Tuesday, August 30, 2005

I studied Marx in college and all I got was this stupid T-shirt

As eerie as it is that Wittgenstein refers to his anti-metaphysical theory in the Tractatus as a "final solution" to philosophy's ills, I can't but help feel that it would be nice if Blogger had some kind of program that would remind certain bloggers of the meaninglessness of general, axiomatic or universal claims about poetry. Show don't tell--oops, I did it again. Better: I'll show you mine if you show me yours. As Foucault did it.

The writers who I most admire out there in The Blog are those who convey their aesthetic positions by way of desciption, observation, response, evaluation--sex-- rather than the programmatic filing of land-claims with the po authorities--death. Of course, 'tis also fun to read over-the-top manifestoes, when the ridiculousness of large, blanketing claims becomes, in and of itself, a source of pleasure and part of the game. Like coastal fog.

Likely, then, that I won't be able to convince Jordan to elaborate on his sense of the primacy of affect. But it's worth asking.

Am I crazy to hear the angel of death in the last line of the Tractatus? Lamb's blood sign of the anti-metaphysical, and the unsaid out of Egypt?

1 comment:

Jordan said...

Hi Jasper. California treating you well?

Ben Friedlander prodded me in the same direction the other day -- apparently I've been letting on that I want to write a book on poetry and the emotions.

Basically? affect spreads. All art transmits affect; the language arts get affect over with very little interference.

Narrative is a masking agent, an affect-delivery retarder - it can extend the affect buzz, and it definitely makes it easier for the affect to be transmitted from one recipient to the next, but it also degrades the feeling, makes it so less feeling comes through.

I understand why it's so difficult for socialized individuals to communicate feelings. Feelings sell. And I'd hate to be any part of fomenting a dogma. I'm no dogma fomenter.

But as Paul Valery said, poetry isn't made of ideas (or feelings), it's made of words.

I'm late for work! more tonight.