Daredevil Recap: 2×01 “Bang”

About your recapper: I haven’t read any of the relevant comic books, but I do know that The Punisher will be showing up in this season, played by Jon “M’ask you sum’min” Bernthal. (I also watch The Walking Dead. Let’s not talk about that right now.) I’m also technically writing this having already watched the whole season, because I couldn’t stop. This will make it slightly awkward when I make fun of the show for awkwardly telegraphing things that are obviously going to happen, but I think we can all get over it—and I promise to warn you before any actual-factual spoilers, but there shouldn’t be any.

About the show: Charlie Cox is Matt Murdock is Daredevil. He has a cool suit. Vincent D’Onofrio a.k.a. Kingpin a.k.a. Wilson Fisk is in jail. Karen Page killed a guy last season and feels guilty about it. Foggy is Matt’s buddy, and law partner, and knows that Matt is Daredevil. He doesn’t really approve.

Let’s get started!

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A family-piece

A great moment from Jane Austen’s Persuasion:

Immediately surrounding Mrs Musgrove were the little Harvilles, whom she was sedulously guarding from the tyranny of the two children from the Cottage, expressly arrived to amuse them. On one side was a table occupied by some chattering girls, cutting up silk and gold paper; and on the other were tressels and trays, bending under the weight of brawn and cold pies, where riotous boys were holding high revel; the whole completed by a roaring Christmas fire, which seemed determined to be heard, in spite of all the noise of the others. Charles and Mary also came in, of course, during their visit, and Mr Musgrove made a point of paying his respects to Lady Russell, and sat down close to her for ten minutes, talking with a very raised voice, but from the clamour of the children on his knees, generally in vain. It was a fine family-piece.

In noticing what a lovely scene the family makes, the narrator steps back to a frame of observation that parallels ours as readers—admiring the artistry with which the scene was assembled—such that the statement can’t quite be distinguished from Austen reflecting approvingly on herself. It’d be insufferable, of course, if the scene weren’t perfect, but it is, and the flourish sits gently on top: “a fine family-piece.”

Frühe Geglückte

Here’s a spectacular catalogue describing “Angels” from Rilke’s Duino Elegies, as translated by Stephen Mitchell:

Early successes, Creation’s pampered favorites,
mountain-ranges, peaks growing red in the dawn
of all Beginning,—pollen of the flowering godhead,
joints of pure light, corridors, stairways, thrones,
space formed from essence, shields made of ecstasy, storms
of emotion whirled into rapture, and suddenly, alone,
mirrors: which scoop up the beauty that has streamed from their face
and gather it back, into themselves, entire.

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Talking about “The Flick”

This post is a little different: JD and KHT went to see The Flick a few months ago, and loved it, while feeling that there was more going on than we were aware of in the moment. We tried a dialogue format to talk through what made it so interesting.

KHT: I really enjoyed Annie Baker’s Pulitzer-prize-winning The Flick, a play set in a low-traffic Worcester movie theater that still uses a 35mm projector, which I saw last week at the intimate Barrow Street Theater. The three main actors—Louisa Krause, Aaron Clifton Moten, and Matthew Maher—had a lot of poise and sense of timing as they brought to life a specific, very slow rhythm that was both familiar to me from awkward-pause-heavy comedies like The Office and totally new.

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The best books we read in 2015


The Portrait of a Lady

Henry James


No one delves into a character’s psychology quite like Henry James, and in Isabel Archer, he found a protagonist more than worthy of his meticulous deconstruction. She’s a formidable intellectual who doesn’t see the value in intellectual pursuits, she’s an idealist who isn’t quite sure what her ideals are, she’s an independent who is completely and utterly controlled by the malignant, vicious people in her life. She has a complex, distinctive personality and an indomitable will, all of which is systematically broken down by a small man with “exquisite taste.” It’s as tragic as it is insightful, sensitively portraying the experience of patriarchal oppression through the eyes of a woman who is determined to “behave picturesquely.”

Acquired: through kht, who warned me I would relate to the protagonist to an uncomfortable extent. I’ve thrice been told that I am like Isabel Archer, once as a lament, once as a compliment [To be clear, this was me –kht], and once as a scathing criticism. Only a Henry James character could find so many different ways to be relatable to a real person’s life.

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What is this?

Adversion is a turning-towards, in attention. It is criticism without the animus of an animadversion.

We intend to keep a wry eye on contemporary television, movies, and literature; on social issues, cultural moments, and criticism itself; and, not least, on the canonical and canonizable works from our traditions.