Dancing with Descartes

For several years, I had been working on the semiotics of tango, something I thought of calling, in reference to Roland Barthes, Tango Mythologies. The idea *was* to interpret the various elements that make up tango: cabaceo (exchange of glances), milonga space, music, lead-follow, shoes and fetishism, nostalgia, history. I wrote a lot, submitted several chapters to an editor, who liked one, but felt the other two a bit too memoir-like. Hmmph. ​

 

She was right. With a bit of distance, I didn't care much for my voice. So I went back to the drawing board, which really meant, going back to some older papers that I had tabled for a while. One of these was on Descartes, and specifically, these hydraulic fountains he describes as metaphors for man. 


And then it hit me: so much of what I was trying to write about in the tango project dovetailed precisely with my discussion of Descartes. So the overall project has shifted: Dancing with Descartes, and shifting between these two modes of experience.

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