A mechanical reproduction of the Gothic painting by Henry Fuseli entitled “The Nightmare” became a a major inspiration to the brooding, brilliant, brittle and oddly vulnerable DCI Tanner in the episode entitled Parasomnia (1999) in the BBC/PBS series Second Sight.

The Gothic genre has thrived as a transgressive art form in various styles and forms, in high culture and pop culture, since its origins in the late eighteenth century through the postmodern and into the 21st century. Consumers of the gothic genre enter willingly into the nightmare narratives experienced by those who inhabit the shadow lands of modernity: that spectral cast of incubus, ghosts, monsters and vampires who reveal to us the threat of dystopia that looms on the edge of our planned utopias, the dark side of human nature that we narrowly avoid due to the superhuman efforts of the fictional hero and heroine. The consumer of the gothic narrative escapes with a cathartic pseudo-Burkean-sublime-feeling, the Malarme or Beaudelaire’s ‘frisson’ experienced in the art gallery, winged arm chair or theater, of having survived the terrible through human reason and virtue. See also Botting (1995).

Nietzsche: “Who ever battles with monsters had better see that it does not turn himself into a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

Gothic instantiations and influences to be included:

Fuseli’ Nightmare (Tate), Fuseli’s Nightmare NGC

Angela Carter,

David Lynch.

Parasomnia Second Sight DVD

Neitzsche’s rautzche?? sp

Foucault on terror


Climatic descriptions


1667 John Milton’s Paradise Lost was published but it did not take its preeminent place in English literature until his work became a major influence on Mary Shelley and other Romantic-Gothic artists.

c. 1735-40 William Hogarth’s “Satan, Sin and Death.” (A Scene from Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’). oil on canvas. London, UK. Tate Gallery.

1741 David Garrick was ‘arguably the most versatile actor of the eighteenth century, responsible for a radical change in the style of acting and particularly noted for his performances in the tragedies and histories of Shakespeare (Lloyd 1994:21).’ His greatest performance was perhaps as the King in Richard III, first given in 1741, which Edmund Burke claimed ‘raised the character of his profession to the rank of a liberal art (Lloyd 1994:21).’

1741 William Hogarth attempted to portray the sublime in response to Edmund Burke’s 1756 publication. Hogarth’s large 1741 portrait of Garrick as Richard III — now in the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool — has been described as a sublime history portrait. (Lloyd 1994):21)

1757 William Hogarth’s “Satan, Sin and Death.”

1757 Edmund Burke and the sublime (1729 – 1797): “Whatever is fitted in any sort to excite the ideas of pain, and danger, that is to say, whatever is in any sort terrible, or is conversant about terrible objects, or operates in a manner analogous to terror, is a source of the Sublime; that is, it is capable of producing the strongest emotions which the mind is capable of feeling. – Edmund Burke” Political philosopher Edmund Burke’s theories of the sublime and the beautiful (1756) influenced the Romantic movement.

1759 Adam Smith suggested that conscious reasoning, analysis and imagination contributed were mechanisms of the phenomenon of emotional contagion. “Though our brother is on the rack . . . by the imagination we place ourselves in his situation, we conceive ourselves enduring all the same torments, we enter as it were into his body, and become in some measure the same person with him, and thence form some idea of the sensations, and even feel something which, through weaker in degree, is not altogether unlike them (Smith 1759:9 cited in Decety and Ickes).” Smith also described motor mimicry, “When we see a stroke aimed, and just ready to fall upon the leg or arm of another person, we naturally shrink and draw back on our leg or our arm (Smith 1759:4 cited in Decety and Ickes).

1759 The Lady’s last Stake, another, homelier genre scene, William Hogarth’s last “comic history”, painted at the request of Lord Charlemont; also Sigismunda, at the request of Sir Richard Grosvenor who had asked for a similar genre scene, leaving the subject to Hogarth, and who had to pay for this austere painting in which William Hogarth had undertaken to outdo the Italian painters of the seicento, who had recently reached absurdly high prices at a sensational auction. Also Satan, Sin and Death, William Hogarth’s last attempt at sublimity, a Miltonian scene inspired by Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Sublime and Beautiful (1757); left unfinished, but engraved in 1767, it probably inspired Fuseli and Blake and the vogue of “sublime” romantic painting. http://hogarth.chez.tiscali.fr/biography/biography.htm

1764 Horace Walpole (1717-1797), son of the first prime minister Sir Robert Walpole, published the first Gothic novel entitled The Castle of Otranto. Horace and his friend Thomas Brand took the Grand Tour around Italy and France c. 1740-42.

