Dear Dispatches:

I was just reading this passage of Kant’s in _Poetic Force: Poetry After Kant_ by Kevin McLaughlin:

“Hence however much debate there may be about whether it is the statesman or the genereal who deserves the greater respect in comparison to the other,aesthetic judgment decides in favor of the latter. Even war, if it is conducted with order and reverence for the rights of civilians, has something sublime about it, and at the same time makes the mentality of the people who conduct it in this way all the more sublime, the more dangers it has been exposed to and before which it has been able to assert its courage; where a long peace causes the spirit of mere commerce to predominate, along with base selfishness, cowardice and weakness, and usually debases the mentality of the populace. (AA 5: 263; Critique of the Power of Judgment, 146)

McLaughlin is convinced that poets are those who experience the community making force of appearances before they become possessed by meaning. They are, I guess, at war for/with the real. This poetic force is actually an un-force, or withdrawal from, of communicability

Chris Chapman