Perry Anderson

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Are there any appropriate dimensions to literary biography as a form? The stature of a writer, and length of life, might be expected to provide some co-ordinates. Yet even among modern masters there is little consistency.

the pinefox, Monday, 30 July 2018 13:14 (two years ago) link

"Marriage extended rather than altered this, Powell acquiring many an in-law from an Anglo-Irish background to which he was allergic"

the pinefox, Monday, 30 July 2018 13:15 (two years ago) link

To endorse, largely, what has been said: it seems plain that PA likes AP partly because he can identify with the relevant milieu. It is frustrating, in a way, that someone as brilliant as PA lacks perspective on this.

Arrival at the age of 13 at Eton, a year after the Great War had come an end, brought him in Spurling’s view

the underlying stability and continuity that came from a sense he had never known before of belonging to a community that accepted him, the nearest thing to a place where he felt at home. The school became from now on a kind of virtual extended family whose members – however rebarbative, reluctant or remote – stood in all his life for the actual relatives he hadn’t got.

Fortunate in finding himself in a house ‘with a poor reputation and no standards to keep up’, presided over by an easy-going master, he flourished as a member of the school’s Arts Society, did well academically, and emerged more polished and confident socially.


the pinefox, Monday, 30 July 2018 13:18 (two years ago) link

John Bayley (Letters, 10 January) wonders where I found a Russian tricolour of black, gold and white. The answer is: from the Imperial decree of 1858 which made it the correct flag of the Empire, in concord with the Romanov arms – and from the processions in Moscow today, in which rival banners express attachment to different aspects of the old order. There are those for whom it is more handsome a symbol of the past than the Batavian colours of which Bayley is fond.

Perry Anderson
Los Angeles

the pinefox, Monday, 30 July 2018 13:20 (two years ago) link

Mark S's favourite:

the pinefox, Monday, 30 July 2018 13:21 (two years ago) link

Like Proust he needs an editor

xyzzzz__, Monday, 30 July 2018 14:04 (two years ago) link

Seriously need to finish Lineages of the Absolutist State one of these days.
So long.
So dense.
Maybe tomorrow.

woof, Monday, 30 July 2018 14:17 (two years ago) link

I read the second half of PA's Powell epic today.

He spends most of the last pages describing AP as a very conservative or right-wing person. To what end? The only logical end really seems to be what has been a very standard PA manner for 30+ years: to play his own kind of Olympian contrarianism by writing with intimate sympathy about people on the political Right and showing no interest in criticizing their political views.

He also manages, in a predictable way, to insult people who are sceptical about Brexit. He doesn't live in the UK and doesn't face the various problems that Brexit has brought and will bring.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 19:17 (two years ago) link

(The one thing he has in common with Morrissey, I suppose. Irish blood, Californian heart.)

the pinefox, Wednesday, 1 August 2018 19:18 (two years ago) link

Unusually, PA picked up in a Guardian literary comment piece. The one striking thing here is that she quotes something he wrote 34 years ago - if that wasn't 'Modernity & Revolution' then I may not have read it:

the pinefox, Monday, 6 August 2018 13:46 (two years ago) link

two weeks pass...

This is the post where I ask for help in parsing one of Perry Anderson's sentences (or in this case fragment of a sentence):
"Odette’s visit as a courtesan to Uncle Adolphe when the narrator is plainly older than when she figures for him as Swann’s wife"

(this is an example of one of proust's "lapses of control": who is older than what here?)

mark s, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:08 (two years ago) link

Yes, I puzzled over that also. It didn't help that I haven't read Proust for nearly 15 years.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:24 (two years ago) link

Odette - when Swann's wife - is a certain age

The narrator is now older than this

Now Odette visits Uncle Adolphe


is that what it is saying?

Again, much too far from Proust now to know - don't even remember an Uncle Adolphe.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:26 (two years ago) link

This could conceivably be a failure of prose or of copy-editing.

