Sunday, January 29, 2012

more reading

I've been doing a lot of reading lately and no so much writing, so for the moment please enjoy the words of persons-far-more-eloquent-than-I.

Manning Marable/The Great Wells of Democracy; Cornel West/Race Matters; Susanne Langer/Feeling and Form; Ellen Dissanayake/Art & Intimacy; Ta-Nehisi Coates/The Beautiful Struggle; Elizabeth Grosz (ed)/Becomings: Explorations in Time, Memory, and Futures

Cornel West on nihilism:
"...For as long as hope remains and meaning is preserved, the possibility of overcoming oppression stays alive. The self-fulfilling prophecy of the nihilistic threat is that without hope there can be no future, that without meaning there can be no struggle."1

Elizabeth Grosz on Time:
"Time, or more precisely duration, is an extraordinarily complex term which functions simultaneously as singular, unified, and whole, as well as in specific fragments and multiplicitous proliferation. There is one and only one time, there there are also numerous times: a duration for each thing or movement, which melds with a global or collective time."2

"This is what time is if it is anything at all: not simply mechanical repetition, the causal ripple of objects on others, but the indeterminate, the unfolding, and the continual eruption of the new"3

Bergson as quoted by Grosz
"Thus the living being essentially has duration; it has duration precisely because it is continuously elaborating what is new and because there is no elaboration without searching, no searching without groping. Time is this very hesitation"4

Langer on music as the "Image of Time"
"The semblance of this vital, experiential time is the primary illusion of music. All music creates an order of virtual time, in which its sonorous forms move in relation to each other--always and only to each other, for nothing else exists there. Virtual time is as separate from the sequence of actual happenings as virtual space from actual space...Inward tensions and outward changes, heartbeats and clocks, daylight and routines and weariness furnish various incoherent temporal data, which we coordinate for practical purposes by letting the clock predominate. But music spreads out time for our direct and complete apprehension, by letting our hearing monopolize it--organize, fill, and shape it, all along. It creates an image of time measured by the motion of forms that seem to give it substance, yet a substance that consist entirely of sound, so it is transitoriness itself. Music makes time audible, and its form and continuity sensible.5

1. West, Cornel. 1993. Race matters. Boston: Beacon Press. 15
2. Grosz, E. A. 1999. Becomings: explorations in time, memory, and futures. Ithaca: Cornell University Press. 18
3. Ibid 28
4. Ibid 25
5. Langer, Susanne Katherina Knauth. 1953. Feeling and form; a theory of art. New York: Scribner. 109-110

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