Charlie Bertsch (cbertsch) wrote,
Charlie Bertsch

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A Climax of Commentary

I just received an awesome anonymous comment on my entry that links to my Tikkun review of Hardt and Negri's Multitude. Since it's unlikely that many people will ever see it there, I'll quote it in full:
"To be fair, much of the blame for this perception rests with the nature of Hardt and Negri’s co-authorship. Because the two men are separated by so many factors—age, national origin, institutional affiliation—they are always writing across a divide that renders the personal an afterthought"

The co-authorship is thematic in that while one writer might achieve heroic stature, and that so vertical as to approach transcendence, two writers colaborating have a lateral horizontal relation entirely within immanences (like Christo and Jeanne-Claude getting immanence and horizontality up where transcendence as aspiring verticality used to be: "horizontal but high immanence"). The "divide," and the width of the divide between H. & N., is also thematic, in that each thinker must become elastic in order to stretch across the divide while remaining capable of resuming his functional shape: elasticity does not have a pure platonic ideal form. A divide, as a discontinuity, offers a place for adventures in crossing or patching a divide---in behalf of a constructed continuity, rather than the continuity of the transcendental continuum that is reached by vertical ascent. As you experiment in integrating past and present, will you participate in vertical transcendences as in seeing God's plan for you, a divine continuity with divine ironies ("but God meant it unto good"), or continue to construct a self-developing self-organizing constructivist life answerable to no transcendental ideal? ("Tikkun" suggests diagonals, or at least the transcendental and the immanent answerable to each other, like kosher at the table, but stay out of the kitchen).

Neither Socrates nor Jesus seems to have written, and both transcended with some verticality. Even those individuals who wrote about them seem not to have collaborated in co-operative writing (however much using each other's texts), and with Jesus, they all became saints, most of whom seem to go toward Heaven one by vertical one. H & N. had to cooperate in order to elude vertical transcendence and to remain dwelling under house-arrest among immanences. Their philosophy would not permit them to negate transcendence, but to elude it. They had to enact a shift of love from verticals to horizontals, their hybrid love and love of hybridity. Your own emigrations from some states and immigrations into other states looks like horizontal adventures toward a place to dwell in the world with as few negations of prior places (department of birthplace security), and as few negations of healthy robust physical life as possible. H & N exaggerate immanences, and fail to elude transcendentals, so inescapable tensions between the horizontals and the verticals continue to construct diagonals with interior trembles. Meanwhile, you explore toward the sky, wondering what to teach your daughter about it, while thinking about people resisting pulls,that is, people like you...
I am both honored and humbled to have inspired such a beautifully written response. Let me underscore my profound gratitude to the person who composed it. I will ponder it for a long time.

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