Saturday, May 26, 2018

Traveling, Etc.

Noticed this week in Truth and Method, Part I, 1.3.(a), "The retrieval of the question of artistic truth":
Even art forms which seem to be opposed to the simultaneity of the aesthetic experience, such as architecture, are drawn into it, either through the modern technique of reproduction which turns buildings into pictures, or else through modern tourism, which turns travelling into an armchair browsing through picture books.
The characteristic seat of modern tourism seems to me to be not the armchair but the airline seat with scant legroom. Still, perhaps I see what Gadamer means. As for the simultaneity addressed in this section, I think of Flann O'Brien, in the "Criticism, Arts, Letters" section of The Best of Myles:
 Search any old lukewarm bath and you will find one of these aesthetical technicians enjoying himself.... All round this person in the bath life is going on, nothing is ever lost, over in Harlem Einstein is testing a diminished seventh for an overstimulated thyroid, in Milan Buonaparte is writing the letter that ends Ah, Jos├ęphine! Jos├ęphine! Toi! Toi!, in the Bank of Ireland Silken Thomas has laid his sword on the counter what will they allow him on it, in Bohemia they are throwing the Emperor's ambassadors out of the window while always waddling comically into the polyphonic aureole of the sunset recedes the tragic figure of Charlie Chaplin. This is life, and stuffed contentedly in the china bath is the boy it was invented for, morbidly aware of the structure of history, geography, algebra, chemistry and woodwork; he is up to his chin in the carpediurnal present, and simultaneously, in transcendant sense-immediacy, sensible that without him, without his feeling, his observation, his diapassional apprehension on all planes, his non-pensionable function as catalyst, the whole filmy edifice would crumble into dust.


1 comment:

  1. Flann O'Brien! Always so wonderfully clotted. I can't help wondering if anyone would publish him now. Strange times...

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