Marjorie Perloff is an author. Her most recent book is Infrathin: An Experiment in Micropoetics. Her new edition/translation of Wittgenstein’s Private Notebooks 1914–1916 will be published by Liveright in winter 2022.
UntitledBy Marjorie Perloff
Rereading Nietzsches Twilight of the Gods, with its great declaration of war, whether with a hammer or a tuning fork, on universal idols, I thought immediatelyand irrelevantlyof Barack Obama. When this charismatic leader first came on the political scene, I was dazzled. A presidential candidate who fused the legacies of White Kansas (his mother) and Black Africa (his father), a presidential candidate who had published two serious booksDreams from my Father and The Audacity of Hopeand had actually read Kafka and Dostoevsky, a brilliant law student who became the first Black president of the Harvard Law review and whom the famous law professor Lawrence Tribe called the most impressive student I have ever taught.