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Chapter Nine

Scott Russell Sanders Indiana University Press ePub

Because Zuni replied to each absurd speculation about her future with vague smiles and crooked answers, the media soon decided she was not the proper stuff of news. Her face vanished from the video, her name from the newsfax. Before long only her colleagues at the Institute and her few friends still wondered what was going on beneath that meticulous bun of white hair.

Even those friends could not pry the secret from her. Zuni had clutched it for so long that her will had sealed over it, like the bark of a tree grown around a nail.

Left in peace at last, Zuni holed up in her apartment to meditate, to gather strength for the journey, whenever it might begin. She had set events in motion, but now they had run their own course. To be ready when the break came, if the break came, that was all she could hope. Only let it be soon, soon.

Meanwhile there were the records to keep. Instead of checking weekly on the movements of the conspirators—the ones who called themselves seekers, such a quaint name—now she checked daily. On her info terminal she would punch the code for Jurgen or Teeg or one of the others, and within moments the Security cyber would inform her of the person’s current work assignment, itinerary, health status, credit balance and the like. Writing with a pen, one of the anachronisms which gave her pleasure, she then noted on file cards whatever seemed like new information. Under Sol’s name, for example, recent cards showed the increasing frequency of his visits to the C-clinic, and then his abrupt refusal to accept any more synthetic organs. Apparently his lung cancer was galloping out of control. He would be urgent to escape. Hinta and Jurgen must also have been feeling urgent, for their cards showed they had spent their credit balance nearly down to zero, mostly for tools. For the first time in several cycles, Arda had skipped the fetal implant. Pressures for escape were building up in several other members of the crew. This discovery was what had prompted Zuni to announce her retirement, to make herself ready.

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6 Le Freak, C’est Critical and Chic: North African Scholars and the Conditions of Cultural Production in Post-9/11 U.S. Academia

Edited by Frieda Ekotto and Kenneth W H Indiana University Press ePub

Lamia Benyoussef

IN AN INTRODUCTORY English composition class I taught a few years ago, an African American student asked me if she could write her comparative essay on the immigration and integration experiences of Arab and Caucasian Americans. When I pinpointed that the U.S. Census Bureau classified Arab Americans as Caucasians and suggested that she drop the racial categories in favor of a geographic terminology (that is, Middle Eastern and European immigration), in total shock and disbelief she exclaimed: “Arabs do 9/11 and they are still whites?” For a moment I froze there, not knowing what to say. I was not sure if she was angry at me because I was guilty by association or at her own self for still failing to be “white,” even though she was no evildoer like me, her teacher. That life-altering teaching moment repatriated me in W. E. B. Du Bois’s discourse on the Negro veil in The Souls of Black Folk. “It dawned upon me with a certain suddenness” that North African women academics too (alias moukéres or les négresses des sables) “are different from Others; or [like them perhaps] in life and longing, but shut out from their world by a vast veil.” If the point of this essay can be summed up in one sentence, it is the desire to tear down that veil, to creep through the silences and wonders of the academic world “and live above in the blue sky,” free from the pitfalls of colorisms and the haunting shades and “shadows”1 of diversity. This chapter is inspired not only by my own experience as an Arab and Muslim academic in the South but also by the scholarly work and experiences of other North African scholars who find themselves, like me, in the double bind functioning as a native informant (after all, Islam keeps enrollment high) while remaining on the threshold of American academia because their physical presence is as critical as the critical languages they teach.

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3. The Serialized Novel as Rewriting

Olga Borovaya Indiana University Press ePub

Sarah Stein’s insightful analysis of the advertisements for fashions and cosmetics, as well as dietary recommendations and the pictures found in Ladino periodicals reveals the immense role of indirect means of westernization, which functioned as such regardless of the journalists’ intentions. Here, I will examine an even more effective instrument of westernization, which, although initially not intended for this purpose, succeeded in introducing new cultural patterns for imitation in all strata of the Sephardi community. Unlike news reports and history lessons, which frequently used new terms and figures, Ladino novels, which appeared in the pages of newspapers, as separate feuilletons, and, later, depending on the demand, as chapbooks, were well suited for being read aloud. For the same reason, Sephardi Theater, which was specifically created for educational purposes, could also have been effective, but we know too little about its actual audience before 1908 to assess its real impact. In any case, it is clear that, due to economic and spatial constraints, the theater could not reach nearly as many Sephardim as the belles lettres.

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7. Death

Robert B. Ray Indiana University Press ePub

Walden lives up almost entirely to the purpose Thoreau announces in the epigraph: “I do not intend to write an ode to dejection.” (5) However varied his moods may have been during the book’s nine-year gestation, Thoreau produced a consistently optimistic work by sticking to a strict compositional plan: “I put the best face on the matter.” As a result, in the midst of so much high spirits, the famous penultimate paragraph of “Where I Lived and What I lived For” seems not only obscure but unexpected:

If you stand right fronting and face to face to a fact, you will see the sun glimmer on both its surfaces, as if it were a cimiter, and feel its sweet edge dividing you through the heart and marrow, and so you will happily conclude your mortal career. Be it life or death, we crave only reality. If we are really dying, let us hear the rattle in our throats and feel cold in the extremities; if we are alive, let us go about our business. (70)

Thoreau had written like this before. Using the same odd phrase, “to front a fact,” he had previously imagined his enterprise as another kind of life-and-death struggle:

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49. Keppler

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF



Winter 1892

Houghton Library

Johann Keppler it was who discovered the form of the planets’ paths in coursing round the sun and the law of their varying speed. This achievement, by far the most triumphant unravelment of facts ever performed,—cunninger than any deciphering of hieroglyphics or of cuneiform inscriptions—occupied its author’s whole time from October

1600 to October 1604, and the greater part of four years more. That fairylike town Prague was the scene of these studies and there in April

1609 was published the immortal Commentaries on the Motions of the

Star Mars. To gain any idea of a scientific research, one must look with one’s own eyes and brain at the things with which it deals. Now the year

1892 happens to be a good one for watching Mars, and if the reader will from his own naked-eye observations set down upon a star-map (say upon the figures in the Century Dictionary) the course of the planet from the third week in March to the end of the year, as it traverses the constellations Sagittarius, Capricornus, and Aquarius, the true greatness of Keppler will begin to dawn upon him. For the telescope was only invented in the very year in which Keppler’s book was published; so that he had before him only naked-eye observations, and saw only what anybody may see.

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