6 dec

re user em/alex

there is a copy of eeeee eee eeee prominently in the background of a shot in an episode of lena dunham’s hbo show girls

749 words yesterday, bad

5 dec

yesterday was (almost) 1k words, many of them usable. 'we're so back' etc.

every morning i've been reading one or two of the letters in kafka's letters to milena with coffee.

i've meant to ask you several times why you never write in czech. not to imply that your command of german leaves anything to be desired. most of the time it is amazing and on those occasions when it does falter, the german language becomes pliant just for you, of its own accord, and then it is particularly beautiful, something a german doesn't even dare hope for; a german wouldn't dare write so personally. but i wanted to read you in czech because, after all, you do belong in that language, because only there can milena be found in her entirety

1 dec

389 words

0 time spent reading primary/secondary texts


30 nov

'What [Henry] Green’s persistently under-read novels contribute to political readings of late modernism is this: a sympathetic fascination with the working classes is not, it turns out, exclusively the preserve of left politics in the 1930s; rather, a liking for the cultural specificities of class difference becomes almost tautologically compatible with an interest in their perpetuation.'

marina mackay

28 nov

110k words all of them bad

26 oct

congrats to floundr user EM

2k words this morning after insurmountable block...is block surmounted...can he do more...

talked to a friend about raymond williams this morning and it is genuinely funny that the major work of the most prominent anglophone marxist theorists of the 20c--fredric jameson and raymond williams--was to criticize and move past the deterministic structuralist models they inherited from lucien goldmann and lukács, only to be dismissed in the 21c as deterministic structuralists whose analyses could not understand 'agency' or 'contingency.' a curse that everyone will be read as doing the thing they explicitly tried to correct for.

23 oct

thank you emilye for recommending this book, it is very beautiful. from judith butler's giving an account of oneself:

Recognition cannot be unilaterally given. In the moment that I give it, I am potentially given it, and the form in which I offer it is potentially given to me. ... The Hegelian other is always found outside; at least, it is first found outside and only later recognized to be constitutive of the subject. ... The "I" repeatedly finds itself outside itself, and ... nothing can put an end to the repeated upsurge of this exteriority that is, paradoxically, my own. I am, as it were, always other to myself, and there is no final moment in which my return to myself takes place. ... I am invariably transformed by the encounters I undergo; recognition becomes the process by which I become other than what I was and so cease to be able to return to what I was. There is, then, a constitutive loss in the process of recognition, since the "I" is transformed through the act of recognition. ... one finds that the only way to know oneself is through a mediation that takes place outside of oneself, exterior to oneself, by virtue of a convention or a norm that one did not make....


a structure of substitutability at the core of singularity


In living my life as a recognizable being, I live in a vector of temporalities . . . which [partly] consists in the social and historical temporality of the norms by which my recognizability is established and maintained. These norms are ... indifferent to me, to my life and to my death. Because norms emerge, transform, and persist according to a temporality that is not the same as the temporality of my life, and because they also in some ways sustain my life in its intelligibility, the temporality of norms interrupts the time of my living. Paradoxically, it is this interrupting . . . this instance of an indifference in sociality, that nevertheless sustains my living.


My words are taken away as I give them, interrupted by the time of a discourse that is not the same as the time of my life. This "interruption" contests the sense of the account's being grounded in myself alone.... No account takes place outside the structure of address . . . . The address establishes the account as an account, and so the account is completed only on the occasion when it is effectively exported and expropriated from the domain of what is my own. It is only in dispossession that I can and do give an account of myself.


19 oct

thinking about a new way to be annoying (getting into william dean howells)

9 oct

finally found a quote for which i'd been looking forever, accidentally, in an unrelated book, from adorno's aesthetic theory:

"the law of all art has been its antilaw"

6 oct

listening to drake

27 sept

still kinda sick

went back to this passage from denton welch's in youth is pleasure that i read the first year of grad school while recovering from mono:

Orvil had had the strangest night. The temptation to do something bad had come many times, but he had withstood it, and had felt very powerful and good, as if God were on his side. His dreams had been even more terrifying and wonderful than usual. He found himself lying full length in an enormous open wound. The exposed, gently bubbling, cushiony flesh was very comfortable; but he knew that if he moved even his eyelid muscle he would inflict terrible pain on the giant in whose wounded red bosom he lay.

