Monday, July 19, 2010

Making the Law

Bruno Latour is a curious spectrum shift from Bucky. While Fuller offers a (historically imaginative) totalizing world view, Latour give is a microscopic look at French Administrative law. He outlines the movement, the verbs of the place-where people stand, how chairs move, how the files rotate, the organization and shifts in the mailboxes and the redirection in conversation. Latour is the HOW of how power moves, whereas Fuller is a broad stroke why.

The contrast is startling, but...useful. The frustration at Fuller's obsessive need to fit every bit of everything into his call to throw one's self into the cause of humanity is matched by an underlying frustration that Latour seems to be purposefully obfuscating his position as an agent and collector of information. He simply states what he sees at movement, or like an active verb, instances of shift or change, but refuses (so far p. 175) to make any broad social or narrative assumptions based on his observations.

Latour's openness to observe an institution is remarkably refreshing. I just hope it is not like so many modern novels where the words just end, right in the middle of a some larger narrative left for the reader to interpret. And yet, that is so often how it really is.

Somewhere between grand narrative and hands off narrative could be a good spot for me.


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