LRB editing has worsened in the last couple of years.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:27 (two years ago) link

yours is one possibilty (though it's not made clear why this causes a problem)
viz "Odette’s visit as a courtesan to Uncle Adolphe when the narrator is plainly older thanshe was when she figures for him as Swann’s wife"

another is this:
"Odette’s visit as a courtesan to Uncle Adolphe when the narrator is plainly older thanhe is when she figures for him as Swann’s wife"
(which is presumably impossible since the events come in the opposite order?)

i guess a reckless copy editor might have deleted some such phrase? (why? hardly to save space) -- it's a copy editor's failing in any case, since a good one (me or you) wd have flagged up and problem and insisted something be done about it. i agree abt the worsening in general

oddly enough an adolphe who's an uncle has already been mentioned: not a character in the book but proust's own maternal grandmother's uncle -- so i didn't blink at this till i went back just now confidently to inform you who the adolphe in the book was, and can't (the only extended proust i have read is the extracts in this essay)

mark s, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:43 (two years ago) link

in mine the bolded he is the narrator not the uncle lol, basically a copy editor shd have thrown the whole fragment back at PA and insist he restructure it more clearly and quick now, obnubilate indeed

mark s, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:45 (two years ago) link

I used to marvel at the absence of basic errors (spelling, grammar) in the LRB - say, 10 to 15 years ago.

They have come in since then, sometimes say 2 or 3 per issue. I suspect also that there were errors way back, say 35 years ago, and the period I am talking about was a high plateau of quality in between.

the pinefox, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:49 (two years ago) link

I think it's that the narrator is older than he (the narrator) is when Odette figures for him as Swann's wife. The narrator, as a child, visits his uncle Adolphe and meets a lady in pink at his house. This lady in pink turns out to be Odette, who lived as a courtesan before she married Swann. But by the basic timeline of the story, Swann and Odette should already be married well before the narrator has reached the age of this episode. So it's unclear whether: (a) the narrator has met Odette Swann, who is implausibly reverting to her relationship with Adolphe, or (b) he's met the unmarried Odette de Crecy, and Proust has confused his timeline.

jmm, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 17:50 (two years ago) link

aha, thank you jmm :)

i guess that is more obvious to someone readily familiar with the text -- so that it unravels itself via information not actually available on the lrb's page -- but even so it is not terrific writing

mark s, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 18:06 (two years ago) link

Which is not something I would often say about Perry Anderson

the pinefox, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 18:18 (two years ago) link

rereading this essay i'm enjoying it a *lot* but i do think that writing abt fiction rather than reactionary thinkers or "politics from 30,000 feet" sometimes brings out something a bit discordantly antic in PA's prose -- actually not far from the kind of stuff that made me grind my teeth when christopher hitchens was being a bit too clever in his sentence-making (with similar pretext: i.e. when writing abt fiction rather than politics): "making an English equivalent of the Latin ablative absolute one of the trademarks of his style, with sovereign indifference to schoolroom objections to the pendant participle"

that final phrase is somehow just too cute (esp.after the clumsily repeated "to" before it): give a good example perry and stop showing off

mark s, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 18:27 (two years ago) link

or trying to show off

mark s, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 18:28 (two years ago) link


the pinefox, Tuesday, 21 August 2018 18:30 (two years ago) link

There are, iirc, several instances in Proust with timeline issues. I think he died before all seven vols were published but there were probably issues around any editors dealing w/Proust in the first place. Yeah, lol.

Powell is a reactionary thinker writing fiction - making the last section the strongest. Biggest laugh was Anderson sorta going along with Powell's hatred of Auden/British lefties just because Lyndon Johnson quoted the last line of September 1, 1939 in a speech.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 10:12 (two years ago) link

That was poor. That poem is one of the greatest modern poems in English that I can think of. PA, for all his brilliance, wouldn't have it in him to write something like it. He's unwise to mock it for the way it has been appropriated. He doesn't even bother to mention (though it's relevant) the best-known fact about the poem - that Auden kept changing the words because he was anxious and uncertain about the meaning.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 10:20 (two years ago) link

Is the second part of the Anderson essay still only available to subscribers?

