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Thursday, January 7, 2010


Now that we're up to date...

I'm actually considering purchasing Brian Boyd's literary connect-the-dots, Ada: The Place of Consciousness. It's a sure-fire proof that I'm a firm vulgarian; I also used to think that colloquial titles such as Mr. and Mrs. were conferred by Universities.

Boyd's most recent ideas on the "evolution" of fiction are apt to enrage me. The quotation marks demonstrate my hatred of that word--in its scientific and ideological sense--being connected in any way with artistic creation. A great work of art is a marvel of consciousness as Dr. Boyd's title suggests, and a scandal to any of Darwin's manic disciples. There is simply too much to reduce here, which is why, incidentally, I'm beginning to grow impatient with Frye. What does he hope all of this literary taxonomy will accomplish? By becoming an inveterate archivist, will we better discern the mysteries of artistic genius? And by the way, make no mistake, there is such a thing as a genius, tropes concerning the "death of the author" notwithstanding. There are people who possess a peculiar point of vantage that makes most of our conceptions concerning the world appear as opaque as a black and white film. Not that "Citizen Cain" isn't great.

Anyway, I think I'll get the book, since it was written years before Boyd became deluded by decadent and atavistic thinkers...

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