Jane Eaton Hamilton

"At the bottom of the box is hope." – Ellis Avery.

Tag: This is How You Lose Her

Junot Díaz in conversation

I urge you to read this conversation VOX has with Junot Díaz:

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“We’re in a period of rabid privatization, and a period where it seems that people believe all specific and social functions, and all specific and social spaces and institutes, should be run like corporations, and that there are no such things as common goods; everything is a site of profit extraction. Given that context, for me, that’s where we’ve got to begin these questions: by sketching out the forces — political, economic, and social — which are distorting our ability to have a reasonable conversation.

“In a universe where everything is governed by the logic of market, that’s not a conversation about the importance of the humanities. It’s already so prejudiced that you can’t even have a fair hearing. That’s primarily what’s happening when we attempt to think in a future-looking way about the humanities, is that the idiom of the culture is so prejudiced against life-specific values, like social and common good. And without those, the appeal that we make about the humanities — it’s not that they don’t even land; there’s no space, in a society that’s entirely market-driven, to have a reasonable creative discussion about where the humanities are.”

VOX

Junot Díaz

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“Whatever privilege we had, we were fucking ravenous about pursuing it. Unfortunately, pursuing privilege crimps your humanity. That’s something that takes a while for you to discover … every exercise of your privilege reduces your sum total of your humanity. I wouldn’t have noticed if my art wasn’t predicated on the sum total of my humanity. I kept coming up short as an artist and I had to look for the leaks. Where the fucking leaks are, it’s being a fucking asshole–you’re a fucking asshole, your humanity shrinks.”—Junot Díaz in conversation with the New York Public Library

New York Public Library podcasts

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