“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Speculative Pierrot

Just sent in the final draft of my Speculations essay. It's exciting in numerous ways to be published in paperless form and in an open access format.

Here's a choice paragraph, apropos of some recent posts:

According to OOO, objects all have four aspects. They withdraw from access by other objects. They appear to other objects. They are specific entities. And that's not all: they really exist. Aesthetically, then, objects are uncanny beasts. If they were pieces of music, they might be some impossible combination of slapstick sound effects, Sufi singing, Mahler and hardcore techno. If they were literature, they might exist somewhere between The Commedia Dell' Arte, The Cloud of Unknowing, War and Peace and Waiting for Godot. Pierrot Lunaire might be a good metaphor for grotesque, frightening, hilarious, sublime objects.

The painting is Pierrot in Despair by James Ensor. The one in the post below is Carnival by Max Beckmann.

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