June 8, Monday morning -- Reading Judith Butler

On the 38 Geary bus
Reading Precarious Life, by local Berkeley author and professor, Judith Butler. He has read most of Judith Butler's work. She writes about feminism, queer theory, political philosophy and ethics. Precarious Life is about the post 9-11 world and how the war on terror asks the question: are some of us more human than others? For instance, the media refusing to show wounded or dead Iraqis or Afghans creates a "hierarchy of grief."

A favorite -- Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, for the language. We both, while the bus heaved down Geary Street, reveled in the poetry, especially, and I brought this up because it still sticks with me, the scene where.... (click below to read more)
after a whale has been hauled on board, the hardened sailors are sitting around a vat squeezing the lumps out of the waxy substance found in the sperm whales head, which is called sperm: ...a strange sort of insanity came over me; and I found myself unwittingly squeezing my co-laborers' hands in it, mistaking their hands for the gentle globules. Such an abounding, affectionate, friendly, loving feeling did this vocation beget; that at last I was continually squeezing their hands, and looking into their eyes sentimentally; as much as to say - Oh! my dear fellow beings, why should we longer cherish any social acerbities; or know the slightest ill humor or envy!


2 Comments:

Kathleen said...

Just wanted you to know that I love your blog. I have always been fascinated by books and what other people are reading. It's fun to try and guess by how someone looks what they might be reading. But I'm sure you have found as I have that it is always a surprise. Thanks for providing this view into books and the people who read them. I hope lots of us are paying attention!

Smarry said...

Thanks for providing this view into books and the people who read them. I hope lots of us are paying attention!

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Smarry
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