File spoon-archives/phillitcrit.archive/phillitcrit_2000/phillitcrit.0004, message 5


Date: Sat, 15 Apr 2000 13:00:57 -0700
Subject: Re: PLC: Why Proust? And Why Now?


thank you for the nice response, Simone, and this will take up the
unanswered questions:

> PCR wrote:
> We think
> > there is a single moral method narrowly patterned to fit our values
> > and beliefs (which may be said to be exemplified by our intuitions),
> > but the said or reported experiences of others becomes a challenge, a
> > "shock", if it produces conflict, much in reverse of what apparently
> > Proust would liken to any experience of his own, as an experiment
> > (that which is now presupposed by our having some sort of knowledge
> > about it).
>
> Help?  I need this unpacked.  It's interesting, but I'm not quite
> following you here.

I was taking issue with the depiction of Proust's sex life in the absence of
anything to say about his philosophy. And, as far as the next several
questions are also concerned, it all seems very odd to be left without a
good answer as to "why now?". Basically (and this is really abstract), I
think, we typically want moral guidance from a single all encompassing
concept or thing (a bible, god, or a science, like psychology or sociology,
or some "old fashioned" rational ideal, which is what I am interested in),
such that it may comprehend (as in the sense of being within some regulative
power) all the important events in life, as opposed to whatever can be
mitigated as being entirely beyond such comprehension. Or, something that
can perform all this. I think that the increase of scientific discovery
coincides with greater loss of privacy. We then assume to have anything
within our means of comprehension, including what soap you use to wash yer
behind, or whatever is none of my business. I was simply trying to suggest
that Proust's possible sexual experiments had nothing to do with any belief
system, or that it was not connected to any. It's kinda lopsided, sorry.

> What luck and fortune to those who can earn a profit in
> > biographing a person who can do nothing to prevent it?
>
> S.R. writes: Well, one usually writes bios of the dead.  They make better
> interpretive objects because they aren't going to change course. It's
> convenient, no?  On the other hand, most of people who write bios enter
> into that work as, they think, an act of homage, of adoration.  It's
> such slogging, detailed, endless work that they would never complete the
> project if they didn't "love" the subject of the Bo.
>
> Instant
> > history, perhaps? Or, instant subjectivity?
>
> For whom?  In what terms?

sorry, but I can't answer these all too simple questions, but perhaps my
response later will help.

> me, again: It only seems to makes
> > sense to be more complex than any common sense conception can make of
> > a person, to be ever more novel than the ordinary can ever appreciate,
> > but what a consumption is this that the person is indefensible if they
> > advance any new knowledge and do not live to appreciate such esteem
> > for their work? My sympathies to Proust.
>
> Lost me again.
> >

actually, it doesn't seem to make sense (above), but the complexity should
not make any more sense than the reader's comprehension permits, that's all.
That's how privacy is sustained. How to be novel is not what I am getting
at, nor how to be a more common sensical person, and if I say anymore, then
I face having to continue writing until all the questions in life have been
answered. Once again, I am faced by the alternative to say nothing. Well,
the simple matter of it all is that there is no apparent answer to the
question "why now?"

cheers, Simone....

....................................................................................................................................

"it is the habit of approaching works of art in order to interpret them that
sustains the fancy that there is really such a thing as the content of a
work of art" --Susan Sontag (Against Interpretation, 1966, my italics)
....................................................................................................................................

Peter Rugh
4th yr B.A. Student
Philosophy Major
IUPUI



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