josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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23 Dec '17 06:08:58 AM

'... this fucking thing shouldn't have been allowed to take him from us, and I shouldn't let it take me too.'

22 Dec '17 06:00:15 AM

'The objection is that Molloy is unhappy, that Molloy is an unhappy book...'

22 Dec '17 05:37:07 AM

'Echo reconciles.'

16 Dec '17 05:37:04 AM

'In the past twenty years, my interest has been drawn back to Kant's ethical thought also by my experience of the present age. Our time (the twentieth century, and especially its last two decades) has been, and still is, a disillusioning time in which to live. The social, political, and intellectual climate of my country (and therefore of the globe over which it tyrannizes) has grown blinder, nastier, more irrational. The always dominant economic and political structures have become increasingly wealthy, powerful, arrogant, ambitious, greedy, and shortsighted. As life becomes harder and more hopeless for those excluded from these structures, large numbers of people turn back to old enthusiasms and superstitions, which are usually the pretext for outgrown passions and old hatreds. Ancient and parochial forms of community reassert themselves because the only order presenting itself as new and rational is devoid of any genuine community, since it holds people together only by entangling them in a confused nexus of unbridled power and self-interest. Progressive social movements, whose vocation has been to build a free community grounded on the rational dignity of all human beings, must now use their whole strength and courage merely to survive in a world grown hostile to them. The job of intellectuals is to oppose unreason, speak truth to power, and think the way toward a genuine community. Some, as always, choose instead to apologize for the rationally indefensible; but too many others in our age are caught up in the fashionable mood of irony, absurdity, and self-destruction because they have lost confidence in the mind's authority over human life and its power to find better ways for people to live.

At such a time it is not difficult to see some truth in Kant's somber account of the evil in human nature. It even becomes easier to sympathize with his stern, moralistic insistence that people must subject their ways of thinking to rational criticism and reform their ways of acting through a fundamental change of heart. Still more than that, however, the age needs Kant's sober, principled hope for a more rational, cosmopolitan future. In other words, we need to recapture an authentically Enlightenment conception of the human condition, especially an interpretation of that conception that makes clear the Enlightenment's still unrealized radical potential.'

15 Dec '17 10:15:41 AM

'Do you see whither you bend your gaze, that it is to the earth, that it is to the pit, that it is to these wretched laws of ours, the laws of the dead, and that it is not to the laws of the gods that you look?'

11 Dec '17 07:25:01 AM

'After experience had taught me that all the things which regularly occur in ordinary life are empty and futile, and I saw that all the things which were the cause or object of my fear had nothing of good or bad in themselves, except insofar as [my] mind was moved by them, I resolved at last to try to find out whether there was anything which would be the true good, all others being rejected—whether there was something which, once found and acquired, would continuously give me the greatest joy, to eternity.'

10 Dec '17 08:16:18 PM

'… to avoid poetry's innate tendency toward the sacrilegious.'

9 Dec '17 05:25:00 AM

'… A regional identity built on its own denial, on the idea of an unqualified normality…'

26 Nov '17 02:50:42 AM

'Can you find me? Can I hide from you?'