1767 William Hogarth’s unfinished painting Satan, Sin and Death is a Miltonian scene that was engraved in 1767. Hogarth’s Satan, Sin and Death possibly fuelled the vogue of the sublime in romantic painting and may have inspired Fuseli and Blake.

William Blake Satan, Sin, and Death Pen and watercolor, 19-1/2 x 15-13/16 inches

1776 Henry Fuseli’s Pen and sepia with brown and grey wash 26.2 x 37.7″ “Satan and Death Separated by Sin.” at the Visitors of the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. ‘All that was to change by the end of the eighteenth century, when for complex and even contradictory reasons, ranging from the recovery of Renaissance culture to sudden pressures for political reform, Paradise Lost claimed an unquestionable prominence, even preeminence, among the treasures of English literary art and began to exert a broad influence on the emerging literature of Romanticism. Although the impact can be felt on every one of the major Romantic poets, as well as on dozens of minor ones as well, it is a curious and even wonderful truth that nowhere in this rich literature does Milton’s epic resonate as richly and subtly as in Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. That has been attributed by some critics to the orchestration of Percy Bysshe Shelley, who was a devoted follower of “the sacred Milton,” as he referred to him in the Preface to Prometheus Unbound, and continually allowed his own work to resonate with deliberate allusions to Paradise Lost. Undoubtedly, he helped Mary with the polishing of her Miltonic textures, providing the epigraph, for example (X.743-45). But with a writing partnership that up to this point in England had only the short-lived relationship of Wollstonecraft and Godwin as a model, there is no reason to attribute the origin of any particular idea or theme to Percy Bysshe Shelley simply because he was older or male. And, indeed, it is possible to read his later comments on Paradise Lost in the Preface to Prometheus Unbound (1820) or in “A Defence of Poetry” (1821) as revealing how powerful an influence Mary’s novel shed on his own conceptions of the work. On whomever the decision to foreground Milton’s poem rests, Mary Shelley did write the novel and therefore is responsible for the complex patterns of allusion that amplify and contextualize her modernization of Western creation myths. (Lynch)’

1794 Ann Ward Radcliffe (1764-1823) published the Gothic novel entitled The Mysteries of Udolpho. Radcliffe socially acceptable stories surrounding a virtuous heroine, implied a supernatural intrusion but always could be traced to a logical natural cause. Key words: Orphans, Fiction, Horror tales, Inheritance and succession, Young women, Gothic fiction, Guardian and ward, Castles, Italy, climatic scene setting.

The virtuous heroine, Emily  . . . “returned over the cliffs towards the chateau, meditating upon what she had just heard, till, at length she forced her mind upon less interesting subjects. The wind was high, and as she drew near the chateau, she often paused to listen to its awful sound, as it swept over the billows, that beat below, or groaned along the surrounding woods; and, while she rested on a cliff at a short distance from the chateau, and looked upon the wide waters, seen dimly beneath the last shade of twilight, she thought of the following address:  To the Winds: Viewless, through heaven’s vast vault your course ye steer, Unknown from whence ye come, or whither go! Mysterious pow’rs! I hear ye murmur low, Till swells your loud gust on my startled ear, And, awful! seems to say–some God is near! I love to list your midnight voices float In the dread storm, that o’er the ocean rolls, And, while their charm the angry wave controuls, Mix with its sullen roar, and sink remote.”

1818 Mary Wollstonecraft (Godwin) Shelley (1797-1851) published the Gothic novel entitled Frankenstein: The Modern Prometheus in which her main character, the scientist Victor Frankenstein, infused life into a monstrous creature whom he then rejected. The creature tortured by loneliness and rejection murdered everyone that Dr. Frankenstein loved and finally ended his own life in the Far North. Key words: Science fiction, Horror tales, Scientists, Monsters, golum, electricity, galvanism, climatic scene setting,

