By Stanley Cavell
This paintings is an creation to the lifetime of philosophy within the usa, as Emerson as soon as lived it, in all its topographical ambiguity.
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Extra info for A Pitch of Philosophy: Autobiographical Exercises (The Jerusalem-Harvard Lectures)
More particularly, it is an image in which the spade may be taken as a figure for a writing implement-not in itself a very original idea perhaps (another elaborated instance of it occurs in the chapter "The Bean Field" in Walden), but heightened here by the connection with the hardness of the ground, hence with cultivation, and the limits of cultivation, as the destiny of the implement. It took years of experience in graduate school before I could quite recognize the degree of nervous laughter or outright contempt such a reading can elicit quite generally among teachers and students of philosophy, a degree well beyond a response to ordinary incompetence or inconsequence.
It does not seem irrelevant to me that it is the writing of two women, within the realm of publicly citable material, that I have adduced as attesting to such a perspective: Melanie Klein's descriptions of earliest childhood in terms of paranoid and depressive positions, and Elizabeth Bishop's autobiographical poem "Visits to St. ) My first open recognition that I had my own knowledge of this condition, specifically of a sense of isolation more extreme than I could say, or felt could be told-a condition I knew that I had both to escape Philosophy and the Arrogation of Voice 23 and to preserve-took the form, the summer after I graduated from high school, of a determination to change my name.
It was 1935, a date colored in America, among other things, by its participation in the remarkably named Great Depression. My father's various tries at making a living from a succession of jewelry stores in Atlanta and in Miami had come to nothing. Hearing of this, the adventurous one among his brothers, who had made his way West while the rest of his family had settled . :ther in New York or in the South, offered my father a job in his pawn shop, by far, it turned out, the most prominent and successful in Sacramento.