sexta-feira, 16 de agosto de 2013

Across the Ice Desert of Abstraction Towards the Real: The Patience, and the Labour of the Negative

Here is a box for you,
a large box
Open it,
and you will find
a box in it,
Box from a box
labeled Box.
Look into it
(I mean this box now,
not the other one),
and you will find a box

And so on,
and if you go on
like this,
you will find,
after infinite efforts,
an infinitely small

with a label 
so tiny
that the lettering, 
as it were, 
before your eyes.
It is a box existing only 
in your imagination.
A perfectly empty

Identity Check

This is not Dante.
This is a photograph of Dante.
This is a film showing an actor who pretends to be Dante.

This is a film with Dante in the role of Dante.
This is a man who dreams of Dante.
This is a man called Dante who is not Dante.
This is a man who apes Dante.

This is a man who passes himself off as Dante.
This is a man who dreams that he is Dante.
This is a man who is the very spit image of Dante.
This is a wax figure of Dante.

This is a changeling, a double, an identical twin.
This is a man who believes he is Dante.
This is a man everybody, except Dante, believes to be Dante. 
This is a man everybody believes to be Dante, only he himself does not fall for it.
This is a man nobody believes to be Dante, except Dante. 
This is Dante.

by Hans Maguns Enzensberger (in: The Sinking of the Titanic, 1978, translated by the Author)

See also The Sharpest Ideology: That Reality Appeals to its Realistic Character (Alexander Kluge) :

Hans Magnus Enzensberger with Charles Simic, 11 December 2002

The patience, and the labour of the negative... 
Hegel's Preface to the Phenomenology of Spirit:

"19. The life of God and divine intelligence, then, can, if we like, be spoken of as love disporting with itself; but this idea falls into edification, and even sinks into insipidity, if it lacks the seriousness, the suffering, the patience, and the labour of the negative. Per se the divine life is no doubt undisturbed identity and oneness with itself, which finds no serious obstacle in otherness and estrangement, and none in the surmounting of this estrangement. But this “per se” is abstract generality, where we abstract from its real nature, which consists in its being objective, to itself, conscious of itself on its own account (für sich zu sein); and where consequently we neglect altogether the self-movement which is the formal character of its activity. If the form is declared to correspond to the essence, it is just for that reason a misunderstanding to suppose that knowledge can be content with the “per se”, the essence, but can do without the form, that the absolute principle, or absolute intuition, makes the carrying out of the former, or the development of the latter, needless. Precisely because the form is as necessary to the essence as the essence to itself, absolute reality must not be conceived of and expressed as essence alone, i.e. as immediate substance, or as pure self-intuition of the Divine, but as form also, and with the entire wealth of the developed form. Only then is it grasped and expressed as really actual."

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