Rough translation of the subject line: Lenin lived, Lenin lives, Lenin will (continue to) live! While you were running around doing housework, or sat in front of you TVs watching inauguration, Lenin was hard at work. Somehow a post by an honorable John Holbo, who I have to say managed to come out of the battle with some scars but a ton of my personal admiration and respect. Judge for yourself – a short version of the event:
2) A hell breaks loose.
Apparently it’s all about Lenin, but really it isn’t – yet at the same time it is. If you are an insomniac, delve right in – there are a 100 200 comments on one post, and 39 on another. Allow me to cite my favorite exchange so far, and I will surely read this again and again, because what else would bring me so much education vis-a-vis blog etiquette:
Adam Kotsko: I also thought it was curious that you were lumping together philosophy and literature. It’d be like if I were writing this philosophically-oriented theology that really challenged orthodoxy or something, and then I said, “There’s a consensus in theology and philosophy that my stuff shouldn’t be published—both because it’s too theological and because it’s not theological enough!” Or maybe if I said, “There’s a consensus that I live neither in Canada nor Mexico—both because I live too far north and too far south!” Or, “There’s a consensus that I’m neither a dwarf or a giant—both because I’m too tall and not tall enough!” Paradoxes of this kind could be multiplied indefinitely.
Rich Puchalsky: I find this kind of thing interesting, Adam. I’m defending my ability to read interesting, non-dismissive things written about it, without, say, you pretending to misunderstand obvious points because you’re more interested in a flame war. For instance, any person as smart as you evidently are would have to understand that Holbo was not really lumping together philosophy and literature, as opposed to illustrating how his work falls between the expectations of two disciplines. Maybe after someone just goes ahead and recognizes that you want a squabble, you can just get it over with and stomp back to the Weblog.
You know it’s going to be a good read when this is what you get when the thread is barely opened. But lean closer, comrades, there’s more:
John Holbo: OK, new policy: Adam K[otsko], I’m not going to address any complaints from you about how I don’t have arguments until you have decided it is finally worth your while to tell me what secret thing I have been missing all this time about Zizek.
But I will add this much: the whole Adam/Rich thing goes like this. Adam disagrees with me but won’t say why; Rich agrees with me. Adam has to say something, so he hints that the fact that Rich agrees with me shows that there is surely some serious problem with what I am doing. How not? Also, when Adam and Rich start tearing into each other, Adam is if I don’t hold Rich exclusively responsible for the results.
Excellent, I feel as though I know all these people – drama! I wish I could sample a bit more of the comments, but then I would have to select the juiciest ones and it is not pretty out there, people.
And, of course, it all gets to Lenin in the end (or is it in the middle?). Ирония истории – кто бы мог подумать, что кучка молодых интеллектуалов будет так горячо обсуждать кто понял или не понял Ленина…