An experimental essay

Perspective is everything. One man’s “primitive” was once another’s state of the art, or at least within shouting distance.

The Radical Midwesterner

From the Bard College Institute for Writing and Thinking, July 8-13, 2018.

1.

I always go back to this question of who or what I am as a writer. A year or two ago the answer seemed relatively clear: I was a scholar, an academic, even an “intellectual” on my more confident days. I taught an wrote and thought for a living. But now that I am living the post-academic life it’s not so clear anymore. Who am I as a writer and a thinker? What identity do I want to have? I think I should write for a popular audience. I should get paid. But I really can’t think at the pace of the internet, nor do I really want to learn. And yet the slow and painstaking work of developing and sustaining a scholarly argument for a year or two or more so it can be published for…

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