“When I was about fifteen years old we had retired to our house near Belrive, when we witnessed a most violent and terrible thunderstorm. It advanced from behind the mountains of Jura, and the thunder burst at once with frightful loudness from various quarters of the heavens. I remained, while the storm lasted, watching its progress with curiosity and delight. As I stood at the door, on a sudden I beheld a stream of fire issue from an old and beautiful oak which stood about twenty yards from our house; and so soon as the dazzling light vanished, the oak had disappeared, and nothing remained but a blasted stump. When we visited it the next morning, we found the tree shattered in a singular manner. It was not splintered by the shock, but entirely reduced to thin ribbons of wood. I never beheld anything so utterly destroyed. Before this I was not unacquainted with the more obvious laws of electricity. On this occasion a man of great research in natural philosophy was with us, and excited by this catastrophe, he entered on the explanation of a theory which he had formed on the subject of electricity and galvanism, which was at once new and astonishing to me. All that he said threw greatly into the shade Cornelius Agrippa, Albertus Magnus, and Paracelsus, the lords of my imagination; but by some fatality the overthrow of these men disinclined me to pursue my accustomed studies. It seemed to me as if nothing would or could ever be known. All that had so long engaged my attention suddenly grew despicable. By one of those caprices of the mind which we are perhaps most subject to in early youth, I at once gave up my former occupations, set down natural history and all its progeny as a deformed and abortive creation, and entertained the greatest disdain for a would-be science which could never even step within the threshold of real knowledge. In this mood of mind I betook myself to the mathematics and the branches of study appertaining to that science as being built upon secure foundations, and so worthy of my consideration.”

1897 Irish novelist Abraham “Bram” Stoker (1847 –  1912) published his Gothic novel entitled Dracula.

1890s Nietsche “Who ever battles with monsters had better see that it does not turn himself into a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you.”

1950 Powell, Nicolas. 1950. “Fuseli: catalogue of an exhibition of paintings and drawings.” Introduction by Ganz, Paul. (1872-1954). Arts Council of Great Britain. London.

1956. Antal, Frederick (1887-1954). 1956. “Fuseli studies.” London, Routledge.

1973 Powell, Nicolas, 1920- Fuseli : The Nightmare. London : Penguin, 1973

1979 Pressly, Nancy L. 1979. “The Fuseli circle in Rome : early romantic art of the 1770s.” New Haven: Yale Center for British Art, c1979. “This catalogue was published on the occasion of an exhibition at the Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, from September 12 through November 11, 1979.”

1985. Gizzi, Corrado. 1985. Fussli e Dante Palazzo di Brera. Milano. Mazzotta. Catalog of an exhibition held at the Palazzo di Brera, Milan, Nov. 20, 1985-Jan. 19, 1986.

1983 Henry Fuseli : 12 November – 18 December 1983 : The National Museum of Western Art,Tokyo

1990 Nationalmuseum (Sweden). 1990. Füssli.” Stockholm: Sweden. “Part of a double exhibition: Sergel-Füssli held Nov. 4, 1990 – Jan. 6, 1991. Swedish text with English summary.

1995 (Botting 1995) ”

1998 FUSELI TO MENZEL: DRAWINGS AND WATERCOLORS FROM THE AGE OF GOETHE June 23 through September 6, 1998 “For the first time, New York audiences will view a selection of major works from one of the most important private collections of German drawings and watercolors of the period c. 1750 through 1850. Known as the Age of Goethe, this era is considered to be one of the greatest in German draftsmanship. Nonetheless, such works on paper are exceedingly rare in both public and private collections in the United States, making this traveling exhibition a particularly rich and unusual opportunity. On view thissummer at The Frick Collection, this presentation of eighty works by forty-nine artists is drawn from thecelebrated holdings of Munich attorney Alfred Winterstein (1895-1976). The exhibition explores the range and significance of German draftsmanship from the Enlightenment, Romantic, and Realist periods,and includes landscapes and nature studies by Caspar David Friedrich and preeminent writer and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, architectural studies by Karl Friedrich Schinkel and Friedrich Gilly, and portraits by Joseph Karl Stieler and Ludwig Emil Grimm. Among the other notable artists featured are Henry Fuseli, Carl Philipp Fohr, Philipp Otto Runge, Julius Schnorr von Carolsfeld, Moritz von Schwind, Johann Georg von Dillis, and Adolph Menzel. Never before have so many works from the Winterstein collection been on view outside of Germany, where it made its last major tour four decadesago, in 1958. Fuseli to Menzel: Drawings and Watercolors from the Age of Goethe is curated by Hinrich Sieveking, curator of the Winterstein Collection. Presentation of Fuseli to Menzel at The Frick Collection has been coordinated by Associate Curator Susan Grace Galassi. The exhibition was initiated and organized by the Busch-Reisinger Museum, Harvard University Art Museums,Cambridge, MA, and has been made possible by the generous support of Merck, Finck & Co., Privatbankiers, a member of the Barclays Group, with additional support from the Friends of the Busch-Reisinger Museum and theFellows of The Frick Collection

2005 National Gallery of Canada, and Douglas E. Schoenherr. 2005. Henry Fuseli. ISBN 0888848021.

Who’s Who?

