Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Long Time No Blog

I've been preparing for Christmas, and working such hours and at such a pace that I am sure a nervous breakdown would be in the offing, were I not about to take two months' off to finish my book.

All the things I would have commented, and to which I would have linked, are by now passé. Those about which I am still thinking are nowhere near digested, and so I pass on commenting them for now.

I would say one thing, however, about Stanley Cavell's new book, Philosophy the Day After Tomorrow. The book may be as important asThe Claim of Reason. The essay on Astaire’s assertion of (the right to) praise merits and will continue to merit the close attention and critical energies of professors in every human discipline, perhaps most especially those who work in registers not often associated with the humanities, these days.

I will, one day soon, produce the list of highest praise: the elenchus of books I would see on a list of required freshman university at every institution of higher learning in the United States.
A good deal of Cavell’s work would find itself on such a list. This new book is making a bid, but there is a resistance (whether in the text, or in myself, or both, I cannot tell as yet, the Cavell himself would only approve of my acknowledging the presence of the tension without essaying further to establish its source or direction, I think) I have not encountered since first reading Cavell, and then I never so much overcame it as I did overcome my fear of it, to the extent that I have.

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