“ The end of the world.
I like the nd of the world. ” ― Thomas M.
Disch ’ s 1974 novel, a mix of science fiction and Zola-like social realism, eyeballs 334 East 11th Street, New York Tow, home to a teeming mass of miserable, poverty-stricken occupants of a 16t century multistory apartment beehive- Thomas Hobbs 's philosophy of life as nasty, brutish, and short on a continual supply of amphetamines.
To share a glimpse of what a reader is in for, below are commentary on two of the chapte: first, a longer one, a ale about college student Birdie Ludd in battle with the force of darkness; and the sixt, a shorter stor, a vivid sketch of an outing at a most unusual art exhibit: THE DEATH OF SOCRATESBirdie Ludd has finally made it out of high school ( P.S. 141) into one of New York City ’ s colleges only to sit in class listening to a rofessor on a TV yack nonstop about the life of Dante and how nearly everyone according to the Italian author ’ s Inferno will be tormented in hell, most certainly all the Jews.
As Birdie is quick to recognize, none of what he is being force fed has any relevance to his mundan life and since teaching is done by television, there is absolutely no possibility of dialogue or a lively interchange of ideas; rather, he is required to simply swallow and regurgitate what he is given.
Additionally, we read how Birdie losses points because of his grandmother ’ s unemployment pattern but gains a few points “ by being a Negro. ” Goodness, sound like Disch ’ s futuristic world has the deck stacked against blacks.
Birdie pens an essay for class entitled Problems of Creativeness, that ends “ Another criteria of Creativeness was made by Socrates, so cruelly put to death by his own people, and I quote, “ To know everythin is the first condition of all knowledge. ” From the isdom of that great Greek Philosopher may we not draw our own conclusions concerning these problems.
And that was it, they were gorillas. ” A& P ( 2021) Lottie is at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, at an exhibit were there are rows and stacks and pyramids of cans, boxes, meats, dairy, candy, cigarettes, bread, fruits, vegetables – all with individual brand names.
For Lottie, this is a time of perfection, one she wishes she could hold forever: “ The real magic, which couldn ’ t be laid hold of, was simply that Juan was happy and interested and willing to spend perhaps the whole day with her.
Danto has written extensively on how Warhol ’ s creations herald in the “ death of art ” in the notion that objects of art are no longer separate from everyday objects, no longer special pieces like landscape oil paintings or marble sculptures; rather, the rt world defines what is and what is not art.
Disch comment on the would-be state of the visual arts in the weeks following Warhol and the “ death of art. ” Again, these are but two of forty-eight chapters.