Too Late Too Early
by Remo Guidieri
EP 9: REMO GUIDIERI’S book, TOO LATE TOO EARLY: AN ESSAY, “renders an account of the aesthetic needs that Modernity has called into being which are nourished by an even more powerful necessity: a permanently dissatisfied will in which forms express the dark side of consciousness with a presumptuously regulated Economy split between rarity and waste. Kitsch, ‘high’ and ‘low’, is the phenomenon (habit, style, taste) that most enigmatically embodies this process. It is clear that the endless syndrome of production and consumption has become the dominating trend in the world today, with no signs of saturation. Too Late Too Early lays bare some disparate paradigms, which are also fundamentals (desire, illusion, sin) inherited from our Western tradition, and makes several plausible remarks on some older polarities — the Dionysian and the Apollinian — endorsing the non-human side of our need for forms and tools. There emerges a related conception of time, proper to late Modernity, whose motto appears in the title of this essay.”
REMO GUIDIERI’s philosophical essay, TOO LATE TOO EARLY, deals with issues of kitsch, economics, and temporality within the larger paradigm of late Modernity. Guidieri writes: “Neither the arts nor philosophy can suggest any good metaphors or even any enigmatic omens that would be capable of orienting us. Too late to rekindle the illusions of history. But have we really abandoned it? Or have we abandoned it too early? Doesn’t it still contain some conspicuous residues, cumbersome but not useless, since the decline of the messianic and the subsequent decline of History as Reason didn’t leave the world empty? It promises only to continue, but without any illusions.”
REMO GUIDIERI, born in Turin, Italy, teaches anthropology and aesthetics at Nanterre University, Paris; Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris; Cooper Union (School of Architecture), New York. He is co-founder of Res: Journal of Anthropology and Aesthetics (Peabody Museum, Cambridge, Mass.), and the author of La route des morts, (1920), L’abondance des pauvres (1983), Cargo (1987), Chronique du neutre et de l’aureole (1991), Senz’ autunno né tuoni (1997), Pandora’s Box (1997), Fantasmagoria di fetticio e di icona (1998), Argonautics: Philosophical Flâneries (1998).
REMO GUIDIERI’S, TOO LATE TOO EARLY: AN ESSAY is his second book published in America. First edition paperback, May 1999, 88 pp., sewn, bound and printed in Italy, with a two-color cover, and a black and white photograph of the artist on the frontispiece.