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 10:22 (two years ago) link


I still don't really understand PA's attraction to reactionary thinkers, let alone the way that here he makes no criticism of Powell or doesn't seek to articulate a dialectical relation between ideas that PA supposedly disagrees with and fiction that he thinks perceptive.

I think it comes down to contrarianism, in line with Mark's observation about (C) Hitchens.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 10:24 (two years ago) link

admittedly i was reading it in bed late but i found part 2 quite hard going: at the start he is wrestling with the mysteries of differential popularity, which ends up being smug and dull -- popular culture is apparently wildly foreign territory to him and he's using adorno and debord as his baedecker, which lol (has he actually ever been to the cinema? he doesn't write as if he knows what films are actually like) (also is it true that there are no blockbusters than run on understatement?)

then he gets into the weeds of translateability (of idiom, of humour) -- which if course bears on global popularity -- but the survey is too sketchy to do the work he wants it to and too sketchy also for you to get into what interesting about it that isn't pretext-driven. d'you think he's actually read dream of the red chamber?

i didn't really follow the point he was making about bayley (who i anyway have zero interest in): that powell went over bayley's head? who cares?

the section on powell's knowledge of and interest in world lit -- as manifested in his essays and the quotations in the book -- is good, but a bit buried (i'd have liked more honestly, but i think perry is quite out of his wheelhouse here and couldn't risk more)

and then the actual real politics section: which becomes increasingly dispiriting, partly bcz powell's judgments are so cookiecutter tribal and his insights so meagre, and partly bcz it honestly isn't re-integrated back into any of the rest of the piece


contrarianism plus staunch anti-liberalism

mark s, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 10:58 (two years ago) link

Yes, re: anti-liberalism.

I think he quotes Powell saying Labour is part of liberalism?

I suspect that he has, indeed, read the massive Chinese novel. Am sure he wouldn't bluff that. It's all the kind of thing that Moretti would have told him was important.

I think I agree with you, Mark, re: the final section, the banality of AP's views, and how non-integrated it is!

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:13 (two years ago) link

That (from Mark S) is a pretty good critical summary of Part II.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:13 (two years ago) link

d'you think this is a colossal extract from a longer soon-to-be-pubished book? the "reactionary thinkers" essays in the LRB ended up as a book

(tho they were more easily freestanding: i wonder if some of the sketchier sections will actually exist at some point at deeper length)

mark s, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:21 (two years ago) link

This is a good and intriguing thought.

re earlier book, do you mean:


the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:22 (two years ago) link

I don't agree with Anderson at all btw (and from a google of it I saw that Auden was ambivalent about the ending, but it stuck so..), just noting the bizarre contortion at that moment.


xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:23 (two years ago) link

I think I should get a load of the older PA books. I know some of the material but tons I have still not read. Like that book and also:

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:25 (two years ago) link

PA is pretty good on Global South lit so I reckon he's read Dream of Red Chamber. There is an essay of his in the LRB discussing historical fic that pulls in a wide range of novels (Cities of Salt, Buru Quartet)

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:27 (two years ago) link

spectrum begins with a long chapter on reactionary thinkers -- hayek and oakeshott and etc -- which began life as essays in the LRB (i guess they wd have felt odd in the NLR)

mark s, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:30 (two years ago) link

His essays on India (which unusually I am not sure I read!!) became a book.

And so did US FOREIGN POLICY AND ITS THINKERS after ALREADY occupying an ENTIRE issue of NEW LEFT REVIEW a few months previously.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:31 (two years ago) link

we shd post him a print-out of this thread so he can rewrite where necessary (e.g. concerning uncle adolphe and also omitting any discussion of john bayley's opinions on anything)

mark s, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:43 (two years ago) link

I read all his essays on EU states (incl his essay on Cyprus!) back in the day, and I think that became a book too.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:49 (two years ago) link

Yes that became a big book.

