Thursday, November 29, 2007

Another 15 Minutes

Apropos of the previous post on the State of the University:

A few months ago I traveled to New York to participate in a symposium commemorating the 20th anniversary of the publication of Allan Bloom's book The Closing of the American Mind. I arrived at the symposium with hand-written notes which I'd assembled on the train (thus making them nearly unreadable) and unkempt hair that should have been cut two weeks earlier, only to discover that the event was to be televised by C-Span. That video has now been made available on the website of the symposium's organizer, here. The panels were uniformly interesting (I'll exclude my own performance) and Mark Steyn's lunchtime lecture on Bloom on music 20 years later is a must-see.

But, for those with an interest in "seeing" the man behind the blog, I appear in Part I of the second panel, here, starting at about the 30th minute. My responsibility was to comment on the paper by Roger Kimball, which I pretended to do. See if you can spot when I realize I'm missing page 7. I never found that deserter - probably still enjoying life on the Acela.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this. It was educational to see the face behind the blog.

I didn't know that Walker Percy felt Bloom a bit of a nihilist. I felt the same thing when I read Closing, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. I never keep the book for this reason, even though I've read it three times and always come away not quite happy. I'm going to have to read some Percy.

My only complaint on your talk is you are too soft on the state of the university. Peer review these days might as well be ten guys all talking to each other until they believe each other's lies. To my mind, it has never been worse, the institution is in decay, and Bloom called it way back then.