Wednesday, March 30, 2011

HARRY EVERYDAY

Too communist to be a romantic, too romantic to be a communist, his oeuvre bewilders and bedazzles, defies pigeonholing and classification, and makes a mockery of the disciplinary border patrols now stifling corporate universities, University, Inc. Who could conceive Professor Henri fidgeting nervously at the next departmental research evaluation or getting the gripes about tenure when so much more is now at stake? “I am in essence,” he stated in La Somme et le Reste, “oppositional, a heretic. . . . I pronounce myself irreducibly against the existing order . . . against a ‘being’ that searches for justifications beyond judgment. I think the role of thought is to harry what exists by critique, by irony, by satire. . . . I refuse to condemn spontaneity, that of the masses and that of the individual, even when it tends to be thoughtless, humorous, and bitterly ironic. I merit the value of spontaneity; life shouldn’t fall from above and rest heavily; and everyday life and humanity aren’t the realization of politics, morality, the state and Party.”

Andy Merrifield, Henri Lefebvre  A Critical Introduction, Routledge, New York, 2006: p.xxiv/xxv

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