Saturday, May 10, 2003

If utopian thinking is a re-making of "the third"—that which stands between and in and around any monad or dialogue, any subject and object (Heidegger's das Man), what is pastoral? A fictive removal of the third so that the subject or the subject and object can imagine what it would like to be alone with "Nature" (which is never the third)? Or is it simply an outlining of the third in negative space: Roman society becomes visible through what's left out of the Eclogues? What about Biblical pastoral, if there is such a thing—Abraham and his flocks? Job and his kine? The third there is God. Perhaps pastoral is simply the hypostaziation of the third into a necessarily simpler form. Pastoral is false, but the false can serve a purpose. When the lie is discarded what remains?

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