Blog Profile / Literary Kicks

Filed Under:Academics / Literature
Posts on Regator:565
Posts / Week:1.4
Archived Since:March 2, 2008

Blog Post Archive

Philosophy Weekend: The Atrocity Cube

It's time to start putting some puzzle pieces together. Five weekends ago I began a project by suggesting that we try to analyze some tough ethical/historical problems with the methodology of a puzzle-solver, by which I meant that we...Show More Summary

A Rite of Spring

"The people dance passionately on the earth, sanctifying it and becoming one with it." -- Igor Stravinsky I'm sure it's a hipster affectation of mine: I try to listen to Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring every year when the Spring Equinox comes around. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Blood Alienation

What can we discover by analyzing the worst atrocities of modern history together, looking for patterns and common features? A whole lot, it turns out -- and we're just getting started. Last weekend we discussed the surprising fact that...Show More Summary

The Great Lost Rock Memoir: Inside Out by Nick Mason

It's because I respect musicians who bravely venture into the dark literary territory of autobiography that I am so fascinated by musical memoirs. It's also why I'm sometimes critical of them. I have high standards regarding what a good memoir should be. My standards are high but simple. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: A Society's Self-Regard

A huge realization came to me recently, as I immersed myself in books and old movies about the US Civil War. We all know that the Confederate nation that lost this bitter war was also soundly trounced by the judgement of history, since...Show More Summary

The Harriet Saga

It's probably the best tween book of the modern era; at least it's the best one I can think of. Well, hell, everybody loves Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh, which was published fifty years ago this year. The anniversary is already getting so much attention -- an event on March 15 at the 92nd Street Y on Harriet's own beloved Manhattan island...

Philosophy Weekend: Images of Ukraine

I've been trying to philosophize about the Ukranian crisis in real time. This is always hazardous. Last Saturday morning, February 22, I invited readers to look at six images representing the history of Ukraine and to suggest three more that help fill out the story we are trying to understand. Show More Summary

Why I Wrote "Light of the Diddicoy"

(Eamon Loingsigh is a New York City novelist who has written articles for Litkicks about Lautreamont, J. D. Salinger and Taylor Mead. His latest work is Light of the Diddicoy, and here's how this novel came to be.) First things first, I have no choice but to write. I am a writer. I write. I made a decision long ago that in my life I will either be a...

Philosophy Weekend: Ukraine as Puzzle

Last weekend I suggested that we attempt the exercise of visualizing global conflicts as Sudoku puzzles, and explained some of the basic techniques typically used to solve these puzzles. I then got a bit carried away discussing the difference between Sudoku and KenKen puzzles, and how some KenKen techniques could also be applied. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Ethical Sudoku

It occurred to me only recently that I have a revealing habit: when I am under a lot of stress, I find myself doing Sudoku puzzles. I suppose what I crave is the reward of completion, and the illusion (it is only an illusion, I'm sure) that I am a successful problem-solver. Show More Summary

Tolstoy Kept It Brief

(Here's a fresh perspective on a classic writer by Alex Strike, a blogger and an essay writing specialist who can be found on Twitter or Facebook.) When Vladimir Nabokov read his lectures on literature, he closed all the curtains inShow More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: Ethical Sodoku

It occurred to me only recently that I have a revealing habit: when I am under a lot of stress, I find myself doing Sodoku puzzles. I suppose what I crave is the reward of completion, and the illusion (it is only an illusion, I suppose) that I am a successful problem-solver. Show More Summary

Maggie Estep

Maggie Estep, the charismatic and accessible spoken word poet and author, has suddenly died of a heart attack. She was 51 years old. Maggie Estep was a big part of the slam poetry scene that emerged from Chicago and New York City in the 1980s and briefly flared into pop culture via MTV in the early 1990s. Her early published works include records like Love Is A Dog From Hell...

Philosophy Weekend: The Bill Nye/Ken Ham Debate

This week, Bill Nye the Science Guy and Ken Ham of the Creation Museum in Kentucky spent two and a half hours debating the origin of the universe in a well-publicized update of the Scopes Trial of 1920. I could only endure the tedium...Show More Summary

The Century of William S. Burroughs

He was the oldest of the major Beat Generation writers. That's why William S. Burroughs is today the first Beat writer to celebrate a centennial. Burroughs was born on February 5, 1914. He arrived on this planet the same year as theShow More Summary

Bradley the Buyer (from 'Naked Lunch')

One of the first pages I ever created on this website was a biography of William S. Burroughs, and I also typed in a favorite piece of text from his signature novel Naked Lunch, titled Bradley The Buyer. Today is the hundredth birthday of William S. Burroughs, and as part of the celebration I'm running this excerpt again. The illustration was...

Philosophy Weekend: Wealth and Envy

A video that's been making the rounds about a clueless super-wealthy plutocrat who compares America's treatment of the rich to the Holocaust and brags about his wristwatch that's worth "a six-pack of Rolexes" has got me to thinking.Show More Summary

David Amram Remembers Pete Seeger

After Pete Seeger died last week, I remembered that the last glimpse I'd had of the great folksinger was a video of his Broadway march in support of Occupy Wall Street in October 2011, with his friends Arlo Guthrie and David Amram in tow. Show More Summary

Dave Van Ronk Remembers Pete Seeger

I noticed something strange when I read folksinger Dave Van Ronk's awesome autobiography a few weeks ago. The gruff ethnomusicologist remembered most of his old friends with sarcasm and bittersweet wit... but he had nothing but full-throated words of love for Pete Seeger, his elder journeyman who has just died at the age of 94. Show More Summary

Philosophy Weekend: A Dangerous Method

We need more movies about philosophers. I can only think of very few examples to mention, but David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method, a 2011 film about the rivalry between early psychologists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung, shows that the format can work. Show More Summary

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