[KB] Ed and KB

Lance Haynes lance at mst.edu
Fri May 2 09:13:23 EDT 2008


I love it, David--but before celebrating certain
similarities between Ed and KB, (by which I am
often struck),  I don't believe I've ever known
Ed to drink vodka, certainly not a quart a day.

-LH

At 5/2/2008 07:56 AM, you wrote:


>I should provide full context, before picking up Stacey's good thoughts:
>
>  From Garber's ACADEMIC INSTINCTS 21-22
>
>Hence the present-day nostalgia for Edmund Wilson and
>Kenneth Burke. Burke never completed college or took a
>degree. He was the music critic of the Dial and the Nation
>before turning to the field of literary criticism. He lectured
>at the University of Chicago for a couple of years, taught at
>Bennington, and held visiting professorships and lecture-
>ships in the United States and Europe, but he wasn?t a ?col-
>lege professor? in the ordinary sense of the term. Likewise,
>critics and editors like Mumford, Macdonald, and Wilson
>wrote essays, book reviews, journal articles, opinion, and po-
>lemic. They didn?t have university positions. They seem to
>have been free-standing, not tied to an institution, although
>the periodicals they edited were supported and sustained
>by institutions just as empowering as any professor?s bully-
>podium.
>The nostalgia for these ?last? or ?lost? intellectuals is, like
>all nostalgias, produced retrospectively and structured like a
>fantasy. Its genius is that it brings together the mystique of
>amateurism with the grittiness of the self-made man, thus
>magically banishing any taint of (a) hereditary privilege and
>(b) femaleness or femininity. Thus, this nostalgia solves an
>image problem: how to conceive of a literary intellectual, a
>?man of letters,? as a man.
>
>
>
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