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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A Project



From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, entry on ‘Existentialism’:

[T]he self cannot be conceived as a Cartesian ego but is embodied being-in-the-world, a self-making in situation. It is through transcendence—or what the existentialists also refer to as my “projects”—that the world is revealed, takes on meaning; but such projects are themselves factic or “situated”—not the product of some antecedently constituted “person” or intelligible character but embedded in a world that is decidedly not my representation. Because my projects are who I am in the mode of engaged agency (and not like plans that I merely represent to myself in reflective deliberation), the world in a certain sense reveals to me who I am.

From Susan Sontag, ‘‘Spiritual style in the films of Robert Bresson’:

All of Bresson’s films have a common theme: the meaning of confinement and liberty. The imagery of the religious vocation and of crime are used jointly. Both lead to ‘the cell’. .... In A Man Escaped, the elderly man in the adjoining cell asks the hero, querulously, ‘Why do you fight?’ Fontaine answers, ‘To fight. To fight against myself’. The true fight against oneself is against one’s heaviness, one’s gravity. And the instrument of this fight is the idea of work, a project, a task.

From Reciprocity Failure, chapter 1:

‘Are you an artist?’

I scowl, but she doesn’t sound like she’s taking the piss. ‘No’.

‘What then?’

I shrug. ‘Progetto’. An all-purpose Italian word, indicative of intellectual or artistic ambition, but without any precise commitment.

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