By Henri Godard
« Céline est un grand écrivain, mais ce n'est pas un écrivain comme les autres. Il m'arrive aujourd'hui encore, en lisant un des "contre-Céline" qui se publient périodiquement, de me demander remark j'ai pu consacrer tant d'années à éditer et à explorer l'œuvre d'un auteur aussi controversé et, en effet, aussi problématique... »
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Additional info for À travers Céline, la littérature
Despite this status as a minded entity, however, such agents are not persons in my sense of the term. We may ascribe them beliefs and desires, and thus liability, praise, and blame, but these ascriptions are not made of any particular material bodies. They are more akin to forces or spirits than to pears, porcelain vases, and other—to cite Quine again—“middlesized, middle-distanced objects” known “through impacts at our nerve endings” (WO 4–5, 2). 27 “Presences” come in radically different forms, and a focus on different types makes for radically different sorts of aesthetic projects.
We can assume that these words in this order are unlike any news reports about Picasso, tributes to Picasso, personal anecdotes about Picasso, reviews of his exhibitions, scholarly analyses of his work, diatribes, eulogies, or anything else. Researching the records might prove otherwise, but if we are looking for the most idiosyncratic written account of the painter, this one would have to be near the top. Saying that the text is “opaque” is true but uninformative. So can we say, in a relatively precise way, where and how the opacity arises?
They also include “the concepts of life, organism, function, instantaneous reality, interaction,” and the “order of nature,” concepts that, as Whitehead believed, are manifest in “the things which lie around us,” the simple immediate facts “that are the topic of interest” of poetry. Investigating these sorts of concepts and orders, he said, would allow us to locate a domain falling outside the purview of “reductive” science. It would give us a way to keep our mental and moral lives sounding legitimate, and preserve some space that causal description could not soil.