sábado, 22 de noviembre de 2008

Literary Studies Politics at the Complutense

The teacher at Lit/Architecture class the other day summed it up quite nicely; first there was a text, hence the intertext. First there was the syntax, mere language. Then semantics, literature. And so we have the Canon, exercise where we inter-relate with the variants in the objects. She isn't by far the most pretentious one in the block.

I'm playing spot the type in the classes this year. You know grant holders when you see students either silent or agreeing with their grant givers. The odd touch is spotting the leftist young ones, out and about to have a critical turn on society and waiting for the new man. Both make a nice combo, say the same things; but the former will have kids, no?

Something embarassing: telling students with 24 credits out of 60, 3 short of the pass mark, that I'm useless. So much for the 'socialization of the uni?' What on earth is it?

I answered a mini-exam's question 'Who was Marshall McLuhan?' by saying who he was and adding 'deep down nobody knew what he was on about'. The Uni deserved it. At least I didn't wind up in the social sciences.

Postmodernism's all the rage in the Literary department. Grant givers, grant holders and leftists say there's a certain pleasure to its books. But let's just say too many theses are on the plank walk if it collapses. Postmodernism is a way out to some kind of lunatic dream that words would ever be bought, when in fact they winded up craving for a respectable way to present themselves to the maintenance of secondary education. So postmodernism doesn't exist; postmodernism is non existant in the Literary Department. Nobody, except loonies, act in postmodernist manners. It's just tossed about positively with the same poseur sense it's tossed about negatively outside academia. I think the only time it has meaning is when we accuse our ex-gfs of being postmodernists. Moreover, if 'Sniff' is decentered or in Renaissance perspective or Classical geometry are just three ways of saying the same thing. Talk about game theory turning into language games!

Postmodernism's just about the meanest thing I've ever listened to. Its insistance on the decentering of the subject, its endless attacks on the self are done by clever people who write in accordance to the rules of words in certain environments. Sophistry at the same level of everything in life, from lawyers to bankers. But this is downright quirky. Things can't be things here. They have to be turned into myths against the backdrop of Lévi Straussian invariants ('as ifs'), vía Eco and Heidegger naturellement, bungee jumping into the symbolic, something that must be explained over and over again. With language as our enemy isolating us from our true selves. All of us reading Kuhn, Saïd, and our poets open the pathway to new...

I've become quite the fidgety bloke in class. Went banzai last year part to know the ropes as soon as possible, in part to go heavy, part because I lost it, in part because I wanted to have fun, have a trip and somesuch. Considerably quiet now, I'm still highly irritable. Extremely shy, or is it indifferent? This time around when a leftist claims not to understand my odd remark on the obsession with certainty, I respond by claiming I'm kind of stupid, have mercy on me, I'm confused. They look so similar to last year's; I'm not quite sure that a twentieth of these grant-holders wind up with a place in academia. In fact one of the most impressive moments last year was having the chief exponent of 'postmodernism', an ex-student, have a slight glint of pleasure- this is mere hypothesis- at the destroyer tactics her thesis supervisor- quite the clever tit, with bollocks to say and half a dozen student followers whatever he said- was recieving from me. Again, I insist, we're no different from any other job; one corporate hell-hole after the next? After all, isn't that what postmodernism tells us offering niente to solve it? Somehow, rather insiduously, without even wanting, quite ingrained, I managed to add my thesis was already under way. Ho, ho, ho...

I'm getting 23,000 euros for two years here. If I don't go into the 23,000 a year mark in the next 15 years I won't have to give any of it back. If the bullshit doesn't depress me too much, I might manage to make a doctorate out of it. See, I fear I'll have to start talking about primitive savages in Woody Allen's Broadway Danny Rose, the movie where Woody Allen celebrates end of year with Broadway losers or The Anniversary Party, you know that movie where we Hollywood actors celebrate a party and take... ecstasy.

Saul Bellow's Seize the Day is about some whining bloke who can't get on with his Dad, with an ex (who badgers him oh so unjustly for walking out on her and the kids), with his pawnbroker, with his agent, with the bad bad world that treats him so bad for 120 pages. Just enjoy life, you twit, Bellow says in the heyday of Antonioni jingoism. Such a whining little shit, seize the day, you sad fuck! Naturellement, the trick of the book is if you whine about it you're falling into the trap the author advises against.

The book's so minimalist.

Last year I met the weirdest people I've ever encountered, with the maxima that it was fine as long as the weirdo had the word; in fact it was tough guy talk to see who could say the weirdest shit in elegant manners reminiscent of some kind of Bergmanesque poultry competition. Why you'd want to make out in Uni class beats me. Of course, I didn't realise at the time! I go barely unnoticed in class these days, quite the boring Erik Satie of the department. When we got to architecture the place found a variant, but in literate terms it was run-of-the-mill All I did was listen, stick in a few wisecracks, laugh quite a lot but mostly I stared out the window at the Madrid Sierra mountain range as I confirmed I would never be ready to have kids. Quite the Cartesian failure at being in class, I guess, or incapable of saying I found Thoreau precious or Death in Venice luscious. I was probably in the Sierra with Heidegger and Heidi. And I don't really see the point in yappin away.

That English TV program Countdown's still the saddest thing on earth.