Thursday, February 06, 2014

Reading fiction as "fiction" is reading for plot. Books read for plot, fiction and non-fiction, are what you see by the checkout counter at the supermarket. The best of these books are read also as serious fiction and non-fiction is read, as form and observation of the world.

Language is formal structure and mimesis.

Any fiction worth reading seriously is not read seriously as "fiction". Any "non-fiction" worth reading seriously is read in the same way serious fiction is read. Both will be read as books. A "textbook" is not read as a book. It's read as a crutch.

The above continuing from previous posts, including Leiter's link to an interview with Philip Kitchner on philosophy of fiction and fiction as philosophy. Kitchner of course can only use the language that he knows, but change is change.

J.L. Austin on fiction: "These are aetiolations, parasitic uses, etc., various ‘non-serious’ and not full normal uses."

It really becomes clear that the relation of Modernism to philosophy was that Modernism as structure or formalism was an attempt to deal with the "parasitic" qualities of mimesis and fiction as forms of "un-truth".

"Plato, we know, looked back with nostalgia at the immobile schemata of Egyptian art."

And formal science looks back to Plato. All so obvious in retrospect.

But now I have to read Riegl, and Clark on Picasso.
Clark is right about the change, from haptic to optic, but he defends Picasso in decline, and misunderstands the work from the start. Picasso's greatest works—also Eliot and Duchamp—were brilliant descriptions of impotence and failure.

From haptic, to optic.

I was assuming something about Clark's arguments from what I'd heard. I was wrong.

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