By Friedrich A. Kittler
A brand new and encyclopedic imaginative and prescient of contemporary German literary, highbrow and social background, completed during the optic of discourse research, psychoanalysis, and semiotic conception, analyzed in a spirit of playfulness and impudent precision.
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Additional info for Discourse Networks 1800/1900
The notion of poetry’s knowledge of itself suggests a shorthand for the knowledges of those who have invested in poetry. That consciousness privileged in relation to the process of poetry’s survival is waking, decisive and certainly, for all practical purposes, regards itself as superior to (at least able to stand above) those productions it sees itself as duty-bound to discriminate. It could at this point easily be argued that this position above is the canonic view and that it is imposed on literature, by its mediators, as a kind of wishful thinking; these mediators hoping to glorify themselves by association with that clarity and elevation of view, to which poetic imagination is entitled.
It is this, to hold the candle up to the album. (in Hoover, 1994: 177) Perhaps what is most unsettling in poetry’s potential is its role in keeping questions open, in unresolving, in (to reverse Kant’s aude sapere maxim) daring not to know. Nietzsche exhorts ‘we must not pester a poet with subtle interpretations, but should take pleasure in the uncertainty of his horizon, as if the road to various other thoughts were still open’ (1994: 125). As if the road were still open…poetry, as 50 Poetry, Consciousness, Community witness of and as exercise of consciousness in the practice of betweenness, is in a position to make a critical intervention in reality, which itself becomes of what we share.
But that’s just our simile. The character’s invented, his haste is make-believe, his news inhuman. (in Milosz, 1996: 68) As for Eliot’s idea that the bad poet is personal, David Antin devotes his work ‘a private occasion in a public place’ to a problematics of self-consciousness which draw us from such a conclusion: im doing what poets have done for a long time they’ve talked out of a private sense sometimes from a private need but theyve talked about it in a rather peculiar context for anybody to eavesdrop (in Hoover, 1994: 232) If we discard both the intentionalist fallacy and the view over poetry which canonic criticism cannot but claim; if we sacrifice, that is, the prospect of definitive judgement for its turns with ambivalence, what choice have we got but to commit the ontological sin of regarding poetry as constituting a consciousness in its own right?
Discourse Networks 1800/1900 by Friedrich A. Kittler