Sunday, June 26, 2005


In March, I arrived at the following pithy remark.

Anthropology is to politics what metaphysics is to science. Anthropology is politics without mandate, just as metaphysics is science without method.
I believe there is an anthropological "I", a locus of becoming, just as there is a metaphysical "it", or locus of being. I am to culture what it is to nature.

It is the proper theme of philosophy and I am the proper theme of poetry.

More later.


Phil said...

If a poem does not express this theme, what is it (and what of other forms, or even media)? And is that even a possibility? Does it expand the theme by fiat? Further, if I use the transaction of someone else's poem as my expression (similar to a bumper sticker), would you call this a sort of amplification of the "I?"

Also, would I even have this same question in the case of philosophy as "it" relates to metaphysics?

Thomas Basbøll said...

Thanks for the comment, Phil. Here are some short answers, with long answers to follow on Saturday.

No, a piece of writing that does not present (express may be too strong a notion in general) the "I" is not a poem. It is not possible that a poem arise without also presenting an I (however radically it may then be "decentred".)

That, however, should do more to condition our understanding of what an "I" is and must be than what a poem is.

I am a determinate configuration of desire. The configuration is determined by emotion. The emotion is noted by the poem.

The use of other "I"s, other voices, other anthropological coordinates and identities is wholly legimate.

If by "fiat" you mean inexorable rules of usage, yes.

Yes, all of these question could be raised and would be answered by in the same way as to the metaphysics of "it".

Phil said...

by the way Thomas, I blog at
stamped and metered flying fish