Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

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Showing results by Chad Harbach only

Now we know what we’ve done. Or we should. The fuel-burning binge (and the beef-eating binge, and the forest-clearing binge) we’ve been on for the past 150 years, and especially the last 60, and increasingly and accelerantly, has brought into view the most dangerous threat in the brief history of our civilization. It’s become possible to glimpse the disappearance of so many things, not just glaciers and species but ideas and institutions too. Things may never be so easy or orderly again. Our way of life that used to seem so durable takes on a sad, valedictory aspect, the way life does for any 19th-century protagonist on his way to a duel that began as a petty misunderstanding. The sunrise looks like fire, the flowers bloom, the morning air dances against his cheeks. It’s so incongruous, so unfair! He’s healthy, he’s young, he’s alive—but he’s passing from the world. And so are we, healthy and alive—but our world is passing from us.

—p.141 An Interruption (140) by Chad Harbach 3 years, 9 months ago

If such a thing as a literary/political/intellectual left exists, it is defined by its capacity for imaginative and sympathetic reach—by its willingness to surmount barriers of difference (class, distance, nationality) and agitate for a more equitable distribution of the goods and goodnesses that make up our idea of human (and nonhuman) well-being. To be able to imagine what it might be like to be tortured, or to live in abject poverty, or under the watchful eyes of US Predator drones—this capacity is crucial to the project of any political left in a wealthy country. But in the case of global warming, our collective imagination has failed us utterly.

im really saving this for the positive definition not the negative point

—p.150 An Interruption (140) by Chad Harbach 3 years, 9 months ago

The most powerful and cogent critique that can currently be leveled against our mode of capitalism is that markets fail to account for ecological costs. In a crowded world of finite size, our political economy values only acceleration and expansion. Scarce natural resources like clean air and water, not to mention more complex systems like rainforests or coral reefs, are either held at nothing or seriously undervalued. Corporations could clear-cut all our forests, reduce croplands to swirling dust, turn rivers to conveyors of toxic sludge, deplete supplies of minerals and metals, double and redouble carbon emissions—and all our economic indicators would show nothing but robust growth until the very moment the pyramid scheme collapsed. Indeed, most of these things are happening, with only scattered opposition. When our math improves, when the costs of our products fully reflect the resources used and the wastes produced—especially CO2: then and only then can capitalism begin to become a viable and humane economic system.

—p.151 An Interruption (140) by Chad Harbach 3 years, 9 months ago

Second, and perhaps most important, to be an NYC writer means to submit to an unconscious yet powerful pressure toward readability. Such pressure has always existed, of course, but in recent years it has achieved a fearsome intensity. On the one hand, a weakened market for literary fiction makes publishing houses less likely than ever to devote resources to work that doesn’t, like a pop song, “hook” the reader right away. On the other, the MFA-driven shift in the academic canon has altered the approach of writers outside the university as well as those within. Throughout the latter half of the last century, many of our most talented novelists—Nabokov, Gaddis, Bellow, Pynchon, DeLillo, Wallace—carved out for themselves a cultural position that depended precisely on a combination of public and academic acclaim. Such writers were readable enough to become famous yet large and knotty enough to require professional explanation—thus securing an afterlife, and an aftermarket, for their lives’ work. Syntactic intricacy, narrative ambiguity, formal innovation, and even length were aids to canonization, feeding the university’s need for books against which students and professors could test and prove their interpretive skills. Canonization, in turn, contributed to public renown. Thus the ambitious novelist, writing with one eye on the academy and the other on New York, could hope to secure a durable readership without succumbing (at least not fully) to the logic of the blockbuster. It was a strategy shaped by, and suited to, the era of the English department, which valued scholarly interpretation over writerly imitation, the long novel over the short story. (And when it came to white males imagining themselves into the canon, it helped that the canon was still composed mostly of white males.)

—p.23 MFA vs NYC (9) by Chad Harbach 2 years, 5 months ago

Showing results by Chad Harbach only