Monday, August 28, 2006
More Thoughts on Philip Rieff's "My Life Among the Deathworks"
I really see a lot of truth to his comments about for instance the creation of semblances but with the intent of destroying the actual, the real, and the essential nature of mendacity in this. I find it eerie and not merely reactionist how he descrbies modern times as therapeutic culture and therapeutic culture as being prefigured in Shakespeare's characters, Iago and Edmund. He describes Freud as a great founder of the moderna ge and analyzes his work as essentially a very intelligent, corrupting mendacity, a conscious fiction designed to attack the sacred in the belief that everything is just fiction anyway. I find him helpful in training the hand for cultural war, that is fighting before the firing starts, defending that worthy of defense, first by recognizing the intent deathwork of enemies of sacred order (I see his stance for sacred order as having a real compatibility with mine). I do not think it pleasing or inevitable to float away on the dream reality of a more or less conscious lie and I think it is a healthy development to call it lieing with the strength that Rieff does. His stance for the sacred which Sontag seems to have repudiated in her divorce of him and subsequent comments seems to me the more worthy one.