[lit-ideas] Re: Tasting: the preparatory text

  • From: "Walter C. Okshevsky" <wokshevs@xxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx, cblists@xxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sun, 19 Jul 2009 15:25:42 -0230

Quoting cblists@xxxxxxxx:

> On 14-Jul-09, at 12:31 AM, I wrote:
> >
> > On 13-Jul-09, at 9:15 PM, Walter C. Okshevsky wrote:
> >
> >> On a tangential note (ouch), I am intrigued by the question of how  
> >> Oregonians go about "preparing" for the Tasting. Does it involve  
> >> particular techniques and exercises preparing the tongue, nose and  
> >> palate for maximal identification of whiskey qualia? Deep breathing  
> >> exercises? Would reading aloud a passage from a philosopher  
> >> maximize the senses and sensibilities? And if so, which  
> >> philosophers' writings would be most efficacious in facilitating  
> >> the requisite experiences?
> >
> > One must obviously start with a group reading of Paul Guyer's KANT  
> > AND THE CLAIMS OF TASTE (Cambridge and New York: Cambridge  
> > University Press, 1997).
> That's THE reading from the philosophy 'side'.  On the LITERARY side,  
> the author of note is indubitably Proust:
> "Let a good scotch, once tasted, be tasted again in the present and at  
> the same time in the past, real without being actual, ideal without  
> being abstract, and immediately the permanent and habitually concealed  
> essence of things is liberated and our true self which seemed - had  
> perhaps for long years seemed - to be dead but was
> not altogether dead, is awakened and reanimated as it receives the  
> celestial nourishment that is brought to it. A minute freed from the  
> order of time has re-created in us, to feel it, the man freed from the  
> order of time. And one can understand that this man should have  
> confidence in his joy,... one can understand that the word 'death'  
> should have no meaning for him; situated outside time, why should he  
> fear the future?"
> (from Marcel Proust, REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS PAST, 'Time Regained', p.  
> 906)
> Chris Bruce,
> imbibing in spirit only, in
> Kiel, Germany
> P.S.: Once more I have slightly altered the original text; in this  
> case however, I think I have not caused deviation from the author's  
> original intent in the slightest.  The change is as follows: the  
> original line read "Let a noise or scent, once heard or once smelt, be  
> heard or smelt again" - I have merely replaced a general 'smelling or  
> hearing' with a more particular 'tasting'.
> I am indebted to A.W. Moore for recalling this passage to my memory by  
> quoting it on the (unnumbered) page facing the Table of Contents of  
> MORAL AND RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHY (London: Routledge, 2003).
> -cb
> --

Oy! Did Marcel have a day job? Devoutly to be wished had he not. (And it doesn't
get any better in the original, as I recall.) 

Chris's Hermeneutics of the Libational seems totally justified to me. I find
that Marcel's original intention in penning those words is admirably captured
by Chris's deconstructive efforts. Criticisms of such a Hermeneutic should be
curtailed, for if literary critics did not have such interpretive
licentiousness, the world of literary production would be sorely affected.
Without literary criticism, how would the world discover the true meanings of
our author's writings? (This of course does not apply in the world of
philosophy since a critic of philosophy is herself writing philosophy. There
may well be something spooky about such a state of affairs.)

Walter O.
E.D. Hirsch Jr. Jr. Chair of Comparative Literature
Department of Literary Distillation
University of Prague
Prague, Arizona

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