Mood Testing

Tue Dec 23, 2008

It’s pretty easy to tell if I’m in a sentimental mood when I’m listening to music on my computer. If the Arcade Fire song “Intervention” comes up and I don’t skip it when he gets to the line about “working for the church,” then the natural lights of the season or something have gotten to me. I then sometimes read the reviews in The Yearbook of English Studies to get my edge back, if needed.

I left my Cyberiad in Cedar Island (wouldn’t that sentence exemplify as well as “colorless green ideas…” ?), but I particularly enjoyed Trurl’s tactical use of apophenia and wanted to discuss it in another context, which will have to wait.

I subscribe to TLS, despite the fact that it’s often frighteningly ignorant and reactionary. The back page, signed “J.C.” of the Dec. 12 issue quotes a perfectly lucid sentence of Hilary Dannenberg’s Coincidence and Counterfactuality in the apparent expectation that the readers of this august review will tap their pipes in knowing sympathy with this addition to the “annals of incomprehensibility.” (The U of Nebraska P is taken to task for publishing the book in its very good series in narrative theory. I suppose the complaint is not so much that the work is incomprehensible as such, but that it is only comprehensible to a few. A very democratic view to advocate for professional literary studies at this point.) I think this “J. C.” is the same who chivalrously promoted Drew Faust to manhood a few months ago.

A Girardian triangular desire analysis of Ween’s “Pretty Girl” off of Twelve Golden Country Greats would practically write itself. I’m also trying to imagine what Borges would have done with today’s big neuroscience reveal of the amanestic threading of the labyrinth by the blind.