a writing cabin, shed, hut…


It is not uncommon to mark one’s reservation at the Arcadian settings so favored by these huts, as if marking the shape of distance that serious writing must take – distance from technology, from the modern, from the city. Is there not something politically anachronistic about the image of the water trough outside Heidegger’s hut, where a spring unfailingly flows? Is anything like a progressive stance compatible with such atavistic images? Is there not a tacit repudiation of a different style of critique – the sort leveled by (say) the peripatetic eye of a Walter Benjamin at our urban Arcades? Politically perhaps Hannah Arendt had it right: “Flight from the world … can always be justified as long as reality is not ignored but acknowledged as the thing that must be escaped.” (“Men in Dark Times”). More broadly, might it not be that the bland space of the cabin, like the yellow pad, or the laptop screen, is something of a neutral ground making room for the refiguration or transformation of the real – not a flight in the sense of repudiation of the real, rather relief from the pressure of its organizing principles.

more from David Wood at The Opinionater here.