Friday, March 12, 2010

Bullet-Point Friday: Reading

  • Nietzsche writes in Ecce Homo that it is something like a sickness to sit down at the beginning of the day to read instead of taking a brisk walk first. This morning I forwent this advice and sat reading a feminist critique of Levinas for 90 minutes. It's a book I need to write a review essay over during spring break. When during graduate school did reading become always a means instead of an end?
  • I would love to sit down and read for the entire day, but I feel this nagging drive to move my body. I'm now taking a break from lifting weights and stretching, which was a break from reading, in order to write something on this sad, neglected blog. I'm unable to read the way I used to; I have to break it up, to give my mind some kind of reprieve from pure consumption and reflection. I have to be able to think otherwise if I am to think at all.
  • I read my lover's body as sacred text, incarnate divinity. The constellations of hair and small imperfections give rise to a mythology that acknowledges his pure difference in desire. My frail hermeneutics ends like all Platonic texts in aporetic alterity.
  • Life is short... on TwitpicA few nights ago I watched Ikiru [生きる], one of the few Kurosawa films I've seen in its entirety. It's been 18 years since I last watched it, which was years before I moved to Japan, where I learned to read and write Japanese. I noticed almost immediately that the subtitles had been recently retranslated: the film didn't read the way I remembered. The protagonist is Kanji, a homonym/synonym for the written word, who faces his own mortality after losing (almost) all his enthusiasm--a word I use advisedly and knowingly after reading the Phaedrus.
  • Over spring break I have to read 48 one-page critical summaries of Nietzsche's On the Genealogy of Morals. I'm interested to see what my students have to say about this text, how they understand its philosophical content, and to know whether or not they learned anything from the extensive feedback I gave them on their first papers. (Apparently I could learn a thing or two about parallel structure, but I won't hold my blog to the standards of my academic writing.) When during graduate school did reading become a necessary chore?