Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Once To Every Man And Nation: Between Butler And Barzun, It's A War To The Death
Here, in black, is Judith Butler:
The move from a structuralist account in which capital is understood to structure social relations in relatively homologous ways to a view of hegemony in which power relations are subject to repetition, convergence, and rearticulation brought the question of temporality into the thinking of structure, and marked a shift from a form of Althusserian theory that takes structural totalities as theoretical objects to one in which the insights into the contingent possibility of structure inaugurate a renewed conception of hegemony as bound up with the contingent sites and strategies of the rearticulation of power.
And here, in white, is Jacques Barzun:
Political correctness does not legislate tolerance; it only organizes hatred.
If it were possible to talk to the unborn, one could never explain to them how it feels to be alive, for life is washed in the speechless real.
Idealism springs from deep feelings, but feelings are nothing without the formulated idea that keeps them whole.
A man who has both feet planted firmly in the air can be safely called a liberal as opposed to the conservative, who has both feet firmly planted in his mouth.
It seems a long time since the morning mail could be called correspondence.
Teaching is not a lost art, but the regard for it is a lost tradition.
In teaching you cannot see the fruit of a day's work. It is invisible and remains so, maybe for twenty years.
Art distills sensation and embodies it with enhanced meaning in a memorable form - or else it is not art.
Great cultural changes begin in affectation and end in routine.
Except among those whose education has been in the minimalist style, it is understood that hasty moral judgments about the past are a form of injustice.
“Convince yourself that you are working in clay, not marble, on paper not eternal bronze: Let that first sentence be as stupid as it wishes.”
“You never step in the same river of thought twice, because neither you nor it are the same.”
“Let us face a pluralistic world in which there are no universal churches, no single remedy for all diseases, no one way to teach or write or sing, no magic diet, no world poets, and no chosen races, but only the wretched and wonderfully diversified human race.”
“no subject of study is more important than reading…all other intellectual powers depend on it.”
“The book, like the bicycle, is a perfect form.”
“Except among those whose education has been in the minimalist style, it is understood that hasty moral judgments about people in the past are a form of injustice.”
“To delve into history entails, besides the grievance of hard work, the danger that in the depths one may lose one’s scapegoats.”
“The French call mot juste the word that exactly fits. Why is this word so hard to find? The reasons are many. First, we don't always know what we mean and are too lazy too find out.”
“We hear them continually on TV: hence they occur first when it is our turn to talk. In this regard, talk may be said to be the enemy of writing. If you observe yourself when on the point of writing that the word rising spontaneously to your mind is not the hard, clear words of a lover of plain speech, but this mush of counterfeits and cliches.”
“Simple English is no one’s mother tongue. It has to be worked for.”
“Since it is seldom clear whether intellectual activity denotes a superior mode of being or a vital deficiency, opinion swings between considering intellect a privilege and seeing it as a handicap”
“If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.”
“The root difficulty in all cases was the state of being blind and deaf to words-- not seeing the words for the prose. Being adults, they had forgotten what every child understands, which is giving and taking a meaning is not automatic and inevitable”
“The mind tends to run along the groove of one's intention and overlook the actual expression.”
“We are thus led to ask what the writer looks for and how he trains himself to look for it. The answer is: he makes himself habitually aware of words, positively self conscience of them about them, careful to follow what they might say and not to jump to what they might mean.”
Posted on 08/29/2012 10:06 AM by Hugh Fitzgerald
29 Aug 2012
Who or rather what is Judith Butler? She or It could be a jargon generating machine which some joker has invented for amusing the enemies of Postmodernism.
29 Aug 2012
Time was when a Butler confined his speech to "You rang, m'lord?" and "Very good, m'lady."
29 Aug 2012
Hm. "A man who has both feet planted firmly in the air can be safely called a liberal, as opposed to the conservative, who has both feet firmly planted in his mouth".
Bumper sticker to be issued in 3, 2, 1...
And where's the T-shirt?
Strikes me that candidate Akin has adequately demonstrated that Barzun was an astute observer of the American political scene...
It might be amusing to try to name a few of the others, whether serving politicians or aspirants - from 'blue' states and 'red' states - who most nearly fit Barzun's definitions.
30 Aug 2012
This is Judith Butler:
She is a French-style jargon-ridden philosopher, with a well deserved reputation for bombastic prose. Yet she can write quite clearly about political matters, to wit:
31 Aug 2012
Barzun quotes: Interesting, but with sources would be even more so.
Louis Torres, Co-Editor, Aristos (An Online Review of the Arts) - http://www.aristos.org / Jacques Barzun page