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The Book of the Damned

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Author Topic: The Book of the Damned  (Read 3561 times)
Dusk
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« Reply #75 on: April 21, 2009, 03:06:11 pm »

as the Scientific American Supplement would say—mysterious disappearance of a sea captain, his family, and the crew—

Of positivists, by the route of Abrupt Transition, I think that Manet was notable—but that his approximation was held down by his intense relativity to the public—or that it is quite as impositive to flout and insult and defy as it is to crawl and placate. Of course, Manet began with continuity with Courbet and others, and then, between him and Manet there were mutual influences—but the spirit of abrupt difference is the spirit of positivism, and Manet's stand was against the dictum that all lights and shades must merge away suavely into one another and prepare for one another. So a biologist like De Vries represents positivism, or the breaking of Continuity, by trying to conceive of evolution by mutation—against the dogma of indistinguishable gradations by "minute variations." A Copernicus conceives of helio-centricity. Continuity is against him. He is not permitted to break abruptly with the past. He is permitted to publish his work, but only as "an interesting hypothesis."

Continuity—and that all that we call evolution or progress is attempt to break away from it—

That our whole solar system was at one time attempt by planets to break away from a parental nexus and set up as individualities, and, failing, move in quasi-regular orbits that are expressions of relations with the sun and with one another, all having surrendered, being now quasi-incorporated in a higher approximation to system;

Intermediateness in its mineralogic aspect of positivism—or Iron that strove to break away from Sulphur and Oxygen, and be real, homogeneous Iron—failing, inasmuch as elemental iron exists only in text-book chemistry;

Intermediateness in its biologic aspect of positivism—or the wild, fantastic, grotesque, monstrous things it conceived of, sometimes in a frenzy of effort to break away abruptly from all preceding types—but failing, in the giraffe-effort, for instance, or only caricaturing an antelope—

All things break one relation only by the establishing of some other relation—

All things cut an umbilical cord only to clutch a breast.

p. 79

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