Welcome to Bookmarker!

This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

Source code on GitHub (MIT license).

xi

[...] Camus's description of the solidary community of individuals who all suffer from the same absurdity--from the uncertainty and meaningless--of human existence. [...]

on some sidewalk graffiti ("love me till my heart stops")

—p.xi Foreword: 'Love Me till My Heart Stops' (xi) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

[...] Camus's description of the solidary community of individuals who all suffer from the same absurdity--from the uncertainty and meaningless--of human existence. [...]

on some sidewalk graffiti ("love me till my heart stops")

—p.xi Foreword: 'Love Me till My Heart Stops' (xi) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
3

[...] The highest that any literary interpretation--including mine--can (and should) strive for is plausibility [...]

he later quotes from the book "Is Literary History Possible" to support this. also mentions that he uses not only the work itself, and the context around it, but also things like author interviews because they influence the typical reader's reading process

—p.3 Introduction (1) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

[...] The highest that any literary interpretation--including mine--can (and should) strive for is plausibility [...]

he later quotes from the book "Is Literary History Possible" to support this. also mentions that he uses not only the work itself, and the context around it, but also things like author interviews because they influence the typical reader's reading process

—p.3 Introduction (1) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
16

In the existentialist view--the view that Kierkegaard, Sartre and Camus (and Wittgenstein also can be said to) share--, an individual is not automatically a self, but has to become one. A human being merely embodies the possibility of becoming a self. According to existentialism, there is no 'true core' that an individual always already 'is' or 'has,' and which underlies selfhood. Becoming a self is the task of human life. A human being has to integrate his individual imitations and possibilities into a unified existence; this is the process of developing a self. If an individual does not assume himself in this way, he does not acquire a self; he is just an immediate natural being, a thing among the things. Such a human being does not 'exist'; he just 'is'. Throughout this study, we will recognize this view of the self in Wallace's writing.

i like this, but on the other hand, i don't know if i agree with the implication that one is either a "self" or not. i feel like a better characterisation would be that everyone is in the process of becoming a self, and in fact the notion of "self" cannot be separated from this very process

—p.16 Introduction (1) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

In the existentialist view--the view that Kierkegaard, Sartre and Camus (and Wittgenstein also can be said to) share--, an individual is not automatically a self, but has to become one. A human being merely embodies the possibility of becoming a self. According to existentialism, there is no 'true core' that an individual always already 'is' or 'has,' and which underlies selfhood. Becoming a self is the task of human life. A human being has to integrate his individual imitations and possibilities into a unified existence; this is the process of developing a self. If an individual does not assume himself in this way, he does not acquire a self; he is just an immediate natural being, a thing among the things. Such a human being does not 'exist'; he just 'is'. Throughout this study, we will recognize this view of the self in Wallace's writing.

i like this, but on the other hand, i don't know if i agree with the implication that one is either a "self" or not. i feel like a better characterisation would be that everyone is in the process of becoming a self, and in fact the notion of "self" cannot be separated from this very process

—p.16 Introduction (1) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
36

For Sartre, the consequence of consciousness existing as nothingness is that human being has two aspects: transcendence and facticity. As nothingness, the human being is characterized by 'transcendence,' the freedom to 'transcend' all the determinations of his existence: 'the condition on which human reality'--by which Sartre means being-for-itself--'can deny all or part of the world is that human reality carry nothingness within itself as the nothing which separates its present from all its past'. To which Sartre adds: 'the for-itself is perpetually determining itself not to be.' At any moment, man is free to distance himself from, to transcend what he is (which means: what he has been until now), and choose new attachments. This transcendence does not just manifest itself at a particular moment; it is the continuous process that characterizes conscious being: 'consciousness continually experiences itself as the nihilation of its past being'.

Yet, observes Sartre, the for-itself 'is', in spite of this constant nihilation. He explains: 'It is in so far as there is something in it something of which it is not the foundation--its presence to the world'. A human being always finds himself in a factual situation, with a factual past; he is born in a certain country, raised in a certain family, environment and culture, with a certain education. Sartre calls this situatedness 'facticity'. It is on the basis of this facticity that we can say that being-for-itself 'is', exists. It does so, however, without ever coinciding with this facticity: as 'transcendence', the human being can always distance himself from the facticities that situate him; he 'transcends' them, does not fully coincide with them, is able to relate to and distance himself from them. For example, I am not a Dutchman in the same way that a stone is a stone. I am Dutch, but at the same time I do not completely coincide with my being-Dutch. I am more than my nationality, if only because I am conscious of that nationality, and therefore already at a certain distance to it; I am always free to be more than what I am at a certain moment.

the grammar here is confusing ... worth thinking about more

—p.36 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

For Sartre, the consequence of consciousness existing as nothingness is that human being has two aspects: transcendence and facticity. As nothingness, the human being is characterized by 'transcendence,' the freedom to 'transcend' all the determinations of his existence: 'the condition on which human reality'--by which Sartre means being-for-itself--'can deny all or part of the world is that human reality carry nothingness within itself as the nothing which separates its present from all its past'. To which Sartre adds: 'the for-itself is perpetually determining itself not to be.' At any moment, man is free to distance himself from, to transcend what he is (which means: what he has been until now), and choose new attachments. This transcendence does not just manifest itself at a particular moment; it is the continuous process that characterizes conscious being: 'consciousness continually experiences itself as the nihilation of its past being'.

