I consciously strove to emulate that style.
Assuming I finish my litany of late papers, I’m planning on writing a lot more in the mode of a cultural/political critic. This is the role I imagined taking on had I written more often for the Mac Weekly, Macalester’s student run newspaper. As it was, I only managed to write a handful of mediocre pieces, as my priorities did not include a nascent intervention in college journalism. In retrospect, I mildly regret that decision and wonder if I would have preferred getting into the blogger/journalist thing a bit earlier in earnest. But, there is nothing really stopping me from doing so right now, as I have the time, desire and need of a new hobby.
I’m still in the process of looking for a new apartment in Chicago. My roommates and I are unfortunately being kicked out of the fantastic greystone we have inhabited for the past two years. By far the largest house I’ve ever lived in, it has been an ideal and affordable place to live since coming to Chicago. I’m not looking forward to paying more for a comparably crappier place but the prospect of moving out of Hyde Park is exciting.
I’m currently nearing the end of what has become an unfortunately long project, a paper on Richard Wright’s The Outsider, an interesting if uneven lesser known work of Wright’s. I happened to read it twice for classes this past year and the project has become cause for my belief that I might be moving backwards in time in terms of my intellectual projects and interests. Contemporary literature is very difficult to write about with historical and literary depth, as our ability to effectively and honestly critique recent moment’s is stunted by a deficiency in historical distance. Political and cultural punditry is one thing, not necessarily more superficial than academic discourse, but a different endeavor altogether. As much as I enjoy reading about the cultural and political moment of the day, I also have a keen appreciation for historical distance and think that taking a step back to evaluate where we have come by is a good practice. Of course, contemporary criticism is necessary in many ways, but its not the only way.