Preface: Telling Stories

When I was writing my post on The Little Mermaid, a strange and not-very-pleasant image occurred to me. I felt like a trained seal. I’ve spent about three weeks trying to figure out why, and I’ve finally realized that doing “close readings” on my blog makes me a little uncomfortable. I have a little training in philosophy, and am capable of writing posts about abstractions; I have a lot of interest in progressive politics, and am not above writing polemics. But I didn’t choose to go into either politics or philosophy; I chose to study literature. I would hate to think that the only way to blog that is to unpack symbols, as if doing so sooner, rather than later, could save a kitten or extinguish a house fire somewhere.

I’m not against going back to polemics or purer critique from time to time. I’m all in favor of digging into books and pop culture. Still, for me, what I gain from political and philosophical texts remains different from the philosophical study of concepts, or the political project of advocacy. The most integrated form, for me, is the story, or even the yarn, lint-gathering, without destination.

Some of you will have heard these stories, since they’re true; apologies in advance.