Saturday, March 01, 2008

Technocratic intellectualism is the triumph of category over identity. Kosovo must be first and foremost an example, a token. But that's a vulgarization, even if a necessary one: the required pigeonholing of naming and recognition.

Academic Platonism says the instance is the vulgarization of the general, that the idea is truth. This is where right and left rebel against utilitarian liberalism -the generalized idea of the individual- in defense of individual experience. Vulgar anti-Whorfism says that if translation is necessary then what can't be translated must be unimportant. The subtleties of Pushkin or Mallarmé are irrelevant. The past is a foreign country and Americans are known for being rude.
It's as important to understand how Kosovo is unlike any other place as it is to understand what it may be similar to.

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