The midpoint of the residency. The morning was designated as a reading/writing period & I took advantage of that to get a fair amount of work done in the morning. The first activity of the day was “synthesis” which turned out to be a sort of free-wheeling discussion of the residency, one which I hope we will continue online through the blackboard site.
The day’s seminar was Enid Shomer talking on “The Theory of Poetry and the Metaphor of the Mind.” I had been looking forward to this courtesy of the large number of optional readings that I had done, returning a bit to the obsession with critical theory which marked by undergrad days. Back in the 80s, it seemed that critical theory was not just part of what was happening in the academy, but it made its way into the culture, with conservatives decrying the relativism of deconstructionism. There were debates about Derrida in the Los Angeles Times. Maybe some of this still happens and not being centered on academia I’m just not connected.
The evening’s readings were Keith Gessen, reading some selections from his translations of the poems of Kirill Medvedev, and Tibor Fischer who read a couple passages from his first and last novels.