Friday, November 24, 2017

In the long run, it is better to be rational but mistaken than irrational and correct.
But is it also better, in the moment, to be passionately wrong than dispassionately right?

Monday, November 20, 2017

To take literature seriously is to believe it reveals how language and experience are related. Writing, we imagine, is a sort of controlled experiment in living with meaning, affording precise observations of the connection between words and deeds. Perhaps it is the radical difference between the black marks on the page and the bruised skin of the body that suggests this precision.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Life is a series of simple pleasures foregone in pursuit of superior amusements.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

A thing (among other things) is experienced,
immediately and specifically, in intuition.
The object is thought in general
and mediated by the concept.

The self (and the other) is experienced,
immediately and specifically, in institution.
The subject is felt in general
and mediated by the emotion.

In imagination, they are brought together.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Saturday, November 11, 2017

"It took eighteen centuries of Christendom before Kierkegaard could come back alive with the knowledge that ... the characteristic way modern man found knowledge of his soul [was] ... by the act of perceiving that he was most certainly losing it." —Norman Mailer, preface to Deaths for the Ladies (and Other Disasters)

Friday, November 10, 2017

Pater Humilias

But you must know your father lost his name,
That father named, lost his, and the children bound
In filial abasement for some term
To feel their father's shame. But to persevere
In base humiliation is a course
Of impious stubbornness. 'Tis inhuman guilt.
It shows a will most incorrect to heaven,
A heart unfortified, a mind impatient,
An understanding simple and unschooled.
For what we know must be and is as common
As any vulgar outrage is to sense,
Why should we in our peevish opposition
Take it to heart? Fie! 'Tis a fault to heaven,
A fault against the family, a fault to nature,
To reason most absurd, whose common theme
Is humiliation of fathers, and who still hath cried,
From the first course till he that was shamed today,
“This must be so.”

Homo Ignavus

Will the Age of Social Media be remembered as the evolutionary niche that selected for cowardice?

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

Memo to John Keats from Ezra Pound

Truth is truth, justice justice.
Beauty is difficult.

Techniques

"The problems arising through a misinterpretation of our forms of language have the character of depth. They are deep disquietudes; their roots are as deep in us as the forms of our language and their significance is as great as the importance of our language. Let us ask ourselves: why do we feel a grammatical joke to be deep? (And that is what the depth of philosophy is.)" (Wittgenstein, PI§111)

"At least my theory of technique, if I have one, is very far from original; nor is it complicated. I can express it in fifteen words, by quoting The Eternal Question And Immortal Answer of burlesk, viz. "Would you hit a woman with a child?—No, I'd hit her with a brick." Like the burlesk comedian, I am abnormally fond of the precision which creates movement." (E. E. Cummings, preface to is 5)

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Decadence

When the scientist no longer believes in truth,
When the politician no more desires justice,
When the priest no longer keeps the faith,
When the artist dwells no more with beauty...