Help Wanted

The third anniversary of Intellectual Affairs is coming up soon. The first column appeared on February 1, 2005, and it looks like the two hundredth will be published at some point within the next few months.*

intellectual_affairs_medsmall.gif

Over the past several years, various people have suggested that it might be worth putting together a collection of my essays -- which would mean, among other things, making a selection of IA pieces, transferring them from cyberspace to the printed page.

The very idea has tended to induce a deer-in-the-headlights response on my part, at least in the past. The thought of rereading twenty years of my own stuff is not thrilling. All the biting of the tongue it would involve is disagreeable to imagine, and there is a real question whether the occasional pieces add up to some kind of whole. But maybe it's time to find out.

In any case, another more short-term prospect has come up, which is to create a webpage at IHE offering a "Best of Intellectual Affairs" selection -- maybe six or eight columns.

A few possibilities come to mind. But at this point, honestly, after writing about 180 columns, I can't even remember all of them.

So all of this is prologue to asking friends or regular readers for nominations. If you recall anything that made an impression, please either leave a comment here or send a note via the address thing over in the right-hand column. Don't worry about indicating the exact title or date. Just the topic ought to be enough for me to track it down.

Presumably this will also be helpful in putting together a collection of pieces, too, if it comes to that.

* Speaking of anniversaries: Quick Study is coming up on its first birthday. It seems like a lot longer. Then again three years of Intellectual Affairs feels like a decade.

January 21, 2008 9:32 AM | | Comments (6)

Categories:

6 Comments

Reading over the titles, these are the ones I remember zealously forwarding:

"Narcissus With an iPod"

"A Child's Garden of Culture and Atrocity"

"We, the People..."

"Beyond Islamophobofascism"

Scott,

Speaking of essay collections, when is that new collection of George Scialabba's essays that you wrote an intro for coming out?

Good question. I don't know. The publisher recently sent a note saying that there would be page proofs soon. It isn't listed at Amazon yet, however, and I'm not sure what the plans are.

If you are reading this and want to give an update, George, by all means feel free....

I have fond memories of your Lingua Franca pieces; the one Ayn Rand and the one on Baudrillard.

Anything you've written on CLR James is surely worth preserving.

Congratulations on the anniversaries. You face the dilemma for any journalist: to write in a timely but not disposable fashion, although in your case, you may have the good fortune to come up with your own choice(s) to answer that dilemma -- picking the essays you think are worth anthologizing.

My (negative) suggestion would be to avoid most columns about immediate internet concerns (the rise of blogs, that sort of thing) because, obviously, they're already becoming of mostly archaelogical interest. An exception might be your Wikipedia column because it offered a discussion of systemic and still-present problems with the Wiki approach. I also happen to think your Harry Potter column was an intelligent analysis of the Potter/pop culture/academic study phenomenon: The dissenting comments it received were almost entirely prompted by your admission that you'd not read the Potter novels; they said almost nothing about the content of the column's argument.

Columns that are, more or less, straight-ahead book reviews should also probably be avoided (Not Just for Java, for example). That's not to say many aren't good, but unless reviews link to some wider issue or you've used the book essentially to write an essay (moving into a different form), reviews do tend to age quickly (especially when the book fades from collective memory).

Columns about literary/intellectual uproars or scandals (the two-parter on the Foucault and Baumant accusations being re-heated, for instance) are usually welcome. And me, I'll read anything about Lyndon LaRouche because I find LaRouche-ite crackpottery both laughable and oddly fascinating. Perhaps you might even create a separate chapter devoted to that particular Soviet-cult-conspiracy-paranoid mindset you often write about (i.e., All Plots Move Deathward).

Good luck with it.

Vonnegut piece, post-Vonnegut

A Child's Garden of Culture and Atrocity - That is not just a review but says something interesting about time and change and mutating visions of the world.

Write On, for the peek at the writer

Pottering Around - Would've liked more on the whole idea of people becoming obsessed with one writer's created worlds. Also you left out the enormous realm (related to the criticism--"Quidditch, Imperialism and the Sport-War Intertext" is marvelously absurd) of fanfiction and Potterdom, where I hear that one may find additional stories, "alternative history" stories, erotica straight or gay, back stories of minor characters, etc. Of course, that may just make you shiver...

Leave a comment

Recent Work

Fidel Castro: My Life 
A review from Newsday
40 Years of "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" 
Marking the anniversary of Harold Cruse's great book
Style and Grace 
A review of a book by the late, great Grace Paley from ... sheesh, almost ten years ago.
Oh, Canada 
National identity -- going south?
The LaRouche Tabernacle Choir 
An interview with me about the LaRouche movement, on Pacifica radio in Los Angeles
Open Library 
An interview with Aaron Swartz, one of the developers....
Sailing From Ithaka 
The new report calling for a digital platform for scholarly publishing deserves a wide audience
more

Readings

Battle of the Titans 
Dinesh D'Souza and Alan Wolfe debating? Imagine a slime mold in conflict with a patch of mildew. It's just that inspiring.
To the Tehran Station 
Not about Edmund Wilson
more picks

Blogroll

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on January 21, 2008 9:32 AM.

There is a Spectre Haunting American Politics was the previous entry in this blog.

Why Complain about Homophobic Crap on Fox News When You Can Laugh at the Death of a Beloved Conservative Icon? is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads


AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.