Sunday, October 5, 2008

Quick Lit Shit #1: Intro, Philosophy the Day After Tomorrow

[I joined Facebook a little over a year ago. Then about six months ago I started using the Visual Bookshelf feature to track what I read. It's kinda great. By now I'm just doing it as it comes but one fine, fine, miserable night I spent a good chunk of time clicking "Already Read" a lot so it would look like I'm an accomplished reader with idiosyncratic (great) taste. After my most recent "Finished Reading" click, my grand total stands at a mind-blowing 101 books. I know, right? Jay-Kay! Well, kinda. The funniest thing is that when I was building up my back catalogue I wasn't reading any books, really. And I read a lot of blogs, too. As I was discussing with Girish via email the other day, it's hard (1) not to read many books at once (there are piles all around my little room) and harder still (2) to click "Finished Reading" on some others. For instance: I've now read through Deleuze's books on cinema but I'm nowhere near done, you know? Nor do I have anything pithy to say, really, since those stubborn and dense books refuse easy consumption; for a taxonomy project, it's not really that forward. Also, he'll just plop you into an argument and you have to play catch up. Of course, that's fun, but it's also work. Hell, there's my pithy thing right there.

So what's this series? I decided to post my little Visual Bookshelf "reviews" here, too. Some make sense; most don't; they're all just riffing. But if you've got anything in return, hit me back. I'm going back to the beginning and (without editing them) will cut and paste the few I've got back there to bring me current over the next few days/weeks/months/whatever cycle works.]

It seems this is perpetually at my side. I find that I would not have benefited from reading this earlier in my experience with Cavell, however delightful it may be, because everything he writes here is so bound up with everything he's written before, and studied before, and thought about since his yesterdays, that to leap into his work here at the end seems waste it, and deprive oneself of a string of developments that are not only intriguing but beneficial to experience in their order, or a slight approximation thereof. (For the record I started with _Claim of Reason_, then hopped between _Pursuits of Happiness_ and _Cities of Words_ before a summer of _The World Viewed_ and _Themes Out of School_ and _A Pitch of Philosophy_ before moving into this for the first time. I've been stuck here since.) --RWK

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