“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

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Cor Blimey Guvnor

Just had a long chat with one of the many astonishingly intelligent Rice undergraduates. He had questions about Realist Magic (already!): awesome, unbelievably good questions. Viz:

1)Would it be fair to say that the aesthetic nature of withdrawn objects is related to Derrida's notion of différance?

 2)When you describe a poem as located in the future, do you mean the written-poem-object or the performed-poem-object? (perhaps both?) For me it seems as if the word poem always waits (in the future) for you -the reader, so that when you arrive, you realize that you are waiting also -for something to arrive. Sometimes when a poem is read (by myself or another), it seems as if an impossible answer was given -materialized in the breath and vapor of the speaker, but immediately lost as soon as one awakes from the silence. All that remains is a memory of a memory of presence. I am hesitant to flatten these into equivalent aesthetics. Perhaps I am misunderstanding what you mean. I have been having difficulty with the temporality.

3)Do you believe that strategies are necessary for aesthetic sensitivity? I assume the development of an OOO is in some way a systemic response to rational-reductive-materialist-positivism. I don't know: I suppose the I just want to say that I'm not very happy with our current situation, materially and theoretically. Do systems matter? Is there a sense in desiring a rational system which encourages/allows the power and dynamism of the aesthetic realm? Or do you believe that these things are unfazed by scientism/reduction?

 One thing that comes to mind is an essay written by Novalis, "Christendom or Europe" in which he argues for a certain system which best allows the flourishing of beauty. Do you believe this is a sentiment of merit? Does Human participation matter? I also think of the different manifestations of infinity in William Blake's poetry. For there is an infinitude in each particular grain of sand, but the reductive abstract of infinity is a dead object which contains nothing in its generality. Is it not an imperative to produce systems which allow -if not encourage the former?

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