Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Today is Virginia Woolf's birthday

In a letter to Clive Bell, Woolf writes about her experiences reading the philosophy of G.E. Moore:
I split my head over Moore every night, feeling ideas travelling to the remotest part of my brain and setting up a feeble disturbance, hardly to be called thought. It is almost a physical feeling, as though some little coil of brain unvisited by any blood so far, and pale as wax, had got a little life into it at last, but had not strength enough to keep it.
I commend anyone who can benefit from G.E. Moore in this way; it demonstrates the shallowness of my reading that I cannot. With respect to visceral philosophical horrors, I may have more in common with Musil’s Törleß, whose struggle with Kant begins like this:
That morning, Törleß had bought himself the Reclam edition of the volume he had seen at his professor’s, and he used the first recess to begin reading. But with the mess of brackets and footnotes, he didn’t understand a word, and if he conscienciously followed the sentences with his eyes, he felt as though some aged, bony hand were twisting and screwing his brain out of his head.

3 Comments:

Blogger Antonia said...

...or remember the wonderful library chapter 100 of Musil's 'Man without qualities'. General Stumm von Bordwehr has found the fundamental problem for Toerless's problem....

2/12/2006 11:21 AM  
Blogger Carl said...

Fundamental problems for problems sounds awesome! Some of my Salzburg friends were really into Musil. Like total philosophy nerds, basically the hippest most avant-garde guys. They knew a lot about _Man Without Qualities_. Sort of like American kids getting into James Joyce: it seems like he really *knows* something about the most advanced science-fictional psychedelic stuff.

Library chapters are awesome. I am in a library.

2/12/2006 4:32 PM  
Blogger Antonia said...

oh I was confusing myself, actually I meant fundamental solution, but now that I longer think about it it is also a fundamental problem to a problem...I didnt know that Musil and Joyce are such state-of-the-art books.......took me along time to discover how funny Musil really is and since then General Stumm became my secret hero.

Libraries are fun, too. I would want to marry one, or collect them, like stamps - how would that be? (I have been in a library today)

2/13/2006 11:03 AM  

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