By Jan Plug
Explores the function of language, historical past, and politics in Romantic literature and concept, from Kant to Yeats.
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Extra info for Borders of a Lip: Romanticism, Language, History, Politics
13 This is not to deny either philosophy or the political its reality. 14 Critical philosophy as such will be constituted by the necessary fiction that it is political and this fiction is what will in fact allow it to become political. Fictioning, the “as if,” permits the self-affirmation and self-fulfilment of philosophy as such. Philosophy becomes political, philosophy-in-the-world, if at all, by means of the fiction that it is political. The linguistic example this relation represents does not fail to become a narrative, as Caruth predicts.
He is not the first to propose such a retranslation, the very kind of translation that no self-respecting translator would undertake, however. Kant’s own multiple phrasings and rephrasings of the categorical imperative attest to much the same practice. 28 Rather, he makes the relation that controls that action indeterminate. ” In order for the categorical imperative as Lyotard understands it to be respected, one cannot act so that there is an adherence to the universal law, but rather as if such an adherence were taking place.
How, then, does one dislocate an absence, that which has no locale, that which can never be located, and that which, to borrow from Kant’s description of the ideal, is nowhere in particular but everywhere? What happens, what is left, when an absent content is subtracted from form? The passage raises all the conventional problems of the relation of form and content in (re)presentation, of their separability or inseparability. Lyotard’s summary of symbolic substitution not only follows in the spirit of Kant’s system by clearly stating the possibility and necessity of such a separability but is in fact already contained and controlled by Kant’s own argument.