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509

A (Short) History

3
terms
4
notes

Cohen, J. (2018). A (Short) History. In Cohen, J. Attention: Dispatches from a Land of Distraction. Fitzcarraldo Editions, pp. 509-711

(verb) to wander or stray from a course or subject; diverge digress

526

At the time—one interpretation might divagate—humanity had been nomadic, tribal, hunter-gatherers following the seasonal animal migrations.

—p.526 by Joshua Cohen
strange
8 months, 1 week ago

At the time—one interpretation might divagate—humanity had been nomadic, tribal, hunter-gatherers following the seasonal animal migrations.

—p.526 by Joshua Cohen
strange
8 months, 1 week ago

an ancient religious movement that has to do with duality? "an elaborate dualistic cosmology describing the struggle between a good, spiritual world of light, and an evil, material world of darkness"

550

BUT JESUS WAS NOT the only Christ. Manichaeism teaches that the world is divisible into spiritual light and material darkness, making it fairly evident which to reject

—p.550 by Joshua Cohen
notable
8 months, 1 week ago

BUT JESUS WAS NOT the only Christ. Manichaeism teaches that the world is divisible into spiritual light and material darkness, making it fairly evident which to reject

—p.550 by Joshua Cohen
notable
8 months, 1 week ago
596

Instead, eighteenth-century literature was best concerned with identities—which might be defined, in a Hegelian sense, as the thoughts by which a person opposes knowledge. Such is the plot of the coming-of-age novel, in which a handsome young man—typically spurned by a handsome young woman who’s opted for marrying another, or death—sets out to find alternative meaning in life, which means, of course, himself. The Bildungsroman is often a closeted Künstlerroman or artist’s novel, as its protagonists are often the narrators (first person), and the narration frequently proceeds by letters addressed to friends or diary entries strictly for self, all of whom are metafictional proxies for the reader. Metafiction, literature conscious of its own literariness, is the belated sibling to canon and fugue, and mirror-play mise en abyme. But unlike in music or painting, autoawareness in literature must be accomplished in words, and so is not just acknowledged but also critiqued. Characters assume their own lives, quite apart from the stated intentions of their authors, and assume to comment on authorial plans and offer alternative prospects; their behaviors—obreptions, subreptions, editing peer characters (even if due only to the opportunities of epistolary structure), and passing among texts (Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random, and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, appearing as guests at a ball in John Kidgell’s The Card, 1755)—none are difficult to read as drafts of equivalent liberties in life.

—p.596 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago

Instead, eighteenth-century literature was best concerned with identities—which might be defined, in a Hegelian sense, as the thoughts by which a person opposes knowledge. Such is the plot of the coming-of-age novel, in which a handsome young man—typically spurned by a handsome young woman who’s opted for marrying another, or death—sets out to find alternative meaning in life, which means, of course, himself. The Bildungsroman is often a closeted Künstlerroman or artist’s novel, as its protagonists are often the narrators (first person), and the narration frequently proceeds by letters addressed to friends or diary entries strictly for self, all of whom are metafictional proxies for the reader. Metafiction, literature conscious of its own literariness, is the belated sibling to canon and fugue, and mirror-play mise en abyme. But unlike in music or painting, autoawareness in literature must be accomplished in words, and so is not just acknowledged but also critiqued. Characters assume their own lives, quite apart from the stated intentions of their authors, and assume to comment on authorial plans and offer alternative prospects; their behaviors—obreptions, subreptions, editing peer characters (even if due only to the opportunities of epistolary structure), and passing among texts (Tobias Smollett’s Roderick Random, and Samuel Richardson’s Pamela, appearing as guests at a ball in John Kidgell’s The Card, 1755)—none are difficult to read as drafts of equivalent liberties in life.

—p.596 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago
609

THE DOUBLE IS THE DUPLICATED SELF, the progenitor of mass production. If all products of a certain use resemble one another, it’s because all means of production resemble one another, because all consumers are essentially disseminations of a single consumer, a phantasmagoria manufactured by advertisement in order that demand can manage supply.

lo

—p.609 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago

THE DOUBLE IS THE DUPLICATED SELF, the progenitor of mass production. If all products of a certain use resemble one another, it’s because all means of production resemble one another, because all consumers are essentially disseminations of a single consumer, a phantasmagoria manufactured by advertisement in order that demand can manage supply.

lo

—p.609 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago
620

Technology, to Heidegger, is whatever directs existence toward utility. Its expression is solely in its “enframing” (Ge-Stell), or the way by which technology recontextualizes all objects and even subjects by function: stones enframed as cutters of stones, rocks as producers of fire—a painting framed as a material asset, music measured only to rally morale or seduce (reproduced images, and recorded music, popularized these intentions). It follows, logically, that all frames are reversible, and might be hung upside-down: A man makes a thing, until the thing remakes the man. For Heidegger, the only way out of these co-instrumentalizing binds is Gelassenheit—“releasement”—which is to accept technology’s outward convenience, but refuse its inward reconfiguration. How to do this, however, he never explains.

—p.620 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago

Technology, to Heidegger, is whatever directs existence toward utility. Its expression is solely in its “enframing” (Ge-Stell), or the way by which technology recontextualizes all objects and even subjects by function: stones enframed as cutters of stones, rocks as producers of fire—a painting framed as a material asset, music measured only to rally morale or seduce (reproduced images, and recorded music, popularized these intentions). It follows, logically, that all frames are reversible, and might be hung upside-down: A man makes a thing, until the thing remakes the man. For Heidegger, the only way out of these co-instrumentalizing binds is Gelassenheit—“releasement”—which is to accept technology’s outward convenience, but refuse its inward reconfiguration. How to do this, however, he never explains.

—p.620 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago

(noun) one employed to write from dictation or to copy manuscript

621

though Twain left its typing to an amanuensis.

—p.621 by Joshua Cohen
notable
8 months, 1 week ago

though Twain left its typing to an amanuensis.

—p.621 by Joshua Cohen
notable
8 months, 1 week ago
653

B.) YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN of an American destroyer escort. Your ship is equipped with sonar. You transmit a ping, wait for the echo, ping and wait for the echo. Though whenever you ping a U-boat, by the time its echo is received, by the time its echo is processed, the U-boat’s in another place, but then you’re in another place as well, nearer, or farther, because the U-boat’s also pinging you, and you echo, you can’t help it. All sonar can detect is the past. The future floats between predictions. The U-boat might maneuver you astray, in a countermeasure obscuring the angles of your search, and so keeping concealed the second boat that would sink you. Though you might sink the first boat first.

pretty

—p.653 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago

B.) YOU’RE THE CAPTAIN of an American destroyer escort. Your ship is equipped with sonar. You transmit a ping, wait for the echo, ping and wait for the echo. Though whenever you ping a U-boat, by the time its echo is received, by the time its echo is processed, the U-boat’s in another place, but then you’re in another place as well, nearer, or farther, because the U-boat’s also pinging you, and you echo, you can’t help it. All sonar can detect is the past. The future floats between predictions. The U-boat might maneuver you astray, in a countermeasure obscuring the angles of your search, and so keeping concealed the second boat that would sink you. Though you might sink the first boat first.

pretty

—p.653 by Joshua Cohen 8 months, 1 week ago