The days of freedom are too short, too few. Prefacing, intended, gets pushed back by prefacing to that. It’s frustrating enough that a past is preface, being a potential narrative that calls for lots of time, as if the genesis of any life is feasible (as [auto]biography is likely a metonymic gesture). So, a theory of genesis might represent so many untold lives? How a horizoning child may, in a sense, parent the adult is just so long a story. So, a few conceptual touchstones stand for more than they should.
One’s way to a beauty of goodness of truth in finding happiness, no parent can ensure, but at most model and facilitate importances such as open feeling, curiosity, individuation, and creativity. Self-actualization emerges from the life; it can’t be instructed or fully educed. However, we might know what’s most likely fruitful in parenting, though conceptual writing about this can’t be directly useful for parental practice for the sake of raising happiness for the greater good.
So, I thought I’d make a good beginning this weekend, but I’m just too distractible, basically because I’m too eager to mentally travel into the landscape that my interest in good individuation prefaces. The preface inflates into what needs prefacing, and I wonder into happenstances, due to bookstore browsing, one book which sends me to the library, taking a break from hours of play with notes for soon-upcoming pages. Why do I bother so wanting to write?
Gabriel Jasipovici (lovely name) begins his “Introduction” to On Trust: art and the temptations of suspician, 1999, noting “the need to write as something almost physical, like the need to breathe;...[but, in our time,] it is somehow no longer possible to treat writing as a craft and thus often being reduced to feeling it is an indulgence” (1). Jasipovici has just now published a new book, which is what I saw in the bookstore: What Ever Happened to Modernism? Yale UP, 2010. What ever happened to “art coming to consciousness of its own limits and responsibilities”? Placing the book on my Amazon.com “Wish List,” I see note of On Trust, so I sought that book before deciding to buy What Happened. Jasipovici ends his “Introduction” to On Trust by saying:
If the sense of a craft tradition has indeed gone for good in the arts then at least it may be possible to put together a sort of tradition of those who have faced this situation in all its implications....I will be exploring the dangerous but necessary journey every post-Romantic artist has to make, without maps or guides, into the unknown, a journey which will never get under way so long as the artist imagines that he can rely on past traditions, but which will founder if he lacks the trust to go where the forms of language and his instincts take him. (5)A similar sentiment has been integral to my life.
The back cover of What Happened quotes a praise from a writer I’m not aware of: Miquel De Beistegui, author of The New Heidegger, which seems to me an odd title. (Can there be anything new to say about Heidegger?) So, I find that book at Amazon.com, and I’m surprised by the praise indicated for the book by philosophers I esteem. So, I read the “Introduction,” available in full at Amazon; and I’m very impressed, which becomes the second reason I was off to the library. De Beistegui captures something else integral to my life. Listen:
...[E]very great thinker is an inventor—an inventor of concepts. Why? Not for the sake of inventing concepts (as if this were an easy thing to do), of clouding issues and making things difficult for the reader, but simply because, driven by an inexorable need to take problems further, or in a different direction, the great thinker thinks precisely at the limit of what has been thought up until then, and so at the limit of conceptual language itself.... Heidegger’s prose evolved from the very conceptual...to the (apparently) more ‘literary’.... All this is to say that there is an irreducibly experimental side to any great philosophy, much in the same way that there [was] something experimental in Cézanne or Picasso, Debussy or Joyce. All try to invent a new idiom. This experimental dimension is precisely where thinking at the limit takes place, where the singularity of a given thought is being shaped. (1-2)So, we take lessons from extraordinary minds, welcome Literary influence (in some high sense of what’s “literary”) and do what we can.
This includes starting all over, as if philosophy is something that died with the end of metaphysicalism, but may be regenerated in terms of our shared lives and world, finding what’s philosophically important emergent from what’s most important to our shared lives.
To prospect conceptual features of child development is not an alienated abstraction from real lives, but an honoring of the basis of philosophy in what spans our developments and joins lives as our shared human being in time—the time of a day, the time of a life, an era, all unwittingly prospecting the emergent nature of our evolving.