From: michael bibby <shmickeyd@xxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Fri, 22 Oct 2010 07:00:42 -0700 (PDT)
Certainly, Foucault was a close reader of Heidegger, who in turn was a close reader of Bergson. This is also true of Minkowski and a host of others who seem to have rallied around Bergsons text which emerged as a kind of balwark against the 'scientific barbarism', 'mechanistic rationality', 'technocrasy' of the age. Perhaps we could say that Foucault was reponding, in part, to the same crises to which Bergson, Minkowski, Heidegger, Spengler, and many others were responding to, what we could provisionally call 'the crises of history', 'the crises of modernity'- the spiritual crises which Toynbee saw the West involving the rest of the world in as it spread its civilization throughout it.
Jungs description of the wandering jew who is unable to draw fresh life from the earth through his feet because they have been uprooted from their home-land could just as easily be applied to 'modern man', ahistorical and uprooted from a geographical place, rendered mobile and shut up in hismself. Indeed, we see that it was, and least of all in Mein Kampf. We could say that this picture of the Jew is really a kind of charicture of modern man, of his priestly nature.
The archaic revival in Germany, we read in the Function of the Orgasm, represented a responce, although confused as to its object, to the 'mystical longing' opened up in the depths of mans alienation from the archaeology of the land, from the geneology of his people. Just as the Jew had an ancient tradition which he carried with him like an arab his tent through the desert, so too the German had the Indo-European- a retrospective hypothesis- geneology to restore him to the profundity from which he had become estranged through abstraction.
Tarkovsky takes up these themes in his parable of Solviet Russia in the form of the oceanic space-station Solaris: this is the precise meaning of the pot-plant, which is the last thing we see before we leave the space station- the strange melieu in which it alone made the only sense- and return to earth.
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Sam Hall (2009-01-30)