The Shock of the Unintelligible

... when the social contract with reality is abandoned, and literary works no longer speak as though they were reporting fact, hairs start to bristle.

Not the least of the weaknesses of the debate on commitment is that it ignores the effect produced by works whose own formal laws pay no heed to coherent effects. So long as it fails to understand what the shock of the unintelligible can communicate, the whole dispute resembles shadowboxing.

[Theodor Adorno]
On Commitment, Chap. 1, para. 3

Image: I-BE-AREA

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1 comment:

  1. we are dealing with an event originating in unconscious nature; with something that achieves its aim without the assistance of human consciousness, and often defies it by willfully insisting on its own form and effect.

    [with art of this type] we would have to be prepared for something suprapersonal that transcends our understanding to the same degree that the author's consciousness was in abeyance during the process of creation.

    We would expect a strangeness of form and content, thoughts that can only be apprehended untuitively, a language pregnant with meanings, and images that are true symbols because they are the best possible expression for something unknown - bridges thrown out towards an unseen shore.

    [C.G. Jung]
    On the Relation of Analytical Psychology to Poetry
    found in The Norton Anthology: Theory and Criticism
    , p.997