Working on my Norman Finkelstein essay this week, for the Secular Jewish Culture / Radical Poetics collection. (Hi, Norman!) A tougher job than I'd thought, less because my notes for the essay were lost in a computer crash months ago--although that grates and chafes with every sentence--than because I find I have too much to say about the broad framing topic (SJC/RP), and have to set it aside to get at the poems themselves. I've decided to focus, as is my want, on the pleasures of Norman's poetry--a little off-topic, perhaps, for the volume, but it will probably lead somewhere useful, and we don't have enough talk out there about secular Jewish culture as a source of pleasure, which it surely is: not a falling off from religious Jewish culture, but a category that stands alongside, and maybe even subsumes, its more famous and familiar sibling. I'll have more to say about this once I get ahold of David Biale's Cultures of the Jews this afternoon--a book I learned of while browsing this description of Biale's course on Religious and Secular Jewish Cultures. So much to learn--and the days grow short when you reach September, as Kurt Weill & Maxwell Anderson remind me on the iPod.
Still no comments about my 12 gates to the city (of SJC), & no emails either. Slow days in the blogosphere? Or was I just stating the obvious throughout? Curious.