I’m just going to forget Vico for now because there are so many ways people have interpreted that novel
How might you begin writing a universal history, if you were introducing the story of humanity to an alien?
It’s a weighty question, isn’t it?
I’d probably have to say writing. And many of the most meaningful earliest writings were stories. So, the story of humanity begins with stories…? Just taking a stab at it. Maybe just “stories” because Homer himself was from a bard tradition. And there’s something similar to that in pre-west South America for instance. And then the next step I’d take is wondering if Aristotle wrote “stories” because that doesn’t seem right at all. The pre-Socratic Heraclitus for instance believed the world was made of fire. That’s a sort of “story”. Then there’s a shift with Parmenides who believed in the One. This is where humanity was born, arguably. This is very confusing to understand because progs try to change the definition of humanity. “And the mob lives in your head too.” The emergence of humanity and “cold logic” seem to be closely connected.
Back to that novel though
Joyce’s Finnegans Wake attempts to restructure the world, reinvent religion, and recreate God.
Just an ordinary thing a person does.
Hypothetically speaking, if someone were to “invent the new wheel” would we even be able to understand its implications? Perhaps some would.
People want this to be me so bad
of the fall, of a slapstick clown slipping over at the circus, and, perhaps self-consciously, getting up—if only to fall over again.
Nope, that’s you, sorry.
It makes me laugh sometimes when I see someone exclaim “Oy vey!” under a post, that’s all it is. So humorless, just stop.
So, looking at the novel through Vico is only the first approach here
This is similar to what I said about Dream of the Red Chamber – it’s good to find the broadest overview possible. The structural approach IS a bird’s-eye-view itself, it’s just not the only way of looking at it.
How much time could one spend on this alone though?
Vico’s theory of history, where there is a stage called the ricorso, helps explain the cyclical tripartite structure of the novel, and the way each book represents a different age, though there are also cycles within cycles.
What is art? Art isn’t easy to understand.
Lots of young people think they understand the Zarathustra for instance, and you never hear them talking about the sorts of themes I do.
The characters of the novel
This is the narrational interpretation. The particulars not the universals, one might say.
This is the kind of leisure people would enjoy without politics. Since Trump was removed I definitely feel that drift toward this side of life. Of course I always have to bring politics into it anyway because I still don’t see it as purely futile, just mostly. It just seems like art is intrinsically political, or at least that it should be, and further that it shouldn’t be put in the service of subservience (which IS a form of politics). Strange that I even have to say that. The reality is that that use of art is next to non-existent. Anyway, studying these kinds of works makes it easier to understand the less well-thought-out ones we’re saturated with today. I like the structural approach the most myself, which is probably obvious. The work does not talk about the structure, the work takes place within the structure. This is important to understand because media today is almost never interpreted structurally, and we need new media that understands the structure in place and does not operate according to its constraints. “Ahh so it’s all Vico – why limit oneself to that?” The “synagogue structure” essentially demands that one does limit oneself. It’s like reading Vico, years and years after he wrote, and not being able to improve upon him. Philosophy, art, science, they all deserve better than that.