One should therefore assume the risk of countering Levinas’s position with a more radical one: others are primordially an (ethically) indifferent multitude, and love is a violent gesture of cutting into this multitude and privileging a One as the neighbor, thus introducing a radical imbalance into the whole. In contrast to love, justice begins when I remember the faceless many left in shadow in this privileging of the One. Justice and love are thus structurally incompatible: justice, not love, has to be blind, it has to disregard the privileged One whom I “really understand.” What this means is that the Third is not secondary: it is always-already here, and the primordial ethical obligation is towards this Third who is NOT here in the face to face relationship, the one in shadow, like the absent child of a love-couple. This not simply the Derridean-Kierkegaardian point that I always betray the Other because toute autre est un autre, because I have to make a CHOICE to SELECT who my neighbor is from the mass of the Thirds, and this is the original sin-choice of love. The structure is similar to the one described by Emile Benveniste apropos verbs: the primordial couple is not active-passive, to which the neutral form is then added, but active and neutral (along the axis of engaged-disengaged). The primordial couple is Neutral and Evil (the choice which disturbs the neutral balance), or, grammatically, impersonal Other and me – “you” is a secondary addition.- Slavoj Zizek, "Smashing the Neighbors Face"
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Friday, May 24, 2013
- William Shakespeare, Sonnet #71
No longer mourn for me when I am dead,
Than you shall hear the surly sullen bell
Give warning to the world that I am fled
From this vile world with vilest worms to dwell:
Nay if you read this line, remember not,
The hand that writ it, for I love you so,
That I in your sweet thoughts would be forgot,
If thinking on me then should make you woe.
O if (I say) you look upon this verse,
When I (perhaps) compounded am with clay,
Do not so much as my poor name rehearse;
But let your love even with my life decay.
Lest the wise world should look into your moan,
And mock you with me after I am gone.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
A more than sufficient reason for maintaining the notion of hysteria is that the status of the subject as such is ultimately hysterical. That is to say, when Lacan asserts that the most succinct definition of the subject is 'that which is not an object', the apparent banality of this claim should not deceive us: the subject--in the precise psychoanalytic sense of the subject of desire--exists only in so far as the question remains open of what she is for the Other as an object, that is, I am a subject in so far as the radical perplexity persists as to the Other's desire, as to what the Other sees (and finds worthy of desire) in me. In other words, when Lacan claims that there is no desire without an object-cause, this does not amount to the banality according to which every desire is attached to its objective correlative: the 'lost object' which sets the subject's desire in motion is ultimately the subject herself, and the lack in question concerns her uncertainty as to her status for the Other's desire. In this precise sense, desire is always desire of the Other: the subject's desire is the desire to ascertain her status as the object of the Other's desire.- Slavoj Žižek, "The Indivisible Remainder: On Schelling and Related Matters" (London: Verso, 1996 & 2007). The preceding citations were from the 2007 edition pp. 163-165.
The status of the Lacanian 'Che vuoi?', 'What do you want?, is thus radically ambiguous. On the one hand, it emanates from the Other--that is to say, it stands for the question the big Other (the analyst) addresses to the (hysterical) subject whose desire is inconsistent and, as such, self-impeding: 'What do you actually want? Do you really want what you are saying you want?' On the other hand, 'Che vuoi?' articulates the perplexity of the subject himself confronted with an impenetrable Other who wants something from him, although the subject is never able to ascertain what this something actually is [....] I, the subject, never know what I really want, since the Other's desire remains forever an enigma... to me....
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
-William Blake, "The Garden of Love" (1789)
I went to the Garden of Love,
And saw what I never had seen:
A Chapel was built in the midst,
Where I used to play on the green.
And the gates of this Chapel were shut,
And Thou shalt not. writ over the door;
So I turn'd to the Garden of Love,
That so many sweet flowers bore.
And I saw it was filled with graves,
And tomb-stones where flowers should be:
And Priests in black gowns, were walking their rounds,
And binding with briars, my joys & desires.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Man wants to be loved for what he truly is; which is why the archetypal male scenario of the trial of woman's love is that of the prince from a fairy tale who first approaches his beloved under the guise of a poor servant, in order to insure that the woman will fall in love with him for himself, not for his princely title. This, however, is precisely what a woman doesn't want-and is this not yet another confirmation of the fact that woman is more subject than man? A man stupidly believes that, beyond his symbolic title, there is deep in himself some substantial content, some hidden treasure which makes him worthy of love, whereas a woman knows that there is nothing beneath the mask-her strategy is precisely to preserve this 'nothing' of her freedom, out of reach of man's possessive love...- Slavoj Zizek, Woman is one of the names of the father
A recent English publicity spot for a beer renders perfectly what Lacan aims at with his notion that "... there is no sexual relation". Its first part stages the well-known fairy tale anecdote: a girl walks along a stream, sees a frog, takes it gently into her lap, kisses it, and of course, the ugly frog miraculously turns into a beautiful young man. However, the story isn't over yet: the young man casts a covetous glance at the girl, draws her towards himself, kisses her, and she turns into a bottle of beer the man triumphantly holds in his hand... For the woman, the point is that her love and affection (signalled by the kiss) turn a frog into a beautiful man, a full phallic presence (in Lacan's mathemes, Phi); for the man, it is to reduce the woman to a partial object, the cause of his desire (in Lacan's mathemes, the objet petit a). On account of this asymmetry the relationship is impossible: we have either a woman with the frog or a man with the bottle of beer; what we can never obtain is the natural couple of the beautiful woman and man... To conclude, two clichés are to be avoided apropos of the hysterical nature of feminine subjectivity:
-on the one hand, the dismissive treatment of the (feminine) hysterical subject as a confused babbler unable to confront reality, and therefore taking refuge in impotent theatrical gestures (an example from the domain of political discourse: from Lenin onwards, Bolsheviks regularly stigmatized their liberal political opponents as hysterics who "do not know what they effectively want");
-on the other hand, the false elevation of hysteria to a protest, through woman's body language, against male domination: by means of hysterical symptoms, the (feminine) subject signals her refusal to act as the empty screen or medium for the male monologue.
