Thursday, June 02, 2011

Umbrellas Unopent in Tempests, Part LIII

“We’re trying to examine the idea of a fully formed judgment of beauty emerging from the intuition. This is not the same idea as subconscious impulses or drives transmuting through sublimation into a socially or culturally acceptable form, because the feeling ‘beauty’ is what’s down below, not a drive or impulse, and there is no shaping through psychic processes ( obscurely conceived as these are in Freud and as far as Itwethey knows, elsewhere—in the idea we are examining, there is no shaping of any kind at all) of something ‘raw’ and unacceptable into something ‘refined’ and socially or culturally redeeming. The intuition may be conceived as a way of accessing the subconscious, but the subconscious is not a squished-down mental space: it is capacious and plentiful, a garden (probably the garden of Eden.) This is closer to the idea of a collective unconscious and a realm of archetypes, though we say this guardedly.

“Nor is this the same idea as accessing time and space and shaping it consciously and reasonably. There is no ‘accessing.’ There is no ‘shaping’. There is no ‘consciously’ and there is no ‘reasonably.’ None of these are necessary. Not only that: each of these is considered as a negative, harmful, distorting process. The judgment of ‘beauty’ is there: it is just there. Also, it is going to be imperative (ha ha) to drop the word ‘judgment’ because it isn’t a judgment of ‘beauty’, it is an experience of ‘beauty’. The word ‘experience’, the idea of it as an experience is upheld. However, this isn’t an upholding of Hume and empiricism over Kant and rationalism. There’s no caustic, verging on cynical, examination of the effects of convention or other external non-intuitive forces or factors which might be intervening on judgments of ‘beauty.’ Experience is strangely ‘raw’ and ‘refined’, even ‘raw’ and ‘perfect’, even ‘raw’ and perfect only if ‘raw.’ This is odd, because most generally the AoA have extraordinarily sophisticated knowledge of the effects of convention and other external forces acting on thinking and feeling, which they do apply critically. They do wish to be, and often are, unconventional (in behavior or appearance.)

“What’s difficult in articulating this idea is the way each word of articulation would be disputed or disavowed. Articulating of the idea as a way of understanding it is disavowed or disputed as a worthy object. If we say, innocently, ‘it emerges’, then both the ‘it’ and ‘emerges’ will be disavowed and disputed as ways of describing.” This is the hypersensitivity to hypocrisy by which Itwethey has characterized the AoA. It amounts to a disavowal of language. Or at least of language insofar as language is logos. It is a deep commitment to the idea of language as something which distorts, and maims. (Poetical language escapes this but that’d be due to the musical quality of poetical language which, of course, is language not as logos.) It could mean a valorization of silence, but if it doesn’t, what is to be voiced is all but the logos. (We’re pointing this out because it seems to us this is the exact opposite of what Wittgenstein thought at the time of the Tractatus.)

“However, there is something very positive and affirming and bold and audacious and vibrant in this silent, (or soft), musically announced ‘this is beauty,’” Itwethey says, winded by the expenditure of air in saying all this in one breath, exasperated by the aspiration of thinking it all in one thought.


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