за письки из подполья

Стало известно, что Дмитрий Евгеньевич Галковский хвастается своей способностью “за неделю довести до слёз и нервного срыва любого”.

В связи с нынешней годовщиной рождения создателя прообраза подпольного типа Дмитрия Евгеньевича, я объявляю следующий вызов:

Если Галковский до 19 июля 2008 года доведёт меня до слёз и нервного срыва, он получит миллион рублей по нынешнему валютному курсу. Но ежели не доведёт, с него причтётся мемориальный Приговский перформанс. То есть, в случае неудачи провокаций Дмитрия Евгеньевича, ему придётся исполнить и запечатлеть сеанс публичного рукоблудия в годовщину смерти Дмитрия Александровича Пригова, в час пик на кольцевой в Московском метрополитене.

Условия моего предложения таковы: Continue reading за письки из подполья

man’s best friends II

― for P.N.  

I have held off this response as long as I could. I do not and cannot expect it to serve as a peace missive. But I make every effort to soften the blows that I must dispense. I am hoping to factor out emotions like jealousy or anger. Not that I lack such responses to your bid to inflate your literary stature at my expense. The canonical riposte to this attempt would be to promise and ensure that you would only go down in history as a footnote to me. But I refuse to play our game in the service of vanity. Every time we tangle up in our egos, I stray from my course. It is a vice that I shall no longer tolerate in myself. To risk unsolicited if timely advice, it is also a luxury that you can no longer afford in your life.
    It remains that I owe you an answer. I further believe that you owe me contrition. Whether or not you acknowledge and discharge this debt is beyond my control. Continue reading man’s best friends II


― for P.N.

    I am tardy with you, because I have sought what I had forgotten, here and there, consigned to the Usenet, of your erstwhile obiter dicta. Herewith a response based on the next to nothing that I found. I shall abide by your request to withhold poetic criticism, not because I agree with your insistence that it is beyond my ken, but out of deference to your bruised sensibilities. In this regard, I also thank you for striking a pose that releases me from burdensome concerns, with a word of advice: in extolling dada, pause to attend to the thing Tristan Tzara named jem’enfoutisme. Continue reading quietus

pornographic imagination II

    Now that I have your letter, I understand both your reluctance to send it, and your delay in doing so. The former reflects my own resistance to reopening the subject so thoroughly excavated in our collegiate dialectics thirteen years ago. I refuse to mirror the latter in delaying this response, begging only your forgiveness for casting it in vague generalities, to which your bel esprit is fortunately far more susceptible than the otherwise pliant mind of the honnête homme. Continue reading pornographic imagination II

pornographic imagination I

    I am writing down this response to your criticism. It is overdue by eleven months. Last time we saw each other after my father’s death, you gave me its gist. At that time, I had not yet resumed my writing. But you were already entitled to your opinion. We had known and supported each other through similar peripeties: your divorce and remarriage; my cohabitation, collaboration, and conflagration. And as far as I know, you numbered among the septet of my readers. In addition to Hilary Putnam and Bill Todd, that ill-fated treatise wended its way into the hands of Colin McLarty, Eric Gans, and my old man. With you, that makes six. But of course, Erin read it, too. And herein lays my response to one of your barbs. Continue reading pornographic imagination I

onanistic apologetics II

    The sources of Rousseau’s success are instructive. His was, and remains, the earliest and the greatest of all tales of self-consecration. The idea of the writer immortalizing himself through his work is as old as Horace. The idea of the writer immortalizing his work through his life is entirely modern. It is tempting to wax paradoxical in discussing this course of creation. In cultivating his paranoia by eliciting quarrels from his best friends, Jean-Jacques never ceased to extol his virtues as the finest example of man’s innate goodness. While defending the rights of children, he caused his five illegitimate offspring to be abandoned at the door of a foundling hospital, without so much as looking at them. After ending his formal education before entering his teens, he fashioned himself into an oracular educationist. Through pretending to eschew judgment in his accounts of himself, he relentlessly indicted individuals along with their institutions. Widely acknowledged as the heroic progenitor of the French Revolution, and thence of modernity as such, he opens himself up to plaudits and anathemas as an implacable terrorist or self-righteous totalitarian. In avoiding this embarrassment of epithets, the best approach is through plain facts. Continue reading onanistic apologetics II

onanistic apologetics I

    Michael once heard a man boast of never having had to masturbate. What the braggart had attributed to a surfeit of opportunity, was clearly owed to a want of libido. As goes intercourse, so does interlocution. Writing for no particular recipient is to verbal communication as masturbation is to sex. All the more so if the writer’s aim is dialectics. Solo practice of Socratic midwifery is as likely to deliver reason, as onanism, to engender offspring. And yet, man’s earnest striving to justify his ways wholesale, to his equals and his betters, can arise alongside with a humorless harangue against solitary pleasures: Continue reading onanistic apologetics I