Sunday, 14 November 2010

14th November 2010

We might ask ourselves “when do our memories and the contents of what make up our perspective become obsessive?”. Such a question assumes that memories become distilled into a unified object. If there can be nothing differentiated as memory – as opposed to science for example – memory can be considered objectified as a particular arena for analysis. Do we decide to study science, history and memory, art, design, politics, engineering? Perhaps at some point we are confronted with the value of choosing which studies to undertake. Do we want to become and engineer, a mechanic, an office worker, a manual labourer? What of the question itself – the base paradox that we have a choice?

Is it scary to consider choice? Does it strike fear into a theorist that searches for pure interpretations? A fear borne from a dichotomy that the everyday is of no value and that there is something to be sought that is “higher”, of grander value. What compelled the theorist to neglect the everyday, especially considering that it was the everyday that brought them to the question of the “higher truth” in the first place. Is the positing of the question enough to render the importance of the everyday – to highlight it? How to withdraw from labyrinthine interpretation, to contemplate my desires, my relationship with time, texture, rhythm, presence?

What is compulsion – a focus of intensity or a cultural pattern reinforced by the contents of my surroundings? Cultural norms do not exist – so how can they be studied? Do cultural studies provide a thoroughfare for contemplating values that we neglect ourselves? Can it provide alternatives? Or can it highlight (v-effekt) the norms we associate with, and provide us with freedom of movement – an awareness of choice?

Tomorrow is Monday and I will be returning to my desk. From the first minute I will be craving the last of the week. I will be dodging as much labour as possible, and as much responsibility. I will hate the work, yet I have done it for so long that I can render a buffer between it and my mind. I must do this work to be with my girlfriend and to study next year. I must do it. There is the overwhelming feeling that there is no alternative. I must pursue a career as a lecturer and researcher so that I may engage with what I value to a far higher degree. I must engage with this act and this lie. Some might say that it is bad for you to live a life as a liar – that it takes its toll. I don’t care because I must be with my girlfriend and I must be with her soon. If it causes me problems down the line – if I turn into a compulsive liar – so be it. The only thing I can do right now is try to be with her. I won’t think in any other way.

Saturday, 6 November 2010

The Intertwining of Remembering

and Forgetting in Walter Benjamin

Amresh Sinha

The concept of aging in Walter Benjamin's essay on "The Image of Proust" as the interweaving or intertwining (verschränkte) of remembrance and forgetting reveals the similarity between them which must not be mistaken for identity.[1] Even the confusion that results when something is remembered as forgotten should not lead us to equate the two. Yet to view them as purely antithetical or oppositional categories is also a mistake. A close reading of Benjamin's essay directs us to the difference between remembering and forgetting specifically as the discrepancy between the presence and the absence of the self.


Friday, 5 November 2010

When I go through the draws of my desk and I find the one with my birth certificate why do I get an urge to rip it apart?

Adorno on 60s Protest Music