more than 95 theses


A journal, commonplace book, and Wunderkammer by
Alan Jacobs.

My blog on technologies of reading, writing, and knowledge is called Text Patterns; I am an occasional contributor to the Technology channel of The Atlantic; I'm a Contributing Editor for The New Atlantis. Also, I tweet.

My biography of the Book of Common Prayer has now been published by Princeton University Press, and I’ve created an associated tumblelog.

My critical edition of W. H. Auden’s long poem For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio is now available.

My next book will be about Christian humanism in a time of total war.

I invite you to a meditative encounter with my online project The Gospel of the Trees.

Please consider supporting this tumblelog by buying some of my books. I will thank you, my family will thank you, and the internet — surely — will thank you.

”Reverting to Type: a Reader’s Story”

The Pleasures of Reading in an Age of Distraction

The Age of Anxiety, by W. H. Auden — a critical edition. A PDF of my Introduction to the poem is available online.

Wayfaring: Essays Pleasant and Unpleasant

Original Sin: a Cultural History

Looking Before and After: Testimony and the Christian Life

The Narnian: the Life and Imagination of C. S. Lewis

Shaming the Devil: Essays in Truthtelling

A Theology of Reading: the Hermeneutics of Love

A Visit to Vanity Fair: Moral Essays on the Present Age

What Became of Wystan: Change and Continuity in Auden’s Poetry

  • May 10, 2012 12:47 pm

    "Robert Altman’s 1973 adaptation of Raymond Chandler’s The Long Goodbye was criticized, at the time, as an unfocused, ironic put-down of classic private-eye movies. In fact, it is a long goodbye to the Sixties (1964–73), the last era during which intellectuals believed that social control is exercised through anything so palpable as class domination. Like other paranoid progressives, Altman was disturbed and fascinated by the notion that what passes for life is an invisible prison, that real life (as 1968 Situationist graffiti had put it) is elsewhere. Altman’s avatar of Philip Marlowe (Elliott Gould) is neither cool, calm, nor collected; in the scene shown here, he wanders the aisles of a supermarket at night muttering to himself. The garish ranks of cat- and dog-food cans are late capitalism’s prison bars. Marlowe is more imprisoned, in this scene, than he is when he actually goes to jail. Although the antidote to such Baudelairean spleen is volupté, i.e., the freedom that we experience at the beach (which, according to the Situationist metaphor, is to be found beneath the street’s paving stones, if only we’d tear them up to form barricades), Altman’s Marlowe is forever prevented from enjoying California’s sea, sky, or sun. He is a creature of the night and the city, a scuttling cockroach (think of all those shots in which he peers out from a dark room); in this, Altman is entirely faithful to classic private-eye movies."

    Shocking Blocking (30) | HiLobrow. The Long Goodbye is a neglected masterpiece.

    1. ayjay posted this