Phaedrus' Street Crew
  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by savdec449

  1. Would anyone be interested in doing something like this over the summer? I'm in a position where I have nothing structured to do with my life between now and starting grad school in the fall, and I'd love to have an excuse to put together a reading list with smart folks such as yrselves. Basically, we'd hit the big names (Bogost, Galloway, Jagoda), as well as anything you guy suggest, in manageable, article-length chunks about once every two weeks. Especially in light of the recent kerfuffles concerning game criticism and politics, it might be interesting to think about what a critical understanding of games entails, and what purposes game studies might have that is unique to it as an area of study. If people are interested, I can put together a mock-up schedule/ list of real readings!
  2. Game theory/studies (academic) reading group

    tberton, that sounds great--I'll add it to whatever list we wind up using! Deadpan, that sounds fun as well--I've signed up since free time isn't exactly something I lack.
  3. Books, books, books...

    I don't know how I'm still reading for classes (well, I totally do) but right now my weekend is dedicated to reading a few histories of the intellectual in the academy. Womp womp. (Actually really enjoying them, though this tells you just what kind of nerd I am).
  4. BioShock Infinite

    On the influx of American history:
  5. BioShock Infinite

  6. BioShock Infinite

    Gosh, so I'm going to make an argument for this ending. It's late and I was up late writing a paper last night too, so if I begin to sound like a crazy person just ignore that part and see if my main point is useful.
  7. But don't you think its ease is also because to a certain extent it has become our archetype for our cultural knowledge of the twenties? It's maybe not a difficult novel (though man, its central formal ambiguity is fun to think about), but that could also be because it, metonymically(spellingmightbeoff)-speaking, the constructions and historical relations it poses arn't vague and in fact are the ones we (I mean Americans) go to at the drop of a hat. (like, say the need for some knowledge of class mobility in the 19th century to really understand the comic-tragedy of Great Expectations.)
  8. The Idle Book Club 2: Cloud Atlas

    In case anyone is interested in the theory of the whole "Death of the Author" thing, here's a few foundational links: (Wimsatt and Beardsley's extremely important article that gives us the term "the intentional fallacy") (Roland Barth's argument for the death of the author as primary generator of meaning and for the ascendancy of the reader) Also of interest, though I couldn't dig up a not super-illegal seeming link to it, is Foucault's essay, "What is an Author," in which F denies that there is such a thing as an author, but rather a few ground-breaking figures and those who follow in the discourse that they establish. It's complicated and requires more background to really grasp its implications (e.g. it explicitly mentions the "coming into being" of an author, which emphasizes a connection to an aspect of Heidegger's philosophy). Anyways, as for Cloud Atlas. I thought the major flaw the book narrowly avoids and the movie dives into headfirst is a certain saccharine sentimentality. This gets touched on in the 'cast, but I was wondering if anyone else feel this way.
  9. Books, books, books...

    Thanks! Yeah, I've already been directed to that, as well as a new book that came out recently that discusses Wallace's legacy ed. by Lee Konstantinou. And um I'm looking to do it on either Wallace or Pynchon and ethics, though what particular area of ethics is kind of up in the air at the moment.
  10. Books, books, books...

    For the record, I'm also maybe doing a thesis on Wallace, so what I want from that bio may not be what everyone wants.
  11. Books, books, books...

    It's a decent summary, but it's also super cursory and DT Max is just not a careful writer. For example, the book is just kind of filled with lines like one where Max mentions that Wallace both hated the prep atmosphere of Amherst and joined a frat. Those two bits of contradictory info are in the same sentence with no other explanation, which just kind of boggles the mind. Or the bit about Wallace needing an undergraduate math major's help in writing his thesis. Is Wallace a logic-whiz like we're lead to believe elsewhere or isn't he? Modal logic is different but would it really have been that alien to someone trained in regular old symbolic? And a lot of the book feels like that to me, just kind of not-gracefully-thought-out info dumping. I'm dreading the post-Infinite Jest sections, because I've only heard bad things about their skimming of the later Wallace, which is where I feel he wrote some of his best work.
  12. Books, books, books...

    I've only ever read (and liked) his journalism, but Europe Central and Rainbow Stories are both spoken pretty highly of. For what it is worth, DFW loved Rainbow Stories according to his biography. Which, by the way, I uh would not recommend.
  13. Who is the Great American Novelist?

    No, I agree! I think late Cormac McCarthy is a much less interesting writer, largely because he kind of abandoned, in The Road and NCFOM, the baroque-quality that I so love in Blood Meridian.
  14. Who is the Great American Novelist?

    That seems to me an uncharitable reading of Franzen's work. Chip from The Corrections and the entirety of the family in Freedom are nothing if not a critical examination of the left-wing (I won't use the word liberal) mindset when it is juxtaposed with the brute facts of a person's life. Franzen, at least in his latest two novels, is anything but handwringing, if I understand how you are using that word correctly.
  15. Books, books, books...

    This is a random request, but does anyone know any good books on film history? Specifically French New Wave, but I'd be down for anything, really. My only caveat is that I don't want anything that is too broad (e.g. a general history of Hollywood).
  16. Who is the Great American Novelist?

    It's been a while, but I think that The Corrections is a um meaner work, though maybe more powerful in spots for that. But that could also have to do with how Franzen changed as a person in the time between writing those two novels: if you read his interview in The Paris Review (which everyone should because its wonderful), you get a sense that, in Freedom, he's not really working under or against the shadow of DFW or his family like he used to be. The relative simplicity of the prose is what a lot of reviewers picked up on (and denigrated), yet I felt a lesser need to go after things. It might be that, because I'm at a different point in my life, Franzen's family-archeology just doesn't reach me as much as it. I really loved and felt pulled around by Chad Harbach's The Art of Fielding; if pressed, I couldn't give any reason inherent in the novels for one to do so and the other not asides from my personal experience.
  17. Who is the Great American Novelist?

    Yeah, I didn't mean to say that he wasn't very good; I devoured all of Freedom in the first half of my short spring break. But, for me, he kind of has this old-school kind of ambition that I can read and enjoy but not be blown away by. I kind of think of him like I think of the bands that are swiping stuff from Springsteen, fun to listen to but not going to change my life.
  18. Who is the Great American Novelist?

    Was I the only one who smirked upon realizing Franzen didn't make the cut? His coronation seems like its been all but forgotten now that we're almost two years out from Freedom.
  19. Books, books, books...

    Thanks! Yeah, I want to get to Wittgenstein after this and at least read the Brandom essay in the collection you mentioned, if for no other reason than institutional pride. I'm not sure how much I buy what seems to be the ejecting of uh hundreds of years of thought, but the way he goes about doing it (and the fact that he writes as well as he does) just kinda leaves me in awe. I guess that rejection-process though is what makes him a pragmatist, though. I don't know why it doesn't bother me in him but drove me kind of insane when I read James and "Against Theory," which was a pragmatist attack on literary theory whose author I'm too lazy to look up. Edit: Would enough people be interested for me to start a Philosophy-dedicated thread? If so, I'd throw together an OP with a terrible timeline and some helpful links.
  20. Books, books, books...

    I'm having a mini-crisis of faith with majoring in english, so I've been reading phil articles and books lately. Richard Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature is stupidly fun to read. I realize I may not have the same idea of fun as other people.
  21. New people: Read this, say hi.

    Hi! I'm new (obvi). I'm here 'cuz the Idle Thumbs Podcast kept me playing video games (or at least kept me wanting to) at the end of High School/ beginning of college. Also, Kangaroo Jack, the unheralded cinematic masterpiece of my childhood.