Gepost door: Paul | september 27, 2006

Mission Muziris (1)

The work of an intellectual is not to shape other’s political will; it is, through the analysis that he carries out in his field, to question over and over again what is postulated as self-evident, to disturb people’s mental habits, the way they do and think things, to dissipate what is familiar and accepted, to reexamine rules and institutions and on the basis of this re-problematization (in which he carries out his specific task as an intellectual) to participate in the formation of a political will (in which he has his role as a citizen to play).

I must confess I shamelessly copied this citation of Michel Foucault (1988, 265) from Daniel Boyarin’s 2003 article ‘Semantic Differences; or, “Judaism”/”Christianity” ‘, without even looking up the reference, let alone having read Foucault’s book. Still, In all humility think the citation aptly covers the attitude I wish to present in Muziris: an attitude of asking questions, disturbing mental habits, dissipate what is familiar. As this is my tenth post, I believe I should write a little on my thoughts about this blog, to give my anonymous reader an idea of what this is al about.

For me this blog should be a learning experience. Not only do I hope to train my writing skills, both in Dutch and in English, I also hope I will teach myself some discipline by getting a post out at least once a week (and, mind you, not more often than twice a week!), and, most important, to train my analytical capacities en argumentation skills. So, please feel free to criticize my posts! I positively adore feedback…

I will try to achieve those personal goals by writing posts in three field: fiction, opinion, and history. The fiction posts I’ll mostly write in Dutch, the history posts in English. The language of the opinion posts will depend on the post’s topic. I’m no experienced fiction writer, I am not an opinion maker, and I am only an undergraduate student of History, so don’t expect to much….

Well, I’ll follow up this post some other time, as I’ve got to move – my train leaves in twenty minutes. I hope I didn’t bore you too much with this meta-post, next post will be al about content!



  1. First of all, I hope that you caught your train.

    Secondly, let me reassure you, you didn’t bore me with you meta-post. Well, as you’d hoped, at least not too much.

    Thirdly I am looking forward to reading your next posts both in Dutch and English. I hope that I can make a modest contribution by asking you questions, dissipating what is familiar to you and of course disturbing your mental habits.

    Finally my only and most sincere motive for giving you my slightly critical feedback is, of course – sans doute – making you feel positively adored…..

  2. to much -> too much!

    otherwise, i really like this. i think i shall steal the foucault quote for my own devious purposes

    an intellectual = an armchair anarchist

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