[Sunday, March 2, 2008 Derrida and Matthew Arnold
I think Derrida is on the side of Matthew Arnold in Arnold's following castigation of the philistine version of a morality of literalness, despite what many (if not most) think about him--namely, that his entire injunction is to take the use of words seriously, to be unimpeachable in what one says. This is precisely wrong. Derrida wants us to be responsible for "our" text--which is infinitely different than taking it seriously or trying to remain unimpeachable or politically correct. And I put this "our" in quotes because this responsibility is precisely constituted by considering this text to be always ours and yet always already, in its being ours, beyond ourselves in its effects and even in its constitution. Thus, Derrida would reply in the voice of Arnold to those who think responsibility is not precisely located in the infinite demand a text makes upon me, a reader, but rather a matter of somehow thinking the words I use are ethical only insofar as they are weighed or treated (only) literally...I'm not defending Derrida or Arnold here, either: I just think they share perhaps a more similar spirit than we are used to thinking.
Posted by Mike at 7:28 PM What is written about: Derrida, Literary criticism Joyous Inquiry]
[Of Syntheses and Surprises: Toward a Critical Integral Theory Daniel Gustav Anderson INTEGRAL REVIEW 3, 2006
Aurobindo’s literary criticism is historical in nature; as Peter Heehs (2003) observes, Aurobindo’s The Future Poetry is effectively an elaboration of Matthew Arnold’s 1880 Study of Poetry (p. 122). From Arnold and the generation of critics that followed him, the notion of synthesis as an evolutionary process comes into Aurobindo’s thinking, and with it the Victorian ideology of race, of "bloods." ... Among the most significant of these (influences) must have been the literary criticism of Matthew Arnold, England’s poet laureate and dominant man-of-letters during much of Aurobindo’s formative stay. In Arnold, the reader sees writ large the "return to roots" Zizek identifies as a symptom of ideology at work. 1:32 PM Friday, April 13, 2007 Return to roots]
Sri Aurobindo's "prescription for a spiritualized aesthesis" rids us from the burden of "responsibility" dogging or any nagging sense of lack or guilt. [TNM]