Welcome to The Valve

Valve Links

The Front Page
Statement of Purpose

John Holbo - Editor
Scott Eric Kaufman - Editor
Aaron Bady
Adam Roberts
Amardeep Singh
Andrew Seal
Bill Benzon
Daniel Green
Jonathan Goodwin
Joseph Kugelmass
Lawrence LaRiviere White
Marc Bousquet
Matt Greenfield
Miriam Burstein
Ray Davis
Rohan Maitzen
Sean McCann
Guest Authors

Laura Carroll
Mark Bauerlein
Miriam Jones

Past Valve Book Events

cover of the book Theory's Empire

Event Archive

cover of the book The Literary Wittgenstein

Event Archive

cover of the book Graphs, Maps, Trees

Event Archive

cover of the book How Novels Think

Event Archive

cover of the book The Trouble With Diversity

Event Archive

cover of the book What's Liberal About the Liberal Arts?

Event Archive

cover of the book The Novel of Purpose

Event Archive

The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Happy Trails to You

What’s an Encyclopedia These Days?

Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Intimate Enemies: What’s Opera, Doc?

Alphonso Lingis talks of various things, cameras and photos among them

Feynmann, John von Neumann, and Mental Models

Support Michael Sporn’s Film about Edgar Allen Poe

Philosophy, Ontics or Toothpaste for the Mind

Nazi Rules for Regulating Funk ‘n Freedom

The Early History of Modern Computing: A Brief Chronology

Computing Encounters Being, an Addendum

On the Origin of Objects (towards a philosophy of computation)

Symposium on Graeber’s Debt

The Nightmare of Digital Film Preservation

Richard Petti on Occupy Wall Street: America HAS a Ruling Class

Bill Benzon on Whatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhatwhat?

Nick J. on The Valve - Closed For Renovation

Bill Benzon on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Norma on Encyclopedia Britannica to Shut Down Print Operations

Bill Benzon on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

john balwit on What’s an Object, Metaphysically Speaking?

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on That Shakespeare Thing

William Ray on That Shakespeare Thing

JoseAngel on That Shakespeare Thing

Bill Benzon on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Bill Benzon on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on A Dirty Dozen Sneaking up on the Apocalypse

JoseAngel on Objects and Graeber's Debt

Advanced Search

RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom

RSS 1.0 | RSS 2.0 | Atom


Powered by Expression Engine
Logo by John Holbo

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.



About Last Night
Academic Splat
Amardeep Singh
Bemsha Swing
Bitch. Ph.D.
Blogging the Renaissance
Butterflies & Wheels
Cahiers de Corey
Category D
Charlotte Street
Cheeky Prof
Chekhov’s Mistress
Chrononautic Log
Cogito, ergo Zoom
Collected Miscellany
Completely Futile
Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Mind
Conversational Reading
Critical Mass
Crooked Timber
Culture Cat
Culture Industry
Early Modern Notes
Easily Distracted
fait accompi
Ferule & Fescue
Ghost in the Wire
Giornale Nuovo
God of the Machine
Golden Rule Jones
Grumpy Old Bookman
Ideas of Imperfection
In Favor of Thinking
In Medias Res
Inside Higher Ed
jane dark’s sugarhigh!
John & Belle Have A Blog
John Crowley
Jonathan Goodwin
Kathryn Cramer
Languor Management
Light Reading
Like Anna Karina’s Sweater
Lime Tree
Limited Inc.
Long Pauses
Long Story, Short Pier
Long Sunday
Making Light
Maud Newton
Michael Berube
Motime Like the Present
Narrow Shore
Neil Gaiman
Old Hag
Open University
Pas au-delà
Planned Obsolescence
Quick Study
Rake’s Progress
Reader of depressing books
Reading Room
Reassigned Time
Reeling and Writhing
Return of the Reluctant
Say Something Wonderful
Shaken & Stirred
Silliman’s Blog
Slaves of Academe
Sorrow at Sills Bend
Sounds & Fury
Stochastic Bookmark
Tenured Radical
the Diaries of Franz Kafka
The Elegant Variation
The Home and the World
The Intersection
The Litblog Co-Op
The Literary Saloon
The Literary Thug
The Little Professor
The Midnight Bell
The Mumpsimus
The Pinocchio Theory
The Reading Experience
The Salt-Box
The Weblog
This Public Address
This Space: The Fire’s Blog
Thoughts, Arguments & Rants
Tingle Alley
University Diaries
Unqualified Offerings
What Now?
William Gibson

