Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Curling up with PMLA

It isn’t every day that I curl up with a volume of the PMLA, (Publication of the Modern Language Association), but when I do it’s because something offered by the Great Gray Lady of the journals catches my eye. (I otherwise cede the GGL title to its rightful owner, the New York Times.) The latest issue’s “Editor’s Column: The First Blow—Torture and Close Reading” was evidently going to be no relief from the din in my mind that echoed the daily news and commentaries.

Rachel J. Trubowitz’ “Body Politics in Paradise Lost” looked like just the ticket. (PMLA, Vol. 121, issue 2, 388-404). Having just finished Paul D. Green’s essay, “Wars of Truth: Areopagitica in the Twenty-first Century,” I was in a Milton sort of mood. But I reached only the second paragraph before finding, “Innovative theories of nationalism from the last ten years or more emphasize the modern nation’s contradictory aspects.” And a few sentences later I found a reference to “Benedict Anderson’s influential notion of the modern nation as a wholly ‘imagined community.’” (389)

That sent me spinning out of PMLA and back to the net to read the review of Anderson’s Under Three Flags: Anarchism and the Anti-Colonial Imagination. Having read that, I considered returning to PMLA, but decided instead to stay plugged in, which brings me here.

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