26 sept

possible i will be sick for the rest of my life denton welch style


was reading foucault's the order of things yesterday & thinking about whether or not there's been a similar systematic approach to analyzing the 'procedures' of literary study in that vein. the only examples i could think of take after bourdieu, rather than foucault. anyway today lorraine dalston is writing basically the same thing on the critical inquiry blog:

Even leaving the philosophers aside, the sciences have an impressive tradition of practitioners philosophizing about their own practices – practices such as controlling experiments, making measurements, distinguishing correlation from causation, estimating personal equations, sampling populations, and constructing mathematical models. It is not as if the humanities lack for their own refined ways of knowing, from source criticism in philology to close reading in literary studies, not to mention critical commentary in philosophy and anachronism-spotting in history. Yet despite the remarkable sophistication of these tools, each with its own history and all honed by decades if not centuries of disciplinary scrutiny, there is very little systematic reflection among humanists (much less among my own tribe of historians and philosophers of science) about how we know what we know.


i think jonathan kramnick's recent work is responsive to this, but one's response to it will depend on how satisfied one is by analytic philosophy's tendency to answer a question by reference to practice.

25 sept

that to-do list has remained fully intact. need a log on here for little research facts. research fact of today is that the working title of henry green's 'concluding' was 'dying' (from mark a. r. facknitz's "the edge of night" in twentieth century literature 36.1).

23 sept

i am sick!

we are going to have to miss something hosted by a friend i like a lot but don’t see that much—sad!

but last night we got to facetime emilye and synchronously hang during a zadie smith discussion & sunday is bolaño club—happy!

but i realized yesterday that i have not substantively moved the needle forward on my **** in a month at least—bad!

but i did manage to read four articles yesterday of ostensible relevance to my ****—ambivalent!

we are going to see a harold pinter play next week—good!

emilye i am going to make a recommendations page like yours i think. watt and ellen shld do the same. >:-)

on twitter they are doing the 4 best books you read prompt & i can’t think of one of maybe 45 books i’ve read this year, other than rereads i would actually put on there. actual air & pere goriot i guess.


- text the fourish ppl i have been ghosting about setting up remote cowriting hours

- get hotel and train tickets for mla & apply for department funding

- get plane ticket for november (which i can’t do until my committee member gets back w final dates)

- mail emilye our spare copy of the fraud

- plan trips 2 friends this year but actually

2 aug

good article on sebald


25 july 2023

at the library. doing good!

11 july 2023

emilye: i am crying also everywhere i go here feels too powerful……

since getting in i have mostly been doing stuff w people or working but i want to do a tour of Spots as well. i did visit ivy house & ellen’s prairie apt & my old duplex & yr apt on washington & west side park & arboretum & campus (but need to do the other parks in the circuit!!!) & have gone 2 watsons & quality & kopi & cafe/co but i need more… (&&&)

i am also struggling w staying regular w medicine while here im sorry that is impacting job!!!

9 may 2023

hi emilye!! what are you getting ellen for her birthday. just kidding ellen don't read this. emilye when's yr mom's bday

22 july

ya emilye i like revolutionary road a lot! have you read the easter* parade? think that might be his best. lol disturbing the peace is a wild book

21 july

hell yea emilye what book did you start

getting sad again these days but it feels good to know i can feel sad. trying to be humble and curious and not getting very far with it so far

11 july

thanks for saying watt but as far as it goes i think i'm having a relatively easy time of things, which is really just a demonstration of how frustrating/humiliating moving always is. mostly just overwhelmed which i basically always am anyway. tangential to yr post but did you finish that amia srinivasan book!

em i'm glad you went to baseball game, was it like underworld by don delillo. also ellen bought a copy of capitalist realism so i finally read that lol.

alex omg i just learned about existential risk theory the other day. truly awful and scary and overfunded and seems to amount to pre-emptive genocide denial (re climate change) in a sense.

6 july

lol watt @ the idea of you quietly removing yourself from the pass window at family football games.

trying to move right now and am being reminded over and over again of how the process of renting is a deliberately humiliating one. i found a copy of faulkner, mississippi at a bookstore though which i've been wanting for a long time.

5 july

i'm no longer at the airport nor am i thinking

1 july

i’m at the airport…thinking

29 june but it's pm

emilye my friend's gf just moved to sf! yall should hang out. i realize my track record is not great on such connexions. i will let you know re: silko, i need to do ceremony too! and i told another friend i'd read wolfgang hilbig's book. i like duras, especially her fiction. that said i think lol stein stands head and shoulders above everything else, including the later proto-autofiction stuff. in my head i group lol stein in a class with the driver's seat by muriel spark, as novels whose play with perspective far outstrips anything done in the contemporary scene.

i'm need sleep

29 june

yes emilye it was so fun and revitalizing! really brought stuff out of the text for me too. excited for next go around.

now that i have a solid chapter draft done, i'm going to list books i would like to read this summer here.

hm. that is too ambitious. how is it already july. i seem to have permanently derailed my sleep schedule.

been thinking a lot about the summer before i moved to illinois for graduate school. got up to a lot of stuff. i didn't have a lot of time and yet somehow i read voss by patrick white, the ravishing of lol stein by marguerite duras, disgrace by j. m. coetzee, and orientalism by edward said, all of which are books that i still think about a lot. not to be weird but also those novels all kind of prefigure stuff that happened later. except for orientalism, i guess, which mostly just explained why i shouldn't have gone to graduate school.