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

An Ambiguous Comment about TE’s Politics Expressed With One Linked Word; More Mark

Posted by Jonathan Goodwin on 07/27/05 at 12:41 AM


I wrote about Mark’s ending before. Here’s Frank Kermode from The Genesis of Secrecy:

A main obstacle to our accepting “for they were scared” as the true ending, and going about our business of finding internal validation for it, is simply that Mark is, or was, not supposed to be capable of the kinds of refinement we should have to postulate. The conclusion is either intolerably clumsy, or iit is incredibly subtle. One distinguished scholar, dismissing this latter option, says it presupposes “a degree of originality which would invalidate the whole method of form-criticism.” This is an interesting objection [. . .]Now all interpretation proceeds from prejudice, and without prejudice there can be no interpretation; but this is to use an institutional prejudice in order to disarm exegesis founded on more interesting personal prejudices [. . .] Mark is not original. To be original at all, he would have had to be original to a wholly incredible extent, doing things we know he had not the means to do, organizing, alluding, suggesting like a sort of ancient Henry James, rather than making a rather clumsy compilation in very undistinguished Greek. (68)

Cf. Nietzsche: “It was subtle of God to learn Greek when he wished to become an author and not to learn it better.”

Neither remark is a sneer. Discuss.


Smooth talkers don’t always get a sympathetic hearing?  If the ending of the gospel carried past 16:8 is naive about drama and storytelling - which I don’t think it is, not really (the shorter alternative reminds me a bit too much of the ending of Fahrenheit 451 & similar modernist-apocalypses; the longer ending does much more interesting things with tense and temporality) that wouldn’t necessarily mean it was equally artless about the way too much literariness can interfere with creating an authoritative impression.  A story obviously framed for effect usually has less of the difficult-to-narrate messiness of the real.

By on 07/27/05 at 07:02 AM | Permanent link to this comment

This is an entirely profane discussion, I should say, but Bradbury? Eek. Kermode’s The Sense of an Ending is all about modernist apocalypses of a bit more supercilious type, though.

I think Kermode is saying that it’s literary in spite of itself. It (the ending) anticipates and creates a new generic expectation. That this was because of historical accident and textual ambiguity fits with Nietzsche’s comment.

By Jonathan on 07/27/05 at 11:00 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Many authors benfit from the assistance of an editor.

Bilibcal studies are way outisde my field, and I have no idea whether the original text of Mark’s gospel ended at 16:8 .. but to this twnety-first century reader, the version ending at 16:8 does read much better. This might be a case of an edit that improves the text for the modern reader. (While “Mark: The Director’s Cut” is still available for the hard-core fans :-)
Apologies to any fundamentalists who are upset by me referring to the NT as if it were a film hacked up by the studio.)

By on 07/27/05 at 03:15 PM | Permanent link to this comment

It’s funny Susan, because I thought of exactly the same analogy - Blade Runner, actually - & left it off because, well, Ray Bradbury is a scary enough comparison. 

The director’s cut of Blade Runner ends on a similarly abrupt and open and exciting note.  It’s also the one that is supposed to be less conventional and more original, and to show the signature of the auteur rather than the imprint of the studio.

In case anybody cares, the ending of F451 has Montag and the other book people heading towards the atom-bombed city; Montag is thinking of the verses from Revelations about the tree of life -

“Yes, thought Montag, that’s the one I’ll save for noon.  For noon…
When we reach the city.”

Here be an instance of literariness so selfconscious it almost makes me gag.  If the truncated Mark is literary in the same manner, then it must be as you say: the ending “anticipates and creates a new generic expectation.” Sort of like what Borges pointed out about Browning, Kafka, and “the kafkaesque.”

By on 07/27/05 at 09:12 PM | Permanent link to this comment

I bought a bracelett under the bak side reads
Cogito Te over the E has a line. Do you know what this means? Thanks Kim

By on 08/25/07 at 02:17 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Add a comment:



Remember my personal information

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below: