Friday, January 14, 2005

Three excerpts from a letter to Randolph Lump, dated June 4, 1974 (in the folder "Bibliography, personal -- interviews, accounts, etc. 2):

"Someone should do a study sometime of Midwest Thomism from 1930's through 1960's. You will find more about this period at St. Louis University in the review of Marshall McLuhan's collected essays which I did at the request of the Kenyon Review just before the magazine was folded and which, after the Kenyon Review editors returned it with apologies, was published in Criticism a few years ago....As I note there, a great many of the various currents of thought at St. Louis University in the Departments of Philosophy and English and perhaps History centered around and into questions of depth psychology, both of which of course are included in my own preoccupations" (7).

"In Africa I found myself saying more explicitly or perhaps more often what I had said I suppose pretty explicitly before, namely, that when I treat the evolution of the media from oral through chirographic and typographic to electronic media, I do not propose this analysis as reductionist but as a relationist. You cannot reduce everything to the evolution of media, but this evolution is central enough to human experience that you can relate a great variety of things, and perhaps in one way or another almost everything, by this evolution" (8).

"On the other hand, I am not quite sure that the evolution of the media is at the center of my thinking. As a matter of fact, I don't believe it is. What is at the center? Metaphysics, I suppose, and I am sure that metaphysics somehow ultimately rests on aphoristic statements" (8).

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