Saturday, February 03, 2018

Autoclaps

Last night, watched The Toilers and the Wayfarers (1995), written and directed by Keith Froelich, set in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Matt Klemp, who played the beautiful young Dieter, showed real talents as an actor. But he seemed to have acted in one more movie before calling it quits.

This afternoon, watched Ghost in the Shell (2017), directed by Rupert Sanders, and starring Scarlett Johannson as Major, a crime-fighting robot with a human brain. It was more exciting and pleasurable than I thought it would be. I've never seen the anime original, so have nothing to compare the move to. The plot is predictable but the pacing is good.

Also finished this afternoon Kei Miller's third novel Augustown. It is well written but the stock characters, including a flying preacher, a racist teacher, a well-meaning white school principal, a blind old woman who could smell the forthcoming autoclaps (disaster), preclude real emotional engagement.

About two weeks ago, I finished Gershom Scholem's biography Walter Benjamin: The story of a friendship. Respectful and loving, but by no means hagiographic. For Scholem, Benjamin was a mystic, even when he was a materialist. The little I've read of Benjamin suggests that Scholem is right. Scholem takes pains in his biography to list Benjamin's intellectual influences and contacts, the people and the books. Benjamin saw in Scholem "living Judaism."Scholem supported the idea that Benjamin committed suicide.

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