Friday, May 29, 2020

"The crisis consists precisely in the fact that the old is dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear."

My point has always been that this is the crisis of modernity, that Baudelaire and others said the same thing decades earlier, applied to themselves and their own preoccupations; that it applies even more to Modernism as an ideology predicated on the fallacy that no statement can be used to reflect back on the author without undermining the argument itself; that formalism, the insistence on non-contradiction, requiring only that statements be true according to their own criteria, is the definition of decadence, the replacement of observation with rationalism, of art with with artifice. That's the relation of Wittgenstein and Weininger's Fin de siècle Vienna. I even used Quine as an epigraph for Bronzino. The Gramsci quote is a perfect description of Mannerism, the crisis period of the Counter-Reformation before the resolution and return to relative calm, and the final flowering of Catholic authority in the age of the bourgeois. But I've almost never used that quote. it's too obvious.

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