I didn't read the Cyprus material because it was so vast and I couldn't find any personal interest in Cyprus. There are these rare cases where I can't get excited about PA's work.

The Germany essay in the book appeared in the NLR under the heading 'Land of Ideas?'.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 11:57 (two years ago) link

I'd second the recommendations for The New Old World (that big book w/ the EU essays and Cyprus) and Spectrum. I didn't have much personal interest in Cyprus before but found it a v gripping and fascinating read. Perhaps because I knew least about Cyprus and Turkey, those two chapters were the best parts of the book, though his essays on France and Italy are among his best (imo).

I interned at Verso five years ago and asked about what his next colossal one would be - I was told it was likely going to be a collection of the essays on Russia, Brazil, China and a longer theoretical intro/conclusion synthesizing views on the BRICs, although who knows, I could easily see him having switched gears and put out an 600 page book on the 20th century novel.

I haven't gotten to the second part of the essay yet (picked up the print copy of the LRB yesterday) so will withhold judgment on it as a whole for now. Had been a pretty big PA stan before (while not always agreeing with particular points) so am always pleased to find others (and to notice this thread!).

Federico Boswarlos, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 14:13 (two years ago) link

Federico, that is most interesting. Are you a long-time ILB poster? We have a FAP tomorrow.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 19:06 (two years ago) link

xp Anderson has written at length about those three countries in the LRB, IIRC

Neil S, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 19:08 (two years ago) link

"at length" sort of goes without saying with PAnderson of course

Neil S, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 19:08 (two years ago) link

i was disappointed by Spectrum, felt i was lacking background on some of the thinkers (esp on the right) that was assumed

flopson, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 20:37 (two years ago) link

Been on a long holiday, read through the last nine of A Dance to the Music of Time for the first time.
I liked it well enough, but Anderson seems to overestimate it/Powell massively in the two articles. Keeps taking midweight literary basics as some kind of mastery - allusion is catnip to him.
Still on holiday, but will try to get round to saying more about Powell and/or this chunk of Anderson when I get back.

woof, Wednesday, 22 August 2018 21:35 (two years ago) link

Hey pinefox, I'm a (fairly?) long-time lurker and (very) occasional poster. I'm trying to get in the habit of posting more regularly, though my schedule's been a bit crazy the last while. Unfortunately, I'm not in London, otherwise I'd happily join.

I read elsewhere (on another thread?) that the overestimation is part of PA's "bid" to elevate Powell to a more respectable, if not canonical, status, and using (abusing?) Proust in the process. It seems somewhat plausible, whether it's something he deliberately set out to do or not. Still haven't read pt 2 yet, but look forward to getting to it tmw or this weekend.

Federico Boswarlos, Thursday, 23 August 2018 02:12 (two years ago) link

That seems about right - the Tariq Ali article on Powell makes it clear that PA has been reading and rereading and laughing aloud at Dance for an age, so I suspect the article is the eruption of a forty year internal monologue where he’s arguing with himself that this is better than Proust. Writes it as a late-life treat.

(I think mark s suggests something like canonising AP for a bet in one of the other threads which I also like)

He’s an unpersuasive critic though imo.

woof, Thursday, 23 August 2018 07:23 (two years ago) link

I don't remember Ali on Powell - I don't like Ali but I like it when he drops in anecdotes about PA.

the pinefox, Thursday, 23 August 2018 09:07 (two years ago) link

ugh jeet he did a series on tweets on how Powell/that generation of writers had a 'thing' for Thatcher.

I revive with this New Yorker write-up on Spurling's biog, which made me think that oh of course Anderson doesn't even make an attempt at reviewing it.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 29 November 2018 22:29 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

The teratology of the contemporary political imagination – plentiful enough: Trump, Le Pen, Salvini, Orbán, Kaczyński, ogres galore – has acquired a new monster.

