Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Still reeling a bit after Tuesday's stunning lecture by Steve Shaviro in Barrett's poetics seminar on Whitehead/Olson. (The assigned reading included: selected Olson prose; an essay by Robert von Hallberg on Olson, the Objectivists, and Whitehead; selections from Whitehead; and a few essays by Steve that are available on his website (do check them out).) Doing the reading I'd been thinking about the relationship between Whitehead and Heidegger--how a Whiteheadian reading of Olson's form and poetics might compare to a Heideggerian account. So I was a bit shocked when Steve finished up his lecture with a series of questions addressing the significance of the differences between the two. It was as if he had answered--and warned me about--my sense of their connection and possible affinities. Of course, my knowledge of both philosophers is extremely limited (esp. in the case of Whitehead), but, that being the case, I felt semi-justified in seeing that the connections, though fraught, are there. Steve's brilliant--straightforward and simple yet really significant--lecture, the chance to see him engage with Barrett on a subject he is less familiar with--Olson--was cool. It isn't often that you see two scholars in the department trying to talk across their respective interests; it should happen more often.

And here is an amazing piece from the magazine Cabinet on Heidegger's hut:

"I stood on a steeply sloping hillside deep in the Black Forest, panting, bathed in sweat and covered in mud. A group of llamas had stopped grazing nearby to watch me. After disorientation and fatigue, flying, driving, walking, and running, after springing over an electrified fence and sliding down a wooded slope, after losing my phone, my wife, and my bearings, I had at last found Martin Heidegger's hut."

Read the rest here:

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