Archive | March 27, 2013

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

It’s a bitter day when one sees a talented artist give up his art. Sam Smith’s A Poet Says Goodbye to Poetry reveals a great deal about the state, not just of poetry, but about the state of art – especially literature.

The State of Things

The divisions between “high” and “low” art disappeared more decades ago than most people realize (for the hell of it we might say it happened in the year 1930 – not because of the economic collapse caused by Wall Street which precipitated the great depression, but because the Pulitzer committee gave the fiction prize that year to Oliver La Farge’s novel Laughing Boy for what were largely political reasons – the committee’s other options that year were William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury, Ernest Hemingway’s A Farewell to Arms, and Thomas Wolfe’s Look Homeward Angel – any of which choices any…

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My sister rides to work everyday

Fit Is a Feminist Issue

 

I’ve been working on a project on women and cycling, which begins by looking at the role the bicycle played in early feminism. One of the things I’m interested in seeing is whether the attitudes to women on bikes in the 1800s have entirely gone away.  What I argue, in the course of a longer paper on the subject, is that they haven’t. In fact, I think some of the same attitudes pose an obstacle to getting more women on bikes now.

(If you want a terrific book on the history of women, feminism, and bikes suitable for children you need to get National Geographic‘s Wheels of Change: How Women Rode the Bicycle to Freedom (With a Few Flat Tires Along the Way). It’s reviewed here with some great photos and an interview with the author. There’s lots to like about it but one of the striking features is…

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