Abstract

This memoiristic essay is a contribution to the Common Knowledge symposium titled “Fuzzy Studies: On the consequence of blur.” While probing his personal memories and making a case for devaluing our intellectual constructs, the author, an anthropologist, examines paintings by Paul Cézanne and Pieter Bruegel, poems by Wallace Stevens and W. H. Auden. The essay argues that each self-deluding “reality” we construct is only temporary, destined to fall back into the elusive, undifferentiated zone of overlap and ambiguity from which it has emerged. Therefore, the author urges, we should temper the intellectual “rage for order” with an openness to chaos and contingency, along with sustained and careful attention to creative works and religious practices in which the mind appears to grasp its limits. In this way, we may substitute what Stevens called “ghostlier demarcations” for our clear, exact, and self-deceptive certainties.

pdf

Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4578
Print ISSN
0961-754X
Pages
pp. 96-110
Launched on MUSE
2012-01-03
Open Access
No
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.