Thursday, January 21, 2010

Surreal Arrangements

From André Breton’s novel Nadja:

As far as I am concerned, a mind's arrangement with regard to certain objects is even more important than its regard for certain arrangements of objects, these two kinds of arrangement controlling all forms of sensibility.

Much can be made of considering the mind and the objects of perception as various forms of "arrangement" existing in a frozen space sub specie aeternitatis, and for aesthetic and political reasons this sensibility is preferable to the historically-framed mechanism embraced, say, by the people who follow Hegel.

It is perhaps these people that Breton addresses in The Crisis of the Object as he writes, "The pursuit of experience is important above all: reason will always follow, its phosphorescent blindfold over its eyes." With these words Breton isn't dismissing the place of reason in the skeptical-empirical method that drives our modern science, but instead is drawing our attention to the deceptive tripartite devil’s tool of coarse imagination, habitual language and political custom that ignites everything that contacts its glinting prongs.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

2001: Forty Years Later

Joe Bisden has written an astonishing study of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey.