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Friday, August 11, 2006

Pamberi Ne Enlightenment; Pasi Ne Romantacism

Posted by on August 11 at 12:57 PM

Translated from Shona, “Pamberi Ne Enlightenment” means “Forward With Enlightenment” and “Pasi Ne Romantacism” means “Down With Romantacism.” Now my point: After reading a number of books on and by the powerful, 17th century philosopher Spinoza, I have decided that what you see in this famous painting by Caspar David Friedrich is the source of all our problems.
friedrich.wanderer-sea-fog.jpg Romanticism—which began in the late 18th century and has its roots in the claim that “man is born free but everywhere is…”, and also in Kant’s ambivalence with (and ultimate undermining of) the enlightenment project, with science, with the sober business of cold calculation—taken as a whole, romanticism is just bad. That entire stage, that spirit—its poets, painters, musicians—should be knocked out of the continuum of history and, in its space, around 1850 joined to around 1780. I’m very serious about this. We will never fully recover the force of the age that Spinoza inaugurated unless we abandon, flush out of our system, the nonsense of romanticism.

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Is it possible for bloggers themselves to be trolls?


If that "what?" was directed to me:

I meant that Mudede's posts regularly seem designed to provoke irate responses. I often find myself starting to compose such responses (in this case something along the lines of "Screw you! JMW Turner was the bomb!"), and then stop myself, thinking I'm just playing into his rhetorical trap.

Or maybe I'm just being paranoid. Anyway, Turner rules. Friedrich was pretty cool too.

At least his posts are thought-provoking, if controversial and at times slightly unhinged, opinions on actual topics, not just trite, unsupported ramblings meant to shock and inflame. I look forward to Charles' posts - even ones I don't entirely agree with - because I can count on him to come at an issue with fresh eyes, or at least with the eyes of an at-times naive philosophy grad student who can contribute context and elaborate on his opinions.

In this case though I'd have to say I mostly agree with him. Romanticism is at its heart anthropocentric, and makes untenable claims about man's exceptionalism in nature left over from archaic beliefs in invisible deities. Even though Joe Sixpack in Trailerpark, Kansas may not realize it, a large part of the philosophical backdrop of our current situation in our country is built on this premise.

i agree with levislade:

i think charles posts add little value to the slog-- and they generally seem to be written just so that mudede can listen to the echo of his own pretentious voice in cyberspace.

Romanticism was of course flawed - I'm more of an Enlightement type myself - but suggesting we remove 70 years of art and culture from our history is ridiculous, and I don't see any purpose other than to shock and inflame those of us who can see the difference between a philosophy and the works of art that might have come about in concert with it.

Arrgh. "Enlightenment."

Mr. Mudede is the ONLY person writing anything of value at The Stranger. (well, Schmader's Last Days IS great too). I find his posts consistently provocative and/or funny. Some people (read: socialarsonist) should go stab themselves in the face with a sharp knife or something. As for Romanticism...hasn't "The Enlightenment" caused more damage?

Nothing is without reason.

Nothing is, without reason.

The problem with Romanticism is Romantics.

this painting is the cover art for mary shelly's frankenstein - i bought it at udub books for 2 bucks.

Socialarsonist: You probably won't see this, as it's now an old blog entry. If you don't like it, DON'T READ IT! You know what you're getting into when you see his name. My guess is that you don't have former professors adding any two-cents worth to your thoughts. As for Charles postings, it's not often I encounter blog entries that requires me to really stop and think. That in itself makes it worth the trip, don't you think? Maybe not.

Charles --

The problem with laying all of this at Friedrich's feet is that Romanticism was well underway before Friedrich put brush to panel (or canvas). Lots of 18th C. Romantics. Tons. Ooodles. Going on about massy peaks in the mountains, and all else.

So. Can't blame Friedrich; gotta go earlier.

Religious fanatics - Christian, Jewish and Muslim, are not the roots of today's problems. It is the white European Male poets and composers of the 1800's who are responsible. We must cling to religions, especially Judaism, but rid the world of romantic poetry. Romantic poetry is the source of oppression. White, European Males, especially artists are the source of all evil.

People who don't believe beauty is truth are probably ugly.

OK, screw you Mudede. Some of my favorite poets, musicians, painters are Romantics.

Whyn't you pick on the coal-burning SOBs who had kids working 12/14-hour days in their sweatshops????

(Ah ... at last, a chance to use "Save The Kids!!)

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