March 09, 2005

A Moebius Trip

"I love her. Why do I want to kill her?"

Taking up again the question of sovereignty.

It is the sovereignty of the other which would attract (one like) you in the first place and yet it is exactly this sovereignty which threatens to destroy you if it remains but a distancing device where one follows the other. Who looks for recognition? The sovereign was the King, God, the One - transcendental Other by which all other subjects were determined. It is only in recent history that the radically "individual" subject has posed itself. The history of the human species is from a real biological organizing principle to a symbolic cultural organizing principle - from mass to mass - yet with increasing differentiation or individuation. The symbolic itself inevitably leads to the individual subject. But there is as yet no individual subject - just the phantasm of the egobody and the discourse of the person regulating the theology of the current moment.

Yet in the alchemical transference of the dyad this is questioned. The rules break down and the sovereignty of the subject is revealed. That which escapes in the symptom - break down, crack up, disease, madness, stress, neurosis, crime, violence - so many emergent moments of subjectivity. The sovereign subject either degenerates into a master-slave dialectic in the functional couple or crashes and burns. We would rather start over with another lover than face the real.

Nietzsche posed the question long ago (and yet so recently). God is dead - and now? Bataille pointed out that Nietzsche's only limitation was not to restitch the end back to the beginning by speaking from the "I" - to reinscribe himself, his moment. Deleuze, Foucault, Baudrillard, and Lyotard have all elaborated a philosophical discourse of the real without managing to reinsert themselves through the axiomatic gesture. Poetics has considered this question, yet only within the safely sealed off domain of art. The issue is made clearest in Thierry de Duve's brilliant treatise on contemporary art "Kant after Duchamp": the only imperative is to invent the imperative. Without reinscribing his position into his work either this looks easy. But we can follow this dark night of the soul in something like Leonard Cohen's "Beautiful Losers" - while relieving ourselves that it is just a novel. Following Freud, Lacan waged war against philosophical closure through the eruption of the real in the contingent placement of the subject only to end analysis with this poetic gesture.

In "Inner Experience" Bataille alone speaks the universe from his limited point of the infinite. Klossowski's "Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle," Guattari's "Chaosmosis," and Badiou's "Logics of Worlds" are the first manuals on the production of subjectivity. As such they put the final piece of the puzzle in place. Not only even is it necessary to reinscribe oneself as the moment of creation back into the pure diagram of libidinal economy through the sovereign act of poetics, but this event is all that there ever is. The ontological real of being is the logical diagramming of relations of appearance - the symbolic as contingent symptomatic embrace in the amor fati of an eternal return. A Moebius trip

At the locus where these investigations of philosophy, analysis, and poetics have taken place the appearance of the new awaits itself. The fragments lay around us yet no one dares pick them up. Easier to invent a new theology of nihilism. I for one am seduced by the love of creative destruction. The Moebius strip is already posed in the yin-yang diagram of involution-evolution, intimate-extimate, enstasis-exstasis, thought-matter. I who am but a part of the furniture found this moment.

Posted by scott at March 9, 2005 04:29 PM | TrackBack