Skip to main content

Matthew Cheney

Matthew Cheney's Public Library

Jun 18, 15

"Milan Kundera writes novels, but are they philosophy or fiction? Kundera himself (in an interview collected in The Art of Novel) finds the comparison with philosophy ‘inappropriate’: ‘Philosophy develops its thought in an abstract realm, without characters, without situations.’ That is what a certain tradition of philosophy does. But when Richard Rorty describes philosophy as turning to narrative and the imagination, pointing us towards solidarity through ‘the imaginative ability to see strange people as fellow sufferers’, we seem close to Kundera’s work, and to much traditional thinking about what fiction will do for us."

Jun 09, 15

"This week's Sunday Review section of the New York Times has as its headline article an opinion piece by feminist academic and film director Dr. Elinor Burkett, entitled "What Makes a Woman?" The tagline summarizing the post is "There is a collision course between feminists and transgender activists." This of course frames trans activists as antifeminists, making it clear at once that this piece is a manifesto of trans-exclusionary radical feminist, or TERF, ideology. It's written with a sympathetic tone, and Burkett positions herself as someone who wants to support trans people. She claims she just can't because we are seeking to undo the hard work she and other feminists of her generation have done. "

Jun 01, 15

"It’s easy to criticise call-out culture. It’s harder to look into your own heart and ask if you can do better."

May 17, 15

"It’s interesting that you call it a novella. Isn’t it a work of non-fiction?

I’m very interested in capturing a certain reality, but the difference between non-fiction and fiction really is that you can get sued for one and not the other."

May 10, 15

some of the most celebrated practitioners of modern fantasy share with their pre-modern predecessors this belief that the fictional apparatus of fantasy is a relatively close approximation to the way things really are for human beings.

Apr 21, 15

"For some, the Anthropocene debates seem irrelevant: does it matter where in the past geologists decide to place a golden spike, when such urgent questions remain about our future? But the liveliness of the discussion reflects the explanatory promise of the Anthropocene concept: it is a debate over what kind of story can and should be told about human impact on the planet. The claim is often made that climate change is simply too big to see—that it is what eco-critic Timothy Morton terms a hyperobject, something that cannot be realized in any specific instance. The Anthropocene offers climate change not just periodicity but narrativity. And like any well-told story, it relies upon conscious plotting and the manipulation of feeling."

Mar 30, 15

Rather than characterize now by merely the figure of the human, Haraway suggests we should consider Capital and Cthulhu.

Mar 03, 15

" Ishiguro repeatedly frustrates any hopes for a usual narrative trajectory, muffles noise, and hints at things which are never explicitly revealed. It is because of this that, despite the language being simple, despite every action and event being clearly described, we end up with such a thoroughly enigmatic novel – a magical mystery tour. The narrative voice is seamlessly executed, with no authorial trace – Ishiguro never hammers things home for the reader, or even taps them lightly – and this makes it immersive and engaging. The other aspect of The Buried Giant that pushed it higher in my estimation was the relationship between Axl and Beatrice. The uncertainty and imbalance of their love moves through the book from almost nauseatingly uxorious (“Still here, princess”) to horribly upsetting (if I mention pixies at this point, those who have read the book will nod solemnly). Their dialogue is more often crosstalk than coherence, as they constantly disagree over memories, and they exhibit a combination of blithe reassurance and anxious caution that looks very like much familial love. As the book progressed, I started to think more and more of how their lack of memories were a kind of death, and as with Never Let Me Go, death and how we approach it and live with it looms large in this book."

Feb 22, 15

The claim that we are non-binary is well evidenced, but the claim that this is what biologists ‘now think’ seems to ignore much of the history of sex and gender research.

1 - 20 of 1270 Next › Last »
20 items/page

Highlighter, Sticky notes, Tagging, Groups and Network: integrated suite dramatically boosting research productivity. Learn more »

Join Diigo