Enter here, you poor folks. After arduous years of readingturgid prose, you will be always right, you will never betaken in any more; no one, no matter how powerful, will beable to accuse you of naïvité, that supreme sin, any longer?Better equipped than Zeus himself you rule alone, strikingfrom above with the salvo of antifetishism in one hand andthe solid causality of objectivity in the other. The only loseris the naïve believer, the great unwashed, always caught off balance. Is it so surprising, after all, that with such positionsgiven to the object, the humanities have lost the hearts of their fellow citizens, that they had to retreat year after year,entrenching themselves always further in the narrowbarracks left to them by more and more stingy deans? TheZeus of Critique rules absolutely, to be sure, but over adesert.
Both French writers owe something to Nietzsche, and indeedAntonin Artaud, in their elaborations of the violence of judgmentand the arrogant righteousness of critique, coupled with a sneeringdisdain for mere facts. The genealogy of critical judgment can alsobe traced to the university model established by Emmanuel Kant inearly modern Europe when certain core values could still be fairlyconfidently asserted.
Today, that Kantian Christiantranscendentalism is no longer centre stage in a multicultural worldwhere few such core values can be taken for granted, but must benegotiated, even in the micropolitics of the classroom.Rather than continue the criticism of critique directly, I will pursueinstead an experiment with the experimental, an alternative threadin continental philosophy which seeks to provide (hopefully) a morerealistic vision of collective assemblages of life-forms, where thehuman (paradoxically for the humanities) finds itself less centred. Itemerges from its roots in Spinoza, Bergson and Diderot, continuesvia Deleuze and Guattari, then William James and A.N. Whitehead,who have been revived in recent years.What do I mean by ‘experiment’? I define the concept in two ways,
Muecke, Draft only. Friday, September 3, 2010