The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

August 11, 2007

that's really interesting

it's always a wonder, what's really interesting, and whether interest, in-
terest-in, is a reasonable category of philosophical discourse. philosoph-
ical writing often appears scholastic, dry, abstract; it seems to contain
the semblance of power, that is argument for production's sake, production
for motive's sake, motives for lifeworld's sake. the latter is crucial -
that one inhabits one's work, replies, missions, admissions - exists with-
in the life of worlds, structures accordingly. but is that of interest
elsewhere, and what constitutes interest - there are two ways to think of
'having an interest in' - one, fascination with discourse on a particular
subject - two, an interest in the sense of economic or other interest ab-
stractly controlled by a steering mechanism, habitus of power, and so
forth. i have a conversation recorded w/ david antin perhaps 30 years ago
we were discussing astrology and about what was of interest and what was
not and what sort of steering mechanisms or correlations there were and
how they connected to the universe and i remember beyond or before the
tape david saying that even if astrology were true it's not of much inter-
est and i could only agree since personality and mute matter correlations
mean relatively little and prove nothing in the long run, at first i was
going to quote from the tape we made but then this particular section of
interest was elsewhere, outside the thing itself so to speak. {} truth is
never interesting; if truth were interesting then it would not be the flat
greyness of existence. then it would be corrupted into landscape, furn-
ished with ridges, serrated edges, graspable, something fallen into lang-
uage - i have often said nothing could be farther from the truth. then and
there interesting philosophy embraces evil, abjection, obscenity; it rides
these, dis/comforts these, dis-inhabits the abstract, something's at stake
- what remains elsewhere is physics, let's hear and see it for physics.
"find the david antin text and what david antin says about things being
interesting also try to talk about the notion of truth as being inherently
neutral and not of interest because there's no error which allows distance
and through that reflection and opening up possibilities connected with
the lurid and abjection and perhaps one of the reasons systemic philosophy
went out of favor in the twentieth century was because of the amazing
amount of interesting information exploding everywhere and all of it veer-
ing in interesting directions, not those of axiomatic conclusions, but
those of interesting conversations always continuing. the more the world
becomes (seems to become) more interesting, the more systems are retired,
those systems which are steering mechanisms and not dialogs, even bell's
theorem on the other hand is a dialog of sorts." crystal radios, constant
chirping, western grebes, are interesting, tantra is very interesting and
full of sights, sounds, tastes, touches, smells, extremely interesting and
its truth is that of the back of the human being world-consorting, every
thinking of the motive and intention of thinking. and curvature, curves,
mathesis of every sort, is always of interest, the thinnest of beams
enabling nothing, holding up even less. {} now crystal radio is interest-
ing because it's driving high-impedance earphones and it makes me wonder
of course why the same electromagnetic waves couldn't be harnessed to
charge lithium batteries, run low-power computers, etc. i've often thought
of living in pre-transmitter times, turning on a radio - of course there'd
be static and atmospherics, but i think, am almost certain, there would be
something else. i am the last person on earth to await the carboniferous.
{} if philosophy could be presented in an interesting manner, what then?
would philosophy then be of interest? i'm thinking of nietzsche, kierke-
gaard, but also of witold gombrowicz, a guide to philosophy in six hours
and fifteen minutes. now the text is fascinating but i wonder if terms
such as consciousness, object, subject, being, existence, nothingness,
reduction, etc. couldn't be considered placemarkers for other terms such
as anhinga, tibet, arlington coupler, hohner victoria harmonica, vegan
sushi, and so forth? in which case the discourse might well be more inter-
esting - and what is the substrate of the original terminology, what holds
it both to a more philosophical habitus and to a re/configuration of the
world and what the world holds? texts are of course texts of substitution,
deferral, differance, narration, holding language much as the phaistos
disk holds language. and the phaistos disk is interesting perhaps because
it remains mute, presenting us with a diacritique of language itself. {}

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