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Monday, November 17, 2014

Beckett on Proust

The identification of immediate with past experience, the recurrence
of past action or reaction to the present, amounts to a participation between
the ideal and the real, imagination and direct apprehension, symbol
and substance. Such participation frees the essential reality that is denied
to the contemplative as to the active life. What is common to present
and past is more essential than either taken separately. Reality, whether
approached imaginatively or empirically, remains a surface, hermetic.
Imagination applied—a priori—to what is absent, is exercised in vacuo
and cannot tolerate the limits of the real. Nor is any direct and purely
experimental contact possible between subject and object, because they
are automatically separated by the subjects’ consciousness of perception,
and the object loses its purity and becomes a mere intellectual pretext
or motive. But, thanks to this reduplication, the experience is at once
imaginative and empirical, at once an evocation and a direct perception,
real without being merely actual, ideal without being merely abstract, the
ideal real, the essential, the extratemporal.
I've been posting a lot. I am not teaching, my amiga is in Japan, and it is cold outside. Plus I am also actively researching and writing the conclusion of my book.

Anyway, I was reading a guy's book on Gamoneda to blurb it, and I found this quote. I've read Beckett's great essay on Proust before, but I'd forgotten how brilliant it is. I don't have time to explain it yet, even to myself, but one way of getting smart (i.e. the "whetstone") is to read things like this.

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