“So as to give them courage we must teach people to be shocked by themselves.”

More Manchette (HUM303)

A brief reading of some aspects of Fatale:

A clip from a film based on a novel by Manchette:

“A User’s Guide to Detournement”:

Empire and Time (HUM425)

“What has made it impossible for us to live in time like fish in water, like birds in air, like children? It is the fault of Empire! Empire has created the time of history. Empire has located its existence not in the smooth recurrent spinning time of the cycle of the seasons but in the jagged time of rise and fall, of beginning and end, of catastrophe. Empire dooms itself to live in history and plot against history” (133).

–JM Coetzee, Waiting for the Barbarians

Pagu (HUM455)


Archaeology of a Dictatorship (HUM425)

From Paula Luttringer’s The Wailing of the Walls:


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Kpop/Image (HUM415)

Those who opted for the image assignment should upload their work to the kpop forum on ilearn.

What a Novel Is (HUM303)

“A novel is a piece of prose fiction of a reasonable length. Even a definition as toothless as this, however, is still too restricted. Not all novels are written in prose…. As for fiction, the distinction between fiction and fact is not always clear. And what counts as a reasonable length?

“The truth is that the novel is a genre which resists exact definition. This in itself is not particularly striking, since many things– ‘game’, for example, or ‘hairy’– resist exact definition…. The point about the novel, however, is not just that it eludes definitions, but that it actively undermines them. It is less a genre than an anti-genre.

“The novel is a mighty melting pot, a mongrel among literary thoroughbreds.

“Most commentators agree that the novel has its roots in the literary form we know as romance. Indeed, these are roots that it has never entirely cut. Novels are romances– but romances which have to negotiate the prosaic world of modern civilization.”

Situationist Noir (HUM303)

This article by Jennifer Howard will give you additional insight into Jean-Patrick Manchette’s Fatale:

Jennifer Howard, “Situationist Noir” from The Boston Review. Apr/May 2003.

Also, a brief essay by Manchette on the neo-polar:

Pan’s Labyrinth (HUM425)

Heart of Summer

Here’s a rough commentary on Pan’s Labyrinth. If I were writing a paper, I’d consider it a first draft and look to re-draft twice. We’ll discuss PL in class on Tuesday and work on Kalpa Imperial. Come prepared.

Ofelia finds the stone eye of a statue, one that resembles a piece of ritual art or a totem. She places the eye into the statue’s empty socket. (The statue can now “see”.) A large insect (which O refers to as a fairy– is this a misrecognition?) immediately emerges from its mouth. (Is this a kind of speech? If so it is a material signifier, yet one that, at least in O’s eyes, can mutate.)

The fairy/bug signifies alterity, a fantasy world. We see it as grotesque, while to O it symbolizes fantasy/mystery/magic. This is the first instance, perhaps, of a disconnect between appearance and essence. That gap will be reformulated in the figures of the Captain (a father who is not a father) and the Faun (the threatening aspect of this creature misdirects our reading of him).

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Ignore the Vapid Headline… (HUM415)

… and read the interview. We’re going to be reading Graeber in a couple of weeks.

She is Wow! (HUM415)


Above: an ad for a recent South Korean television series the title of which, it seems, translates to She is Wow! Obviously, Pelevin comes to mind (“Wow!Wow!Wow!”) but there’s also a Kpop connection here. A-Ra (Oh Hyun-Kyung)– an actress reaching middle age– has a blandly androgynous son named Min-Kyu (Jin Young, a member of B1A4) who has been expelled from school in the United States. This crisis adds to A-Ra’s existing difficulties: her career is suffering because of her age (she’s 43, which is, like, 89 in actress years) and she hasn’t had sex with her self-absorbed husband in a decade or more. Such professional and sexual frustration, then, is the main ingredient for a moderately amusing farce rife with visual and verbal innuendo, one which also showcases the instrumentalization of human relations and the rapacity of the pop culture industry. Watch the first episode and you’ll see what I mean.


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