Hysteria has to be comprehended in the complexity of its strategy as a radically ambiguous protest against Master's interpolation which simultaneously bears witness to the fact that the hysterical subject needs a Master, that she cannot do without a Master, so that there is no simple and direct way out. For that reason, one should also avoid the historicist pitfall of rejecting the notion of hysteria as belonging to a bygone era, i.e., the notion that today borderline disturbances, not hysteria, are the predominant form of "discontent" in our civilization: borderline is the contemporary form of hysteria, i.e., of the subject's refusal to accept the predominant mode of interpolation whose agent is no longer the traditional Master but the expert-knowledge of the discourse of Science. In short, the shift from the classic form of hysteria to borderline disturbances is strictly correlative with the shift from the traditional Master to the form of Power legitimized by Knowledge.
A more than sufficient reason for maintaining the notion of hysteria is that the status of the subject as such is ultimately hysterical. That is to say, when Lacan asserts that the most succinct definition of the subject is 'that which is not an object', the apparent banality of this claim should not deceive us: the subject-in the precise psychoanalytic sense of the subject of desire-only exists insofar as the question remains open of how much of an object she is for the Other, i.e., I am a subject insofar as the radical perplexity persists as to the Other's desire, as to what the Other sees (and finds worthy of desire) in me. In other words, when Lacan claims that there is no desire without an object-cause, this does not amount to the banality according to which every desire is attached to its objective correlative: the 'lost object' which sets in motion my desire is ultimately the subject herself, and the lack in question concerns her uncertainty as to her status for the Other's desire. In this precise sense, desire is always desire of the Other: the subject's desire is the desire to ascertain her status as the object of the Other's desire.
Saturday, May 18, 2013
1) Rhizomic "connections" are based upon "erotic" principles (desire vs. power)Deleuze and Guattari, "A Thousand Plateaus"
2) Multiplicities (ie wasp/orchid) attracted and territorialized/deterritorialized to form a new assemblage (rhizome) via mechanics and/or linguistic principles (plane of consistency [imminent] or plane of organization [transcendental/law])
3) Pivotal Unities are hierarchical
4) Asignifying rupture (old structure re-purposed to serve new) rhizome formed from "new line of flight") (ie - hand=deterritorialized paw; mouth=deterritorialized eating for language; skateboard=deterritorialized surfboard)
5) Cartography (Rhizome creates never finished maps) vs Decalcimania (tracings/finished products/not revisable - ie -Freudian Psychoanalysis)
6) The culture is the enemy.. the object to be be used to re-purpose the "subject" for "subjects" are features of planes of organization whereas planes of consistency have no "subjects" they only have "associations".
Friday, May 17, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Is not the ultimate American paranoiac fantasy that of an individual living in a small idyllic Californian city, a consummerist paradise, who suddenly starts to suspect that the world he lives in is a fake, a spectatle staged to convince him that he lives in a real world, while all people around him are effectively actors and extras in a gigantic show? The most recent example of this is Peter Weir's The Truman Show (1998), with Jim Carrey playing the small town clerk who gradually discovers the truth that he is the hero of a 24-hours permanent TV show: his hometown is constructed on a a gigantic studio set, with cameras following him permanently. Sloterdijk's "sphere" is here literally realized, as the gigantic metal sphere that envelopes and isolates the entire city. This final shot of The Truman Show may seem to enact the liberating experience of breaking out from the ideological suture of the enclosed universe into its outside, invisible from the ideological inside. However, what if it is precisely this "happy" denouement of the film (let us not forget: applauded by the millions around the world watching the last minutes of the show), with the hero breaking out and, as we are led to believe, soon to join his true love (so that we have again the formula of the production of the couple!), that is ideology at its purest? What if ideology resides in the very belief that, outside the closure of the finite universe, there is some "true reality" to be entered?Zizek, "The Matrix, or Two Side of a Perversion"
Sunday, May 5, 2013
Friday, May 3, 2013
Faust. The being of such gentlemen as you, indeed,- Goethe, "Faust"
In general, from your titles one can read.
It shows itself but all too plainly when men dub
You Liar or Destroyer or Beelzebub.
Well now, who are you then?
Mephistopheles. Part of that Power which would
The Evil ever do, and ever does the Good.
Faust. A riddle! Say what it implies!
Mephistopheles. I am the Spirit that denies!
And rightly too; for all that doth begin
Should rightly to destruction run;
'Twere better then that nothing were begun.
Thus everything that you call Sin,
Destruction - in a word, as Evil represent-
That is my own, real element.
Faust. You call yourself a part, yet whole you're standing there.
Mephistopheles. A modest truth do I declare.
A man, the microcosmic fool, down in his soul
Is wont to think himself a whole,
But I'm part of the Part which at the first was all,
Part of the Darkness that gave birth to Light,
The haughty Light that now with Mother Night
Disputes her ancient rank and space withal,
And yet 'twill not succeed, since, strive as strive it may,
Fettered to bodies will Light stay.
It streams from bodies, it makes bodies fair,
A body hinders it upon its way,
And so, I hope, it has not long to stay
And will with bodies their destruction share.
Faust. Now I perceive your worthy occupation!
You can't achieve wholesale annihilation
And now a retail business you've begun.
...only that which "grants" endures (Hediegger).