25 june

catching up in chronological order:


ofc you should do a log lol!


is 'toxic behavior in a lyft' code for 'putting toxic on the aux'


i do think balkanization is both in the offing and in some sense the current reality. i think pessimism is reasonable in depressing times. did you ever see this article?

left wing hypomania

glad you're playing music again though!


finished a rough chapter draft after working in a fugue state for a couple days. have so much of a backlog at work now but it will be worth it (right??). i finished gayl jones's corregidora, which is a magisterial novel. i'm working through timothy bewes's new book which is frustrating and brilliant and wacky. and i'm just starting sally rooney's new book on elle's rec which is fun.

15 june

Hello to: watt

love the beckett motifs. i agree about suffering and bumble. how is persuasion? my friend gifted me that a while ago and i should maybe read this summer.

ellen what if you start a scientology club at work? could make some inroads

emilye get a library card!!!

either/or is so funny, i kept laughing at the laundromat and being embarrassed. i'm going to see an old friend for the first time in years today. feels very unreal.

can't believe i'm abd (pronounced, abd)

13 june

abd more like aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaA

emilye im sorry abt toxic work enduring! you should demand cookies from someone there until morale improves imo

8 june 2022

haha emilye i almost messaged it to the twitter message but felt slightly weird for some reason. post your claire-louise bennett takes the people are dying.

everyone should see crimes of the future. new elif batuman book is very funny. have some work to do today but going to try post some schiller notes if i can.

physical man actually exists, while moral man is merely a problem yet to be solved.

3 june 2022

taking a train.

reading the new elizabeth hardwick collection. this made me laugh out loud:

how often we read a beginner’s review that compares a thin thing to a fat one. ‘john smith, like tolstoy, is very interested in the way men interact under conditions of battle.’ well, no.

30 may 2022

alex i don't know how to get into weigh building i do pretty light weights and mostly emphasize cardio at the gym because i like reading while i work out. i also read a times article that said it's bad to go to the gym now. anyway sorry this seems unhelpful lol. i have not read spinoza but i would like to! my friend loves the ethics or whatever it's called.

emilye i read yr blog. did you like the tell all your friends reissue. evangelion is wild.

i'm at the laundromat.

29 may 2022

finished critique of everyday life in the park yesterday. woke up at 5 today and manically wrote down notes across like six different documents. butterfly meme is this a dissertation. two episodes left in evangelion.

love implies the project of love, of loving and of being loved. it chooses to constitute its moment. (639)

27 may 2022

emilye holy shit i had no idea i had recommended so many books to you lol. glad to have a good track record. i hope you like checkout 19.

my covid isolation is supposed to end tomorrow but i'm not really sure what to do because i don't really trust cdc guidance about that kind of stuff anymore but i also don't want to be trapped in my apartment indefinitely.

26 may 2022

emilye we should talk about that moshfegh sometime! i think i have a different reading of it, would be interesting to discuss i think.

alex i like yr anti-oedipus page. one time i read a page of it and was convinced i'd developed aphasia.

ellen you have to tell nick if you start watching melrose place.

how is it thursday what the fuck.

yes emilye that definitely makes sense!! we should talk

i finished 'underworld.' thumbs up to 'underworld' by don delillo.

24 may 2022

hi emilye yes i would love to do a reading group of the practice of everyday life this summer! would be really helpful and fun.

i spent the weekend in chicago with friends i hadn't seen in a long time. it's so weird how the love you have for people is just a part of you. anyway now i have covid.

19 may 2022

worked out. worked. packed for chicago this weekend. driving up tonight. i like the eisenstein film part in 'underworld.'

18 may 2022

worked. went to library. another friend flaked on co-work plans which was good because i was hungover. worked out. read more ‘underworld.’ drinks with department friends downtown. hadn't seen most of the people there in a couple years.

17 may 2022

overslept my cowork plans but my friend texted to cancel. worked. finished ‘the politics of time’ and wrote way too many words about it. ordered flowers for ellen. walked to campus and worked there. tested for covid. walked home. read more ‘underworld.’ got drinks with a friend who is also reading ‘underworld’ and talked about ‘underworld.’

16 may 2022

worked. worked out. co-worked with ellen. arranged for chicago plans in a couple days. read most of peter osborne's 'the politics of time: modernity and avant-garde.' this book is very deep in the weeds of dense philosophy and i don't have all the necessary background but it's interesting and useful.