Friday, January 31, 2014

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

From the Archives: Part 111 of The Self and its Sources




Will Bernard undergo a conversion, will the novel end coherently? Fixating on the details of Percival’s death renders Bernard unable to fully experience its effects. He again becomes entangled in the mimetic melodrama.

Monday, January 27, 2014

From the Archives: Part 110 of The Self and its Sources




Percival was structurally the ‘Lord’ in this novel and the resultant shock of his death provides an opportunity for a kind of conversion.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

From the Archives: Part 109 of The Self and its Sources




Bernard’s attempt at stabilization via marriage; joining the throngs of people as competitors and comrades in the daily round of life, into which suddenly crashes death, the death of Percival.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

From the Archives: Part 108 of The Self and its Sources




Can this novel be brought to a conclusion, can it come to an end, or is it just the last ripple of the waves, ‘petering out’? Virginia Woolf (in the voice of Bernard) is unable to find the “one true story, to which all of the other stories refer”.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

From the Archives: Part 107 of The Self and its Sources




Bernard:
“The sound of the chorus came across the water and I felt leap up that old impulse, which has moved me all my life, to be thrown up and down on the roar of other people's voices, singing the same song; to be tossed up and down on the roar of almost senseless merriment, sentiment, triumph, desire.”
The difficulty of ending the novel.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

From the Archives: Part 106 of The Self and its Sources




The longing to be part of a grand procession that leads to the search for a messianic hope.

Friday, January 17, 2014

From the Archives: Part 105 of The Self and its Sources




The centripetal, sacrificial force of gravity that breaks apart social cohesion only to instill an ‘itch’ to return to a galvanizing experience that brings everyone together again.

Monday, January 13, 2014

From the Archives: Part 103 of The Self and its Sources




The metaphor of Bernard buying a picture of Beethoven in a silver frame ... Trying to make a symphony from cacophony...magnificence from craziness.

St. John of the Cross –
God gives himself to us truly without ever changing faith into knowledge.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

From the Archives: Part 102 of The Self and its Sources




In the May 1993 New York Review of Books was published an article by Vaclav Havel entitled “The Post-Communist Nightmare” , this was the text of a speech he gave at George Washington University in April 1993.
NYRB link here.

This was replied to by Joseph Brodsky in personal letter published in NYRB a month later.
“… what you call “communism” was a breakdown of humanity, and not a political problem. It was a human problem, a problem of our species, and thus of a lingering nature. Neither as a writer nor, moreover, as a leader of a nation should you use terminology that obscures the reality of human evil—terminology, I should add, invented by evil to obscure its own reality. “

Tuesday, January 07, 2014

From the Archives: Part 100 of The Self and its Sources




The opposition of the conceptions of the success and perfection of the self and the escatological vision of history. An example from late 20th century China, Mao worship.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

From the Archives: Part 99 of The Self and its Sources




The search for meaning in history by viewing history as a long procession of magnificent human beings. A preoccupation with personality. (article by Helmut Koester in the Harvard Divinity Review - October 1985 Volume 78 Issue 3-4)
An alternative to an eschatological view, that history is moving in a direction.

Friday, January 03, 2014

From the Archives: Part 98 of the Self and its Sources




The search for a centering principle, ordering the identities of the characters of the novel.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014