Friday, October 5, 2007

Bullet-Point Friday

  • I'm enjoying my trek through Daniel Weissbort's From Russian with Love, a book about his friendship(s) and (professional) relationship(s) with Joseph Brodsky, translation theory, Russian, literature, and death. It is everything that John Felstiner falls short of. Throughout Felstiner's work (specifically Translating Neruda and Paul Celan: Poet, Survivor, Jew), he steers the reader toward this totalizing conception of identity and poetry: he reads Neruda and Celan as if their names were always in capital letters, as if they were homogenized, monolithic, unified Cartesian subjects, as if his biographical/literary/psychological/physiological uncoverings and excavations had the final say on what their poetry was all about. Weissbort, on the other hand, speaks toward an actual and real person he met, befriended, and knew, and yet who escapes any insincere attempt toward totalization: was 'Joseph' a Jew, how much of a Jew was he, how does his translation of his own poetry speak the same as their Russian versions. 'Joseph' is always moving away, eliding Weissbort’s efforts to read him, his words, him through his words, his words in his (own) voice, his words in his Russian (or Russified English). Felstiner reminds me of why I stopped reading literature and poetry all those years ago; Weissbort makes me want to read everything Brodsky ever wrote (as well as everything Weissbort ever wrote).
  • I have approximately 50 pounds of books about Mark Rothko I need to work through this weekend as I prepare for an in-class presentation on the Rothko Chapel next week.
  • Tonight is First Friday at the Ft. Worth Modern. I thought I would take myself out for the evening to enjoy the new exhibit and then maybe a nice vegan meal at Spiral Diner. (I can’t wait for the Spiral Diner to open up in my neighborhood!)
  • Tomorrow is already “full up to the neck”: German class from 10:00-12:00, a visit (during the Texas-OU game) to the Dallas Museum of Art to come up with a subject for my term paper, and then Lauren’s party in the evening celebrating the release of Superficial Flesh. Perhaps one of these days I’ll actually have some down time and do some pleasure reading or spend an afternoon just brushing my cats. Maybe December.

1 comment:

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