The canoe is covered in canvas, and something is trapped in the weave, deep under the shellac. A knot perhaps, or stitch.
“I am merely opening a dossier,” says Roland Barthes, again and again, throughout his three final seminars in Paris in the late seventies, each course posthumously converted to a book, each book divided into annotated weekly lectures, subsectioned into brief semi-independent scholia. More than lecture notes but short of sustained essay, each book is agile, esoteric, and unsynthesized, pivoting continually to consult yet another tangential text or discipline.
Kenya (Robinson) reflects on the end of her MFA program and becoming a professional artist.
Justin Peters is told by his department how he must teach the Great Books course he has been assigned.
“The psychoanalytic paradigm, which was dominant, seems to be losing ground to a more materialistic neurological model. You might ask not what someone’s behavior or dreams or desires mean, but what their causes are. If our picture of the self does change like that, it would signal a major cultural change.”
We were cheap-ass perverts, Beezer and me.
This First Proof contains an excerpt from the novella Guided Tours of Hell.
Novelist Caryl Phillips and the great theoretician Stuart Hall discuss cultural studies and the Caribbean diaspora.