[NB] Bland Insight

This post circles around Francois Jullien’s In Praise of Blandness. I first encountered Jullien during my “if I see a Zone Book I read it” phase of my college library wanderings. I stumbled into In Praise of Blandness (also a Zone Book) at a used bookstore and picked it up for old time’s sake.

This book fits into Jullien’s long-running argument about the distinctiveness of Chinese thought from Western European thought. I’m sympathetic to Jullien’s argument, but you can bracket whether or not he is precisely right about the question of cultural difference and appreciate his close portrait of a distinct form of conscious experience.

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[NB] Traits of Tradition

When folks start talking about getting back to ‘tradition,’ their is often a counter-cultural element at play. They are often defining tradition in counterpoint to ‘this modern life.’ There are reasons to be a little cautious of such gestures since they can become more protest than viable alternative, but there is something to this approach. The more we look at modernity, the more exceptional it seems.

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