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Showing posts from June, 2011

Note on Shakespeare's Sonnet 2: Beauty

The madness continues.


When fortie Winters shall beseige thy brow,
And digge deep trenches in thy beauties field,
Thy youthes proud liuery so gaz'd on now,
Wil be a totter'd weed of smal worth held:
Then being askt, where all thy beautie lies,
Where all the treasure of thy lusty daies;
To say within thine owne deepe sunken eyes,
Were an all-eating shame, and thriftlesse praise.
How much more praise deseru'd thy beauties vse,
If thou couldst answere this faire child of mine
Shall sum my count, and make my old excuse
Proouing his beautie by succession thine.
This were to be new made when thou art ould,
And see thy blood warme when thou feel'st it could.
I'm not sure I have anything singularly original to say about this sonnet, but I'm still interested in the exorbitant register of beauty, the aesthetic and the erotic. The question, I think, is what kind of experience is 'beauty'? What kind of value does it have? What kind of temporality does it have? (I've written o…

Note on Shakespeare's Sonnet 1: Desire

I have a rather absurd idea, which is to use this blog to write a short commentary on every one of Shakespeare's sonnets. Unfortunately, there are 154 of them - and I can't help but believe this is an ambition which is really a displacement activity as I am singularly failing to make headway on a chapter I am writing about Keats and secular prayer.

Anyway, for what it's worth, I had a careful read of the first sonnet:

From fairest creatures we desire increase,
That thereby beauties Rose might neuer die,
But as the riper should by time decease,
His tender heire might beare his memory:
But thou contracted to thine owne bright eyes,
Feed'st thy lights flame with selfe substantiall fewell,
Making a famine where aboundance lies,
Thy selfe thy foe, to thy sweet selfe too cruell:
Thou that art now the worlds fresh ornament,
And only herauld to the gaudy spring,
Within thine owne bud buriest thy content,
And tender chorle makst wast in niggarding:
Pitty the world, or else this glutton be,
T…

Heidegger, Technology, Nature

I had a somewhat strange and disturbing idea to offer a third-year undergraduate seminar on Heidegger's 'The Question Concerning Technology'. Having re-read it, I'm not so sure: it's probably too tricky, and my desire to go through it virtually line by line wouldn't work in Maynooth's frugal one hour seminar format. However, it propelled me into thinking about, well, technology...obviously.
I like the essay for two reasons, which enfold each other. Firstly, I would argue, it doesn't imply the 'crisis hypothesis' of technology: that is, that the modern - whether in the shape of industrial production or Facebook - represents a radical and potentially traumatic break from the past. Heidegger does not reiterate, at least at the deep and structural level of his argument, the well-worn trope that technology is the alienation of the human, and that we have passed from the authentic to the inauthentic due to steam-power/factories/global capital flow or t…