Details Knowing the World: From Hierarchy to Continuities

Călina PĂRĂU
Details Knowing the World: From Hierarchy to Continuities
Babeș-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca
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Taking the early-modern Enlightenment or the Baroque Era as our conceptual and theoretical frame, we will look for the beginning of a new mode of integrating and understanding detail and, thus, the distribution of the responsibilities and the capacities to remember and to forget. The schema of thought we will follow in the texts we put together in the succession of the arguments is the fall of the hierarchical Neoplatonic model of the world into fragments, multiplicities and scattered perspectives which, after the inability to be regained by wholeness inside a system of the world, explode into what we will call the tragedy of infinite detail. Inside a pulverized universe, the task of forgetting becomes a strategy of the particular in re-composing the world from every single possible perspective. Constellations and abundances will replace hierarchic contribution in arranging and remembering the world from a finite condition. How is abandoned detail, as a rest of narratives, going to impair a Baroque world model that aimed at going beyond the surfaces in search of that deeper layer of reality? The ephemeral and obscurity come into discussion as changing perceptual categories that determine degrees of belonging and reality. Starting from one of Jorge Luis Borges' short-stories we will talk about the horror of infinity and the impossibility of totalization as they came to be inherited by modernism and post-modernism from the very roots of 17th century's disquiets. Thus, we will be able to trace a continuity between the Baroque way of formulating detail and the post-modern infinite free play of significance.