Critical Linking, a daily roundup of the most interesting bookish links from around the web is sponsored by Our Summer Reading Pack Giveaway courtesy of Harlequin.com.
“It’s also imperative that we, especially, remember that the brick-throwing revolts that erupted fifty years ago, the ones we champion as birthing a movement, the ones we commemorate every year with a parade, were largely led by people of color—particularly trans women of color—protesting police violence. Now, in 2020, in the wake of several more wrongful deaths of Black men and women at the hands of police brutality, we must stand in solidarity with those fighting to be seen and heard all across America. If you are engaging in the rapture of celebration this Pride season, recognize that riots as a response to social injustice are often a necessary rupture.
As you parade in place, lift up voices and books that have helped historically disenfranchised people heal. Champion the novels, poetry collections, memoirs, and short fiction that have offered and continue to offer solace, solidarity, and self-acceptance. Here are a hundred of them.”
“For such a list to do good, something keener than “anti-racism” must be sought. The word and its nominal equivalent, “anti-racist,” suggests something of a vanity project, where the goal is no longer to learn more about race, power, and capital, but to spring closer to the enlightened order of the antiracist. And yet, were one to actually read many of these books, one might reach the conclusion that there is no anti-racist stasis within reach of a lifetime. Thus there cannot be an anti-racist canon that does not crystallize the very sense of things it proposes to undermine. The very assurance of absolution is tainted.”
“What Woolf saw as excessive bombast seems to me more like form mirroring function. Melville writes sentences that must echo over the squalls and talk through maddening lulls that bring on strange hallucinations. Like Joyce’s, his language mirrors the discursive tics of Ahab and Ishmael’s modes of thought—nautical, theological, political, sociological, mythic, historic, naturalist, symbolist: explorations into a bloody, cruel, ecologically devastating enterprise that drives its demented captain—violently obsessed with a great white beast that has crippled and enraged him—to wreck the ship and kill everyone aboard except our narrator.”