Today is the feast day of Saint Stanley Kubrick, who died on March 7, 1999. The note below indicates how a belief in style rather than truth functions in the cultural scene and at Harvard. The result, as in Kubrick's "Full Metal Jacket" and as at Harvard on May 28, 1995, can be bloody murder.
"I don't believe in truth. I believe in style."
-- Hugh Grant in Vogue magazine, July 1995
Recommended viewing and reading:
(A) Frank Kermode's review of Vice Versa, a book on bisexuality by Marjorie Garber, a professor of English at Harvard (New York Times Book Review, July 9, 1995)
(B) The ensuing angry letters to the editor (New York Times Book Review, July 30, 1995), and
(C) Murder at Harvard, as reported by People magazine, June 12, 1995, pages 40-43.
Finally, in memory of Wallace Stevens, who died on August 2, 1955, a reading from The Necessary Angel, a collection of his essays published by Knopf in 1951:
"In order to see how true it is that in images of emotional origin the image partakes of the nature of the emotion, let us analyze a passage from one of the poems of Allen Tate. He is looking at a young woman dead in her bed. He says:
For look you how her body stiffly lies
Just as she left it, unprepared to stay,
The posture waiting on the sleeping eyes,
While the body's life, deep as a covered well,
Burns out a secret passageway to hell."
Page created March 7, 2001 shc759.
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