Sunday, 25 September 2011
More Comments on Charles Johnson: Embracing the World
I just wanted you to know that I just received my copy of Charles Johnson: Embracing the World. That condensed biography is phenomenal. What would the non-condensed version look like? The text is multifaceted, rich, and global. I like the subtitle; it speaks to Chuck's cosmopolitan sensibilities, his complex identity, and the universal thrust of his ideas, narratives, and motifs captured in his philosophical fiction. The fact that there are so many genres of writing within the text is evidence enough of the plural and inexhaustible style of Chuck. Of course, his work is also deeply pragmatic, but by no means ad hoc. He is a principled writer, ethically and stylistically. His work is indeed an attempt to embrace the world and thereby militates against myopia, sectarianism and unnecessary tribal perspectives. There is something in his writing that paradoxically captures with great precision that space of the human as expressed within the mundane of everyday life. Yet, his work has a vertical axis that never forgets the mystery of human existence. I think that he is motivated from both places, fully grounded and yet transcendent. He is able to touch our emotions in their raw and ever evolving states and yet capture something of the universal human spirit that is always already deferred, postponed. Perhaps this dynamic of deferral is due to the multiple manners-of-given-ness of human reality. Human reality is a process that is inexhaustible, something that stays just beyond the reach of the writer's pen. It teases, showing us exhilarating flashes. Yet, it remains ultimately concealed, one more step ahead.
Thanks for putting this together and for including my voice within it.
Dr. George Yancy is Associate Professor of Philosophy & Coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Speaker Series at Duquesne University, USA.