Friday, September 08, 2006


Our internet access went up the swanny two days ago - the antenna on our roof drank too much water apparently. This was a tad annoying, but a good opportunity to get back to some more serious writing and thinking. I started to write something on Ariadne and memory yesterday which as a first stab approaching a fecund and complex patch of philosophical myth wasn't too bad.

As I get older, I feel the Classical myths inexplicably draw nearer: Ariadne/Theseus, Odysseus, Orpheus, Mnemosyne. How can one not be drawn to such beautiful sounds and such rich enigmas? After a day spend meditating intensely on Ariadne's thread, I felt as close as perhaps anyone has been to the metaphysical frequences that resonate along that mythic twine.

The prospect of drawing philosophy out of the key Yoruba myths in a similar fashion is how I intend to spend my forties. One day I will have a well designed desk with a view somewhere in the world and hours ahead of me to return to my first love philo-sophia. I dream of being able to write like Michel Serres:

"Do not think that youth has fresh skin and a smooth face for simple biochemical reasons. There are reasons for these reasons themselves. Let’s have a look. Irreversible time flows down, it flows down from its source to the deltas, from birth toward death. The relation of a human infant to his future forms a kind of fan, his time can flow along multiple beds. The relation of his body to its own future is the same quite abstract relation that the blank subject has to his thoughts, that the nonspecialized hand has to the tools that determine it, that the whore has to her customers, or that money has to the written text. The more the human body is young and the more it is possible, the more it is capable of multiplicity, and the more time it has: not time in its length and duration, but the more kinds of time, the more varieties of river beds it has to flow down, the more valleys it has before it. The more undetermined it is. The old man’s interest lies in his determinateness, his body has as a whole become memory, his skin is worn away, like, at the Ganges delta, or the earth or the map. Each somewhat sluggish arm of the delta is encumbered with gravel that can recount the details of upstream. His body is saturated with singularities… The entire volume of the old body is occupied by archives, museums, traces, narratives, as if it had filled up with circumstances." (from Genesis)

A friend of mine once met someone who hitched a sail with Serres and his philosophical chums on a boat in the Med. She spoke of his continuous commentary and wave after wave of spontaneous insight (I remember some of my former philosophy professors were similar). Is there anything more satisfying to the soul than the company of one's intellectual peers, forever curious to forms of collective understanding of this troubling enigma called humanity?

Click here for a more recent piece by Serres.


Anonymous,  9:17 pm  

How old are you?

eshuneutics 11:02 pm  

Rich, metaphoric prose...almost compares with Bachelard.

Shango,  12:07 am  

There's another, perhaps more understandable explanation of Serres' "wave after wave of spontaneous insight": a nasty Heroine addiction.

Stay off the drugs, Jeremy.

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