Fuseli, Henry (1741-1825);

Dante Alighieri, (1265-1321).

Key concepts

Primitive emotional contagion is of critical importance in understanding human cognition, emotion and behaviour. It is a basic building block of human interaction, assisting in “mind reading” and allowing people to understand and to share the feelings of others.” The Emotional Contagion scale was designed to assess people’s susceptibility to “catching” joy, happiness, love, fear, anxiety, anger, sadness, depression, as well as emotions in general. True empathy requires three skills: 1: the ability to share the other person’s feelings; the cognitive ability to intuit what the other person is feeling; and a socially beneficial intention to respond compassionately to that person’s distress. Emotional contagion is the “tendency to automatically mimic and synchronize facial expressions, vocalizations, postures, and movements with those of the other person and consequently, to converge emotionally (Hatfield, Cacloppo, Rapson 1994:5 in Decety and Ickes).


Art:Neoclassicism, Italy:Art, Art:Romanantic,

Webliography and Bibliography

Botting, Fred. 1995 Gothic. Series: The New Critical Idiom. Routledge.

Decety, Jean. Ickes, William. The Social Neuroscience of Empathy. MIT Press.

Schoenherr, Douglas E. 2005. Henry Fuseli. National Gallery of Canada. Ottawa, ON.

Decety, Jean. Ickes, William. The Social Neuroscience of Empathy. MIT Press.


God’s creation,
Great Chain of Being,
Charles II,
Bloodless Revolution,
Mary Shelley,
Far North,
Prometheus Unbound,
the Palace of Satan,

common terms:

“adventures aesthetic alienation ambivalence anxiety aristocratic associated barbaric boundaries Burke’s Caleb Carmilla Castle of Otranto century conventional corruption criminal critical cultural dark death diabolical distinctions disturbing domestic double Dracula effects eighteenth eighteenth-century emotions enlightened evil evoked excess external externalisation extravagant fantasy fears female feudal figures film Frankenstein genre ghost story ghostly gloomy Gothic architecture Gothic fiction Gothic forms Gothic novels Gothic romance Gothic texts Gothic writing haunted Helsing hero heroines human Hyde identity images imagination individual internalisation Jekyll labyrinth linked literary literature medieval mirror Monk monster moral Mysteries of Udolpho mysterious nature neoclassical objects Old English Baron passions past persecution political popular present produced propriety Radcliffe’s rational readers reality religious representation Romanticism ruins scientific secret sense sexual significant social society spectral strange sublime supernatural superstition terror and horror Terrorist Novel threat threatening tradition transgression uncanny values vampire Vathek villain violence virtue Walpole wild” By Fred Botting

Cupboards, drawers, boxes and storage bins are open and private everyday objects are strewn about, turned into something public in preparation for the moving sale. Personal histories related to each item are re-examined. Will they survive without the physical archives? Do they need to?

Le Carré describes this tortuous upending of a home in A Perfect Spy as agents tramp through every cranny and cupboard of her house. Mary’s husband, gifted in the spy tradecraft, has gone missing. He’s taken a ‘retirement’ and is writing his autobiography. I am intrigued by his process because he wants his story to read like a fiction and he wants his hero, himself to be lovable. In her interrogation with the agents, she said,

He’s not writing yet. He’s preparing.

He calls it a matrix.

When he retires, he’ll write.

He’s still finding the line. He likes to keep it to himself.

Listen to this: ‘ When the most horrible gloom was over the household; when Edward himself was in agony and behaving as prettily as he knew how. ‘

It’s from something he read. When he reads a book he underlines things in pencil. Then when he’s finished it he writes out his favourite bits (Le Carré 1986:51).

I think of a mise-en-abime, the hypodiegetic and diegetic framing narratology but this is only a spy mystery. But I also think of the collage-montage and I remember Benjamin. It seems to be what I am doing with my blog. I underline with digg or deli.cio.us. I cut and paste using Flickr, Youtube, Google docs or WordPress itself. But unlike Benjamin or the perfect spy, I scrupulously hot link the most reliable url I can find to every image, citation, idea. The blog itself may seem fragmented or may link the images with new juxtapositions but the sources can be followed by the reader. So my blog is more like a collage-montage than writing.

