In another mental constellation, can we imagine time becoming a sort of space in which you can move in all directions, return to the point of origin etc.? Conversely, could space become like time: irreversible, so that you can't retrace your steps or get back to the point you started from? Or having, like time, its absolute horizon: eternity? What would be the equivalent of eternity where space is concerned? the negation of motion, stillness, or perpetual motion?
The events of a thousand years ago have shot off a thousand light years into space. Hiroshima is already sixty light years off. The moment that has just passed is already a light-second away. There is, then, no presence. Even if the discrepancy is infinitesimal, nothing is ever present - neither the wall nor the person opposite. we are barely even contemporaneous with our own existences.
Presumptiousness of the artist (John Cage; Bob Wilson?). 'We dream for those people who have no dreams of their own to keep them alive'. Always the same condescension - even worse when it relates to dreams and mental faculties.
We should invent days without afternoons, nights that stop before the dawn, seasons overlap at a quicker and quicker pace, a year that ends before beginning, and an endless alternation of joy and adversity.
What is exceptional hardly deserves to live. What is banal does not even deserve to die.
Everything is becoming functional. irony is disappearing in the critical function, the word is disappearing in its phatic function. Worse: critique, ethics, aesthetics become functions of each other, as they wait to become useless functions.
The best thing would perhaps be to remove consciousness surgically in utero, together with irony, criticism and intelligence - all those qualities that are so fragile and so dangerous to existence in general.
At last, a genuine madman in the street - someone who doesn't need a mobile phone to talk to himself.
All these novels in which the authors try desperately to dramatize their own histories, their experience,s to recount their own psychological dramas - this is not literature. It is secretion, just like bile, sweat or tears - and, sometimes even, excretion. It is the literary transcription of 'reality television'. It is all the product of a vulgar unconscious not unlike a small intestine, around which roam the phantasms and affects of those who, now they've been persuaded they have an inner life, don't know what to do with it.
To move in the space of deafness is like moving in an aquatic milieu. the same foetal, amniotic strangeness, the same cautiousness of gesture, the same mental lethargy - the same silence of the depths: it isn't you who are deaf, it's the world that's dumb. But the inner noise, the organic murmur is there. the body is all ears towards the inside.
Against Machiavelli's Prince, a treatise on the ploys of domination, we should set a treatise on the ruses of servitude. Its ploys are not those of the lion, but of the fox; not those of the eagle, but of the moray eel and the chameleon.
The truth they defend is merely the astrological sign of their stupidity.
Memento mori: Not: remember that you must die, but: don't forget to die, remember to die (before it's too late).
'History is speeding up? No: history has stopped, but it has left us with the acceleration' (Philippe Muray).
Artificial intelligence? The intelligence has left it, but we are left with the artifice, which flourishes the better on the ruin of intelligence.
The extreme of happiness leaves room for only one question: might we not already be dead?
... there is too much of everything everywhere. Too many people, too many places too many images on television, 'too many notes in Mozart', too many ideas and too many words to express them - too many old people among the old, too many young people among the young. And, ultimately, the worst of it is that there's too much culture on France Culture.
... cancer is the epitome of all our pathologies: the subdivision of cells to infinity provides a reflection of the proliferation of everything, and of the species itself in its transgenic frenzy.
Already God existed only in the desperate attempt to prove his existence. It is the same today with human beings, whose existence we attempt desperately to verify by the very means that make it improbable.
Strange disappearance of the idea of solitude, of the pathos of solitude. No one speaks of it any more, no one feels it any more. there is today only psychical isolation, mental, sensory insulation. Everyone is deterritorialised, or rather extra-territorialised from inside. The melancholy tone has disappeared.
But haven't human beings had enough of their own consciousness anyway? Why deck machines out with it? Except to be rid of it? Passing consciousness and intelligence on to machines so as to be rid both of machines and intelligence.
A mad idea is to manipulate ape genetically to the point where they conceive the idea of suicide, which was previously the prerogative of human beings. The ape is developed to the point where it prefers to kill itself because it can no longer even see itself as an ape.
The cultural greenhouse effect: the toxic cloud caused by emissions from million of museums, festivals, conferences and symposiums is much more catastrophic than the disappearance of the ozone layer.
The asphyxia caused by the activity of thousands of creative brains damages the quality of life more certainly than all the world's industrial pollution.
In the cinematic studios of Vancouver, it is specified contractually that no one must look the stars in the eyes, 'for fear of disturbing them or breaking their concentration'.
Time tightens and condenses to the point where it no longer lets time pass. A substance so intense, so dense, that the future will not be able to pass through it.
Against the advice of doctors, the governor refuses to allow an incurably ill man to be put out of his misery. This is the other face of capital punishment. On day we shall have to fight for the abolition of the death penalty.
Shadows have always precede us, and they will outlive us. We were dead before we were alive, and we shall be again.
... speech always begins with stammering. Acts and action always begin with trembling. there is no continuum of the will. It acts on the body by fits and starts and is the product of an interval, a rapid alternation, between tension and release: to act is to produce a difference - even a slight one - between you and yourself. If you eliminate the intervals, tetany ensues: you shake all over.
We have lost our shadows, not simply for the lack of a light source, but for lack of a ground on which to shine. So, the trapeze artist doesn't need a net now, given the absence of ground to crash down on.
... everyone today, at the steering wheel or sitting in front of his screen, seeing all the world's events pass by as he pleases, can imagine himself the epicentre of universal consciousness, and see the world spirit pass before him (no need to be Hegel to see the Weltgeist pass by on horseback - Napoleon).
... the banalized individual has only to look at himself to see the Weltgeist pass by. The world spirit is full achieved, not now in the form of the state or the end of history, but in every monad that is now the centre of the universe.
The weakness of many novels and films can be seen in the fact that one is forced to interpret them ironically to find any depth in them.
One is everywhere trapped between a literal and an ironic reading. A more or less conscious calculation that aims to disorientate any value judgement. It is particularly flagrant in the field of art, where this studied vagueness as to how a work is to be read has supplanted illusion and aesthetic judgement.
Deep down, however, it is reality itself that has become so banal and insignificant that it has induced us into an ironic reading. It has become so homogenised that it breaks off from itself into a parallel reality. It is out of nostalgia that we embed it in another order: in the face of this insignificance, we are forced to hypothesise a more subtle realm beyond, a dimension beyond our grasp. A critical masochism by which all the speculative arts have found success.
Blanchot is dead and the homages are raining in.
He will have lost the gamble of effacing effacement, and his proselytes and commentators will, in the very glorification of silence, have missed a fine opportunity to be silent. He could not have been unaware, himself, that his self-effacement made him an object of insatiable curiosity (of an ironic kind, of course!), a thwarted great game, the absolute snobbery of absence.
Ultimately, though, Blanchot (like Duchamp) is the original and all the rest is a joke. All this subtle, non-academic philosophy, imbued with his ideas, all this philosophically correct philosophy of the unsaid, the forbidden and the inexpressible in the end merely reaps the dividends of an experience of thought that is not its own.
Moreover, there is no need whatever to be a philosopher to play that particular game (self-effacement). Everyone effaces himself but no one speaks about it. The entire history of ordinary life is one of an effacement much more radical than that of thought yearning to disappear.
Simple folk, the uneducated, the artless are the thought of Blanchot. They have succeeded in effacing effacement. The philosophical exigency is embodied in those who know nothing of it.
Baudrillard, Cool Memories V