Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Pressure of Reality

(From my notes, reading Tony Tost's PhD dissertation, Machine Poetics. Tony begins with Stevens's definition of "the pressure of reality": "the pressure of an external event or events on the consciousness to the exclusion of any power of contemplation.”)

Wallace Stevens:

It is not only that there are more of us and that we are actually close together. We are close together in every way. We lie in bed and listen to a broadcast from Cairo, and so on. There is no distance. We are intimate with people we have never seen and, unhappily, they are intimate with us. (The Noble Rider, 1945, p. 638)

Martin Heidegger:

When the farthest corner of the globe has been conquered technologically and can be exploited economically; when any incident you like, in any place you like, at any time you like, becomes accessible as fast as you like; when you can simultaneously "experience" an assassination attempt against a king in France and a symphony concert in Tokyo; when time is nothing but speed, instanteneity, and simultaneity, and time as history has vanished from all Dasein of all peoples; when a boxer counts as the great man of a people; when the tallies of millions at mass meetings are a triumph; then, yes then, there still looms like a specter over all this uproar the question: what for?—where to?—and what then? (IM, 1936, p. 40 [28-9])

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