Thursday, May 26, 2011

Remembering Brecht fondly...

On the Critical Attitude

The critical attitude
Strikes many people as unfruitful
That is because they find the state
Impervious to their criticism
But what in this case is an unfruitful attitude
Is merely a feeble attitude. Give criticism arms
And states can be demolished by it.

Canalising a river
Grafting a fruit tree
Educating a person
Transforming a state
These are instances of fruitful criticism
And at the same time instances of art.

Bertolt Brecht


A Persian proverb tells us that doubt is the key to knowledge. Descartes "cogito ergo sum" seems to sum it up. T.S. Eliot claims that criticism is as inevitable as breathing.

Questions, questions and more questions, and the answer is another question. Oh, what a happy happy world. Never definite, hence never insipid. I shall always be happy as long as I am free to ask what, why, when, where, who and how. I may not always acknowledge that felicity, but I am sure (or am I?)that my subconscious somewhere recognises that incertitude liberates me.