detail from Labels for Hair Ribbons by Manuel Ocampo a delectable selection of oriental appetizers
Thursday, September 12, 2002


: . Old and New:

I am in the library speed reading for tonight's seminar. The name of the class: Diaspora and Identity in the Atlantic World: Race, Nation, and Empire. Tonight we'll be performing some critical ground clearing and so the texts are dense and highly theoretical. I am exhausted and I don't think I could bear another evening of heated discussion on the most obscure matters. One could idealistically think of a graduate seminar as a utopian space for friendly intellectual exchange. Unfortunately, seminars are nothing but arenas for a more respectable and more repellent form of exhibitionism. And so I begin to browse in the periodiocals section and I find a journal I've never heard of before: Pen America: A Journal for Writers and Readers. The full text of the inaugural issue is online. It features works by such luminaries as Italo Calvino, Umberto Eco, Jorge Luis Borges, Salman Rushdie, Carlos Fuentes among others. It even includes an interview with Jessica Hagedorn. Check it out.

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