|Comparing Musil to Bakhtin, Thiher writes, "Both Musil and Bakhtin wrote to defend freedom of mind against stultifying dogma and illiberal totalitarianism" (137). And yet, Thiher stresses Musil's originality of thought, "I know of no other thinker, including Wittgenstein, who stressed with such lucidity that ethical thinking and art are interrelated in their 'breaking the vessels,' to use an expression from the Kabbalah and the Jewish mystical tradition referring to the incapacity of the original vessels of creation to contain the light emanating from God's being. Musil's theory of the destruction of forms also suggests, by analogy, that the vessels must be continually broken so that the light may be propagated---but there must also be vessels so that it can be contained. The destruction of the forms of perceived thought and perception is a necessary process, which gives access to a new condition beyond received ideas and their rationality" (201).|
Friday, December 9, 2011
Allen Thiher on Bakhtin, Musil, and the destruction of the Vessels of Creation
A quick search revealed my ignorance of work on Bakhtin and Musil (not that I was surprised). I found a 2009 book,Understanding Robert Musil, by Allen Thiher (U of CA P).