The Production of Medieval Life Forms in the Work of Gumbrecht

One of the main challenges of understanding medieval literature is that it is not "literature" in the modern sense: in fact the challenge is precisely to get to its existence or actuality. Medieval "literature" is strange and distant in terms of its forms and transmission. Hans Ulrich Gumbrecht's work on medieval literature serves as a model of what he would call "riskful thinking."

Forms offers a powerful new answer to one of the most pressing problems facing literary, critical, and cultural studies today—how to connect form to political, social, and historical context.
Critique: The History of a Premise

Recently, much has been made of the fact that “critique,” as practiced in literary criticism, is an attitude. But critique is also an argument, and I want to think about the nature of that argument. The real question I want to ask is this: if there are so many problems with the assumption that literary form represents an imaginative solution to real contradictions, then why do so many people find it so compelling? Why, in other words, do the problems seem both surmountable and worth surmounting?

Mild Complaints about a Well-Loved Film
The other week, I went to see Toy Story 3. I’ve not seen the other two films in the Pixar series, but I figured I could catch the series’ drift, and it’s summer: what’s better than air conditioning and popcorn when the temperature hits 100?
Undead Novel, Two
Previously, I wrote about a class on Media Archeology co-taught at NYU by Alexander Galloway, a media theorist and Ben Kafka, a historian.
Undead Novel, part one
In my last blog post, I wrote about the ways the Israeli artist Ohad Meromi’s recent installation “Creative Circle” allows its viewers to bodily encounter a set of objects that already exist in relationship. It’s understandable that we’d feel embodiment when we encounter performance (and, as Allison Carruth points out in her post on Jònsi, the gestural often hums along under the radar of critical engagement: when we attend to it, our own somatic encounters with performance can be startling).