Sunday, May 27, 2007

Running off to join the Circus

Not really, but it feels like it. I'm visiting family.

Family visits can be wonderful, and this one is. Something about what Tolstoi says about happy families being happy in all the same ways, but unhappy ones having unique and individual ways of being unhappy.

I'm lucky, and I realize that especially deeply when I'm around family. But I'm not sure that happy families really aren't happy in unique and individual ways.

But it's totally a circus compared to my relaxed solo living. A fun circus!

I'll be back to the BardiacShack in a couple days. Meanwhile, I've gotten through most of Berube's book, and have found it interesting. I'm generally doubtful about post-modernism, and I wish he'd done more to really try to actually explain it, since he seems to think it's worth teaching about. But I do like that he talked about aspects of earlier lit being post-modern.

I think he could have teased out the conflict between Habermas and Lyotard more fully, and especially talked more about how he teaches them. (As in, what he has his students read by or about Habermas and Lyotard, rather than what he does with what novels. And why the heck doesn't he teach poetry in those post-modernist classes? Or drama!!)

Berube's discussion of how he dealt with one student who was quite conservative was interesting, and did a good job showing how much faculty folks make accomodations for some students. I'd think it would be worthwhile for Berube to think about how gendering works in those accomodations further, though, since when he talks about accomodating students, he seems always to be talking about male students. I'm not quite sure how to read this part of the text, but I haven't finished yet, either.


  1. I think Berube doesn't teach pomo poetry because a) it's really hard to make accessible, imho, and b) as far ass I know, not a lot of fantastic critical work has been done on it to really bring it into the conversation on postmodern poetry generally.

    As for drama, I know Berube loves some Beckett (his MLA blogging talk had some lovely little "What Where" references), so I don't know why at least that wouldn't make it onto his syllabus...

    I do want to read Berube's latest though--haven't cracked that one yet.

  2. Horace, He teaches Pynchon! I don't think "accessible" is a worry. Nor do I think it makes sense not to teach po-mo poetry because there's not enough critical work done. In fact, that would seem to be ideal, especially for graduate classes.

    I thought the book was well worth reading, especially the sort of call for action section at the end.