Before being driven to suicide through physical and mental exhaustion while fleeing the Nazis at the French border in 1940, German cultural theorist, Walter Benjamin was working on a consuming project to educate his own generation and awaken a new political consciousness (Buck-Morss 1991: 336, 47 in Holtorf 2001) . Using the Paris arcades as his prime metaphor, through his passion for collecting fragments of everyday urban experience he wanted his contemporaries to engage in a cleansing memory work, history with an ethical dimension, to revisit 19th century Parisian social and cultural history. He introduced a new form of ‘writing’ which consisted of cutting-and-pasting original citations without citation marks.

Benjamin’s fragmented direct, literal quotations, images and things were purposefully taken out of context. In this way they were deliberately not reduced to generally accepted theoretical or methodological frameworks or categories. He wanted his contemporaries to question unchallenged assumptions about anthropological nihilism, iron construction, the flâneur, the collector and capitalism itself. Something new was created from the old by constructed these fragmented, de-racinated elements into a collage-montage by juxtaposing them in a new way. In this way Benjamin questioned commonly held notions of ‘representation as finding some correspondence with an exterior reality’ (Shanks 1992: 188-90 Holtorf 2001).

Webliography and Bibliography

Benjamin, Walter. 1991. Trans. Buck-Morss. Das Passagen-Werk. Gesammelte Schriften, vol. V [1982]. Frankfurt/M.: Suhrkamp. [English edition 1996]

Buck-Morss, Susan (1991) The Dialectics of Seeing. Walter Benjamin and the Arcades Project [1989]. Cambridge, Mass. and London: MIT Press.

Holtorf, Cornelius. 2001. Walter Benjamin’s Passagenwerk.

Le Carré, John. 1986. The Perfect Spy. New York: Penguin.

Shanks, Michael (1992) Experiencing the Past. On the Character of Archaeology. London: Routledge.


December 11, 2006

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Somewhere on the Pacific a small lifeboat shared by two unwilling and unlikely passengers rolled with the waves. Pi knew he could do more than just survive once he realized that Richard was dependent on him. Pi could fish. A Bengal Tiger, king of his own ecosystem, would die at sea without the help of the seventeen-year-old. The book really ended there; it didn’t matter after that what was truth or fiction. Pi’s understanding of power in everyday life was his new reality.

Speechless refers to both the writer and reader. At one level it’s about a writers’ block being blogged. At another level is refers to deafening silence that occurs when one speaks with too much feeling or mentions an uncomfortable idea in a nice place, a unpleasant reminder in polite company, a divergent idea in a space of group think, another perspective than the Renaissance perspective. But it also refers to robust conversations among political philosophers who understand the power of language and everyday life. Socrates, Plato, Derrida called for renewals in philosophy. They examined what we do with words, the role of memory. Speechless alludes to Derrida’s urgent appeal for a renewed democracy, for a revitalized philosophy from a cosmopolitical point of view.

The human eye can distinguish 16 values of grey but that’s not including the subtle differences in the colours of grey. We just don’t have the time to see the variations.

I began speechless on October 16, 2006. Two months later I have learned what a permalink is and how to make one. It’s the equivalent to the old web page’s index.html. Now I have to learn where to use it.


The cloud of tags below has grown organically since I first began using WordPress as my main blog host on October 16, 2006. I am building my customized clouds of folksonomies by working on and learning from a number of Web 2.0 feeds. This includes a Flickr account for photo blogging which attracts alot of viewers. I have only a couple of dozen images but one image alone uploaded on October 22, 2006 was viewed 1,179 times over a period of 64 days! I reworked this image again and posted it on speechless under “Wave Algorithms.”

