Best of the Burning Archive

I have gathered together my writings on like themes: my poetry collections, my thoughts on governing, politics and the bureaucracy, and my appreciation of the heritage of literature which I trust will not be reft from me.

From the early days of the burning archive, I have also retrieved these favourite posts so that you may more easily find these earlier inspirations:

My series 13 ways of looking at a bureaucrat starts here, and then follows the prompts of the Wallace Stevens poem, 13 ways of looking at a blackbird to explore my imagery of my profession.

My meditation on Robert Lowell and how a strange salt changed his mind.

The disenchantment of the world – in which I discuss modernism as a “response to the disenchantment of the world, and so [modernism] remains as a continuing vital tradition, a never ending work of mourning response to the loss of the cultural, historical and psychological attachments that offer redemption for frailty and failure.”

Reclusive samizdat – that compares blogging to a new kind of samizdat, and a return of creativity to roots away from relentless marketing.

The extinction of meaning – evoking something of my idea of writing and its relationship to the burning archive.

Notes on the death of culture (Maria Vargas Llosa) – in which I review these essays, and conclude “This death of culture creates a great trauma among the few isolated and devoted souls who keep their archives, write their sonnets, and study the word. It is a trauma that can only be healed by writing to defy death, through entering into Blanchot’s infinite conversation.”

Political order and political decay in Australia in which I comment on Fukuyama’s masterpiece on political institutions and conclude pessimistically that “Fukuyama’s analysis of the deformation of contemporary democracy by new forms of patronage, clientilism, kinship affiliation and reciprocal altruism shows how these bureaucratic gangs have taken over and sabotaged Australian public institutions. This is the treason of the clerks.”

The disappearance of stories from the world which, looking back, was perhaps the beginning of a turn towards a more personal and poetic writing in my blogging.

Time may change me but I can’t change time which contains reflections on the meaning of change, prompted by Felipe Fernandez-Armesto’s marvellous A foot in the river.

Madness & History which returns to my early fascination with the poetic power of Foucault’s evocation of the symbolism of the narrenschiff.

Gathering flowers for the mind – my first personal post ever to be reblogged and shared.

My series of lists: 1, 2 (checking my reading against Bloom’s Western Canon), 3 (the 21 books that shaped me), 4 (the 17 cradles of civilizations),5 (Five reasons games add to culture), 6 (Six asides about Vaclav Havel), 7 (Bernhard’s soliloquies)