Sunday, June 14, 2009

The Shudder and the Other

June 2009, JB

And if, "Knowingness is a state of soul which prevents shudders of awe," then, too, "aesthetic comportment is to be defined as the capacity to shudder ... life in the subject is nothing but what shudders, the reaction to the total spell that transcends the spell. Consciousness without shudder is reified consciousness. The shudder in which subjectivity stirs without yet being subjectivity is the act of being touched by the other." Theodor W Adorno, Aesthetic Theory

The shudder is art itself.


Roxana said...

i think that only shudder can be the response to this post, Jacky -

Anonymous said...

"life in the subject is nothing but what shudders"... I like this very much. You may be interested in Homer's use of the image of bristling wheat to describe the hair-on-end standing up when "thymos" (anger, passion) evaporates:

jacky bowring said...

Excellent - a very vivid and evocative image ....

many thanks (and thanks Roxana ... indeed!)

Roxana said...

perhaps related?

"Ein Buch muss die Axt sein für das gefrorene Meer in uns" (Kafka)

"A book has to be the axe for the frozen sea inside us" - i think 'frozen sea' could be a good metaphor for the reified consciousness, couldn't it?

jacky bowring said...

What a marvellous image, book-as-axe! And the frozen sea!