Monday, March 31, 2008

Little energy except for a sort of bullet list type deal --

* we took Simon to the doctor today for a two-month checkup and for his first immunization shot -- he's 25 inches long and 15 pounds, which puts him in the 98 percentile on length and weight

* finished my two 12 hour written exams and my 2 hour oral exam, so now I am ABD (all but dissertation)

* my intuition is that my dissertation will cycle through a notion of a Poetics of Knowing in the modernist period, and that it will have something to do with Foucault's Will to Knowledge and what Martin Jay in Songs of Experience discusses, of the development of an epistemological double

* that these things will be related to Kittler's notion of the discourse network of 1900 and Heidegger & Vattimo's notions about technology-as-metaphysics

* and that Eric Havelock's discussion of an orally based culture and pedagogy and ritual in the moment before the instantiation of writing in Preface to Plato will color my thinking

* that my cast will likely include Charles Olson, Henry Adams, Gertrude Stein, Laura Riding Jackson, Ezra Pound, Carl O. Sauer, Frederick Jackson Turner, WCW, DH Lawrence, WEB DuBois, William James

* that I may move from a discussion of the modernist interrogation and continuation of a 'pioneer spirit' and its role in a (white) national consciousness to a discussion of writing as a maintenance of a loop of absolute knowledge to a discussion of the struggle to write speaking in the modernist lecture and orally-inflected poem to a discussion of music as a figure for understanding force

* that this whole dissertation idea is going to have to be winnowed down to a manageable project

* some recent raves: Norman O. Brown's Closing Time, Foucault's "Nietzsche Genealogy History," Nathaniel Mackey's Bedouin Hornbook, John Coltrane's Meditations, Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose

* some planned readings: lots of Heidegger & Foucault, Wilson Harris, CLR James

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Sunday, March 09, 2008



Simon waking up on the day he turns seven weeks old.

Saturday, March 08, 2008

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The top twenty greatest country vocalists

name / strength & character / range / expressiveness & emotion / quality of material [all 1-10 range]

1. George Jones / 10 / 10 / 10 / 9
2. Lefty Frizzell / 10 / 9 / 10 / 10
3. Tanya Tucker / 10 / 10 / 10 / 9 (weighing her pre-1980 recordings very heavily, and discounting most all post-1980)
4. Merle Haggard / 10 / 9 / 9 / 10
5. Loretta Lynn / 10 / 8 / 9 / 10
6. Waylon Jennings / 10 / 8 / 9 / 10
7. Wynonna Judd / 9 / 9 / 9 / 8
8. Johnny Cash / 10 / 5 / 8 / 10
9. Louvin Bros. / 9 / 9 / 9 / 7
10. Bill Monroe / 8 / 9 / 10 / 8
11. Dolly Parton / 9 / 9 / 9 / 8
12. Hank Williams / 8 / 8 / 9 / 10
13. Keith Whitley / 9 / 9 / 9 / 8
14. George Strait / 8 / 8 / 8 / 10
15. Natalie Maines / 8 / 9 / 9 / 9
16. Don Williams / 10 / 7 / 9 / 8
17. Tammy Wynette / 9 / 8 / 9 / 7
18. Randy Travis / 9 / 8 / 9 / 8
19. Patsy Cline / 8 / 9 / 8 / 7
20. Patty Loveless / 9 / 8 / 8 / 7

Honorable mentions: Alan Jackson, John Anderson, Mark Chestnutt, Toby Keith, Dwight Yoakam, Willie Nelson

Dishonorable mentions: Garth Brooks, Kris Kristofferson, Reba McEntire, Hank Williams Jr

I guess I could do my list of alterna-country types, or non-traditional country vocalists. The tops would be Richard Buckner, Iris Dement.