FORTHCOMING

“The Challenges of Temporal Lobe Epilepsy”

Raritan: A Quarterly

"A beautifully written, powerful and profound memoir.
It is quite, quite overwhelming. Each sentence rings like crystal."

--Joyce Carol Oates

NEW

"The Feudal Unconscious:
Capitalism and the Family Romance"

October 159 (Winter 2017)
MIT Press




Now Available

Portuguese translation of THE MYTH OF POPULAR CULTURE (Blackwell Manifestos, 2010) now available from Tinta Negra (Rio de Janeiro, 2015)



OS MITOS DA CULTURA POP: DE DANTE A DYLAN

O renomado crítico cultural americano Perry Meisel detona as noções convencionais sobre a divisão entre “alta” e “baixa” cultura.

O autor transita pela provocante teoria de que a cultura pop experimentou ritmos dialéticos. A hábil análise que o livro apresenta de três tradições culturais duradouras – o romance norte-americano, Hollywood, e o rock inglês e americano – nos leva a um ciclo histórico da cultura pop que tem Dante como ponto de partida e revisita ícones como Wahrol, Melville, Hemingway, Twain, Eisenstein, Benjamin, Scorsese e Sinatra.



THE MYTH OF POPULAR CULTURE: FROM DANTE TO DYLAN

The Myth of Popular Culture discusses the dialectic of "highbrow" and "lowbrow" in popular culture through an examination of literature, film, and popular music. With topics ranging from John Keats to John Ford, the book responds to Adorno's theory that popular culture is not dialectical by showing that it is.

Available as eBooks

COURSE IN GENERAL LINGUISTICS. Trans. Wade Baskin. Co-ed. with Haun Saussy. By Ferdinand de Saussure (Columbia University Press, 2011)

THE MYTH OF POPULAR CULTURE: FROM DANTE TO DYLAN
(
Blackwell Manifestos, 2010)

THE LITERARY FREUD (Routledge, 2007)

THE COWBOY AND THE DANDY: CROSSING OVER FROM ROMANTICISM TO ROCK AND ROLL (Oxford University Press, 1998)

FREUD: A COLLECTION OF CRITICAL ESSAYS (Prentice-Hall, 1981)




9/26/10

S(t)imulating

by Perry Meisel

Discerning teens will have told you a year ago or more that the s(t)eamiest p--k band in town is the Stimulators, a (naturally) Ramones-dented nuke/trash riot quartet guaranteed to make you feel nuts even on a lousy night. Singer Patrick Mack has to peel his flesh off the equipment after every gig - just last Saturday at Irving Plaza it melted into the machinery along with his voice. Meanwhile Harley Flanagan, legendary 14-year-old drummer, drove 'em through endless recrossings from five-chords to tonics, pounding your brains till they splattered against the nearest wall or person (the greatest tunes were "Run, Run, Run," "Crazy House Rock," and "Loud Fast Rules"). Some reggae/ska stompers intimated relief ("Blind Ambition," "Sick of George"), but picked up to curdling p--k excoriation before you could straighten your tie.
If the Ramones reduced rock and roll to three chords, the Stims go one better - they transistorize three down to two, minimalizing the minimal (rather than repeating it, like co-billed El Lay Circle Jerks). Almost another rhythm instrument, Pat Mack white-wines down from the five-chord to the one in virtual unison with guitarist Denise Mercedes - not (as in most bands) against it. That leaves skinhead Harley as the real solo presence, his heavy counterrhythms the sole/soul projectile in this post-Auschwitz vortex of a band. And if the Ramones affect affect (see "I'm Affected") - intentionally confusing the difference between feeling and affectation - the S(t)imulators simulate simulation. Not as farce (no sterile formalism here), but as a critical act of intemperate power - real rock and role. Like Mondrian or Gertrude Stein, it may look dumb, but it ain't.

Originally published in The Village Voice, June 17 - 23, 1981