contingent conversations (or: continuous self-doubt)

“His collections are the practical man’s answer to the aporias of theory” (1)

"And I hazard the guess that man will be ultimately known for a mere polity of multifarious and independent citizens "(2)

“she has radical and continuous doubts about the final vocabulary she currently uses, because she has been impressed by other vocabularies, vocabularies taken as final by people or books she has encountered” […] “always aware of the contingency and fragility of their final vocabularies and thus of their selves” […] “ continuous self-doubt” (3)

“He was austere with himself […] But he had an approved tolerance for others ; sometimes wondering, almost with envy, at the high pressure of spirits involved in their misdeeds” (4)

“All purposeful manifestations of life, including their very purposiveness, in the final analysis have their end not in life, but in the expression of its nature, in the representation of its significance” (5)

“Anything from the sound of a word through the color of a leaf to the feel of a piece of skin can […] serve to dramatize and crystallize a human being’s sense of self-identity. […] It can symbolize the blind impress all our behaving bear. Any seemingly random constellation of such things can set the tone of a life. Any such constellation can set up an unconditional commandment to whose service a life may be devoted – a commandment no less unconditional because it may be intelligible to, at most, only one person. “ (6)

« A supposer que Ruskin se soit quelquefois trompé, comme critique, dans l’exacte appréciations de la valeur d’une œuvre, la beauté de son jugement erroné est souvent plus intéressante que celle de l’oeuvre jugée » (7)

« Cicero says “I prefer before heaven to go astray with Plato rather than hold true views with his opponents”. It is a matter of taste to prefer Plato’s company and the company of his thoughts even if this should lead us astray from truth. Certainly a very bold, even an outrageously bold statement, especially because it concerns the truth. […] for the true humanist neither the verities of the scientist nor the truth of the philosopher nor the beauty of the artist can be absolutes; the humanist, because he is not a specialist, exerts a faculty of judgment and taste which is beyond the coercion which each specialty imposes upon us” (8)

“The thinking ego is sheer activity and therefore ageless, sexless, without qualities, and without a life story.” (9)

« Situé hors du temps, que pourrait-il craindre de l’avenir? « (10)

10 contingent contributions
(1) Walter Benjamin - Eduard Fuchs, Collector & Historian
(2) Robert Louis Stevenson - Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
(3) Richard Rorty – Contingency, irony and solidarity
(4) Robert Louis Stevenson - Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde
(5) Walter Benjamin The Task of the Translator
(6) Richard Rorty – Contingency, irony and solidarity
(7) Marcel Proust – Traduction de “la bible d’Amiens”
(8) Hannah Arendt – The Crisis in Culture
(9) Hannah Arendt – The Life of the Mind
(10) Marcel Proust – A la recherche du temps perdu