Seeing as THE BUM PHILOMATH will trace my personal learning, I think it’s only fair to give some idea of the kind of stuff we’ll be looking at. The majority of what I’ll touch on will be books, but there will inevitably be posts spurred by audio and web sources. On every topic I touch there will have been many who wrote on the subject far more insightfully than I, and I will try to mention those I know in the post so you can check them out too. Hopefully, others will comment or email with more material to take a look at as well because my post isn’t meant to approach any sort of exhaustive study and I’d love to add more resources.
The subject matter will be wide-ranging but will often start (at least on my end) with fiction, whether novels or short stories. I am also a reader of a decent amount of theory and philosophy, and I hope to use this venue to get a better grasp on some of it. Fiction is a vehicle for the exemplification and humanization of theory and philosophy, and I hope that this blog will shadow that spirit. In the past, I’ve had an interest in the forms of Fabulism and Absurdism, the theories of Antihumanism and Structuralism, the work of the Decadent Movement, Chaucer, Cheever, and the patron saint JG Ballard. Politics will come up, you can trust that, but if only for my own sanity, I’ll attempt to connect those posts to some reading or theory.
All this to say that we could end up anywhere over the next months. As of now I’m reading Shirley Jackson and have started to wade my way into the writings of the CCRU from 1997-2003, a tangle of theory, cybernetics, and the occult with wide-reaching implications when it comes to today’s landscape of ideas. When I can untangle even a small bit for myself, we’ll get to talk about some of that. I may get us stuck in some messy intellectual corners, but cut me some slack, I’m learning.
P.S. I plan to give a little preview of what I think is coming in the next post, but often the subject will change last minute when I get distracted.
Post #1 Preview- Shirley Jackson’s story “Flower Garden.”