The agreeable eye

an eudæmonistarchives

Citation (54)

engraving of a pelican in her piety

Pieter van der Borcht, engraving of a pelican from Sancti Epiphanii ad Physiologum (1588)

Writing, that powerful myth. The highest degree of distinction; how can it happen? How can the eye become progressively sensitive to reading, how can it get into the rhythm, the music; how can it be hurt – as if the light were bad – when a sentence doesn’t soar on strong wings? Nobody who emerges into the field of theory can do so without the soaring quill-feathers of writing. Althusser and his sentence about Mao Tse-Tung: ‘pure as the dawn’; Lévi-Strauss and his Latin prosopopoeia in all its imperial, Virgilian majesty. Lacan and his Greek, precious, baroque prosopopoeia. Derrida, or the transition to fiction. And a myriad of mediocre writings by junior masters diligently copying the rhetoric but without wings, serving up plucked chickens, birds with their breast-bones showing, naked animals.

—Catherine Clément (The Weary Sons of Freud, p. 46)


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