Unreal Nature

March 26, 2017

Two That Never Merge

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 5:29 am

… Aesthetic self-activity always operates on the boundaries (form is a boundary) of a life-experienced-from-within — operates at those points where this life is turned outward, where it comes to an end (in space, time, and meaning) and another life begins, that is, where it comes up against a sphere of another’s self-activity.

Continuing through the essay ‘Author and Hero in Aesthetic Activity’ in Art and Answerability: Early Philosophical Essays by M.M. Bakhtin edited by Michael Holquist and Vadim Liapunov (1990):

… Sympathetic co-experiencing of the hero’s lilfe means to experience that life in a form completely different from the form in which it was, or could have been, experienced by the subiectum of that life himself. Co-experiencing in this form does not in the least strive toward the ultimate point of totally coinciding, merging with the co-experienced life, because such merging would be equivalent to a falling away of the coefficient of sympathy, of love, and, consequently, of the form they produced as well.

… From the very outset, sympathetic co-experiencing introduces values into the co-experienced life that are transgredient to this life; it transposes this life from the very outset into a new value-and-meaning context and can from the very outset rhythmicize this life temporally and give it form spatially (cf. bilden, gestalten). Pure co-experiencing of a life lacks all viewpoints except for those which are possible from within that co-experienced life itself, and among these there are no aesthetically productive viewpoints.

[line break added] It is not from within the co-experienced life itself that aesthetic form is produced and justified as the adequate expression of that life, i.e. as an expression which strives ultimately toward the point of pure self-utterance (the utterance by a solitary consciousness of its own immanent relationship to itself). Aesthetic form is pronounced and justified by an aesthetically productive sympathy of love that comes to meet the co-experienced life from outside.

… [The passive form of the hero] must be fought for and won by conquest within the work of art by both the author and the beholder, neither of whom invariably comes out of the struggle as the winner. This conquest can be achieved only if the author/contemplator maintains his intent and loving position outside the hero.

[line break added] The hero’s inner directedness from within his own lived life possesses its own immanent necessity, its own autonomy; as such, it is capable of compelling us at times to become involved in its own sphere, in its own becoming (the becoming of a lived life, devoid of any issue aesthetically), and, as a result, we lose our stable position outside the hero and express the hero from within the hero himself, along with the hero.

[line break added] here the author merges with the hero, the form we get is, indeed, no more than pure expression in the sense of “expressive” aesthetics, i.e. it is the result of the self-activity of the hero in relation to whom we failed to find an exterior position. The hero’s self-activity, however, is incapable of being and aesthetic self-activity: it may comprise (give voice to) need, repentance, petition, and even pretensions to recognition by a possible author, but in itself it is incapable of engendering an aesthetically consummated form.

… Aesthetic self-activity always operates on the boundaries (form is a boundary) of a life-experienced-from-within — operates at those points where this life is turned outward, where it comes to an end (in space, time, and meaning) and another life begins, that is, where it comes up against a sphere of another’s self-activity.

… An aesthetic event cannot have merely one participant who would both experience his own life and express his own experiencing in an artistically valid form, because the subiectum of lived life and the subiectum of the aesthetic activity which gives form to that life are in principle incapable of coinciding with one another.

There are events which are in principle incapable of unfolding on the plane of one and the same consciousness and which presuppose two consciousnesses that never merge. Or, in other words, what is constitutive for such events is the relationship of one consciousness to another consciousness precisely as an other. Events of this kind include all the creatively productive events — the once-occurrent and incontrovertible events that bring forth something new.

My most recent previous post from Bakhtin’s book is here.

-Julie

http://www.unrealnature.com/

 

Blog at WordPress.com.

%d bloggers like this: