Psychedelic Aesthetics, Literature and Liberal Crises, week 2: Sunday at Deer Pile, 4pm

June 13, 2014 § Leave a comment

The ending of Michelangelo Antonioni’s Zabriski Point, as Slavoj Zizek argues, signifies the de-authentification of the “hippie” movement by the end of the 1960s, as a revolutionary idea becomes merely another aspect of the hegemony of consumer culture. this is an example of a reduction to One-Dimensionality, as Herbert Marcuse described. Zizek challenges Antonioni’s intention to depict Transcendence with his scene of mass orgy in the desert. For me, embedded in the film’s rhetoric of transcendence is psychedelic aesthetics use of a return to Nature or the Pre-political to obfuscate the temporality of modernity and the progressive narratives that accompany it. If there is transcendence, it is already within what historian Charles Taylor calls “The Immanent Frame.” In class this Sunday we will look at the the Political Theological conflicts at the root of Liberalism as an economic cosmology. We will discuss Charles Baudelaire’s “Artificial Paradises,” William Blake’s “Heaven and Hell,” and Friedrich Nietzsche’s “Birth of Tragedy.” Come on down. (See other posts on this blog for more details and course syllabus).

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