?

Log in

No account? Create an account
ENTRIES FRIENDS CALENDAR INFO PREVIOUS PREVIOUS NEXT NEXT
Twilight Idyll - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
Twilight Idyll
From Giorgio Agamben, The Idea of Prose--
The Idea of Light
I turn on the light in a dark room: naturally the lit room is no longer the dark room; I have lost it forever. Yet isn't it the same room? Isn't the dark room the only content of the lit room? That which I can no longer have, that which infinitely flees backward, and likewise thrusts me forward is only a representation of language: the dark which light presupposes. But if I give up the the attempt to grasp this presupposition, if I turn my attention to the light itself, if I receive it -- what the light gives me is then the same room, the non-hypothetical dark. That which is veiled, that which is closed in itself is the only content of the revelation -- light is only the coming to itself of the dark.

Muse: Ann Don't Cry - Comet Gain - Everything Is Ending Here

6 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
hollsterhambone From: hollsterhambone Date: December 19th, 2007 06:39 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
"That which is veiled, that which is closed in itself is the only content of the revelation."

Maybe that's what Hawthorne is trying to say (that I apparently don't get).
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 19th, 2007 07:12 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
Maybe so. I find that line of thinking difficult to wrap my head around, even though I appreciate its power to undo the self-confidence that leads me astray more often than not. He's paraphrasing Heidegger here, I'd argue, though I prefer Agamben to his mentor.
morimur From: morimur Date: December 19th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
From Junichiro Tanizaki’s In Praise of Shadows

But what produces such differences in taste? In my opinion it is this: we Orientals tend to seek our satisfactions in whatever surroundings we happen to find ourselves, to content ourselves with things as they are; and so darkness causes us no discontent, we resign ourselves to it as inevitable. If light is scarce then light is scarce; we will immerse ourselves in the darkness and there discover its own particular beauty. But the progressive Westerner is determined always to better his lot. From candle to oil lamp, oil lamp to gaslight, gaslight to electric light—his quest for a brighter light never ceases, he spares no pains to eradicate even the minutest shadow.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 19th, 2007 07:10 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That's a great quote! I have that book on my shelf. It's one of the things I'm looking forward to reading the next time I have free time for reading. I finally got around to reading The Makioka Sisters this summer and was blown away by the sense of realism that Tanizaki achieves.
From: babyiwasshot Date: December 19th, 2007 09:25 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
That which I can no longer have, that which infinitely flees backward, and likewise thrusts me forward is only a representation of language

This is ambiguous as hell; does he mean "of" in the possessive sense (i.e. a "representation" BELONGING TO "language"); or the sense of being (i.e. a representation THAT language EMBODIES ")?

I'm going to GUESS that he's putting language on a "lower" (i.e. more fundamental) level of reality/being than the objects it seeks to represent, as though the signifier is responsible for "creating" the signified, which is a rejection of Saussure's contention that the symbols of language are ARBITRARILY linked with pre-existing objects...I think

......and herein lies the problem of philosophical texts in translation, particularly Heidegger and Derrida....Hegel, also
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: December 20th, 2007 03:05 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm pretty sure the translation is faulty. My guess is that he simply means that the distinction between light and dark is a linguistic distinction. But I could be wrong. I love the Agamben I've read, but I haven't read enough Agamben to speak with authority about his work. Not to mention that I don't know enough Italian to be sure that a translation is faulty, though I could make an educated guess if I had the Italian text.
6 comments or Leave a comment