11 October 2012

Emerson's Victory

Emerson said somewhere, "Let the victory fall where it may, we are on that side."

Now, one might interpret this as it is often interpreted: in a "transcendentally" optimistic fashion.  Silly old Emerson trying to mitigate pain and loss and possibly take on a Stoical acceptance of the fact that POWER (Roman State Power) is CRUSHING and what are we to do?

However, I think this is more plausibly an acknowledgement of ambiguity.

But let's look at it.

"Let" the victory...
Am I to believe that this sentence is directed at me as an agent?  And am I to be passive in this "battle?"

"the victory"
Any victory, any battle, any contention, any decision?

Again, passive?  REM, "don't fall on me..."  Is this implying a greater force is applied to all things above and beyond my control and/or understanding (it passeth).

"where it may"
Implying the where is ANYWHERE, anyhow, anywhen, anytime.

Me, all of us, a particular we?

Definitive as a predicate (and a declension of "to be") (declension?)

"THAT" side
that can indicate the side of victory, but it can also indicate the other side.

But the "that" and "side" then unravel the very idea of "side" as being distinct.  In essence Emerson has simply erased all his terms and showed that all of it is a particular frame and that any frame can be moved to show a different side in that moment.

We are all and/or nothing.  They are the same.  But this is not an optimism...to me it's simply a destruction of a stability, a foundational presentation is eroded in a seemingly innocuous and, to many readers, obnoxious transcendentalism.

It is a little bomb against orientation.

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