Day 15: I Feel Like Modernism–Exhausted


Damn, what a week! What a day, for that matter. Had a good meeting about my dissertation though, the jouissance produced by which could only be lessened by the slight dizziness caused by the 9 cups of coffee I had trying to finish my writing before the meeting, as well as by the approximately 3 pints of blood I had lost during the attempt to reduce my dissertation-induced cro-magnon factor with a last-minute shave. I am using old-school razorblades now, by the way, which is truly the way to go if you like a close shave, anemia and pirate scars. Cool thing about the fact that it is finally Friday night: nothing. Yes, that’s right. The nice thing about writing a dissertation and being on fellowship (as I am sure Harvey and Justin can confirm) is the disappearance of the weekend, since there is really no difference between a weekday and the artist formerly known as “the weekend.” I have to read, write and repeat as needed. Hence my short-lived Friday enthusiasm appears to me at present to be something like phantom-pain. I have an itch where my leg used to be, i.e. I feel temporary, confused enjoyment about something that no longer exists: the weekend. But at this point the repressive structure that there is the dissertation has become internalized to the degree that the desire for a weekend does not make sense any more anyway (thus functioning like classic Freudian repression)–whenever I take even only half a day off I am so guilt-ridden for not writing, or reading that I cannot enjoy whatever it is that I am doing during that half-day break that was supposed to make me stop thinking about the dissertation. My dissertation functions thus much like Scientology, or the mob: just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Ok, ok, I should not complain. I know my life really is not THAT bad. It’s not like I am a coalminer. But seriously, has anyone read Sillitoe’s Saturday Night and Sunday Morning? Yes, the worker just lives for the drunken stupor on saturday night and the regret and hangover on Sunday morning, but damn it, can’t I have even that at least once in a while as well? If I did the saturday drinking thing, all I would be thinking about is how this will make me get up later and how I will have to make up that lost time by staying up longer, probably multiplied by the factor of two because the hangover will make my brain work more slowly. Aaah, to be coalminers! (Isn’t this one of the classic signs of yuppieness? romanticizing the working class and the simulacrum of the simple life?).

All that is to say that I really do not have the brain capacity left to write anything intelligent, or witty tonight. Instead this will have to suffice. I will now just look for the weirdest possible picture to put above this and then call it a night. Yes, it is not even 9 p.m. on a Fridy night and I will go to bed so I can get up early and do more writing. Wow, us academics really are the coolest!

Ok, found the picture, but you already saw that about two minutes ago.

Hey: are vampires feudalists/capitalists and werewolves communists? Or are they anarchists? Maybe Italian anarchists even? Would make sense. Werewolves can’t play soccer either.



  1. Ok. Can’t sleep but am really tired. Am continuing to leaf through John Barth’s _Lost in the Funhouse_. Man, what pretentious junk that is! See especially the short story “Menelaiad.”

    Just wanted to take another jab at Cultural Studies. Just read that CS people will from now on be forced to wear white lab coats to make people think that they are actually doing work at the university.

    To all CS people: I am doing some of that stuff in my dissertation as well, so this is all (or at least in part) in good fun. I also have been known to interpret the occasional cereal box.

  2. With regard to the werewolf/vampire question I’ve been meaning to read Pretend We’re Dead:

    But dissertation guilt is preventing me.

    I recommend a friday custom of 2 beers and a half hour of whatever you want on youtube.

    How are you feeling, by the way?

  3. That looks pretty interesting. I think Zizek has some short piece on monsters in _Enjoy Your Symptom_. I was just wondering, because I re-watched _Underworld Evolution_ yesterday, not just for the strange patriarchal logic of the film (even for vampires), but the politically even more troubling concept of “blood memory”–well, and a little bit also for Kate Beckinsale.

    Oh: feeling a little better by the way. How is it for you in Pensylvania? Sill cold and lots of snow?

  4. Btw, Enjoy your Symptom is called “Liebe dein Symptom wie dich selbst” in German;-)

  5. @jestam: The blood-memory thing is interesting. Shows up all over in Lawrence’s Lady Chatterley, Faulkner’s Go Down, and London’s Wolves.

    Underworld evol does have a wierd logic. I’d love to read more of your thoughts on it.

    Kate Beckinsale. I just wanted to type that.

    Glad you’re feeling a little better. Pennsylvania may as well be Alaska. Cold, snow, Pizer–or what’s a dissertation for?

  6. _Liebe dein Symptom wie dich selbst_, shows again that Germans are good at many things but making words, sentences, or expressions shorter is not one of them. See, for example, the difference between English “mall” and German “Einkaufszentrum.” How is that suppoed to make consumption easier?

    @ Harvey: really, blood memory in _Go Down Moses_? Wow, I totally do not remember that. Very interesting, but I supposse it makes sense with all those concerns in Faulkner surroundig dynasties, fathering and miscegenation.

    One of the things I love in _Underworld_ is the completely Oedipal anti-Spivak and anti-Bhaba logic that defines hybridity as the greatest evil to social stability and the creator of chaos (for that matter very similar to hybridity as a threat to fathering in the TV show _Invasion_). I assume in Spivak that may be part of the point and part of the unearthing of repressive discourses/essentialism, but in regards to vampires it is just not good politics. And who would want that on their conscience, making things hard for Kate etc.? Kate’s good people.
    The threat to fathering and its relation to mothering is very interesting to me. The ur-father of all vampires has to die in the second Underworld movie, since he is not actually fathering, but mothering. Kinda like in _Frankenstein_. You know, along the lines of: Victor’s tragic mistake was that he mistook mothering for fathering.

  7. BTW: a “supposse” is defined as a group of people who wants to lynch someone but is not entirely sure why–even thought they do have a hunch.

  8. Hello ! 🙂
    I am Piter Kokoniz. oOnly want to tell, that I like your blog very much!
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you:)

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