Arrows pointing at Arrows

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[...] the celebrant's or devotee's intention is not that of understanding, and, in the ordinary routine of the cult of the work of art, the play of the academic or urbane references has no other function than to bring the work into an interminable circuit of inter-legitimation,

so that a reference to Jan Breughel's Bouquet of Flowers lends dignity to Jean-Michel Picart's Bouquet of Flowers with Parrot, just as, in another context, reference to the latter can, being less common, serve to enhance the former.

This play of cultured allusions and analogies endlessly pointing to other analogies, which, like the cardinal oppositions in mythical or ritual systems, never have to justify themselves by stating the basis of the relating which they perform, weaves around the works a complex web of factitious experiences, each answering and reinforcing all the others, which creates the enchantment of artistic contemplation.

It is the source of the 'idolatry' to which Proust refers, which leads one to find 'an actress's robe or a society woman's dress beautiful ... not because the cloth is beautiful but because it is the cloth painted by Moreau or described by Balzac.

Analogy, functioning as a circular mode of thought, makes it possible to tour the whole area of art and luxury without ever leaving it

Thus Chateau Margaux wine can be described with the same words as are used to describe the chateau, just as others will evoke Proust apropos of Monet or C├ęsar Franck, which is a good way of talking about neither [...]

[Pierre Bourdieu]
Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste, p.53


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Since the "world of origins" is closed to us, we must accept the fact that we are dependent -- doomed, if you like, to being forever meta. There is no shame in this. We are all contingent, all referring to things which, themselves, refer to other things (parents descended from parents, phrases from phrases).

Humperson did, however, see the possibility of originality via errors, mishearings and misunderstandings. He enjoyed playing Chinese Whispers, especially in later life, when he grew rather deaf.

[Momus]
'Proposal for a Wikipedia page about Humperson, father of the "laws of meta"'


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Philosopher Jacques Derrida played on Saussure’s idea that meaning lies in difference, by adding the idea that meaning is also defered endlessly down [a] chain.

Language never points to a concrete signified outside the chain, that would anchor it in an external reality. Instead, language only ever points at additional layers of language further down the chain.

Derrida famously declared that, “There is nothing outside of the text.” […] Realising that there is nothing outside of the text means recognising that […] we can never get to the end of [the] chain - because there is no meaning or referent that cannot, in turn, be reinterpreted to mean something else.

'Animating Poststructuralism'


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Related posts:-
The Pyramid
The Real Thing
Vessel and Cargo | 3. Fetishism and Commerce
Tasteful Distance
Only Playing 
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