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 31 January 2019 00:05 (one year ago) link

Guess who's back?

xyzzzz__, Thursday, 31 January 2019 00:05 (one year ago) link

actually didn't know about the meaning of this word at all.

the pinefox, Thursday, 31 January 2019 10:39 (one year ago) link

Thanks for pulling that out PF. I can see how he comes off as pompous with his wider vocabulary, but in this instance it does the job.

xyzzzz__, Saturday, 2 February 2019 18:10 (one year ago) link

Finished this tonight. It's not my idea of a very good PA essay.

The Lula material is partly reheated, simply in that he's written at length on Lula before (but not about his trial, successors, etc). He comes out as quite partisan for Lula's PT / workers' party - that's one of the things that most interests me about the essay. PA still has an ability to be very impressed by certain people, like the analyst he compares to Marx, and Lula himself.

But then the treatment of Bolsonaro: we get the standard PA problem that he hates 'bien pensants' more than anyone else, and is more keen to take swipes at them than to make any serious criticism of the political Right - in this case, by the sound of it, far Right. This particular strain of contrarianism is tired. The things that Bolsonaro has said and done, as I understand it so far, are worrying and dangerous towards several groups of people. PA makes light of most of this.

the pinefox, Friday, 8 February 2019 00:00 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

smh at everyone not knowing what teratology means, do you not read stephen jay gould ppl, everyone familiar* with the paling corpses of birth-dead monsters in 19th century pickle jars knows this word

*i mean like from books shut up

mark s, Wednesday, 17 April 2019 11:04 (one year ago) link

one year passes...

so far the feeblest response in the Discourse™ has been someone saying they always confuse him the grayson perry 😴 and the best someone saying they always confuse him with GERRY ANDERSON, which is correct bcz that's who he is

mark s, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 13:49 (two weeks ago) link

it's going on a bit this, on which page is the murderer revealed ?? ho ho ho

calzino, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 15:24 (two weeks ago) link

Is ukania named after kakania?

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 16:29 (two weeks ago) link

Sorry lol just saw the relevant footnote

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 16:30 (two weeks ago) link

The murderer was William Longshanks and the murder's been going on for 954 years amirite

Chip-vill-A (imago), Tuesday, 13 October 2020 16:36 (two weeks ago) link

it's a tom nairn gag but i'm sure there's some fancypants referent behind it, these lads go for miitteleuropa like incels on anime

mark s, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 16:37 (two weeks ago) link

This is a terrible pun, if Perry (or Nairn) took Cool Britannia as some sort of parallel campaign it would be worse.

(Also name drops Lampedusa's saying. Think I'm getting old)

xyzzzz__, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 18:25 (two weeks ago) link

ukania is from ruritania. it's a tom nairn joint

here comes the hotstamper (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 13 October 2020 19:08 (two weeks ago) link

ukania was my least favourite peter andre single

you are like a scampicane, there's calm in your fries (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 13 October 2020 19:10 (two weeks ago) link

xp. and it's from the 60s iirc !

here comes the hotstamper (jim in vancouver), Tuesday, 13 October 2020 19:13 (two weeks ago) link

ts: robert musil vs anthony hope, who do they want us to think they actually enjoy reading

tbf i wd totally binge on a massive lrb two-part perry polemic exploring why rupert of hentzau is better than remembrance of things past

mark s, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 19:21 (two weeks ago) link

(the woman anthony hope married had exactly the same name as my grandmother apparently)

mark s, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 19:22 (two weeks ago) link

nairn definitely uses it in the 1988 edn of the enchanted glass

mark s, Tuesday, 13 October 2020 19:23 (two weeks ago) link

"tbf i wd totally binge on a massive lrb two-part perry polemic exploring why rupert of hentzau is better than remembrance of things past"

*Todd Flanders voice* contrarianism makes baby Jesus cry.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 09:15 (two weeks ago) link

I learnt a new word, "indurate", thanks Perry Thomas Anderson!

