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Tyndareus Crushed, by Igor Mitoraj (taken August 2005)

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Jeremy's journal

The peculiar evil of silencing the expression of an opinion is, that it is robbing the human race; posterity as well as the existing generation; those who dissent from the opinion, still more than those who hold it. If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

John Stuart Mill


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Idealism and alienation

I was thinking about Romanticism today and what it might mean in the context of Fritz's life, and in the context of Hymns to Night -- Jerry was telling me he thought the poem (of which I had read him about the first paragraph) sounded profoundly connected to being in the world, and I said well, there's a lot of alienation in the poem as well -- I was talking about the suggestions throughout the poem (as much of it as I have read), that the Night and unconsciousness are a higher, more true reality than day, because in sleep the poet can clearly see his beloved free of the trappings of the earthly. This seemed to me like a pretty clear-cut Idealist metaphysics, that the realm of thought is more real than the shadows of the outside world -- I had a go at explaining Plato's allegory of the cave to Jerry -- it's hard for me to see how such a metaphysics could be anything besides alienating of the thinker from the world, which seems like a bad thing to me. And, this ties in with the perception I have that Romantic thinking (on which I have only the vaguest of a grasp) and Idealism are somehow decadent -- which is just something I dimly remember hearing somewhere but has become sort of an article of faith.


(Dumb typo corrected, and it occurs to me that "Allegory of the Café" would be an awesome name for a restaurant.)

posted evening of Monday, October 22nd, 2007
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