Monday, January 07, 2008

memory and forgetting

still working on those's a LOT of books we're talking about here. and i'm remembering so many things about who i was. i was a person who wrote a 32-page scholarly paper (that got an A, i might add) on madonna. for that purpose, i bought books called things like deconstructing madonna and the madonna connection and from hegel to madonna. it was quite fashionable in the mid-90s to write serious, scholarly cultural criticism on people like madonna at arizona state. there were elvis studies departments at major universities. ahh, those were the days. as i recall, my madonna paper was really more about me than her, but i digress...

i also was a person who read (and extensively underlined) slavoj zizek. he's still churning out books, one every 3-4 months, but i can't keep up anymore. i used to purposely feed my inner homicidal maniac with doses of dostoevsky. i read balkan history for fun. i paged through coffee table books on the world of art movement. i used to dream that i was alive and at my prime in 1913 (who knows, maybe i was...but that's a whole 'nother posting).

i was totally into postmodernism, but didn't agree with jameson that it was the cultural logic of late capitalism. i thought it grew more directly as a reaction to modernism and my explanation of how it came about had more to do with russian formalism than anything. ostranenie. making strange, now there's a word i haven't thought of in awhile. the constant search for the new...aren't we still doing that?

how could i have forgotten that person? lost touch with her? life clearly took me in another direction. and i don't regret it, but i do wonder how i've lived without her these past few years. but i am happy i can stroll down the memory lane of my bookshelves and get in touch with her again. because she's right there, within me, just waiting for me to pluck down baudrillard or bourdieu or kristeva or maybe even zizek from those shelves. better yet, how about some of that dostoevsky...

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