domingo, 30 de noviembre de 2008

SPYCATCHER, by Peter Wright.

All I'm going to say is I read this one this week. At last I had my hands on some non-fiction... alas.

Look, it might be a pack of lies, or absolute truth. Was Hollis a spy? Et bloody cetera.

How long would I have lasted in a place where lies mattered?

It's certainly an amusing ride.


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.

domingo, 16 de noviembre de 2008


Free of essays- but still with a desire for keyboard exhibitionism and fulfilling my promise to Sutpen, or should I say Slutpod, that this was an English-speaking blog- back to a language without accents. Much more comfy. I am so drawn to english time and again, to its colloquialisms, to its imperialism. All the things I listen to are in English, all the poets, all the writers, all the singers. Tried it with spanish, found nothing. My youtube account says I've watched 3000 vids; I wouldn't be surprised if the ratio's 200:1 on the english lang side.

I do not belong to the impressive 150 page-an-hour club one of my friends belongs to. In academia we become experts in language; existence isn't our job. No, I'm not bitching about Wittgenstein and Oxford. I'm saying that's what we all do, nothing wrong with it. In fact, it's great fun. It is our existence and that's enough. I love academia, but I think I love youtube far more. It's always harder to love work more than it is to love free time, and that'll be enough if you're wondering why existence didn't seem like a priority. I do not, if you're wondering, get any money from academia. I get by with very little indeed, much to the envy of my mother.

When I refused to read El Quijote last term like some kind of round the bend Wittgenstein refusing to read Shakespeare, I was experimenting with existence.

Living in a suburban area, filled with trees, I had a walk this week through the neighbourhood, contemplated detached and semidetached housings that ranged from the slightly ugly to the drop-dead gorgeous and made my mind I'd write about these in my architecture and literature class. Like in my 100 mile bycicle lunges down or up the spanish coast, I was hit by the beauty of these and, if we are to be profound and pompous, the world.

One of my favourite programs on spanish TV, for years, has been Destino Europa; it consists of interviews with Spanish Erasmus students or emigrants who live in a number of European cities. For someone who doesn't like travelling, it seems to do the trick. Were it on another channel, with another inteviewer, we'd probably be talking about getting recycling bins installed in a train station; so there's a certain doability and serenity to the program.

Classes have finally found me on something I was lacking; scan-reading technique. Summarising an article in three pages has become enormously difficult. Sure I'm reading the same stuff over and over and I'm bored stiff, sure I'm furious at poststructuralism, sure I'm 'why should I summarise someone coherently when that someone talks utter crap on theory or the self?' My poor professionalism has hit too hard, though it has served to avoid lots of stuff and produce, guess, lots of stuff.

'Stuff' is a good word; it's nearly as good as 'brilliant', that word we were advised against in first year. Shouldn't start the house by the attic; and that's precisely what I did in my mini-thesis, agonised without notes for months, thought it out like crazy and dropped a huge 44,000 word block on the paper, and stopped only because it should have been 25,000. Quoted next to no one and wrote from memory, as always. I have no notebook, no books at home, no system. In fact, my technique is a huge waste of time. I still don't know how to divide or synthesise or elaborate from an introduction onwards. Now that's why we invented notes, summaries and such. So the work I'm doing in class these days will definitely help me to think in pieces and spend far less time on my thesis. Not the slightest doubt I'm the worst copy editor in the philology department. Let's just say I've been philandering in multiple directions.

I'm not describing academia; I'm playing with language. It isn't my task, nor my ability, to define academia, but rather to describe my love. When some of the best music vid clips in the last two decades have been Fiona Apple's Across the Universe, the traffic jam in Everybody Hurts or the run down streets in Massive Attack's Unfinished Sympathy, I'm talking as far as I've enjoyed this week's Fed defeat at the hands of Murray, and Murray's defeat to Davydenko. By no means is it the victory of modernism.

Of course you don't have to read Kuhn or Einstein to study physics or Darwin to study biology! This week I explored Peter Cook and discovered Essra Mohawk. Went right up to the remarkable Why Bother?, but the second excerpt from Behind the fridge on youtube, the one with the lecturer is, for understandable reasons, rain. Essra's It's Up to Me, Looking forward to the Dawn and Thunder in the Morning are flat-out blue skies. But I prefer to leave you with good old Streeb-Geebling.

