Thursday, April 07, 2005


An anonymous reader has recently demanded answers to questions on apparently Kantian themes. I quote:
Mein Herr, I have a question. I have been rereading the Critique, or at least some amusing sections of it. One of the arguments for the synthetic a priori is that scientific rules which are not analytical, such as "every event must have a cause" could not be a posteriori. Is that true?
And since I was too slow in replying:
Pynchon is a good sort and COL49 is entertaining if unfocused, but I asked you a pregunta; how can a synthetic a priori knowledge of nature occur? And can the SAP be read as innateness (genetic?) or is it necessarily "noumenal"
I am personally unequipped to respond to these questions; I read Kant not so much for arguments as for phantasmagorical effects, as Virginia Woolf read G.E. Moore to feel the blood flow to previously undiscovered regions of her brain.

But I have forwarded these questions to Dr. Kriegfried Ueberallgemein, who has gleefully set to work, and I will post his reply. In the meanwhile, I suggest that my anonymous reader reconsider The Crying of Lot 49 as a work of transcendental philosophy, and look elsewhere for a defense of Kantian literalism.

Fort Kant, though occasionally haunted by the spirit of Kant, isn’t really meant to be a site from which Kant will be defended. So what is it?

We may recall my introductory post, and we may say provisionally:

Fort Kant is a Martello tower, Remedios Varo’s tower, and the uralter Turm of the monastic life. It’s a mead hall and a beer cellar. It’s Penshurst. It is a Lime-Tree Bower, an octagonal room, a suite in Baker Street, a Black Mail House, a Victorian playhouse advertised under “Free for the Taking” in Uncle Henry’s and hauled off on a flatbed. It is Wemmick’s suburban Castle. It is an Old Manse with ring-engravings in the glass; it is Coverdale’s leafy hermitage and Coverdale’s window post. It’s a bed at the Spouter-Inn, a try-works, a button-like black bubble. It is the Great Heidelburgh Tun; it is a university building in Heidelberg graffitied by Tim Clorius; it is Jacob Robichaux’s studio and Robie’s Greenhouse. It is a Place-Name without a Place; it is a room at the Great Hotel with a window onto the embalmed summer sun; it is Nr. 34. It is the air it causes to circulate between its screens; it is a china porcelain city sent from Rome; it is a TARDIS stuck in the form of an Ionic column. It is the outline of the Roma Quadrata; it is a maze of little streets and squares. It’s the loggias of Berlin and the loggias of Sand Hill. It is an Astrosphere. It’s the Caves of Altamira, the Marabar Caves, the Marble Hills, the Marble Cell of the Compendious Snayl. It’s Bron-Y-Aur and Paisley Park and Kitchen Studio and Camp Studio and Campo Formio. It is a study desk on the fourth floor of Hillman with a view onto the Towers; it is the 10th floor of the Cathedral, and the 14th, and the 17th. It is a space of reasons and a space of causes. It is a bed in a cardboard box with cut-outs of Egg Mountain on the walls.


Blogger Alphonse van Worden said...

Fort Kant, Da Kant

4/08/2005 6:09 PM  

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