I attended university back in the 1960s. Although I studied English (EngLangLit) I was careful with my credits and ended up with both a Major in English and a Minor in Comparative Literature. One of my professors was a young Frank Lentricchia: I have actually forgotten what the course was (could it have been W. B. Yeats?). Since I was graduating, I was searching around for a decent graduate program which would both accept me and give me enough money to pursue an advanced degree in English. One of the professors I received a recommendation from was Lentricchia. Interestingly, his path for me led to a college on Long Island (Stonybrook), not far from the train station to Manhattan. If I had gone that way, instead of the mid-west college (Washington University) I ended up in, how different would my life have been?
“The true life is not reducible to words spoken or written, not by anyone, ever.” This appears to be a left-handed way of saying, “It’s all fiction.”
Don DeLillo continues with a more specific and even more demanding observation: “An eight-hundred-page biography is nothing more than dead conjecture…”
When I studied rhetoric at the university we had several exercises designed to develop various skills in writing. One I remember well was to write detailed instructions so that anyone could read them and flawlessly perform the task described. My essay was called “Scratching the Grasshopper” and it dealt with the very Southern California effort of paddling a surfboard out beyond the shore break.
The other day my cable services died and it took beaucoup de hours to get everything back online (unplug, wait, re-plug, cry). The first service to be restored (ironically since I could care less) was the television. Since it was now Tuesday I suppose I was happy that I wouldn’t miss my Sunday night show. While testing the television service I flipped through many channels with satisfactory results (see disclaimer above) and uncharacteristically left the television on, in case the fix was only temporary. I went into my office to work on my Internet connection and could hear that Sesame Street was playing on the television. I thought I had left the room with HBO playing so I went back into the living room to be surprised that Sesame Street was now on HBO (it left PBS?).
Is this man on a par with the terrorists who seek to destroy the American way of life?
During Wednesday oral arguments in a Supreme Court case on affirmative action, Justice Antonin Scalia argued that black Americans do not benefit from race-based quota policies. “They’re being pushed into schools that are too advanced for them,” he reportedly said of black students. “Most of the black scientists in this country do not come from the most advanced schools,” the justice added. He said they benefited from a “slower track.” Scalia has long opposed affirmative-action policies in higher education.