Plato and the English Romantics: Dialogoi

Plato and the English Romantics: Dialogoi

Plato and the English Romantics: Dialogoi

Plato and the English Romantics: Dialogoi

Excerpt

The present work is an exercise in intertextual hermeneutics. In accepting that literature and philosophy form a continuous text, it attempts to provide the space where the dialogue among texts, as well as that between 'reader' and 'text', can be carried out. It is not primarily an investigation of sources and influences, though it is an exploration into origins-the presuppositions conditioning the cultural span inhabited by the works under examination; such are basic Greek words, (etymology often acting as a point of departure into ontological linguistics). The underlying structure is the contradiction between 'identity' (Limit/Same) and 'difference' (Unlimited/Other) which, translated into mythological terms evinces the 'love-play' or 'discourse' of the Apollonian and Dionysian forces, and transferred into rhetorical tropes elicits 'metaphor'.

The ardent post-modern debate concerning the 'end' of metaphysics has triggered the urge to revisit the original site, the textual where metaphysics has its 'beginning', the Platonic Dialogues. Roaming about the discursive and imaginative landscape that provides the point of origination for the flight from the sensuous-Plato's alleged privileging of the transcendental signified over the empirical signifier-one realizes that what the text 'says' (despite what its characters sometimes 'speak') is a full immersion into the daily business of living. In their venture to grapple with the immediate problems of existence, the Platonic dialogues remain firmly set in the to and fro of 'everydayness'-the 'passion', the 'action', the 'discourse'. So I would argue that 'metaphysics' never really happens at the point of its supposed genesis, where physical desire () grounds meta-physical

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