Friday, June 24, 2022


In his review of Axel Honneth's Recognition: A Chapter in the History of European Ideas Peter E. Gordon cites Ralph Ellison’s The Invisible Man thusly: “Invisibility becomes a metaphor for recognition denied. ‘I am invisible,’ the narrator writes, ‘simply because people refuse to see me.’ He feels like a bodiless head at a circus sideshow, as if he were encased in ‘mirrors of hard distorting glass.’ Others who approach him ‘see only my surroundings, themselves, or figments of their imagination—indeed, anything and everything except me.’” It may seem obvious that validation is a requisite nourishment for the human spirit. Of all the forms of incarceration, "solitary" is the most cruel. Besides death itself, it's the one that leaves the most permanent scars. Narcissists demand more than their share. Diderot’s Rameau’s Nephew alienates the very people whose attentions he desires. One would assume that the personality type  that can feel whole and in control is the hermit who protects him or herself through denial. Is Truffaut’s Wild Child the equivalent of the leaf falling in the forest with no one there to perceive it? Some animals react to mirror images and even delight in  mimickry, but the kind of self-reflexive consciousness that allowed humans to realize the reflection is them was a milestone in the history of sensibility. The recognition of the cosmic yawn and the indifference of the universe and nature might have been the trauma responsible for the creation of religion. Pattern Recognition, which is a form of brain function, is also the title of a book by William Gibson.

read "15 Seconds to Infamy" by Francis Levy, HuffPost

and listen to "Wind" (1960) by The Jesters


No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.