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Kingston and Humanities Training

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by

Jason Arthur

on 31 March 2010

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Transcript of Kingston and Humanities Training

"What use is a liberal arts education?"
--M H Kingston
Bohemians, San Francisco, 1960s
[civic] life of the mind
provincialism vs. cosmopolitanism
thinking locally
thinking globally
"location is destiny"
"Wittman Ah Sing"
Railroad Reading:
Maxine Hong Kingston and the Street Value of Book Smarts

by Jason Arthur
Norris
Harte
"marginal man"
“social type freed from bonds of tradition and custom, enabled by his cosmopolitan vision to observe different cultures and communities without the [authority] of any one group’s social control” "
--Robert E. Park
"marginal man," cont'd

observe[s] through detachment, … experience[s] the city without falling prey to its forces. He makes uncanny what appears familiar in the mundane life of the urban; he himself is uncanny, a personification of the landscape’s repressed, which brings to light the darker forces that gird and energize the city. (Park 148)
Hobo
“Maybe it comes from living in San Francisco, a city of clammy humors and foghorns that warn—omen, o-o-men.” (Kingston, Tripmaster Monkey 1)
"I can’t go on, I'll go on"
Market Street
1960s San Francisco
Tenderloin
Tenderloin:
“the worst neighborhood in San Francisco ... loads of drug dealers, addicts, prostitutes and mentally unstable street people ... one of the city’s most exciting and diverse locales.”
--travel guide section of SF Chronicle website
"San Francisco has become an Asian city. To speak, therefore, of San Francisco as land’s end is to betray parochialism."
--Richard Rodriguez
Minority-Majority
street smarts=book smarts
(1989)
“What for had they set up Market Street? To light up the dark jut of land into the dark sea. To bisect the City diagonally with a swath of lights. We are visible. See us?” (67).
Full transcript