Featured folksonomy:

Benign colonialism is a term that refers to an alleged form of colonialism in which benefits outweighed risks for indigenous population whose lands, resources, rights and freedoms were preempted by a colonizing nation-state. The historical source for the concept of benign colonialism resides with John Stuart Mills who was chief examiner of the British East India Company dealing with British interests in India in the 1820s and 1830s. Mills most well-known essays (1844) on benign colonialism are found in Essays on some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy. Mills’ view contrasted with Burkean orientalists. Mills promoted the training of a corps of bureaucrats indigenous to India who could adopt the modern liberal perspective and values of 19th century Britain. Mills predicted this group’s eventual governance of India would be based on British values and perspectives. Those who adopt benign colonialism as a truth claim argue that education, health, housing and employment possibilities improved conditions for indigenous peoples as settlers, merchants and administrators also brought new industries, liberal markets, developed natural resources and introduced improved governance. The first wave of benign colonialism lasted from c. 1790s-1960s. The second wave included new colonial policies such as exemplified in Hong Kong (Liu 2003)), where unfettered expansion of the market created a new form of benign colonialism. Political interference and military interference (Doyle 2006) in independent nation-states, such as Iraq (Campo 2004 ), is also discussed under the rubric of benign colonialism in which a foreign power preempts national governance to protect a higher concept of freedom. The term is also used in the 21st century to refer to American, French and Chinese market activities in countries on the African continent with massive quantities of underdeveloped nonrenewable envied resources. Literature that challenges the assumptions of benign colonialism claiming colonialist project as it actually unfolded placed First Nations, Inuit and Métis at higher risks of vulnerabilities to catastrophes, to social exclusion and human rights abuses, have not been as widely publicized.

For more see Flynn-Burhoe (2007).

There is a widespread Canadian mythology that First Nations, Inuit and Métis are among those who benefited from settler colonies prempting, improving, managing and governing aboriginal lands, resources and educating, training, developing, serving, monitoring and governing its peoples. Those who adopt benign colonialism as a truth claim argue that education, health, housing and employment possibilities improved conditions for the indigenous peoples since the arrival of settlers. Literature that challenges the assumptions of benign colonialism claiming colonialist project as it actually unfolded placed First Nations, Inuit and Métis at higher risks of vulnerabilities to catastrophes, to social exclusion and human rights abuses, have not been as widely publicized. The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) addressed these claims but the term benign colonialism is still a convenient truth for many. Celebratory and one-sided social histories of the Hudson’s Bay Company, the RCMP, and various government leaders such as John A. MacDonald or civil servants such as Indian Agents, northern adventurers, when viewed through the lens of settlers while ignoring the perspective of First Nations, Inuit and Métis contribute to on-going dissemination of distorted histories. Museums, maps and census contribute to these distorted histories by grave omissions.

Related citations:

“Today, Mill’s most controversial case would be benign colonialism. His principles of nonintervention only hold among “civilized” nations. “Uncivilized” peoples, among whom Mill dumps most of Africa, Asia, and Latin America, are not fit for the principle of nonintervention. Like Oude (in India), they suffer four debilitating infirmities – despotism, anarchy, amoral presentism and familism — that make them incapable of self-determination. The people are imposed upon by a “despot… so oppressive and extortionate as to devastate the country.” Despotism long endured has produced “such a state of nerveless imbecility that everyone subject to their will, who had not the means of defending himself by his own armed followers, was the prey of anybody who had a band of ruffians in his pay.” The people as a result deteriorate into amoral relations in which the present overwhelms the future and no contracts can be relied upon. Moral duties extend no further than the family; national or civic identity is altogether absent. In these circumstances, Mill claims, benign colonialism is best for the population . Normal relations cannot be maintained in such an anarchic and lawless environment. It is important to note that Mill advocates neither exploitation nor racialist domination. He applies the same reasoning to once primitive northern Europeans who benefited from the imperial rule imposed by civilized Romans. The duties of paternal care, moreover, are real, precluding oppression and exploitation and requiring care and education designed to one day fit the colonized people for independent national existence. Nonetheless, the argument also rests on (wildly distorted) readings of the history and culture of Africa and Asia and Latin America. Anarchy and despotic oppression did afflict many of the peoples in these regions, but ancient cultures embodying deep senses of social obligation made nonsense of presentism and familism. Shorn of its cultural “Orientalism,” Mill’s argument for trusteeship addresses one serious gap in our strategies of humanitarian assistance: the devastations that cannot be readily redressed by a quick intervention designed to liberate an oppressed people from the clutches of foreign oppression or a domestic despot. But how does one prevent benign trusteeship from becoming malign imperialism, particularly when one recalls the flowery words and humanitarian intentions that accompanied the conquerors of Africa? How far is it from the Anti-Slavery Campaign and the Aborigine Rights Protection Society to King Leopold’s Congo and Joseph Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness”?

Here Doyle is referring to John S. Mill cited in “A Few Words on Nonintervention.” . 1973. In Essays on Politics and Culture, edited by Gertrude Himmelfarb, 368-84. Gloucester, Peter Smith.

