Hovey Brock (MFA AP15): Adventures in the Panontikon

Participant Review: Hovey Brock

Hovey Brock (MFA AP15) wrote the following response to the two weeks of assigned readings for the Foundations of Criticism course:1) on Nietzsche (“On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense,” and 2) Alfred Jarry, “Ubu Roi.” Rather than respond in a discursive manner Brock invented his own space-time continuum featuring Nietzsche as a vitamin (Vitamin N) and Jarry as the intellectual progenitor of a field of entirely new ontological possibilities.


 (for Alfred Jarry)

Panontikon: (def) the imaginary collection of all possible beings (from the Greek παν (entire) οντ- (being) εικών (image))

“As a means for the preserving of the individual, the intellect unfolds its principal powers in dissimulation…” - Friedrich Nietzsche, “On Truth and Lies in a Non-Moral Sense”


He had entered the Panontikon, the place where every possible ontology—comprising entities, non-entities, even particularly boring people—was represented through a constantly shifting exchange of images, gestures, words and all kinds of events. Everything was booming, buzzing confusion.There was no place to get a foothold—there wasn’t even any ground. He had never encountered such pure chaos—well maybe the Lexington line at rush hour. It was terrifying. He knew he shouldn’t have taken so much Vitamin N but he couldn’t help it.The first time was kind of lame—he mostly felt a strong urge to listen to Wagner while translating Sanskrit but even then the incredible lightness of being made him want to try it again. Subsequent trips were much better—especially the one where he joined this weird cult in ancient Iran—but other Vitamin N-nauts had warned him about going too far too fast.”When you enter the Panontikon, it’s all over!”  It was a dare, really.This time he had taken Vitamin N while listening to Fire Sign Theater.Whoa Nelly!

Read More