Thursday, October 04, 2007

We must cultivate consciously the art of saying nothing, but saying it beautifully

Michael Dillon is the apex, the ne plus ultra of contemporary philosophical discourse. Why? It is not because of the subject matter of his work, which is a sort of warmed-over, trendified Foucault (oddly enough, he seems to confuse 'biopower' with 'biopolitics'). No, it is possible to decode the passage, if one invests enough time and labor into such a project. The point is that the subject matter is irrelevant: it serves only as a shaky but sufficient foundation for a cathedral of words. If Homi Bhabha is Romanesque--his impregnable edifices are too dark, too simplistically impenetrable--Dillon is undoubtedly Gothic. His usage of words--long, flying strings of adjectives, occasional grotesque outcroppings of frippery, the sharp and striking peaks of phrase--recalls and reverses Panofsky's insight that Gothic cathedrals were based on the structure of Scholastic argument.
Here, the solidity of logic gives way to lightness, to leaping over the abyss. New towers spring up at random next to edifices already established, ancillary chapels accrete in later ages over once-simple apses. Occasionally, a stained-glass window with familiar themes strives vainly to illuminate each nook and cranny of the temple, but its incomprehensible positioning and strange colors only cast it into more darkness. Dillon's cathedrals are grotesque carnivals of bizarrerie... Posted by Greg Afinogenov at 4:04 PM Labels: Tuesday, October 02, 2007 Medieval Postmodernism and the Future of Philosophy Slawkenbergius's Tales Without ideals or violence.

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