Saturday, May 24, 2014

check your prose

This is a slightly modified version of a comment I never posted at The Chronicle of Higher Education after reading "Check Your History."

I wouldn't reduce Allan Bloom's The Closing of the American Mind to the category of "memoirs of oppressed white men," and I'd also argue that Bloom and his text, and perhaps Saul Bellow's Ravelstein as a reader's companion to, are far more intriguing than Tal's tiny essay, even if I disagree with Bloom's political orientation as well as his hilarious, if minimizing, thoughts on Nietzsche and Mick Jagger.

Anyway, Fortgang is much more of a cliche than an interesting writer, and, yes, he's 18 or 19 and we're supposed to think of him as innocent or allowed to be naive or something like that. Still, it's rather disturbing that his "Checking My Privilege" is getting so much more attention than, say, chapter 5 of Fight for Your Long Day, "Check Your Package At The Door," which offers a fuller, richer, darker, and funnier look at the academy and what goes on between classes.

But back to Tal, this fine reminder that most of us "whites" have not been white for much more than a century, or even half of one, is my favorite essay response to the original

And here is two to twenty cents from The New Yorker.

I've also been getting into the anger and satire of Paul Beatty's first two novels and thinking of them within the context of the very recent Ta-Nehisi Coates article on reparations to African-Americans. I may write more on this later, and at the least, I'm hoping that Tal Fortgang reads it.

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