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Berlant on Normativity under Capitalism

“The desire for a less-bad bad life involves finding resting places; the reproduction of normativity occurs when rest is imagined nostalgically—that is, in the places where rest is supposed to have happened, a fantasy masquerading as screen memory or paramnesia.… Continue reading

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Didion on the San Bernadino Valley

“The Mormons settled this ominous country, and then they abandoned it, but by the time they left the first orange tree had been planted and for the next hundred years the San Bernardino Valley would draw a kind of people… Continue reading

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Adams on Photographing Evil

“Few photographers themselves have, however, supported the use of the adjective “concerned” as a way of distinguishing one artist from another; they know firsthand that all art is the product of concern. They believe as a consequence that it has… Continue reading

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One off: Katy Grannan.

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Excerpt from “Revolutionary Letter #19″ by Diane Di Prima

if what you want is jobs for everyone, you are still the enemy, you have not thought thru, clearly what that means if what you want is housing, industry (GE on the Navaho reservation) a car for everyone, garage, refrigerator,… Continue reading

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Berlant on the American Dream

“Yet, even as the image of the traumatised worker proliferates, even as evidence of exploitation is found under every rock or commodity, it competes with a normative/utopian image of the U.S. citizen who remains unmarked, framed, and protected by the… Continue reading

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Lepore on Narratives of History

“Every age has a theory of rising and falling, of growth and decay, of bloom and wilt: a theory of nature. Every age also has a theory about the past and the present, of what was and what is, a… Continue reading

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Icecap, by James Merrill

Yes, melting changes the whole picture. That once young republic tassled sea to sea with golden wit has tattered to a wrack of towns, bubble domes unpricked on the lagoon’s fogged mirror. Losses and debts are equally, now, past calculation,… Continue reading

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One off: Rejlander.

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Mann on Space

“Space, like time, engenders forgetfulness; but it does so by setting us bodily free from our surroundings and giving us back our primitive, unattached state.” — Thomas Mann

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