Friday, February 29, 2008

For Tuesday, March 4: Two Assignments

There are two assignments for Tuesday:

1. Write an exercise in style; that is, continue Raymond Queneau's book by adding your own exercise. It should follow the format in the book, with a title that functions as a rule and a performance of that rule.

This should be typed and printed twice, one for class and one for your sections. I will collect the class version in lecture.

2. Read Nietzsche, "On Truth and Lies in Their Nonmoral Sense"


Josie said...

I just found your podcast lectures and am trying to follow the class; however I have some catching up to do.

Since I own a business and love to travel, I would not have the opportunity to expand myself in this way were it not for your podcast! Thanks for the opportunity.

Two questions:

1. I have ordered the books that you have listed; however, you said the penquin edition of Phaedrus was not as easy to follow in the class and that there was a version which you liked better. Which version do you recommend?

2. I am on the second lecture and the question that came to my mind was "What would the world be like if the greatest majority of people were rhetors, celebrating difference, a lack of truisms, structure, community?

I love hearing the students questions!

Finally, this past summer I went to Kiliningrad, formerly Kroenisburg, Kant's home. The city is filled with memorials to Kant. That spurred me to read about Kant and his philosophy. He seemed rather uptight to me.

Thanks again.

Daniel Coffeen said...

Hey Josie,

So, first, the Phaedrus: the version we use is trans. by Helmbold and Rabinowitz; it's put out by Macmillan/Library of Liberal Arts.

As for your second question: Ah, the world would be so decadent, so luxurious and, alas, so generous. There would be community of a sort but a community structured not on sameness but on difference. Everyone tending to themselves except when there was a clear need to help another; this is what William Burroughs calls being a Johnson -- someone who doesn't stick his, or her, nose in your business but doesn't turn a blind eye when trouble arises.

Politeness would rule the day. Politeness allows everyone their place while providing a protocol for interacting without confrontation per se -- "excuse me" would be the most commonly used phrase between strangers.

And Kant IS uptight. This is what I enjoy, the little I do enjoy, reading him. Everything is so careful and at the same time so completely insane. His insistence on reason makes his thinking increasingly peculiar. And, to me, that is good. No one is madder than the rationalists.

Hope that helps and glad you're finding something in the lectures.

justinic9 said...

Just started on the lectures and would love to do the reading, but, alas, the reader is a little inaccessible to those of us overseas. Any chance we could get an electronic copy?

Daniel Coffeen said...

I think there would probably be some copyright issues with distributing the reader electronically -- or, more specifically, publicly -- but alas those are moot as I don't have electronic versions. Sorry about that.

FZ said...

Hi,Justin, I am in China too. I managed to download some texts of the course from the web. And I don't care about the copyright at all. Why cares? I'd rather all the information be free-at least to developing country whose people are even out of the market of those publishing company. :)
Anyway, If you are interested, I could email you all the texts that I got-although it is incomplete. I do have How To Do Things With Words, Changes of Mind, The Death of the Author,Exercises in Style,On Truth and Lies in Their Nonmoral Sense, Immortality,Medium is the Massage, and Phaedrus. In fact, you could download these all on the emule. Poetical Dictionary and Dissoi Logoi seems hard to find.
Prof. Daniel, Thanks for the inspiring lecture and thanks for enduring the weirdness of talking to thousands of telepresented people.

Jason said...

fz, you are a genius man. I am currently living in Russia and would absolutely love to get hold of the books you said you got. They probably exist here but I read Russian on a thrid grade level. Email me if you can man and thanks a lot.