Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Carolyn Korsmeyer

Carolyn Korsmeyer is Professor of Philosophy at the University at Buffalo. She is the author of numerous works in philosophy, especially aesthetics and philosophy of art, including Making Sense of Taste: Food and Philosophy (1999) and Gender and Aesthetics: An Introduction (2004). She is a past president of the American Society for Aesthetics.

Her new book is Savoring Disgust: The Foul and the Fair in Aesthetics.

Recently I asked Korsmeyer what she was reading. Her reply:
I have the habit, possibly not a good one, of reading several books at the same time. At the moment I am reading – or more accurately perusing – Mark Twain’s Autobiography, too hefty to be comfortable for long stretches of time but wonderful to pick up now and then. Twain is as pithy and amusing when writing letters or diary entries as he is when crafting fiction.

By my fireplace, resting on top of Twain, is W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz, a compelling, weird, and mentally exhausting narrative of a man rediscovering his Jewish past, a past he forgot after being sent to Wales as a young child to escape the war in Europe.

Upstairs, I am reading Kipling’s Kim, which I recently bought in an airport bookstore and am finding quite absorbing. That followed Sue Grafton’s U is for Undertow, not only excellent airplane reading but also an intricately plotted book with vividcharacters and an increasingly likable narrator. Fiction keeps me going by providing excursions away from everyday demands. I need a daily dose and frequently reread old favorites. For bathtub reading I recommend paperbacks, preferably ones not on loan from friends.
Learn more about Carolyn Korsmeyer's Savoring Disgust at the Oxford University Press website.

The Page 99 Test: Savoring Disgust.

--Marshal Zeringue