Yet, observes Sartre, the for-itself 'is', in spite of this constant nihilation. He explains: 'It is in so far as there is something in it something of which it is not the foundation--its presence to the world'. A human being always finds himself in a factual situation, with a factual past; he is born in a certain country, raised in a certain family, environment and culture, with a certain education. Sartre calls this situatedness 'facticity'. It is on the basis of this facticity that we can say that being-for-itself 'is', exists. It does so, however, without ever coinciding with this facticity: as 'transcendence', the human being can always distance himself from the facticities that situate him; he 'transcends' them, does not fully coincide with them, is able to relate to and distance himself from them. For example, I am not a Dutchman in the same way that a stone is a stone. I am Dutch, but at the same time I do not completely coincide with my being-Dutch. I am more than my nationality, if only because I am conscious of that nationality, and therefore already at a certain distance to it; I am always free to be more than what I am at a certain moment.

the grammar here is confusing ... worth thinking about more

—p.36 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
38

[...] Catalano formulates it as follows: 'the self is a product and not an a priori principle of activity'.

quoting Joseph Catalano from Good Faith and Other Essays

—p.38 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

[...] Catalano formulates it as follows: 'the self is a product and not an a priori principle of activity'.

quoting Joseph Catalano from Good Faith and Other Essays

—p.38 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
40

Despite the specificity of Sartre's view of consciousness, it fits the general existentialist view of the individual having to become a self, instead of having a self as some sort of inner core. For example, Kierkegaard--as we will see further on in this study--describes the self in similar terms.

In a talk that he gave on Franz Kafka, a writer who is also an important representative of the existentialist tradition, Wallace formulates an almost identical view of the self. Wallace remarks that in our present age it is a common mistake to think 'that a self is something you just have.' According to Wallace, we should acknowledge the central insight of existentialism, 'that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home' (Wallace also explicitly compares Kafka to Kierkegaard in this respect). And in this context Wallace's statement, 'Although of course you end up becoming yourself' (which became the title of David Lipsky's 300-page 'road trip' interview with Wallace from which it is derived), has a strong existentialist ring to it, asserting the need to become yourself. Also, the Sartrean view that the self arises outside consciousness, that consciousness has to be directed towards the world in order to discover the self, fits Wallace's (in this respect quite Sartrean) credo - mentioned in the Introduction--that consciousness needs to be facing outward and not be bent-inwards.

great summary

—p.40 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

Despite the specificity of Sartre's view of consciousness, it fits the general existentialist view of the individual having to become a self, instead of having a self as some sort of inner core. For example, Kierkegaard--as we will see further on in this study--describes the self in similar terms.

In a talk that he gave on Franz Kafka, a writer who is also an important representative of the existentialist tradition, Wallace formulates an almost identical view of the self. Wallace remarks that in our present age it is a common mistake to think 'that a self is something you just have.' According to Wallace, we should acknowledge the central insight of existentialism, 'that the horrific struggle to establish a human self results in a self whose humanity is inseparable from that horrific struggle. That our endless and impossible journey toward home is in fact our home' (Wallace also explicitly compares Kafka to Kierkegaard in this respect). And in this context Wallace's statement, 'Although of course you end up becoming yourself' (which became the title of David Lipsky's 300-page 'road trip' interview with Wallace from which it is derived), has a strong existentialist ring to it, asserting the need to become yourself. Also, the Sartrean view that the self arises outside consciousness, that consciousness has to be directed towards the world in order to discover the self, fits Wallace's (in this respect quite Sartrean) credo - mentioned in the Introduction--that consciousness needs to be facing outward and not be bent-inwards.

great summary

—p.40 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
41

In reflective objectification consciousness is turned into a thing, but because consciousness is a nothingness that cannot be determined as a thing-like essence, the objectification of consciousness will always remain strained. It causes an insoluble tension, because it tries to determine something that can never by fully determined. Therefore, Sartre calls self-reflective objectification 'a perpetually deceptive mirage': it goes against the freedom (transcendence) that consciousness 'is'. It is in this context that Sartre states: 'myself-as-object' is an 'uneasiness'. Elsewhere, he uses the more well-known term 'alienation': objectification is an alientation from myself, an 'alienation of my own possibilities'.

—p.41 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

In reflective objectification consciousness is turned into a thing, but because consciousness is a nothingness that cannot be determined as a thing-like essence, the objectification of consciousness will always remain strained. It causes an insoluble tension, because it tries to determine something that can never by fully determined. Therefore, Sartre calls self-reflective objectification 'a perpetually deceptive mirage': it goes against the freedom (transcendence) that consciousness 'is'. It is in this context that Sartre states: 'myself-as-object' is an 'uneasiness'. Elsewhere, he uses the more well-known term 'alienation': objectification is an alientation from myself, an 'alienation of my own possibilities'.

