THE DEMOCRACY OF LIGHT

Stories from Paolino s Tapes. CD . Private Recordings 1985-1993
Stories from Paolino’s Tapes: Private Recordings 1985-1993 by Paul Feyerabend

I have been listening to this and find it quite moving. It is a great chance to hear Feyerabend’s voice, as he talks informally about books, film, opera, and people’s lives. The first track (which can be found here) begins with a citation in German from Brecht’s THREEPENNY OPERA:

“Denn die einen stehn im Dunkeln und die andern stehn im Licht. Und man sieht nur die im Lichte, die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht.”

Feyerabend sings this excerpt, criticises the English translation, and then proceeds to propose his own translation and commentary. (This is one of the curses of being bilingual, one is never satisfied with the translations of others):

“And the ones stand in darkness and the others stand in the light. We only see those who stand in the light, those who stand in the darkness you don’t see”.

Feyerabend describes the scene, where you see a few people in the light, jumping around and there are a huge number of people in darkness, being born, dying, smiling and crying. According to Feyerabend, this is a true image of humanity. Not just the elect in the light, but all the others who go unsung and unnoticed. He ironises that when intellectuals talk about “humanity” they just mean other intellectuals, in the First World.

For me this image contains in a nutshell Feyerabend’s whole philosophy from his AGAINST METHOD and SCIENCE IN A FREE SOCIETY to his last completed work THE TYRANNY OF SCIENCE (whose real title should be AMBIGUITY AND HARMONY, as it is in Italian). It is also a point of passage to Deleuze and Guattari’s collaborative works, as well as to post-Jungian analyst James Hillman’s alchemical vision of the imaginal unconscious (with its aim of finding the luminosity in all things and of relativizing the projected light of the ego). It also connects to the project of Dreyfus and Kelly’s ALL THINGS SHINING (“all things” shining, and not just a few things or people in the limelight).

The internet can help spread sensitivity to this democratic luminosity more widely, if we can stop it from being coopted by the self-satisfaction,  the insatiable appetites and the narcissistic posturings of the lumivores.

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2 Responses to THE DEMOCRACY OF LIGHT

  1. david leech says:

    “Lumivores” is very clever and insightful. I think we need a word for those who cast the light; people/institutions that “set up” the light/dark contrast.

    Like

  2. Pingback: Feyerabend’s Affective Portrait [at AGENT SWARM] | ~ S c h i z o s o p h y ~

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