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Kingston and Humanities Training
Transcript of Kingston and Humanities Training
--M H Kingston
Bohemians, San Francisco, 1960s
[civic] life of the mind
provincialism vs. cosmopolitanism
"location is destiny"
"Wittman Ah Sing"
Maxine Hong Kingston and the Street Value of Book Smarts
by Jason Arthur
“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)
“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"
1960s San Francisco
“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."
street smarts=book smarts
“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).