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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

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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Party in the U.S.A.

Posted by Andrew Seal on 06/16/10 at 01:03 PM

U.S.A. is the slice of a continent. U.S.A. is a group of holding companies, some aggregations of trade unions, a set of laws bound in calf, a radio network, a chain of moving picture theatres, a column of stockquotations rubbed out and written in by a Western Union boy on a blackboard, a public library full of old newspapers and dogeared historybooks with protests scrawled on the margins in pencil. U.S.A. is the world’s greatest rivervalley fringed with mountains and hills, U.S.A. is a set of bigmouthed officials with too many bankaccounts. U.S.A. is a lot of men buried in their uniforms in Arlington Cemetery. U.S.A. is the letters at the end of an address when you are away from home. But mostly U.S.A. is the speech of the people.

Infinite Summer has made reading long books during the summer incredibly popular, so over the next (less than) three months, I’ll be working my way through John Dos Passos’s [insert modifier indicating scale, impressiveness] U.S.A. trilogy, and I invite you to read along. Or, if you’ve read it before, to comment along.

The set-up will be very simple: one book, each month (June, July, August). I’m not going to blog my progress while in the middle of a volume, so there won’t be any weekly schedule or page pacing, just a post or two near the end of each month to walk through the volume and add some commentary. This leaves June a little foreshortened, but I’m finding that the first volume, The 42nd Parallel, really flies by.


Comments

For what it’s worth, I found The 42nd Parallel and The Big Money to be fairly engaging, whereas 1919 was, for whatever reason, grindingly boring--a true endurance test.  It’ll be interesting to see your take.

By GeoX on 06/17/10 at 06:39 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Wholeheartedly agree with GeoX.  As a whole, though, I found the Trilogy immesurable in its awesomeness.  I actually like it much more that Ulysses, which I’ve always felt I had to like in order to sound all smart and all.

By J. Fisher on 06/22/10 at 12:25 PM | Permanent link to this comment

Andrew,
This is such a great idea that a few of us at The American Scene did it last fall: http://theamericanscene.com/FOTUSA

I look forward to reading y’all’s reflections on the books. Enjoy!

By Matt Frost on 06/30/10 at 10:05 AM | Permanent link to this comment

Almost done with 42nd Parallel!
Huzzah!

By on 07/01/10 at 03:21 PM | Permanent link to this comment

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