Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Humble Beginnings

Hello there, good reader. Or bad reader, as you most possibly are.

I feel I should hurriedly get this first post out of the way. It will include just two items.

First, what's in a name?

In recent days, I have taken to referring to myself and my activities as 'being a blob'. What does being a blob involve? Largely, mooching about.

There are a number of ways in which I am planning, or hoping, or idly considering, transforming this. Here before you are the fruits of one: challenging blob with blog.

The second item for inclusion is a quote I rather like. I've recently started a research project on Michel Foucault, and came across this the other day, from an anonymous interview he gave called "The Masked Philosopher". I would like it (perhaps somewhat ambitiously, but it's a thought I like) to serve as something of a Wahlspruch for this blog.

'It seems that Courbet had a friend who used to wake up in the night yelling: "I want to judge, I want to judge." It's amazing how people like judging. Judgment is being passed everywhere, all the time. Perhaps it's one of the simplest things mankind has been given to do. And you known very well that the last man, when radiation has finally reduced his last enemy to ashes, will sit down behind some rickety table and begin the trial of the individual responsible.

I can't help but dream about a kind of criticism that would try not to judge but to bring an oeuvre, a book, a sentence, an idea to life; it would light fires, watch the grass grow, listen to the wind, and catch the sea foam in the breeze and scatter it. It would multiply not judgments but signs of existence; it would summon them, drag them from their sleep. Perhaps it would invent them sometimes - all the better. All the better. Criticism that hands down sentences sends me to sleep; I'd like a criticism of scintillating leaps of the imagination. It would not be sovereign and dressed in red. It would bear the lightning of possible storms.'