2500w Introduction. Thoughts?
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Q:17) Consider the connections between political sedition and pornography in The Secret Agent.
The dynamite novel of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries was a genre concerned with political disruption and vast underground conspiracies of anarchic disorder. The incitement of fear and terror at the idea of anarchic social change was a defining feature of the genre. Curiously, one of the dynamite novel’s bastions, Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent, whilst certainly engaging with anarchic forces, depicts an aborted terrorist bombing, a failed anarchic plot. Yet, to what extent the physical failings of terrorists produces a failure of ideas is Conrad’s concerns; and he endeavours to realise this point to his reader through illustrating implicit and explicit connections between pornography and political insurrection. For Conrad, and in turn his reader, the anarchist becomes the pornographer and his general degenerative nature becomes an obscenity that transcends the pages of the novel. Conrad contends that the individual anarchist, like the pornographer, is dangerous only to his immediate surroundings; it is the anarchists’ idea that is truly destructive and obscene and it is this idea that marks the reader long after they have concluded the narrative. Conrad begins the novel by extensively associating the anarchist and anarchy with pornographers and pornography. Such associations made, he then distorts the chronology of the narrative in an effort to position the reader in a voyeuristic and pornographic position, inciting excitement for the climax of the novel. Thus, when the climax comes in Winnie Verloc’s phallic stabbing, the reader is suspended in ecstasy and time, a moment that forces reflection. Thus Conrad’s closure to the narrative marks anarchy, like pornography, as individually devastating, but socially insidious.
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Are the mystics and sages insane? Because they all tell variations on the same story, don't they? The story of awakening one morning and discovering you are one with the All, in a timeless and eternal and infinite fashion.
Yes, maybe they are crazy, these divine fools. Maybe they are mumbling idiots in the face of the Abyss. Maybe they need a nice, understanding therapist. Yes, I'm sure that would help. But then, I wonder.
Maybe the evolutionary sequence really is from matter to body to mind to soul to spirit, each transcending and including, each with a greater depth and greater consciousness and wider embrace. And in the highest reaches of evolution, maybe, just maybe, an individual's consciousness does indeed touch infinity — a total embrace of the entire Kosmos — a Kosmic consciousness that is Spirit awakened to its own true nature.
It's at least plausible. And tell me: is that story, sung by mystics and sages the world over, any crazier than the scientific materialism story, which is that the entire sequence is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying absolutely nothing? Listen very carefully: just which of those two stories actually sounds totally insane?
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"What is Bazarov?" Arkady smiled. "Would you like me to tell you, uncle, what he really is?"
"Please do, nephew."
"He is a nihilist!"
"What?" asked Nikolai Petrovich, while Pavel Petrovich lifted his knife in the air with a small piece of butter on the tip and remained motionless.
"He is a nihilist," repeated Arkady.
"A nihilist," said Nikolai Petrovich. "That comes from the Latin nihil, nothing, as far as I can judge; the word must mean a man who... who recognizes nothing?"
"Say — who respects nothing," interposed Pavel Petrovich and lowered his knife with the butter on it.
"Who regards everything from the critical point of view," said Arkady.
"Isn't that exactly the same thing?" asked Pavel Petrovich.
"No, it's not the same thing. A nihilist is a person who does not bow down to any authority, who does not accept any principle on faith, however much that principle may be revered."
"Well, and is that good?" asked Pavel Petrovich. "That depends, uncle dear. For some it is good, for others very bad."
"Indeed. Well, I see that's not in our line. We old-fashioned people think that without principles, taken as you say on faith, one can't take a step or even breathe. Vous avez changé tout cela; may God grant you health and a general's rank, and we shall be content to look on and admire your... what was the name?"
"Nihilists," said Arkady, pronouncing very distinctly.
"Yes, there used to be Hegelists and now there are nihilists. We shall see how you will manage to exist in the empty airless void; and now ring, please, brother Nikolai, it's time for me to drink my cocoa."
Why don't you read /lit/'s most fitting coming of age story?
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This is probably the only poem I ever liked and I was wondering you could recommend me something similar?
All Hail the New Human
Large sex is in a little machine & that porn star
didn’t cross the borders, the borders blurred &
now the socialist utopia is one big gangbang.
You are flaccid if you’re not at this party & it’s
hardcore, no fucktards allowed, cokewhores that
suck cock for 2 hours are favorable. The V.I.Ps
will never point the camera at themselves.
Ideas can be demons, like Malice they travel
through the crowd, deliverance, even to the liberated,
exhilarating as a dirty orgasm by the underpass.
The new humans are both predators & victims
of themselves, a collective hypnotic oblivion,
the autoeroticism of women an industry,
of men - a great phallic edifice on the global
mind. When do the swans on this septic pond
decline, with their noble arched necks fishing
among the shit, feculent feathers, cumdumpters
for beast freaks out dogging the gardens at sunset.
There are pearl divers among the swine people,
and those that would eat the corn from their
master’s leavings, farms of flesh mannequins
silhouetted in a Goya hell downloading granny