Friday, April 03, 2009

Transverse connections

Jill Marsden, author After Nietzsche, a book I chose as one of my favourites of last year, tells Christopher Branson what's next.
Well, I'm planning to write another book. I feel like I'm approaching that sort of space. I want to develop, in the broadest terms, a philosophy and literature project. It won’t be "how can philosophers use literature to do philosophy?" and it certainly won’t be literary criticism with a philosophical edge to it. I suppose it relates to some of what we've been speaking about. I want to explore, particularly in modernism and modernist writers, this alertness to different rhythms of thought and the way in which certain texts map out alternative cartographies of the human. I'm not sure if this is going to be a case of leaving Nietzsche behind… I suspect not.
Branson observes that the project is "quite different in spirit from the current demands of academic production".
It's not something that worries me very much: the beginnings of projects, starting something. You have an instinctive urge to read a story by Kleist, or to read a poem by Trakl or a passage from Nietzsche. It isn’t obvious that they are connected in any way but at a more unconscious level some path between them is apparently being forged. There are a lot of blind alleys, of course, when you work in this meandering fashion but I like to work like this, to think about why the things that really interest me interest me. It's what I love, pursuing these transverse connections.

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