Neil S, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 13:04 (two weeks ago) link

Sorry Perry, but to use one of your own favourite phrases, this is "total bollocks":

Passively mutinous under Thatcher, collusively supine under Blair and Brown, the liberal academy sprang to life not over the ref or Iraq but over Europe, once the Referendum on it was lost. At the oldest universities Remainer passions ran so high that the occasional Leaver misfit could become a social leper; at Cambridge, the Vice-Chancellor’s office censored unwelcome opinion with stone-walling worthy of the Writers’ Union under Brezhnev.

Neil S, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 13:14 (two weeks ago) link

And this is almost too on the nose:

As for the culture of the country in any wider sense, a symptomatic celebration of it came in 2015 from Dominic Sandbrook, whose Great British Dream Factory, hailing the matchless global success of its television series, detective stories, fantasy literature, pop music, children’s books, action films, science fiction etc. across five hundred pages, proudly announced: ‘I have stuck to the middle ground—the “middlebrow” some might say—and have deliberately not picked things that appeal only to self-styled intellectuals.

Neil S, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 13:20 (two weeks ago) link

I had insomnia last night and thought maybe this would bore me to sleep but I ended up a third of the way into it and enjoying it tbf.. And lol kept having to pause to learn new words that I have already forgotten.

calzino, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:03 (two weeks ago) link

oh it's great in its Perry Anderson way, but for someone who namedrops both Gramsci and Stuart Hall he really isn't interested in culture, middle-brow or otherwise, it seems to me

Neil S, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:08 (two weeks ago) link

except for anthonies powell and hope

mark s, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:10 (two weeks ago) link

maybe there is a case to be made that Ukania/UK/England/Britain/whatever is a fundamentally unserious place with little or no "high" culture (whatever that is "nowadays"), but if that is the case then Perry is either unable or uninterested in demonstrating it to be so. It's hardly like his wordcount is the problem!

Neil S, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:10 (two weeks ago) link

meanwhile twitter user tom gann suggested this poulantzas essay as a counter to some of anderson's non-cultural arguments:

I find it quite striking just doing a search of the new Anderson that there's no mention of the Poulantzas critique, which I think undoes a lot of the theoretical foundations of the Nairn-Anderson theses.

— Tom Gann (@Tom_Gann) October 13, 2020

i haven't read it as i don't have time today and also a sub is required and i don't have that either currently

mark s, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:14 (two weeks ago) link

"maybe there is a case to be made that Ukania/UK/England/Britain/whatever is a fundamentally unserious place with little or no "high" culture (whatever that is "nowadays")"

Was in a convo with someone on twitter last week (that I am almost certain is younger than me) who was arguing this and using the lack of Brit film auteurs* and citing its poor literary culture. When I said how unique TV seemed to be in the kinds of programmes made in this country (up until recently anyway) he gave me the bullshit about TV not being any kind of art, and I think wrt Perry that's what you're dealing with.**

* Also cited how auteurs aren't the only way to judge.
** of course this discounts all sorts of music too.

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:31 (two weeks ago) link

auteur theory invented at cahiers so they can bang on abt how grebt westerns are plus sam fuller (the baning on is correct but unqualified auteurism is the very definition of a reacionary-midbrow route to it! = how the endpoint of kubrick is nolan sorry if this offends)

i mean i was mainly joking abt musil vs hope and who perry wants you to think he reads but These Guys™ have a colossal cultural cringe thing going on re "european literary superiority" which isn't actually that different from the FBPE kneejerk: deference to the continental w/o actually having thought abt it

(tbf i guess the anderson-nairn thesis IS thinking abt it, but the enchanted glass is as terrible on culture as the new left review almost always is)

mark s, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 14:40 (two weeks ago) link


I've noticed some of these popular lefty twitter commentariat ppl who are possibly late 20's-late 30's (just guessing here) who are good at dunking on rotten pols, rotten hacks etc and do it all day long ... but when they switch their gaze to culture/movies/music they are pretty rubbish and full of shit - literally putting the shit in shitposting. But I should add some of them are brilliant as well. I mean Juliet@zinovievletter wouldn't brook any of that TV snobbery bullshit and is always posting brilliant links from the golden age of UK tv.

calzino, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:06 (two weeks ago) link

Wld like to read a long mark s LRB essay about vulgar auteurism (but fear that the job wld go to Michael Wood)

Ward Fowler, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:11 (two weeks ago) link

Juliet Jacques has been good on TV yeah.

