Sunday, August 14, 2005


My RSS aggregator helps me keep up with a couple dozen blogs by librarians and folks who work in the LIS arena. One of my favorites is written by Lorcan Dempsey, OCLC's Chief Strategist (his actual title). He blogs about tech developments and research proejects, but he also ruminates on all kinds of other things. One of the best is on a favorite passage from Robert Musil's Man Without Qualities.

He recently did a post called QOTD containing all of the following: "Kierkegaard: Take away the paradox from a thinker and you have a professor. [Jonathan Rée on Kierkegaard. LRB 4 August 2005]" to which I felt inspired to reply in the following comment:

Posted by Jeff on August 3, 2005

Kierkegaard! I was trying to guess what cultural giant would next appear in a Dempsey blogpost. We've had representatives from the best of geek intelligentsia (Tim Bray), current academia in the US (Tim Burke), the Middle-European literary sphere (Robert Musil), and the high end of British scholarship (Anthony Giddens). Not to mention Marx and Engels, John B Thompson, John S. Rigden, and Manuel Castells, and leaving aside Thomas Friedman since it's hard not to write about him and his work.

I was thinking Gerald Chapman would be appropriate, for his too-little-known work on Edmund Burke, or Burke himself, whose contributions to the history of ideas are too easily distorted and probably not given their full due. Or, maybe Tim Caynes, since he's so tantalizingly allusive he must be profound.

But Kierkegaard will do just fine. Thanks very much. I do appreciate the breadth of your reach, keeping us aware of the noble intellectural context in which our LIS labors repose.

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