Friday, December 16, 2011

negative dialectics

Thinking men and artists have not infrequently described a sense of being not quite there, of not playing along, a feeling as if they were not themselves at all, but a kind of spectator. Others often find this repulsive; it was the basis of Kierkegaard’s polemic against what he called the aesthetic sphere … The inhuman part of it, the ability to keep one’s distance as a spectator and to rise above things, is in the final analysis the human part, the very part resisted by its ideologists … But the spectator’s posture simultaneously expresses doubt that this could be all.

                                 --Theodore Adorno, Negative Dialectics

Eugene Delacroix, Liberty Leading the People, 1830

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