Electric Circle (New York State Fair 2019)


–Some people post beautiful pictures from a lake. Others spend a warm day at Washington Square Park playing banjo. I look for these kinds of things at the New York State Fair.

–Noam Pines’ The InfrahumanAnimality in Modern Jewish Literature and Nitzan Lebovic’s Zionism and Melancholy: The Short Life of Israel Zarchi accompanied me on my peregrinations this year through the fairgrounds. You should read them. Doleful and timely things under the dark star of Agamben, both are wonderful books and elegantly put together. Every other page provoked this reader’s melancholic, animal resistance.

–The Midway is what they call that part of the fairgrounds where the rides and games are. A lot of time there begins to strain muscle tissue up the leg and back; and the rebrain starts to cry and shriek. But time there can give way to this kind of vision, this one being the perfect platonic form of an electric circle.

–Over against the misheges of other people online with all the pointing animus over “there” is the tentative calm “here” at the center of one’s own point of view and perspective.

–At night, outside and inside Free Bird is the same darkening matter. The pitch black space between inside and outside is marked off by the bright compass of a thousand artificial lights.

–I’m home now, and glad to be here. Back there next year, I can only hope.

About zjb

Zachary Braiterman is Professor of Religion in the Department of Religion at Syracuse University. His specialization is modern Jewish thought and philosophical aesthetics. http://religion.syr.edu
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