Following the nautical theme, one can go sailing over the horizon and end up somewhere outside. The following thoughts, also torn out of Conrad, complement nicely an earlier post, Society is Abstract.
“Few men realize that their life, the very essence of their character, their capabilities and their audacities, are only the expression of their belief in the safety of their surroundings. The courage, the composure, the confidence; the emotions and principles; every great and every insignificant thought belongs not to the individual but to the crowd: to the crowd that believes blindly in the irresistible force of its institutions and of its morals, in the power of its police and of its opinion.”
So much for art as critique. The inhuman is the only stance from which a critique is possible. How can the inhuman be found? Today, science and modernist formalism are the only ships that go that way—that I know of, although I’m willing to be instructed.