Posts Tagged ‘rest in peace’
Ted Kennedy died last night and while I recognize the passing of a significant political figure and legislator I find myself fairly apathetic towards his death.
I think I feel this way towards most politicians. A couple of months back when President Barack Obama was inaugurated I watched coverage of people who were swept up by all of the emotion and energy of this figure. And as I said above about Ted Kennedy, I recognize the significance of someone like President Obama, but I have never been moved to tears or to such a degree that I feel the need to attend a speech or a rally.
I think that I am much too jaded for the world of politics and I distrust the politicians that represent me. Do not misjudge me, I vote and pay attention to the news and listen to the topics and issues that affect me. But I find myself unable to be moved emotionally in any way by most politicians.
Writers and authors are figures in our culture that inspire me. The deaths of David Foster Wallace, Susan Sontag, Arthur C. Clarke; these are the types of figures I tend to feel great emotion for, frequently because their passing is often overlooked or quickly forgotten and so too their contributions to literature, media, and culture.
But this should not be surprising as my blog focuses primarily on authors and writers that I’ve read and that I find inspiring. I have devoted my life towards English Literature and so I focus more on these figures.
Still, there is something very uninspiring to me about so many of the politicians I see before me. I will note their significant contributions towards society and history, but I have not been moved by such figures, at least not yet.
It is easy to fixate on Michael Jackson’s passing or Ted Kennedy when there is 24/7 news cycle of these figures, but a writer like Alexander I. Solzhenitsyn gets a few days and then the world moves on.
I figure Ted Kennedy should last towards the week’s end. Hmm, how sad that the media coverage a person receives reflects our current societies value of that person in our culture.
Everywhere – all over Africa and South America … you see these suburbs springing up. They represent the optimum of what people want. There’s a certain sort of logic leading towards these immaculate suburbs. And they’re terrifying, because they are the death of the soul … This is the prison this planet is being turned into.
interview (10/30/82) in Re/Search no. 8/9 (1984)
Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, a Pioneer of Gay Studies and a Literary Theorist, Dies at 58.
Just read this over at the NYTimes. Always sad when a literary critic who contributed so greatly to my faculty passes on. Even worse is the fact that it took me this long to realize it, buried under four articles in the book section of the times.
Harold Pinter, Britain’s top contemporary dramatist died yesterday at the age of 78. R.I.P. my friend you will be missed.
When we look into a mirror we think the image that confronts us is accurate. But move a millimetre and the image changes. We are actually looking at a never-ending range of reflections. But sometimes a writer has to smash the mirror – for it is on the other side of that mirror that the truth stares at us. –Art, Truth & Politics: The Nobel Lecture (2005)-
Pinter was best know for his plays, including his 1960 breakthrough production The Caretaker, The Dumb Waiter and The Birthday Party. But he was also a screenwriter, actor and director and in recent years a vociferous campaigner against human rights abuses, including the occupation of Iraq by western armed forces.
David Foster Wallace is an American writer, artist, culture critic/junkie. If you’re wanting comparisons, let’s put him alongside of J.D. Salinger and Thomas Pynchon. He has only written two novels and a few short story collections. He received the MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant at the age of 35, a brilliant essayist, accomplished tennis player, and professor at Pomona College, in Claremont Califnornia. His book Infinite Jest was a Times Magazine 100 Best English Speaking Novel.
On September 12, 2008 D.F.W. was found dead at the age of 46 as a result of a suicide hanging.
I’m quite torn and depressed by this news. To lose such brilliance in such a way, is something that will never cease to shock and disturb me. I will never know what causes an individual to give up on themselves and those around them, and I hope to never know this.
In honor of Mr. Wallace, I’ve posted a few links to some of the essays and writings he has scattered around the net. I urge you to take the time and enjoy a few of his works in his remembrance.
This American Life Episode 160 broadcast May 19, 2000 “Character Assassination” Act 2 ‘Sonny Takes a Fall,’ 19 minute radio where David Foster Wallace “reports on a turning point in 2000‘s Presidential primaries: the moment when John McCain failed to respond well to an attack by George Bush“. Description of broadcast from thislife.org
The Writer’s Almanac highlights Wallace on the February 21, 2007 broadcast.
And make no mistake: irony tyrannizes us. The reason why our pervasive cultural irony is at once so powerful and so unsatisfying is that an ironist is impossible to pin down. All U.S. irony is based on an implicit “I don’t really mean what I’m saying.” So what does irony as a cultural norm mean to say? That it’s impossible to mean what you say? That maybe it’s too bad it’s impossible, but wake up and smell the coffee already? Most likely, I think, today’s irony ends up saying: “How totally banal of you to ask what I really mean.”
E Unibus Pluram: Television and U.S. Fiction