An irony.... which is that although the world that glitters inside the gates is mostly a sham, you can lose your soul trying to get there. Something real is at stake in pursuit of an illusion.
(Lionel Trilling on "The Liberal Imagination"/ The New Yorker Magazine 09/08)


C is for culture/ culture-as-encounter

I don't believe in culture, to some extent, but rather I believe in encounters. But these encounters don't occur with people. People always think that it's with people that encounters occur, which is why it's awful... Now, in this, that belongs to the domain of culture, intellectuals meeting one another, this disgusting practice of conferences, this infamy. So encounters, it's not between people that they happen, but with things... So I encounter a... painting, yes, or a piece of music, that's how I understand an encounter. When people want to connect encounters to themselves, with people, well, that doesn't work at all... That's not an encounter, and that's why encounters with people are so utterly, utterly disappointing. Encounters with people are always catastrophic.

(Gilles Deleuze interviewed by Claire Parnet, 1988)