Karl Kraus claimed that “an aphorism never coincides with the truth: it is either a half-truth or one-and-a-half truths.” Continue reading On the aphorism
This is more of a thought experiment, sort of analysis that compares and contrasts typography and photography (in the case of the “story without words,” illustration) and how their form predetermines the content. Bear with me, I’m in a Marshall McLuhan mood. Continue reading The form of discourse in typography and photography
A colleague of mine asked me the following question regarding my ongoing graphic novel project:
I wonder, though, whether Nietzsche’s aphorisms, or particularly La Rochefoucauld’s, are the kind of stuff that you are making a use of for your graphic novel stories?
Pretty much. The Maxims was the result of a conversation game between La Rochefoucauld and Madam de Sable and Jacques Esprit played in their drawing rooms. They wrote down sentences expressing ideas of morality and psychology in solitude and then debated them afterwards. Unlike preachers, there are no appeals to a superior moral authority, for their judgments that studied human nature and custom were ambiguous and performed at the level of man. Instead of the ponderous treatise or the prose of Cicero, or academic language, they chose short forms ( maximes, sententia) that deigned to provoke rather than instruct. And La Rochefoucauld played this game the best by turning the myth of Narcissus upside down with a spectacular demolition of heroism. Continue reading Manifesto of Writing
There is no doctrine to be found anywhere in the Dialogues. This means the Republic is little more than a commercial for philosophy.
The arguments are intended to be fallacious in the Republic, because this Dialogue was written in order to demonstrate the problems of a fanatical pursuit of justice. It admits philosophical Eros is unattainable, given the dilemma of the philosopher who is torn between the desire to rule and the declination to rule. Continue reading Interpreting Plato
In my readings I came across a fascinating theory by Stephen Toulmin that concerned the relationship between modern philosophy and literature. Philosophy underwent a paradigm shift in the 17th century, a time that was torn by religious wars (only 30 years of European peace between 1560 and 1715). Thinkers who grew tired of the pettiness of their time urged for a theoretical approach that was atemporal, all-inclusive, and independent of context. They were convinced that a pure theory, a formal logic that was free of the taint of history or culture could issue forth truths that avoided the vicious reality of violence (war, punishment, etc.) and the practical wisdom of rhetoric. Continue reading Modern Philosophy’s loss is Literature’s gain
Fiction in literature, as a serious aesthetic experience, took a long time in coming. Many literary scholars have difficulty in determining the date of its emergence. Some of the possible dates are the sixteenth century in Spain, 17th century in France, and the 18th century in England. Continue reading The death of fiction and the birth of ASL….
*A truly cynical witticism by La Rochefoucauld.
Hypocrisy, or “frontin,” is one of the least respected vices in modern society. Observe its impact when a politician is revealed as an hypocrite, where his behavior or speech is insincere, that he pretends to be what he is not. When his credibility is shot, his career no longer exists. Continue reading “Hypocrisy is the respect vice pays to virtue”*
There’s an anti-aesthetic movement, an undercurrent of skepticism of art, in academia. Recent developments in literary studies claim the aesthetic is only a tool of ideology, a complicit institution that reinforces the modern capitalist state.
“In the beginning, there was the Word. But in the end there only is Cliché.” – Stanislaw Lem Continue reading How to write a book full of cliches
Bret Easton Ellis realized the apex of his writing genius within his third book, American Psycho, a truly bold attempt at a violent and shocking creation: a young American yuppie Patrick Bateman, whose solipsistic affliction cleverly exposes the putrid underbelly of consumerism. The narrative is limited to the first person, an intimate access to Patrick Bateman’s warped perspective and Ellis skillfully employs this technique to ratchet up the tension in order to convey a successful black comedy. Continue reading Nor is this an exit