Ending the Automatic



I have pursued the organism at some length. In doing so, I have indulged in the ambivalent ascesis and pleasure that is commentary. Commentary is, of course, never innocent, especially not when it arrogates to itself large domains — extensive piles constituted by texts, authors and eras — under its rule. It can be said to feign the immediacy of anonymity in its translucent divesting of the inner truth of the matter at hand. Hiding the seams or scandals of its argument, the utopian ideal of commentary tends towards the state of the automatic. Everything comes off on its own, everything is pellucid in the clear light of this dream of day: it is a relentless mechanism, a divine machine. Yet the automaticity of an ideal commentary also represents, one might just as justifiably say, an ideal of an organic relation: a non-violent and essential inner connection between original and commentary is what is aimed at. One evolves, or flowers, into the other.


Aesthetic Conception Humanistic Stance Clear Light Utopian Ideal Organicism Dream 
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  1. 1.
    G. W. Leibniz, Monadology: An Edition for Students (translated by Nicholas Rescher, London: Routledge, 1991), 221Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Charles I. Armstrong 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BergenNorway

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