So literary academia's like history, only invented. I find it odd why anyone would want to study history.

viernes, 7 de noviembre de 2008

Transgressing the Boundaries: Toward a Transformative Hermeneutics of Quantum Gravity: News From Home

Este es, de lejos y rebosante de fallos léxicos, lo mejor que he escrito en 5 años. Sólo lo he titulado así aquí para atraeros la atención. El lunes recibí un correo diciendo que no aceptaban el de las fotos y redacté esto en una hora. Como el ensayo sobre la modernidad, se entiende perfectamente desde dentro de tal conocimiento. No sé si lo aceptarán, ni me importa.

Ahora bien, no pienso escribir más, por este año; es muy generoso, que sean otros los que elaboran porque aquí cada párrafo da para una tesis y 20 artículos. Es mejor que todo lo que se escribe en la universidad sobre cine y, de lejos, de lo que se escribe sobre el alfabeto, como esas clases Guzmán de Alfarachianas sobre el Guzmán de Alfarache. O George P. Landow. Yo no tengo el estado anímico ni la voluntad para ser consecuente y metódico porque, qué cosas, igual sería inútil el esfuerzo.

Y, por cierto, si la teoría es- y lo es- Lacan haciendo el imbécil equivaliendo mi polla a la raíz cuadrada de -1 (o Levy-Strauss equivaliendo la lluvia a -2) a la mierda la teoría. ¡Viva el empiricismo! Si no sois capaces de hablar desde la medición y la observación, ¡iros con vuestra teoría- mística por definición- a la mierda! ¡No sois vida!

Akerman está al nivel de Bruno Latour, haciendo sociología de física. Es una vergüenza y un impresionante gasto de tiempo ver como destrozan trozo por trozo todos los engranajes del placer.

Me lo voy a tomar muy relajado desde ahora. Lo que pasa es que os puede parecer que me tomo las cosas muy enérgicamente. Nada más alejado de la verdad. Es que hace años que me apasiona lo inútil, todo gesto inútil ahí estoy y habiéndome convertido en el diletante del diletante eso no va para más.

La práctica no es ideología; no es, desde luego, creencia, o creencia sobre qué es apropiado para la mayoría. Why do I keep fucking up? de Neil Young.

Me dice un amigo que necesito que me follen; y, tecnocráticamente, dadas mis tendencias tecnófilas, no le puedo quitar la razón. Las mujeres tienen bastante gracia. La técnica de lo inútil involucra darles lo que no quieren cuando lo quieren y vice versa. Si una es aficionada a Dante cítale cuando no hay que citarlo. Uno de mis favoritos es decirles a las engreidillas una y otra vez que soy increíblemente guapo, llevo con esa técnica toda mi vida; claro, no follo y todos acabamos terriblemente frustrados porque ellas se sienten unempowered, pero tiene esa gracia inútil, ese eterno despiste. ¿Me despistas? ¡Pues toma pedazo despiste! A la única que me ha interesado- en el plano físico, ¿os parece poco?- en 3 (en realidad, 4, porque estuvo el año del no-interés, el del no-símbolo) años me pasé por salido una vez para luego evitarla una docena de veces. Le gusta viajar y a mi no, pero cada vez que me ve voy hola q tal y ¡zooooom!, como esta semana. En el mundo de la ironía infinita, una amiga se me ofreció hace poco después de que yo me hiciese el salido y yo tuve que dar excusas; '¡no querría formar parte de un club que me tuviera como miembro!'... '¿tu crees que me habría pasado tanto tiempo hablando contigo si quisiera rollo?'... 'ok, hmm, pero no aguanto a las salidas.'

¡Así que toma! Me pasé la primera parte de mi primer año en la complu destrozando el eterno presente estúpido de San Agustín, disfrutando de las miradas de anti-San-Agustinianos que eran solamente Agustinianos de boquilla- con toda la teleología que es, comprensiblemente, la jodida y magnífica vida pero predícame otra cosa y me tienes ahí cabreado- cuando yo practicaba el rampante San Agustinianismo mientras hacía ver lo mucho que odiaba a San Agustín; la segunda parte del año esta propuesta me comió. No es timidez, no es miedo al error, no es miedo al rechazo; es miedo al rechazo y al amor. Es que no quiero sentir emociones. ¡Un saludo!

domingo, 2 de noviembre de 2008

News From Home

Desarrollado a la defensiva, a la negativa, el archivo del sólo texto es todo un ejemplo de como no presentar un trabajo, de lo que no decir en un mero trabajo, de como nunca hablarle a un nihilista, y es uno de mis favoritos del año y de mi vida, fue dado de manera nerviosa y al estilo 'quien me pone la pierna encima que no levante cabeza', en público ante unas 30 personas. Si es cierto que estaba deprimido por aquel entonces, como extra me salió toda una obra maestra. Dí toda una lección de 'lo simbólico mítico' con tanto aforismo de pacotilla, con una version de Will the Humanities Save Us rizomática, fuera de lugar, lleno de ocurrencias. No lo habría hecho en una boda o en una conferencia de filosofía analítica, aunque es posible que sí en una de matemáticas. Pero aquí, ¿quereis Dante posmoderno? ¡Pues toma! ¿Quereis no secuencialidad de los textos? ¡Pues toda una Rayuela!

Tantas de estas clases literarias de éste máster se parecen entre sí. ¡Tanta esquizofrenia textual! Y me pregunto, whatever happened to the mysterious disappearance of literary style? ¿Y si trabajas, si te tomas la molestia en hacerlos coherentes y secuenciales, a dónde van tus textos? ¿A fabricar aporías, al ser sólo Historia Agilipollada, ni Historia siquiera? No, si no hay duda. El Arte es un cachondeo, el Artista todo un machote bohemio niño de papá como Dante. ¡El Artista es un pesado! ¡El Artista, tan intenso, tan dialéctico, tan excursionista, tan jodidamente pesado! Si ya son años desde que no me interesan estos Artistas, extasiados, estructuralistas, con tanto gravitas, ¡tan pesados! Estoy hecho todo un lobito, entrado en años, con su caperucita roja. Lobo, por cierto, era el nick de un tipo que vivía en un foro que frecuentaba yo hace media década; hablaba de la misma caperucita roja, citaba a Revel, Sokal, el comunismo de Bréton y cuando hablaba de Belén Gopegui hablaba de pijería, de una novela donde una aséptica empleada de banca decide quedarse en casa durante todo el mes de agosto, sin limpiarse, sin ducharse, con comida por todas partes para el 1 de septiembre rehacerse, limpiarse, limpiar la casa, a whole new woman!

Una versión cortada del sólo texto sacó un sobresaliente, pero como ya he dicho casi todos sacamos eso, los que no les da por el aforismo filológico, 'como en Wittgenstein', sacan 9,5 y uno de cada 20 saca 10, por decreto según la guía. Pero, vamos, como soy tan tímido, igual hay cosas que no sé.

La de las fotos fue publicada, creo, a menos que lo borrasen, en alguna parte, con el resto; también me encanta. Y es que me tomo esta noción de que las clases sean capaces de rivalizar con mi placer a cachondeo. Estableciendo que es la locura simple y aburrida la que comienza el Arte, esa Forma, me lanzo entre tanto Movimiento Letrista, Renacentista y Situacionista. Hasta canté Raglan Road en una clase de De La Creación a La Forma por aquel entonces, totalmente fuera de lugar y con una pesada pero incomunicada dosis de ironia. ¡Toma abstracción¡ ¡Disociación del sentido! ¡Toma 'vivir en el momento' (porque es un topos literario (doble ¡¿!?, y un topo te voy a dar..)! Lo dicho, hace falta mucha fe para creer que estas tonterías son arte. Y bastante tonto de mí haberme visto este tipo de sinecdoche, ¡en mi tiempo libre! ¡Junto a las Antonioniadas de turno! ¡Tanto hijastro de T.S. Eliot! No me sorprende que sea incapaz de leer el Quijote y capaz de leer a Christopher Norris, aunque ambos sean tan repetitivos; joder, si va a ser un problema de sintaxis...

Talk about emo-angst, jesus mary and joseph... para tanta Tontería del Tercer Estado contemplo mi incipiente asexualidad, que al principio creía era timidez; entre mis amigos narradores está uno que me dice they're all bitches, I don't care where they've been, before 25 they look for the bastard, after 25 they look for the nice guy y me da un ejemplo de una película donde una mujer encuentra a un mierdecilla, le limpia durante un año para presentarle como proyecto de arte 'You want art, this is my work of art! See a picture of him before!' Y le deja acto seguido. Acababa de romper con su ex, pero menudo soliloquio le salió al pavo. Otro me dice que busco amigas y no follamigas. Otro que le tengo miedo a los coños, y me da el ejemplo de la película Infiel, donde la tia se lía con Olivier Martínez porque Richard Gere es demasiado bueno con ella, y dice 'just like life, nobody ever lets you just be'. No, si soy una obra andante de arte. ¡Un saludo!

El de las fotos no fue aceptado para publicación. Una pena; era lo que iba a denominar 'la nueva filología'.