Cosmos — World — Field — Field — World — Cosmos

Byung-Chul Han
The Scent of Time
Translated by Daniel Steuer

Out of nothing, narration makes world. […] The world becomes readable, like a picture. You need only let your gaze move here, move there, in order to read the sense, the meaningful order, off it. Everything has its place — that is, its meaning — within a firmly set order (the cosmos). […] Events take place in fixed relations with each other, they form meaningful chains.

I would substitute field for cosmos and open a space for interbeing with an eye on the formulation of possible worlds — a world is a field with objects primed for action — everything has a place that can shift. Chains are the links.

Han hints at this notion of world as a state of affairs arising out of field in the characterization of a contemporary aesthetic sensitive to sequences:

The end of the linear constitution of the world not only results in loss. It also makes possible new forms of being and perceiving. Progressing gives way to hovering (Schweben). Our perception becomes sensitized to non-casusal relations. The end of that narrative linearity, whose strict selectivity forces events on to a narrow path, makes it necessary to find orientation and to be able to move, amidst a high density of events. The arts and music of today also reflect this new form of perception. Aesthetic tension is not created by a narrative development, but by the superimposition and compression of events.

Han’s theme of lingering (in the face of an age of haste) and his survey of how different historical orders shape the experience of time invites a reflection on how sequences are read off worlds and how narrativity leads to narration which leads to world and narrative… go slow go far.

And so for day 2836
17.09.2014

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