Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Great Regulars: All kinds of things that we are taught not

to discuss in polite society were debated quite matter-of-factly in this week's reading: semen, urine, feces, flatulence. The rabbis' attitude toward all of them is well expressed in the words of the above prayer: God made us with openings and cavities, and it is up to us to find out a way to live decently with them. The condition of embodiment is not something to celebrate, since it is linked with humiliation and death; but neither is it fundamentally unnatural, a case of a soul trapped in the prison of the body.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: Let's Get Physical


For while [Frederick] Seidel's poems are usually set in the world of privilege--Harvard, the Carlyle Hotel, and Sagaponack are recurring locations--he writes about high society in a spirit of intimate revulsion. He is always slightly outside the WASP aristocracy he leers at--a position he owes in part to being a poet, and in part to being a Jew, of a generation when Jews were ill at ease in such settings.

from Adam Kirsch: Tablet: A Poet for Our New Gilded Age


No comments :