“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

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Phaedrus Lolita

One of my undergrads has written a brilliant essay comparing what is said of love, madness and the divine in Plato's Phaedrus to Humbert Humbert's self justifications in Lolita

What happens, in other words, when the unspeakable beyond is incarnated in a being sitting in front of you—this is a question the Phaedrus itself asks of course, making the analysis all the more urgent. It's disturbing and fantastic. 

I haven't seen anything like it since Derrida tackled the Phaedrus—but then he wrote on the relatively parenthetical section on books and writing, not on this. 

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