Goethe vs. Petronius and also de Certeau

Posted in Texts by chrisfremantle on September 9, 2009

Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness concerning all acts of initiative (and creation).
There is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definately commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occured.
A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in ones favor all manner of unforseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no person could have dreamed would have come his way.
Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.
Begin it now.



We trained hard; but it seemed that every time that we were beginning to form into a team we would be reorganised. I was to learn later in life that we tend to meet any new situation by reorganising, and a wonderful method it can be for creating an illusion of progress while producing confusion, inefficiency and demoralisation.

Titus Petronius


“In him, the productivist law that requires a specific assignment (the condition of efficiency) and the social law that requires circulation (the form of exchange) enter into contradiction. To be sure, a specialist is more and more often driven to also be an Expert, that is, an interpreter and translator of his competence for other fields. … They do it through a curious operation which “converts” competence into authority. Competence is exchanged for authority. Ultimately, the more authority the Expert has, the less competence he has, up to the point where his fund of competence is exhausted, like the energy necessary to put a mobile into movement.”

de Certeau

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