The Work of Art in the Age of its Technological Reproducibility

Filippo Tomaso Marinetti, Les Mots En Liberte Futuristes, 1919. Just finished “The Work of Art in the Age of Its Technological Reproducibility” by Walter Benjamin — One of the most eerily prescient programmatic essays. But anyway, first, this insane quote which Benjamin cites, from the Italian futurist Marinetti’s manifesto for the colonial war in Ethiopia: “War is beautiful because — thanks to its gas masks, its terrifying megaphones, its flame throwers, and light tanks — it establishes man’s dominion over the subjugated machine. War is beautiful because it inaugurates the dreamed-of metallization of the human body. War is beautiful because…

vocab via Heidegger, David Farrell Krell, Paul de Man

palimpsest, n.1. Paper, parchment, or other writing material designed to be reusable after any writing on it has been erased. Obs.2. a. A parchment or other writing surface on which the original text has been effaced or partially erased, and then overwritten by another; a manuscript in which later writing has been superimposed on earlier (effaced) writing. b. In extended use: a thing likened to such a writing surface, esp. in having been reused or altered while still retaining traces of its earlier form; a multilayered record. escutcheon, n.a. Heraldry. The shield or shield-shaped surface on which a coat of…

Found Poem: From Heidegger’s "The Origin of the Work of Art," Hofstadter translation

The artwork lets us know what shoes arein truth. Art a circle; circles in this circle.Artworks shipped like coal from the Ruhr,Hölderlin’s hymns packed in soldier’s knapsacksduring the First World War. Beethoven’squartets lie in storerooms like potatoes in a cellar.The far-spreading, ever-uniform furrowsof the field swept by a raw wind. A thinglything-being, the loneliness of the field-pathas evening falls. A workly work-being,the silent call of the fallow desolationof the wintry field. The certainty of bread.The menace of death. We hesitate to call Goda hankering after the irrational, an alienphilosophy. What is pregiven to the poetand how is it given, so…

vocab via Warminski

metalepsis, noun. The rhetorical figure consisting in the metonymical substitution of one word for another which is itself a metonym; (more generally) any metaphorical usage resulting from a series or succession of figurative substitutions. Also: an instance of this. logos, noun.A term used by Greek (esp. Hellenistic and Neo-Platonist) philosophers in certain metaphysical and theological applications developed from one or both of its ordinary senses ‘reason’ and ‘word’; also adopted in three passages of the Johannine writings of the N.T. (where the English versions render it by ‘Word’) as a designation of Jesus Christ; hence employed by Christian theologians, esp….

Found Poem: From Hartman’s ‘Crossing Over: Literary Commentary as Literature’

Anti-evangelical, a flight beyondthe eagle referred to, viaa pun on Hegel: Out of nothing,into nothing, endlessly approachingthe limit we call meaning: Jem’aigle: I am my own vulture.A hieroglyphic hysteria, phobia,the commentator’s contaminatingchiastic discourse: Sourceand secondary, inseparable. Atextual infinity, a new geometry,this Immaculate Conception, ICici. Here and now. The odysseyof spirit, that critic of critics,that promised land, not oursto enter. We die in the wilderness:But to have desired to enter it! —To have saluted from afar —The only reply: Ah, Wilderness. — all language taken from “Crossing Over: Literary Commentary as Literature,” an essay by Geoffrey Hartman

vocab via Hartman

apotropaic, adj. Having or reputed to have the power of averting evil influence or ill luck. pataphysics, noun.A notional branch of knowledge dealing with that which eludes scientific or metaphysical understanding (originally elaborated by the French writer and dramatist of the absurd, Alfred Jarry); the philosophy of the absurd. Also: (in extended use) pseudoscientific or pseudo-metaphysical nonsense.

