I’m reading Hilton Als in a lackadaisical way as I walk up and down the street to the laundromat. Walking towards my apartment, I thought about how I moved here for the tree and the sky at the top of the hill. I love the tree. I love the hill and the way the sidewalk levels off as I turn my corner.
I am thinking a lot about autobiography as criticism. Last night in Ammiel’s seminar, we discussed how political the personal works of Jimmie Durham and Jack Forbes and Charles Olson are. The desire to uncover truths or perceptions or whatever you want to call them in the material you are closest to seems at once inevitable and impossible. We had read an interview with the filmmakers Adam and Zack Khalil who began a documentary to perpetuate their mother’s research and capitalizing on the knowledge of human networks of memory.
I wonder about the necessity of “critical distance.” Does Panofsky’s consideration of Alberti’s position on perspective necessarily hold true? Can we describe something profoundly personal with critical consciousness any more than we can observe our present surroundings? Does “survivance” to use Vizenor’s portmanteau depend on placing one’s history in an immediate and changing context?
More thoughts to follow once I move my laundry on.