Sunday, July 29, 2007
values its subjectivity:
Reminder to subscribe:
[Lat., Medio de fonte leporum Surgit amari aliquid, quod in ipsis floribus angat.]
Source: De Rerum Natura (IV, 1,129), Lucretius
translated in Byron's "Childe Harold", canto I., st. 82
Existentialism is about being a saint without God; being your own hero, without all the sanction and support of religion or society.- Anita Brookner
(b. 1938), British novelist, art historian.
Interview in Writers at Work, Eighth Series, ed. George Plimpton (1988).
Saturday, July 28, 2007
I assume we are talking about saving a few young men from suicide. I have in mind those who commit suicide out of disgust, because they find that others own too large a share of them. To them one should say: at least let the minority within you have the right to speak. Be poets. They will answer: but it is especially there, it is always there that i feel others within me; when i try to express myself, i am unable to do so. Words are readymade and express themselves: they do not express me. Once again i find myself suffocating. At that moment, teaching the art of resisting words becomes useful, the art of saying only what one wants to say, the art of doing them violence, of forcing them to submit. In short... Found a rhetoric, or rather, to teach everyone the art of founding his own rhetoric. This saves those few, those rare individuals who must be saved: those who are aware, and who are troubled and disgusted by the others within them.those individuals who make the mind progress, and who are, strictly speaking, capable of changing the reality of things.
- Francis Ponge, French poet
The act of thinking and reasoning in strict accordance
with the limitations and incapacities of the human
-- John F. Kennedy
Friday, July 27, 2007
game. Religion, it seems to me, can survive only as a consciously
accepted system of make-believe. . . .
You never see animals going through the absurd and often horrible
of magic and religion. . . . Asses do not bray a liturgy to cloudless skies.
Nor do cats attempt, by abstinence from cat's meat, to wheedle the feline
spirits into benevolence. Only man behaves with such gratuitous folly.
It is the price he has to pay for being intelligent but not, as yet, quite
-- Aldous Huxley, Texts and Pretexts,1932
Saturday, July 21, 2007
Truth, Power, Self: An Interview with Michel Foucault - October 25th, 1982.
While I complain of being able to glimpse no more than the shadow of the past, I may be insensitive to reality as it is taking shape at this very moment, since I have not reached the stage of development at which I would be capable of perceiving it. A few hundred years hence, in this same place, another traveller, as despairing as myself, will mourn the disappearance of what I might have seen, but failed to see.
Chapter 4: The Quest for Power, p.43
One must be very naïve or dishonest to imagine that men choose their beliefs independently of their situation.
Chapter 16: Markets, p.148
-Claude Levi- Strauss
-The Drowned and the Saved (1986) -Primo Levi
Variant translations: If the book we are reading does not wake us, as with a fist hammering on our skulls, then why do we read it? Good God, we also would be happy if we had no books and such books that make us happy we could, if need be, write ourselves. What we must have are those books that come on us like ill fortune, like the death of one we love better than ourselves, like suicide. A book must be an ice axe to break the sea frozen inside us.What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make us feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like a suicide. A book must be the ax for the frozen sea within us.A book should be an ice-axe to break the frozen sea within us.A book must be an ice-axe to break the seas frozen inside our soul.A book should serve as the ax for the frozen sea within us.
Now the Sirens have a still more fatal weapon than their song, namely their silence... Someone might possibly have escaped from their singing; but from their silence, certainly never.
"The Silence of the Sirens" (October 1917) -Franz Kafka
Valentin-Louis-Georges-Eugène-Marcel Proust (1871-07-10 – 1922-11-18) was a French novelist, essayist and critic.
I will not serve that in which I no longer believe, whether it call itself my home, my fatherland, or my church: and I will try to express myself in some mode of life or art as freely as I can and as wholly as I can, using for my defence the only arms I allow myself to use — silence, exile and cunning.
~ A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man James Joyce
Thursday, July 19, 2007
The First Law of Philosophy:
For every philosopher, there exists an equal and opposite philosopher.
The Second Law of Philosophy:
They're both wrong.
HumanistNetworkNews.orgJuly 18, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
-Gustave Le Bon;"The Crowd"
Saturday, July 07, 2007
(1904/1930, p. 105) -Max Weber
“Religion is in a word the system of symbols by means of which society becomes conscious of itself; it is the characteristic way of thinking of collective existence” ( 1951: 312).
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Olympe de Gouges, a butcher's daughter, proved to be one of the most outspoken and articulate women revolutionaries. In 1791 she wrote the following declaration, directly challenging the inferiority presumed of women by the Declaration of the Rights of Man. Her attempts to push this idea lead to her being charged with treason during the rule of the National Convention. She was quickly arrested, tried, and on November 3, 1793, executed by the guillotine.
Woman, wake up; the tocsin of reason is being heard throughout the whole universe; discover your rights. The powerful empire of nature is no longer surrounded by prejudice, fanaticism, superstition, and lies. The flame of truth has dispersed all the clouds of folly and usurpation. Enslaved man has multiplied his strength and needs recourse to yours to break his chains. Having become free, he has become unjust to his companion. Oh, women, women! When will you cease to be blind?