Thinking men and artists have not infrequently described a sense of being not quite there, of not playing along, a feeling as if they were not themselves at all, but a kind of spectator. Others often find this repulsive; it was the basis of Kierkegaard's polemic against what he called the asethetic sphere. A critique of philosophical personalism indicates, however, that this attitude towards immediacy, this disavowal of every existential posture, has a moment of objective truth that goes beyond the appearance of the self-preserving motive. "What does it really matter?" is a line we like to associate with bourgeois callousness, but it is the line most likely to make the individual aware, without dread, of the insignificance of his existence. The inhuman part of it, the ability to keep one's distance as a spectator and rise above things, is in the final analysis the human part, the very part resisted by its ideologists.
Unfinished sequences. Currently include those about Andrew Duncan's, Emily Critchley's, & Simon Jarvis's things. Caveat on quotations. (1) The Blogger architecture collapses tabs & multiple spaces; it's possible to get around this – (& if you’re nice to him John Sparrow might tell you how?) – but it’s friction, I hardly ever bother with it. Quotations which have lost indents or other formatting are labelled “not sic” unless I’ve forgotten. (2) Stuff filed under 1999 is kinda my personal commonplace book for a POLITIX course, a.k.a. BUCKBUCK Courier Point (Hill House): 799999, so. (3) I often don’t proof what I type / paste in. Gotta dash for snax. Avant garde British poetry.Peter Philpott holds the answers.