Chin Music Press - News
curiously bibliophilic

A really rich life
Bruce Rutledge
August 22, 2020

We are launching an environmental imprint
Bruce Rutledge
August 3, 2020

Announcing our autobiographical novel writing contest
Bruce Rutledge
July 24, 2020

Discover Nikkei reviews Persimmon and Frog
Bruce Rutledge
May 13, 2020

For Ellis
David Rutledge
April 9, 2020

A Review of The Italian Barrel, 1240 Decatur
David Rutledge
March 30, 2020

Report from the French Quarter
David Rutledge
March 25, 2020

A Vida Count of Our Very Own
Tracy Wang
October 25, 2017

Bookshelves: the Ideal, the DIY, and the Real Life
Emmaline Cotter
June 5, 2017

Eggnog, Hot Cider, Mulled Wine, and What Else?
Jin Chang
December 15, 2016

+ see all archives +

Our discomfort with language
Todd Shimoda
November 23, 2015

I've only read a handful of novels more than once. "Under the Volcano" is one of them. Colin Dayan discusses why it is such a difficult novel to teach and what it says about our discomfort, at times, with language. (From the LA Review of Books).


Exceprts from Dayan's essay: "How far can one expect students to dive or sink into a textual world that is adamantly unreasonable and, to a great extent, indecent? What is the real, if somewhat vague, role of the academy, particularly its requirement of detachment?

"Teaching Under the Volcano has been a sinking experience. How difficult it is to get students to follow Dr. Vigil’s call, “Throw away your mind.” In the face of the casual slaughter and commonplace cruelty that define our contemporary moment, how do we, through Lowry, move beyond the human, all-too-human frames of knowledge (political, intellectual, academic, theological)?

"Responding passionately to the unspeakable — with feeling, not sentiment — might renew our sense of the political, and guard against our too easy disavowal of evils committed in our name. To become sensitive to the affliction that demands our concern is to dare to read against the grain, against the self-serving humanism that inoculates the privileged against whatever is too powerless or insignificant to count."

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