See also WordPress featured blogs Benign colonialism.

Related tags: Tom Kent Royal Commission on Newspapers, Hackett and Zhao, economic efficiency, Power and everyday life, ethical topography of self and the Other, teaching learning and research, wealth disparities will intensify, C.D. Howe, Cannibals with Forks.Selected annotated webliography

Campo, Juan E.  2004. “Benign Colonialism? The Iraq War: Hidden Agendas and Babylonian Intrigue.” Interventionism. 26:1. Spring.

Doyle, Michael W.  2006. “Sovereignty and Humanitarian Military Intervention.” Hoover Institute.

Falk, Richard. Human Rights Horizons: the Pursuit of Justice in a Globalizing World. New York & London: Routledge.

Flynn-Burhoe, Maureen. 2007. Benign colonialism. >> Speechless. Uploaded January 14th, 2007

Liu, Henry C. K. “China: a Case of Self-Delusion: Part 1: From colonialism to confusionLiu 2003.” Asia Times. May 14, 2003.

Kurtz,Stanley. 2003.”Lessons from the British in India.” Democratic Imperialism: A Blueprint. Policy Review.Mill, John Stuart. 1844. Essays on some Unsettled Questions of Political Economy.
Of these Essays, which were written in 1829 and 1830,

Current debates on colonization and human rights (Falk 2000) raise questions about the notion of benign colonialism. The dominant language, culture and values of colonizers imposed on colonised peoples is often narrated as salutary. Dominant social and cultural institutions contributed to faciliating the entry of indigenous peoples trapped in unsustainable subsistence economies. Previously colonised peoples claim that the colonization process resulted in a parallel process of the colonization of the minds of indigenous peoples. The process of decolonization of memory (Ricoeur 1980), history and the spirit is crucial for the social inclusion (OECD) of indigenous peoples and nations within nations, such as Canada.


Angels and Demons

November 27, 2006

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hermaphrodite, Serres, Sarrassine

The Athenian Caratyds, a Roman copy of 4th century BC Greek sculptor Praxitele’s Hermes and Dionysos (300 BC), Bernini’s (whose patrons included Pope Urban VIII) The Ecstasy of Saint Therese (1647-52), Hermaphrodite Sarrasine’s relief (18th century), Anne-Louis Girodet de Roussy-Trioson (1767-1824) Endymion(1791) and his Pygmalion et Galatée(1819), Honoré de Balzac’s (1830) Sarrassine, Michel Serre’s (1987) Hermaphrodite: Sarrasine Sculpteur Précédé de Balzac Sarrasine and Serres (1982) Hermes: Literature, Science, Philosophy.

I layered these images after reading Michel Serres (1987).
There is something about the inspired playfulness of Dan Brown’s characters in Angels and Demons and setting that reminded me of this image. I hope to use free internet tools to connect the dots between layers. Dan Brown’s protagonist, the art historian, Renaissance expert and James Bond of the art world, irreverently described the ecstasy of Saint Theresa as sexual and secular not sacred.

Links: Hermes, hermeneutics, East and East, Persian and Greek Empires, Greek and Roman sculpture, Greek and Roman culture and art, Greek and Christian art, Greek, Roman and Renaissance sculpture, originality, copies, derivatives, Western art, western metaphysics, interpretation, contributions of East and West.

These are the free technical tools helping me to map my mind:

wordpress | del.icio.us | gather | swicki | flickr | thinkfree | digg | picasaweb | Carleton |

blogspot | frimr | photoblog

This is a from an interview with Dan Brown posted on his web page. I have been trying to read Angels and Demons as a way of relaxing before my grandchildren arrive in a few hours. But the book Angels and Demons is exciting not soothing:

In many ways I see science and religion as the same thing. Both are manifestations of man’s quest to understand the divine. Religion savors the questions while science savors the quest for answers. Science and religion seem to be two different languages attempting to tell the same story, and yet the battle between them has been raging for centuries and continues today. The war in our schools over whether to teach Creationism or Darwinism is a perfect example. We live in an exciting era, though, because for the first time in human history, the line between science and religion is starting to blur. Particle physicists exploring the subatomic level are suddenly witnessing an interconnectivity of all things and having religious experiences…Buddhist monks are reading physics books and learning about experiments that confirm what they have believed in their hearts for centuries and have been unable to quantify. (I will connect his url. Meanwhile it is on my del.icio.us).