The Wire Magazine on the Disquiet Junto
9 hours ago
Of course, I don't mean interpretation in the broadest sense, the sense in which Nietzsche (rightly) says, "There are no facts, only interpretations." By interpretation, I mean here a conscious act of the mind which illustrates a certain code, certain "rules" of interpretation.Sounds nasty, all right. Note the offhand "(rightly)" in the first paragraph. Somehow I don't trust Ms. Sontag to be able to tell us what sense that is, in which N. is right, especially as she gets the quote wrong: it's not "there are no facts," (as of course there are facts), but "there are no 'facts'", where I take the scare quotes, in the spare and artificial context of The Will to Power, to indict, not the objectivity of the real world, but instead the hyperobjectivity of Platonism. FWIW; I wouldn't put too much emphasis on that overanalyzed little snippet either way.
Directed to art, interpretation means plucking a set of elements (the X, the Y, the Z, and so forth) from the whole work. The task of interpretation is virtually one of translation. The interpreter says, Look, don't you see that X is really—or, really means—A? That Y is really B? That Z is really C? [...] The modern style of interpretation [as in Marx and Freud] excavates, and as it excavates, destroys; it digs "behind" the text, to find a sub-text which is the true one.
What I have described in terms of a twin-bed marriage must be seen as a ménage à trois: philosophy, literature, and science. Science is faced with problems not too dissimilar from those of literature. It makes patterns of the world that are immediately called in question, it swings between the inductive and the deductive methods, and it must always be on its guard lest it mistake its own linguistic conventions for objective laws. We will not have a culture equal to the challenge until we compare against one another the basic problematics of science, philosophy, and literature, in order to call them all into question.A three-way, eh? (Those Europeans!)
My own view is that this philosophy [German Idealism] gave [Coleridge] a general intellectual apparatus with the help of which he tried to say what he had to say and to give a more systematic appearance to his empirical discoveries, but that he was not concerned to make himself into a post-Kantian idealist on the German model. True, in the collection of extracts from the notebooks called Anima Poetae, he says "In the preface of my metaphysical works, I should say: 'Once for all, read Kant, Fichte, etc., and then you will trace, or, if you are on the hunt, track me.'" But here he is answering charges of plagiarism, and seeking to make a kind of omnibus acknowledgment while saying at the same time that the thoughts had been his own before he had heard of these writers. in any cas the track of Coleridge is more complex than Kant and Fichte: among other paths it leads along the road to Xanadu.Wild woodcut-ish drawing of the Ancient Mariner on the cover. Here's another take, by Hunt Emerson:
I must force myself to recognize the merits, however splendid, of Durkheim, whereas Max Weber never irritates me even when I feel most remote from him. As for Pareto, he no longer provokes me to any strong reaction one way or the other.I think we can all relate to that. Right next to the Sociology section was the Science section (usually slim pickings there, mostly way out of date), where I picked up:
5. Tighten by pulling on the opposite folded ends. Adjust by fiddling. This is the subjective, artistic phase of the process. You may opt for the loose, floppy glass-of-cognac-in-the-morning Churchill look; the precision-perfect Fruit of Islam, Farrakhan-bodyguard look; or somewhere in between. As in life, somewhere in between is probably best.Or your wife, I imagine.
6. Admire handicraft in mirror.
7. Consider whether you really want to do this. Keep in mind that when you wear a bow tie, people will make assumptions about you, and probably should. The good news is, you'll never commit adultery when you wear a bow tie; you won't have the opportunity. The bad news is, strangers will snicker at you in airports. Is it worth it? Only you can be the judge.
There are several descriptions by her fellow nuns of moments when they saw her with glowing features, writing as if at a heavenly dictation. But not all the supernatural states that possessed Teresa were equally welcome to her. She herself tells how, in prayer, she would be lifted into the air, to her own consternation and to the alarm of those sisters who were praying beside her in the choir.Eww. The next book I espied was a nondescript-looking volume with a plain brown cover:
These mysterious levitations were matched after her death by the equally mysterious incorruptibility of her body. Both are well-known phenomena which occur in the histories of many saints and that can only be accounted for by some actual change in the physical structure that takes place at the same time as spiritual transformation. In Teresa's case the fragrance that surrounded her uncorrupted body led to most disgraceful results. In the wild rush to acquire sacred relics, various of her limbs were torn from her corpse. Her old friend Father Gracián, who had only lately so disappointed her by failing to accompany her on a journey, inaugurated her dismemberment by cutting off one of her hands.
Few only know the truth. The rest will hateI assume "Om Tat Sat" means something like "Tat Tvam Asi" (thou art that; though apparently on one interpretation it means "thou art not that". Go figure.).
And laugh at thee, great one; but pay no heed.
Go thou, the free, from place to place and help
Them out of darkness, Maya's veil. Without
The fear of pain or search for pleasure, go
Beyond them both, Sannyasin bold! Say––
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"
Thus, day by day, till Karma's powers spent
Release the soul for ever. No more is birth,
Nor I, nor thou, nor God, nor man. The "I"
Has All become, the All is "I" and Bliss.
Know thou art That, Sannyasin bold! Say––
"Om Tat Sat, Om!"
If Zen is approached with the usual mental attitude, it will seem quite incomprehensible. Our average Western intellectuality would consider its paradoxical language simply as a play upon words. Its full significance is revealed only when we approach it in a different manner, making our minds available to the new processes of inner perception which it suggests. [following sentence underscored by previous owner] A certain flexibility of thought is necessary so that the study of a new subject may be fruitful and revealing.Later on [p. 81]:
Reality Transcends the Duality of 'Mobile and Immobile'
A clarification of our views on the problem of movement is desirable. Without this there might seem to be a number of contradictions.
It may be said with good reason, that movement is a function of time. As Kant expressed it: 'We create time ourselves as a function of our receptive apparatus.'
This is obvious.
Therefore we must make it clear that in the preceeding lines we have considered movement as the essence of phenomenal reality.
The complete Reality of the universe includes the phenomenon and the noumenon. It is neither movement, as we know it in the manifested universe, nor immobility, as suggested by the mind (that is to say the notion of immobility in opposition to our idea of movement).
It is obvious that Reality Itself, in its entirety, is beyond the traditional oppositions of mobility and immobility.
Moreover these divisions are arbitrary. The experience of Satori is a result of emancipation from the arbitrary practice of partitioning our mind.
It is absolutely useless and vain to try and imagine or think of a reality that includes and dominates at the same time the two aspects of mobile and immobile. All discussion in this field leads us astray.