22 August 2009

Kahnweiler, Kant and Kubismus (KKK?)

Working on a little essay to post here. In the meantime, here's a little quote from Kahnweiler's, Der Weg zum Kubismus [translated as The Rise of Cubism] (1920) to whet your appetites:

"At this point, Braque's introduction of undistorted real objects into the painting takes on its full significance. When 'real details' are thus introduced the result is a stimulus which carries with it memory images. Combing 'real' stimulus and the scheme of forms, these images construct the finished object in the mind. Thus the desired physical representation comes into being in the spectator's mind....

"This new language has given painting an unprecedented freedom. It is no longer bound to the more or less verisimilar optic image which describes the object from a single viewpoint....

"Our a priori knowledge of [geometric] forms is the necessary condition, without which there would be no seeing, no world of objects.... Humanity is possessed not only by the longing for these lines and forms, but also by the ability to create them."

21 August 2009

Writing and not writing

I have a paper to write. A big paper. An important paper. Actually, I have severals of these, all due in short order. I am procrastinating the writing of them. I dread writing them. So naturally, it is time to go to the library to gather more research. This is actually necessary... I think. But is doing more research and reading an excuse to avoid the pain of writing? And why is writing painful? Because it forces us to be exact, to pin ourselves down, to commit? And in the end, what is the goal of writing? Who benefits from writing? Is it primarily the writer, as either an act of either intellectual rigor and personal growth or confessional purgation? Or is it for the reader who can cannibalize the writer's knowledge or voyeuristically feed on his or her life? But already this veers towards the turgid, and away from the polished exterior of the ideal self-presentation of writing.