Garden [voice crying out] in the wilderness

Geoffrey Hartman: “One might speculate that what we call the sacred is simply that which must be interpreted or reinterpreted.” “If we turn from religion, philosophy, psychoanalysis, linguistics, and so forth to literary criticism, and acknowledge its separate status, it is because we need that garden in the wilderness. Though freer and more visionary than most admit, literary criticism directs us to objects that are clearly there, clearly human clearly finite — perhaps, as Valery surmised, abandoned by the author rather than complete, yet therefore available for the finding we call interpretation.” –from ” Literary Criticism and its Discontents”

vocab via de Man, Hegel

copula, noun. 1. Logic and Grammar. That part of a proposition which connects the subject and predicate; the present tense of the verb to be (with or without a negative) employed as a mere sign of predication. 2. gen. A connection; a link. 3. Anat. A part (e.g. a bone, cartilage, or ligament) connecting other parts. anacoluthon, n. An instance of anacoluthia: A want of grammatical sequence; the passing from one construction to another before the former is completed. genitive, adj. 1. genitive case n. a grammatical form of substantives and other declinable parts of speech, chiefly used to denote…

Found Poem: From Hegel’s ‘Phenomenology of Spirit’

The progressive unfolding of truth: The bud disappears in the bursting-forth blossom… Falsemanifestation, the fruit now emerges as truth instead. To lay aside “love of knowing,” and become “actual knowing” — That is whatI have set myself to do. The “beautiful” —the “eternal” –“religion” and “love” — Theseare the bait required to arouse the desire to bite. The eye of the Spirit forcibly turned,and held fast to the things of this world… Now we need just the opposite: Sense is so fast rooted in the earthly things that it requires.Broken with the world, hitherto inhabitedand imagined, Beauty hates Understanding for…

Ah, love, let us be true to one another.

—- DOVER BEACH by Matthew Arnold The sea is calm tonight, The tide is full, the moon lies fair Upon the straits; on the French coast the light Gleams and is gone; the cliffs of England stand, Glimmering and vast, out in the tranquil bay. Come to the window, sweet is the night air! Only, from the long line of sprayWhere the sea meets the moon-blanched land,Listen! you hear the grating roarOf pebbles which the waves draw back, and fling,At their return, up the high strand,Begin, and cease, and then again begin,With tremulous cadence slow, and bringThe eternal note of…

‘The dejected King of Day’ — Fragments from Hyperion: A Fragment (Keats)

Fragments from ‘Hyperion: A Fragment’ by John Keats +++ Forest on forest hung above his head Like cloud on cloud. No stir of air was there +++ But oh! how unlike marble was that face: How beautiful, if sorrow had not made Sorrow more beautiful than beauty’s self +++ O aching time! O moments big as years! All as ye pass swell out the monstrous truth, And press it so upon our weary griefs That unbelief has not a space to breathe. Saturn, sleep on: — O thoughtless, why did I Thus violate thy slumbrous solitude? Why should I ope…

vocab via Hegel

predicate, noun.1. Logic. That which is said of a subject; esp. (in the traditional logic of categorical propositions) what is affirmed or denied of the subject of a proposition by means of the copula. For example, my father in this man is my father, mortal in all men are mortal.a. A quality, an attribute.b. A personal appellation or title that asserts something about the person who bears 2. Grammar. The part of a sentence or clause containing what is said about a subject (e.g. went home in John went home yesterday), sometimes excluding any adjunct (yesterday in this example). ratiocination,…

vocab via Cynthia Chase, Paul de Man

apodictic / apodeictic, adj. Of clear demonstration; established on incontrovertible evidence. (By Kant applied to a proposition enouncing a necessary and hence absolute truth.) catachresis, noun.Improper use of words; application of a term to a thing which it does not properly denote; abuse or perversion of a trope or metaphor. semiosis, noun.The process whereby something functions as a sign. aleatory, adj. Dependent on the throw of a die; hence, dependent on uncertain contingencies. paranomasia, noun.Wordplay based on words which sound alike; an instance of this, a pun. diacritical, adj.1. diacritic — A. adj. and noun — Serving to distinguish, distinctive;…

vocab via Cynthia Chase, Andrzej Warminski, Hegel

pleonasm, noun. a. Grammar and Rhetoric. The use of more words in a sentence or clause than are necessary to express the meaning; redundancy of expression either as a fault of style, or as a rhetorical figure used for emphasis or clarity. Also: an instance of this; a superfluously worded expression or phrase.b. The addition of an extra or superfluous letter or syllable to a word; a word extended in this way. Obs. rare.2. gen. Superfluity, redundancy, or excess; something superfluous or redundant. Cf. pleonastic adj. 2. convoke, verb. trans. To call together, summon to assemble; to assemble or bring…