I think with some of these left twitter accounts it comes from reading a lot of Frankfurt School. Tbf I exhibited a lot of these traits in the past but I think growing up watching TV in South America and coming here and seeing what else you could put on (to say the least lol, + getting to know more) has meant this deference to Euro culture hasn't stayed with me xp

xyzzzz__, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:21 (two weeks ago) link

i am currently in the mind to chuck pitches at the LRB -- i seem to have a line of communication currently, and assuming lanch-biz doesn't feck it up -- so i will bear that in mind WF!

mark s, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:27 (two weeks ago) link

currently currently, this is how my pitches read

mark s, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:28 (two weeks ago) link

I should state, for the record, that dunking on Dominic Sandbrook is good and should be encouraged

Neil S, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:34 (two weeks ago) link

dunk him for his bad verses

mark s, Wednesday, 14 October 2020 15:57 (two weeks ago) link

I've developed this condition now where now I can't be arsed downloading highly esteemed longreads onto my device (unless they are BIG and IMPORTANT and have MASSIVE WORDS that i've never heard of before) after my new hero Perry Anderson raised the bar a load. I know Mark says he's one of these academia pricks that is quite myopically reductive about the ills of Trumpism and he has beers with that troglodyte Lydon. But that was a marvellous piece of writing that helped me stabilize lots of spinning parts that were twirling around my tired brain. He probably is a knobhead tbf, but it was an unexpected pleasure all the same.

calzino, Monday, 19 October 2020 00:44 (one week ago) link

It's good to read that Calzino enjoyed the essay. I bet I will too, eventually!

I have never heard of Anthony Hope.

It is, indeed, pathetic that PA is still obessively referring to 'Ukania', an idea that wasn't very droll or illuminating 30+ years ago.

I agree with Neil S about academics and Brexit. PA doesn't work in the UK academy and his views on it don't have much empirical basis.

the pinefox, Monday, 19 October 2020 07:14 (one week ago) link

pinefox have you not read the prisoner of zenda? i am crestfallen

mark s, Monday, 19 October 2020 09:22 (one week ago) link

I'm afraid not. Has Perry Anderson? I suppose he has read most things.

the pinefox, Monday, 19 October 2020 11:15 (one week ago) link

its his favourite book imo

mark s, Monday, 19 October 2020 11:22 (one week ago) link

calzino yr endorsement has made me curious

plax (ico), Monday, 19 October 2020 15:10 (one week ago) link

god knows what I was prattling on about upthread! but in short it made me think, specifically about the limitations of an opposition party in the UK, how the Labour party (even the vaunted Atlee led one) was never going to to take us to a better place than this current hellscape and how Corbynism was always completely doomed, even without December election bloodbath. And also Blairism and its adherents/apologists were a set of intellectual and moral midgets, hardly news but it's nice to hear things retold sometimes!

calzino, Monday, 19 October 2020 15:56 (one week ago) link

I'm still working my way through it. a massive read would be to go back through all the articles which he mentions or whose argument he summarizes in the piece.

here comes the hotstamper (jim in vancouver), Monday, 19 October 2020 16:54 (one week ago) link

in the mentions is a Rory Scothorne piece. I didn't realise he was a "somebody" who has wrote for the lrb, just thought he was a solid lefty-scottish twitter poster who talks a lot of sense about how fucked Scottish Labour are. PA tracks the path of the SNP going from an obscure bourgie centrist party with no ambition of independence to the where they are now.

calzino, Monday, 19 October 2020 19:35 (one week ago) link

I wish there was more scothorne in the lrb, seems to have a piece once or twice a year.

here comes the hotstamper (jim in vancouver), Monday, 19 October 2020 21:41 (one week ago) link

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