Blogs > Cliopatria > Noted Here and There ...

Feb 4, 2005 4:24 pm

Noted Here and There ...

Annika of Annika's Journalinterviews Hugo Schwyzer; and Norman Geras of NormBloginterviews Sharon Howard.

At St. Nate's Blog, Brother Nate hosts the First Skeptics' Circle.

Kathy Lynn Gray reports for the Columbus Dispatch on the introduction of David Horowitz's"Academic Bill of Rights" in the Ohio state legislature.

Cliopatria notes the passing of Ossie Davis at 87 and Max Schmeling at 99.

Don't tell our buddies over at Liberty & Power, but Scott McLemee has his own perspective on Ayn Rand for her centennial. Incidentally, his second column about Phyllis and Julius Jacobson for Inside Higher Ed is up. Its reference to the intellectual competition at New York cafeterias in the 1930s reminded me of a terrific piece that ran in the New York Review of Books, oh, about 1975. It described the intellectual cafeteria at CCNY in the 1930s, when the Lovestonites held forth at one table, the Socialists at another, and the Leninists at a third. The debates triangulated among the tables. Somehow, Young Republican cookie sales and Young Democrats' sensitivity training don't seem like an adequate substitute.

While you're over at Inside Higher Ed, KC Johnson has a piece there on"The Stealth Curriculum" and IHE's"Around the Web" must be doing a good job because it currently features posts by Tim Burke, Miriam Burstein, Erin O'Connor, and Jonathan Reynolds.

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Caleb McDaniel - 2/4/2005

Dostoevsky has sort of survived, I guess ...

Jonathan Dresner - 2/4/2005

In terms of market survival, Les Miserables may not be as philosophical as Candide, but it certainly shares some of its extended asides, stylizations, and commentary on political and economic realities.

Japan went through a period of "political novels" in the late 19th century: horrific literature, by all accounts, with creaky names, non-existent plots, long discussions of political concepts and current affairs, and a tone of righteous didacticism. Never much for the philosohical ones, though.

Jason Kuznicki - 2/4/2005

I have seen it argued several times before that Ayn Rand's fiction resembles socialist realism, though I have to admit I have never read anything in this genre. Nor have I ever seen anyone provide an example of the genre that they think is a good illustration of the similarity. Here is no exception.

Could anyone name some good (or bad?) examples of socialist realism that resembles Ayn Rand? I'd be willing to read it in English, French, or German, though I'm afraid I don't know Russian.

Personally, what Rand reminds me of instead is the 18th-century philosophical novel, which also could feature long speeches, stylized characters, and overwrought turns of events. This style of writing was wildly popular at the time, but it's since fallen into disfavor and is almost uknown outside historians of the Enlightenment. Candide is nearly the only example to survive in the general readership.

Jonathan Dresner - 2/4/2005

The IHE "Around the web" will be more useful when they start using permalinks properly. I couldn't find several of the articles....

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