Category Archive: Literature

Contradisciplinary Presents: Spike Jonze’s HER

An hour’s chatĀ with Sherwin Siy about all the complex issues raised by the movie HER. Sorry about the false start — we started streaming mid-conversation about Joaquin’s red shirt — but then we… Continue reading

The Best of 2013

Oh yes. It’s that time again, and the gloves are off, and the wisdom teeth are out. First up, some epigraphs. Most people who survive a devastating disaster want the opposite of a… Continue reading

The Codes Are Alright: On “Code-Switching” And Facebook

Let us now turn from the others to the point of view of the individual who presents himself before them…. Regardless of the particular objective which the individual has in mind and of… Continue reading

Close Reading

In transitioning from teaching university courses to teaching high school, I have of course thought a lot about “close reading,” as it’s called, and why it’s such an important thing. After all, it’s… Continue reading

this message will self-destruct: sherlock holmes and the adventure of the hapless interpreters

The most blatant example is human language, where people often attribute meaning to words in themselves, without being in the slightest aware of the very complex “isomorphism” that imbues them with meanings. This… Continue reading

Idiot Wind: Julia Glassman’s Other Life Forms

In “The American Scholar,” Ralph Waldo Emerson said: As no air-pump can by any means make a perfect vacuum, so neither can any artist entirely exclude the conventional, the local, the perishable from… Continue reading

as a matter of fact it’s all dark: cyberpunk, language, and the two worlds

Emma Becciu, one of the most gifted interpreters I’ve ever known, has begun a language & translation blog. A lot of it is in Italian; if you can’t read that, turn on Chrome’s… Continue reading

in case of emergency

(SCENE. Kugelmass and Nicholas Bourbaki are chatting via Skype. To Kugelmass’s right is a small, unkempt mattress, strewn with gummi bears and Walter Benjamin essay collections. To his left is a painting that… Continue reading

R.I.P. “proto-modernism”

If you’ve ever taken a college-level English course on literature written before 1900, the odds are pretty good that you’ve encountered a strange beast known as “the proto-modernist text.” Very often, this is… Continue reading

Yes, We (Shere) Khan: The Life of Pi, A Film About The Simple Bare Necessities

First, you have to watch this short video. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. -Matthew 7:15 Why should you run? Can it… Continue reading