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Comments for Original Positions http://www.originalpositions.com Unveiling our ignorance Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:16:06 +0000 hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Comment on James Baldwin – Another Country by Anuja Bose http://www.originalpositions.com/2016/08/james-baldwin-another-country/comment-page-1/#comment-188912 Tue, 21 Mar 2017 18:16:06 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=920#comment-188912 Hi Josh,

Thanks for this post. I was wondering where you found this cover for Another Country. It’s such a powerful image and I would like to archive it in my folders.

Best

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Comment on Glenn Gould and glenn gould on Beethoven by Alan Hill http://www.originalpositions.com/2013/09/glenn-gould-and-glenn-gould-on-beethoven/comment-page-1/#comment-184709 Wed, 21 Sep 2016 20:17:31 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=503#comment-184709 But isn’t that the whole point, Beethoven was or at least in his larger works more about writing music that was “for the people”?, I wonder if there are as many cliche moments in his string quartets or the vast majority of his piano sonatas? I think he thought of himself has having a revolutionary heart, he was even going to dedicate his 3rd symphony to a character he thought shared those views until, well he didn’t and revolutions are often thought of being by and for the little guy (or at least that’s how they are sold). So maybe there is genius in writing great works that are still accessible to a larger less educated musical audience and standing to the test history throws at it.

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Comment on Lincoln is Not That Good by Notes of a Native Son – Part 1 | Original Positions http://www.originalpositions.com/2012/12/lincoln-is-not-that-good/comment-page-1/#comment-183613 Sat, 02 Jul 2016 12:56:46 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=309#comment-183613 […] anything else.  We’ve argued about some of them here on this blog – most memorably Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln.   Such films and novels thrive on decontextualized moral claims, like Lincoln’s […]

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Comment on The Novels of Virginia Woolf #2: Night and Day by The Novels of Virginia Woolf #3: Jacob’s Room | Original Positions http://www.originalpositions.com/2016/04/the-novels-of-virginia-woolf-2-night-and-day/comment-page-1/#comment-181909 Fri, 08 Apr 2016 02:06:15 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=887#comment-181909 […] ← The Novels of Virginia Woolf #2: Night and Day […]

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Comment on The Novels of Virginia Woolf #1: The Voyage Out by The Novels of Virginia Woolf #3: Jacob’s Room | Original Positions http://www.originalpositions.com/2016/04/the-novels-of-virginia-woolf-1-the-voyage-out/comment-page-1/#comment-181908 Fri, 08 Apr 2016 01:59:23 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=886#comment-181908 […] is a lot more going on in Jacob’s Room, especially compared with both The Voyage Out and also Night and Day.  To begin with, let’s consider its genre.  In some ways, Jacob’s Room […]

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Comment on Glenn Gould’s Beethoven First and Second Piano Concertos by Punam http://www.originalpositions.com/2013/05/glenn-goulds-beethoven-first-and-second-piano-concertos/comment-page-1/#comment-181061 Wed, 02 Mar 2016 18:59:02 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=427#comment-181061 I had a music class once where the teacher dseircbed Brahms as being like molasses, heavy and slow, Bach as being like a malt, not too heavy but filling, and Mozart as being like Sprite, light and bubbly. Maybe Vivaldi falls between Bach and Mozart?

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Comment on The Chess Project : Installment #6 : The Overeager Queen by Juan http://www.originalpositions.com/2015/06/the-chess-project-installment-6-the-overeager-queen/comment-page-1/#comment-179746 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 22:21:14 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=834#comment-179746 Like Nates said, I didn’t get bishop takes e5 either. Before that, it looks to me like black should be fine. You can run it through an engine, it would be interesting to see what it says.

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Comment on Gravity’s Rainbow by Juan http://www.originalpositions.com/2015/08/gravitys-rainbow/comment-page-1/#comment-179744 Mon, 11 Jan 2016 21:31:34 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=846#comment-179744 I would have a kind of methodological remark on stuff like Gravity’s Rainbow. Where exactly do we draw the line, when is something just bad literature? Gravity’s Rainbow has some good stuff, some poetic pages, but most of it, as was rightly observed in Josh’s post, is way too scattered.
There are different ways of undermining convention, and not all of them are the same. For example, in a lot of novels of Robbe-Grillet, there is an undermining of plot and character, but somehow they seem more unitary. Even in books where it’s not clear if any of what is going on is true or made-up, Robbe-Grillet manages to confer unity. Some of this unity is achieved by having recurring scenes, motifs, characters (although it may not be clear what their status is).
Another example: in Beckett’s The Unnameable, nothing whatsoever happens. We have some voice narrating and nothing of what he/it says can be taken for granted. That book’s unity stands entirely in its narrator, who is rambling.
I guess the problem I have with Gravity’s Rainbow is that its rambling does not amount to much. In Robbe-Grillet, I think the sense that the book amounts to something comes to a large extent from the fact that the book is posing problems: problems about our epistemic access to things, problems about the traditional view of what fictional characters are, about what plot is supposed to be etc. In Beckett, the narrator has existential questions he’s rambling about: God, his own existence etc.
Now, it could be said that Gravity’s Rainbow also poses problems like these. I agree. It asks questions about the ethics of war, as far as I remember. But the directions that the book goes in do not cohere. In Robbe-Grillet and Beckett, the radical style of narration was in the foreground, you were aware at every step of the radical kind of literature you were reading, and you could focus on the style, on the recurrence of motifs etc. (I would compare Robbe-Grillet’s literature to something like Steve Reich for example). The plot is not going anywhere and you know it. But in Gravity’s Rainbow, it seems to me there’s a lot of traces of the traditional way of storytelling, that you are expecting the story to go somewhere, and it doesn’t (although, judging by the way it’s constructed, I would add that it should). It seems like Pynchon is trying to do two things at once: be radical in his narration, but not break entirely with tradition (plot and such).

Perhaps this is not the best explanation of the feeling some of us have that something isn’t right about a book like Gravity’s Rainbow, but it’s the best I’ve got.
If I’m right, though, that there is something not coherent about this book, then maybe we should take seriously the idea that this is just a badly written book. I’m sure you could find many allusions to historical events, art, war, and whatnot, in the book. What I’m not sure is whether all that is enough to make up for the way it’s written. My conjecture is that it’s not, with the corolary that this is just bad literature. But I might be wrong.

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Comment on Broadway Avenue, Chicago – Part 2 – Uptown/Buena Park by Nates http://www.originalpositions.com/2015/12/broadway-avenue-chicago-part-2-uptownbuena-park/comment-page-1/#comment-179398 Sun, 27 Dec 2015 18:33:52 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=875#comment-179398 Interesting posts, Josh.

One possible correction: I’m pretty sure it was “Wave of Mutilation” that the Pixies played twice. (There’s a slow and a fast version of that song, and the fans disagree about which one is better.)

I agree about Stereolab. They always put on a great live show.

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Comment on Broadway Avenue, Chicago – Part 1 – Introduction and Lakeview by Alice Neve http://www.originalpositions.com/2015/12/broadway-avenue-chicago-part-1-introduction-and-lakeview/comment-page-1/#comment-179314 Tue, 22 Dec 2015 15:49:45 +0000 http://www.originalpositions.com/?p=848#comment-179314 Enjoyed this, Josh.

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