Tuesday, December 31, 2013

one more
Slight return, and an apology. I almost never see red flags where there aren't any, but these days often I see dozens where there are only two or three, and the name Bourdieu makes me see red for days. But if I'm attacking moralists its best not to sound like one. It's a good post and good discussion. My grumpy indignation was uncalled for, so in a more polite, and useful, tone I'l add one more comment.

That empathy, as Einfühlung, originated in the discussion of esthetics is poetic justice, since Bourdieu's use of Habitus originates in Erwin Panofsky. I've said that before but this discussion makes the relation clear. We need to return the irony that Bourdieu and others have stripped from it.

To surgeons as tight-rope walkers and hospice workers as prostitutes, add war correspondents as adrenaline junkies and defense lawyers who defend war criminals because its necessary, and because its fun. On the other side of the equation put nurses who hide their fear and self-pity in obsessive service to the sick, bureaucrats who imagine order as justice, economists who see economics as formal science, librarians who conflate filing systems with literary criticism, artists who equate abstraction with representation, and performers who think they need to be miserable to communicate sadness. And remember that Bourdieu drew his arguments also from Clement Greenberg.

Emotionalism and formalism (two sides of the same coin), or irony and responsibility.
This is the good stuff. This is where it gets heavy. This is where it gets fun. 
Happy New Year.
Happy New Year.

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