In Other Words

November 28, 2011
Posted by Jay Livingston

From The Social Construction of Reality by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckman
Reciprocal typifications of actions are built up in the course of a shared history. . . .

The habitualizations and typifications undertaken in the common life of A and B, formations that until this point still had the quality of ad hoc conceptions of two individuals, now become historical institutions. . . . This means that the institutions that have now been crystallized . . . are experiences as existing over and beyond the individuals who “happen to” embody them at the moment. In other words, the institutions are now experienced as possessing a reality of their own, a reality that confronts the individual as external and coercive fact.
From Collected Poems, by Philip Larkin
The daily things we do
For money or for fun
Can disappear like dew
Or harden and live on.
Strange reciprocity:
The circumstance we cause
In time gives rise to us,
Becomes our memory.

No comments: