Okay, so the first week at Penn has been incredible and incredibly overwhelming. I’m in the midst of a total life-shift right now–not as enormous as the Great Vowel Shift (which was pretty huge, as I’ve been told)–but something quite akin to the matter.
The reorganization involves thinking spherically (in every direction), but as a sphere without a center. An unthinkable object. A puffed-up rhizome crisp. It has to do with cathecting to everything and everyone without stopping to think why or how–a wild, endless desiring that cannot be measured except in the moment. It’s the first-year-of-the-rest-of-your-life syndrome, you see. Some might even say it’s healthy, productive and nutritive in a schizoid way. Some might call it neurotic. I’m banking on both, putting a lot of faith in the power of the tranformative…and hey, all good academics have their neuroses, right?
Unfortunately, the Great Shift also implicates the ontology of this space. It can no longer remain purely foodie (I know! sorry!) and it might also lose its image-density (double sorry!) It may even change colors. My hope is that this will become another space of thought for me–loosen up a little, you know?–and help me through this dense jungle of ideas and the search for intellectual kinship. This doesn’t mean I’ve given up food as a major theme–I’m not that deluded; the aliens haven’t eaten and automaton-ed me yet–but it will mean that from time to time ginger roots will nudge up against rhizomatics, pork chops will come to terms with conceptions of the animal, kitchen burns and knife wounds will find companionship with the inexorable necessity of History (for after all, “History is what hurts”) and the notion of a homemade life will find itself confronted with the deeply sad, deeply unsettling notion of homelessness and alienation in our modern age.
And we’re off!