Friday, June 24, 2011
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Nietzsche on the French Revolution in Beyond Good and Evil: "Noble and enthusiastic spectators across Europe have, from a distance, interpreted their own indignations and enthusiasms into it, and for so long and with such passion that the text has finally disappeared under the interpretation."
Also: "Every morality, as opposed to laisser-aller, is a piece of tyranny against both 'nature' and 'reason'. But this in itself is no objection; for that, we would have to issue yet another decree based on some other morality forbidding every sort of tyranny and unreason."
Also: "Even treating something in a profound or thorough manner is a violation, a wanting-to-hurt the fundamental will of the spirit, which constantly tends towards semblances and surfaces, –there is a drop of cruelty even in every want-to-know.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
Recently I was asked by Damian Barr on behalf of the new W Hotel in Leicester Square to be one of ten writers to choose ten books each for the hotel's library. I decided not to include any prose fiction because no one pays £500 a night for a room in central London in order to sit there reading Vanity Fair (which Bret Easton Ellis picked) from beginning to end. Here's my list:
U & I by Nicholson Baker
Banvard's Folly by Paul Collins
Nobody's Perfect by Anthony Lane
The BLDGBLOG Book by Geoff Manaugh
Absolute All Star Superman by Grant Morrison
Important Artifacts and Personal Property from the Collection of Lenore Doolan and Harold Morris: Including Books, Street Fashion and Jewelry by Leanne Shapton
An American Index of the Hidden and Unfamiliar by Taryn Simon
Exquisite Corpse by Michael Sorkin
Hitchcock by Francois Truffaut
The Irresponsible Self by James Wood
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
Monday, June 06, 2011
Now that I'm sort of weakly trying to revive my brief training in philosophy, I decided I should read the Tractatus at last, and was pleased to find that it's very short. This is my favourite statement so far:
"4.463 The truth-conditions of a proposition determine the range that it leaves open to the facts.
(A proposition, a picture, or a model is, in the negative sense, like a solid body that restricts the freedom of movement of others, and, in the positive sense, like a space bounded by solid substance in which there is room for a body.)
A tautology leaves open to reality the whole – the infinite whole – of logical space: a contradiction fills the whole of logical space leaving no point of it for reality. Thus neither of them can determine reality in any way."
One imagines a series of spaces like rooms along a corridor – some airless vacuums, others filled all the way up to the doorway with solid concrete, most in between. Hotel Borges?
"5.511 How can logical – all-embracing logic, which mirrors the world – use such peculiar crochets and contrivances (Haken und Manipulationen)? Only because they are all connected with one another in an infinitely fine network, the great mirror."