—p.41 Hyperreflexivity (26) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
60

I think that a kind of cynicism is dangerous, but so is its opposite, being unquestioning, undoubting. You want to be somewhere in the middle

footnote 4, from an interview den Dulk conducted with Foer

—p.60 Endless Irony (60) by Jonathan Safran Foer 1 year, 5 months ago

I think that a kind of cynicism is dangerous, but so is its opposite, being unquestioning, undoubting. You want to be somewhere in the middle

footnote 4, from an interview den Dulk conducted with Foer

—p.60 Endless Irony (60) by Jonathan Safran Foer 1 year, 5 months ago
66

[...] To illustrate that A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is 'truly a work from "the Age of Irony", Korthals mentions that the work is 'full of postmodern games with typography, expanding footnotes et cetera', and asks, rhetorically: 'How post-ironic can an author with such a media-conscious and self-conscious main character be?' However, the elements that Korthals mentions (further on, she also adds 'polyphony' and 'ambiguity') are not necessarily even expressions of verbal irony (compare the aforementioned pop references in Wallace); they might just as well be regarded--perhaps even more plausibly--as normal aspects of the portrayal of contemporary reality. Above all, the mere presence of these elements in the book, even as potential verbal ironies, does not automatically undercut its critique of existential irony. Also, how could one then ever critique contemporary reality, if just describing that reality would by definition imply ironizing one's critique of it?

on critics who conflate verbal and existential irony and thus unfairly excoriate DFW etc. referring specifically to Korthals Altes' "Blessedly Post-Ironic"

—p.66 Endless Irony (60) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

[...] To illustrate that A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius is 'truly a work from "the Age of Irony", Korthals mentions that the work is 'full of postmodern games with typography, expanding footnotes et cetera', and asks, rhetorically: 'How post-ironic can an author with such a media-conscious and self-conscious main character be?' However, the elements that Korthals mentions (further on, she also adds 'polyphony' and 'ambiguity') are not necessarily even expressions of verbal irony (compare the aforementioned pop references in Wallace); they might just as well be regarded--perhaps even more plausibly--as normal aspects of the portrayal of contemporary reality. Above all, the mere presence of these elements in the book, even as potential verbal ironies, does not automatically undercut its critique of existential irony. Also, how could one then ever critique contemporary reality, if just describing that reality would by definition imply ironizing one's critique of it?

on critics who conflate verbal and existential irony and thus unfairly excoriate DFW etc. referring specifically to Korthals Altes' "Blessedly Post-Ironic"

—p.66 Endless Irony (60) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago
68

It is important to note that irony is a purely negative movement: it destroys what is given, thereby liberating the individual, but it does not contribute anything to the formulation of the new, to the content of the individual's self-becoming. Therefore, the freedom that arises from this break with immediacy, is a negative freedom: a freedom-from. Kierkegaard writes that in irony, 'the subject is negatively free, since the actuality that is supposed to give the subject content is not there. He is free from the constraint in which the given actuality holds the subject, but he is negatively free and as such is suspended, became there is nothing that holds him'.

Kierkegaard calls this form of irony, Socratic. According to Kierkegaard, existential irony came into the world with Socrates. Socrates used irony to topple the immediate actuality of his time, which to him had lost its validity. For Kierkegaard, the liberation that Socrates brings about, is the essential stepping stone towards a personal moral interpretation of one's existence. The negative freedom that it brings about is a necessary condition for the subsequent formulation of a positive freedom (a freedom-to), in which one gives actual content (positivity) to one's freedom and establishes one's self-chosen moral framework. However, because irony is pure negation, it cannot be the source of that positivity. Consequently, Kierkegaard concludes that irony should only be employed temporarily, and that subsequently one should start to give positive meaning to one's freedom.

—p.68 Endless Irony (60) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago

It is important to note that irony is a purely negative movement: it destroys what is given, thereby liberating the individual, but it does not contribute anything to the formulation of the new, to the content of the individual's self-becoming. Therefore, the freedom that arises from this break with immediacy, is a negative freedom: a freedom-from. Kierkegaard writes that in irony, 'the subject is negatively free, since the actuality that is supposed to give the subject content is not there. He is free from the constraint in which the given actuality holds the subject, but he is negatively free and as such is suspended, became there is nothing that holds him'.

Kierkegaard calls this form of irony, Socratic. According to Kierkegaard, existential irony came into the world with Socrates. Socrates used irony to topple the immediate actuality of his time, which to him had lost its validity. For Kierkegaard, the liberation that Socrates brings about, is the essential stepping stone towards a personal moral interpretation of one's existence. The negative freedom that it brings about is a necessary condition for the subsequent formulation of a positive freedom (a freedom-to), in which one gives actual content (positivity) to one's freedom and establishes one's self-chosen moral framework. However, because irony is pure negation, it cannot be the source of that positivity. Consequently, Kierkegaard concludes that irony should only be employed temporarily, and that subsequently one should start to give positive meaning to one's freedom.

—p.68 Endless Irony (60) by Allard Pieter den Dulk 1 year, 5 months ago