it's not about you

Joan Retallack:

"Mac Low admired Pound more than Cage did. One of the things that was, to me, so always interesting about the way Cage worked was that he thought out his procedures very carefully in advance, not so that he would know what was going to happen in the parts of the structure that would allow chance operations to choose the points, as he would put it, in the text, but because he knew the way you choose your procedure has a lot to do with extremely formal elements ultimately. He chose to let more of Pound in [more, that is, than Mac Low does based on his procedure in our poem] and this was ultimately more unpleasant for Cage because he didn't like the Pound. I think the reason to continue reading Pound and to continue the agonistic relationship we all have to have with Pound when we read [him] is that it is such a presentation of the complexities and the horrifying things that can happen to a mind that is going in directions that are passionate without empathy, without contact with others." (on PoemTalk here)

Steve Beyer on Levinas:

"It is clear that Heidegger’s ideal is in fact a sort of spiritual solipsism. All the Heideggerian virtues — authenticity, resolution, heeding the call of conscience — serve to isolate (vereinzeln) us. Thus, for example, “Death, understood in authentic anticipation, isolates Dasein in itself” (1962, § 53, p. 308); “Understanding the call of conscience reveals one’s own Dasein in the dreadfulness of its isolation” (§ 60, p. 342); “The call of conscience… implacably isolates Dasein” (§ 62, p. 354)

Heidegger’s philosophy is thus an egology: the relation with Being is more important than the relation with other people. But where Heidegger finds significance in existence as a project, Levinas locates it precisely in responsibility for the Other. “This is the question of the meaning of being: not the ontology of the understanding of that extraordinary verb, but the ethics of its justice. The question par excellence or the question of philosophy. Not ‘Why being rather than nothing?’, but how being justifies itself” (Levinas, 1984, p. 86)."  (from blog post here)

Martha Nussbaum:

"... in a deep sense one's life is not about oneself." The New Religious Intolerance, xiii.


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