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Re: <nettime> Up Close and Impersonal
keith {AT} thememorybank.co.uk on Thu, 13 Jul 2006 03:59:26 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> Up Close and Impersonal

Thanks for the Zizek review, Ed. Your idea of passionate impersonality made
me think. 

Max Weber has these two great essays on politics as a vocation and science
as a vocation. Politics is about passion and the power it mobilizes, but a
good politician has to be reasonable too or he is unconvincing. Similarly
science is about reason, but the best sceintists are always enthusiasts.
And so it goes, politics and the intellectual life, passion and reason in
their eternal dance. The game is to combine them in idiosyncratic ways.

Foucault is the master of the genre, as you say. I love his writing, but I
have never been able to use it explicitly, until the other day I gave a
talk in Bologna and this guy said he knew it would offend me, but I was
doing a Foucault. I almost kissed him. I have struggled to liberate myself
from internalized structures (which I think of as 'the state') mainly
through oral performance and by trying out non-academic genres of writing.
But it is all relative. 

Your response to Ziz's version of the dialectic brought all that to life
for me. I was trying to get at something similar in The Hit Man's Dilemma
(on the moral politics of personal and impersonal style).


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