"we carry death out of the village"

Month: September, 2011

In manere

Abolishing transcendence abolishes the distinction between preference satisfaction and the good, so that satisfaction of preferences becomes the rational purpose of all action. From that perspective, the most rational political response to modernity is the attempt to derive moral and social order from maximum preference satisfaction.

–Jim Kalb, Alternate modernities: a retrospective

“I myself was torrent”

And so that day was the day of the great opening. Forgetting the tawdry images which as a matter of fact had disappeared, I gave up struggling and let myself be traversed by the fluids which, entering me through the furrow, seemed to be coming from the ends of the earth. I myself was torrent, I myself was drowned man, I was navigation. My hall of constitution, my hall of ambassadors, my hall of gifts, where the stranger is introduced for a first inspection–I had lost all my halls and retainers. I was alone, tumultuously shaken like a dirty thread in an energetic wash. I shone, I was shattered, I shouted to the ends of the earth. I shivered. My shivering was a barking. I pressed forward, I rushed down, I plunged into transparency, I lived crystallinely.

Sometimes a glass stairway, a stairway like a Jacob’s ladder, a stairway with more steps than I could climb in three entire lifetimes, a stairway with ten million steps, a stairway without landings, a stairway up to the sky, the maddest most monstrous feat since the tower of Babel, rose into the absolute. Suddenly, I could see it no longer. The stairway had vanished like the bubbles of champagne, and I continued my navigation, struggling not to roll, struggling against the suctions and pulings, against infinitely small jumping things, against stretched webs, and arching claws.

–Henri Michaux, Miserable Miracle

Arvo Pärt