The critic is not the one who debunks, but the one who assembles. The critic is not the one who lifts the rug from under the feet of the naïve believers, but the one who offers the participants arenas in which to gather. The critic is not the one who alternates haphazardly between antifetishism and positivism like the drunk iconoclast drawn by Goya, but the one for whom, if something is constructed, then it means it is fragile and thus in great need of care and caution.
Bruno Latour, "Why Has Critique Run Out of Steam? From Matters of Fact to Matters of Concern"
There are creatures who suffer for hours and hours because they cannot be the figures in paintings or on playings cards. There are souls on whom not being able to be the people from the Middle Ages weighs like a malediction. I’ve had that problem. But not today.
Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet
A philosophy that doesn’t use the body as an active platform of technovital transformation is spinning in neutral. Ideas aren’t enough. ‘With 42,000 dead, art is not enough.’ Only art working together with biopolitical praxis can move.
Beatriz Preciado, Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs, and Biopolitics in the Pharmacopornographic Era, p. 359.
Even the blandest (or bluffest) "scholarly work" fears getting into trouble: less with the adversaries whose particular attacks it keeps busy anticipating than through what, but for the spectacle of this very activity, might be perceived as an overall lack of authorization. It is as though, unless the work at once assumed its most densely professional form, it would somehow get unplugged from whatever power station (the academy, the specialization) enables it to speak. Nothing expresses -- or allays -- this separation anxiety better than the protocol requiring an introduction to "situate" the work within its institutional and discursive matrix. The same nervous ritual that attests a positive dread of being asocial -- of failing to furnish the proper authorities with one's papers, and vice versa -- places these possibilities at an infinite remove from a writing whose thorough assimilation, courted from the start, makes it too readable to need to be read much further. If only for this reason, the moment when "explanations are in order" may rightly give rise to the desire to withhold them (like Balzac's Vautrin, whose last words to the police as they open his closets and seize his effects are "Vous ne saurez rien") long enough, at any rate, to draw attention to what is most compelling in the demand for them.
D.A. Miller, The Novel and the Police