For three years, out of key with his time, He strove to resuscitate the dead art Of poetry; to maintain "the sublime" In the old sense. Wrong from the start-- --Ezra Pound, Hugh Selwyn Mauberly
In the summer 2001, as a young doctoral student, I visited Steve Fuller at the University of Warwick for a few weeks. I clearly remember one of our meetings, probably near the end of the visit, to discuss something I had written. “When you first got here,” he said dryly, “you were writing prose.” That was true. I had been writing the sort of referential prose that was (and still is) familiar fare in Science and Technology Studies, and which Steve is something of a master of. One presents one’s thoughts as the natural continuation of one or another rationally reconstructed history of ideas in which one presumes to be a participant. But my “true Penelope” was Wittgenstein and this urbane pose was starting to cause a strain. I wanted to “provide a clear view of the language” to produce a “perspicous presentation”; indeed, I was trying to “get off the dead and desensitized surface of the reader’s mind and on to a part that will register,” as Pound had put it somewhere. “Philosophy must really only be composed in the manner of poetry,” said Wittgenstein. So I had stopped writing paragraphs and had begun making “remarks”. Wrong from the start?