Literature, Psychoanalysis, and Trauma

| First posted on May 4, 2009 | Click Here to Listen | I philosophise only in terror, but in the confessed terror of going mad.[1]  Jacques Derrida The circle of the eternal return is a circle which is always excentric in relation to an always decentered center.[2] Gilles Deleuze  Architecture of The White Hotel   Published in 1981, D.M. … Continue reading Literature, Psychoanalysis, and Trauma

Science and Metaphysics in The Matrix and eXistenZ

| Listen on YouTube | Download PDF | In his Organs Without Bodies Slavoj Žižek points out Deleuze’s emphasis on the passage from metaphor and towards metamorphosis in terms of the difference between “machines replacing humans” and the “becoming-machine of humans.” The problem is not how to reduce mind to neuronal “material” processes (to replace the … Continue reading Science and Metaphysics in The Matrix and eXistenZ

Interview on Creativity in Literature, Cinema, and Philosophy

| By Simge Çerkezoğlu | 2 June 2018 | Video | | Arkın University of Creative Arts and Design | “Literature is to write what one has not personally experienced as well. The aim is to present quality works to the world of literature. And while doing this, I try to explain that in literature, in particular, one needs to write not just … Continue reading Interview on Creativity in Literature, Cinema, and Philosophy

Gilles Deleuze from A to Z: Dialogues with Claire Parnet | Documentary Film | 1996 |

DOWNLOAD or STREAM The eight-hour series of interviews between Gilles Deleuze and Claire Parnet, filmed by Pierre-André Boutang in 1988-1989...The individual episodes are: ‘A as in Animal’, ‘B as in “Boire” (Drink)’, ‘C as in Culture’, ‘D as in Desire’, ‘E as in “Enfance” (Childhood)’, ‘F as in Fidelity’, ‘G as in Gauche (Left)’, ‘H as … Continue reading Gilles Deleuze from A to Z: Dialogues with Claire Parnet | Documentary Film | 1996 |

Artaud, Deleuze, and the Will to Nothingness (Audio Essay)

This is a slice of my doctoral dissertation from back in 2009, first written in 2007. Bliss is to have the technology now making it possible to share it in this Audio/Video format after all these years. I'll further elaborate the effects of listening to one's old writings read out loud in the times to … Continue reading Artaud, Deleuze, and the Will to Nothingness (Audio Essay)

Hegel’s Night of the World: The Philosophy of Spirit (Jena Lectures)

PART I. Spirit according to its Concept A. Intelligence In Spirit, the subsistence of an object – its space – is Being. Being is the abstract, pure concept of subsistence. I and the thing are in space. Space is posited as essentially distinct from its content. It is not the essence of its fulfilment itself. … Continue reading Hegel’s Night of the World: The Philosophy of Spirit (Jena Lectures)

Alain Badiou: The Age of the Poets

To celebrate National Poetry Day in the UK, we present an extract from Alain Badiou‘s illuminating work revisiting the age-old problem of the relation between literature and philosophy, The Age of the Poets, looking at literature’s unique position between science and ideology. Badiou proposes the essential link between poetry and communism in the twentieth century, through the common good of language, and gives reason to both the writing and reading of poetry in a time of revolution.

Poetry and Communism

Alain Badiou / 06 October 2016 / Verso

In the last century, some truly great poets, in almost all languages on earth, have been communists. In an explicit or formal way, for example, the following poets were committed to communism: in Turkey, Nâzim Hikmet; in Chile, Pablo Neruda; in Spain, Rafael Alberti; in Italy, Edoardo Sanguineti; in Greece, Yannis Ritsos; in China, Ai Qing; in Palestine, Mahmoud Darwish; in Peru, César Vallejo; and in Germany, the shining example is above all Bertolt Brecht. But we could cite a very large number of other names in other languages, throughout the world.

Can we understand this link between poetic commitment and communist commitment as a simple illusion? An error, or an errancy? An ignorance of the ferocity of states ruled by communist parties? I do not believe so. I wish to argue, on the contrary, that there exists an essential link between poetry and communism, if we understand ‘communism’ closely in its primary sense: the concern for what is common to all. A tense, paradoxical, violent love of life in common; the desire that what ought to be common and accessible to all should not be appropriated by the servants of Capital. The poetic desire that the things of life would be like the sky and the earth, like the water of the oceans and the brush res on a summer night – that is to say, would belong by right to the whole world.

Poets are communist for a primary reason, which is absolutely essential: their domain is language, most often their native tongue. Now, language is what is given to all from birth as an absolutely common good. Poets are those who try to make a language say what it seems incapable of saying. Poets are those who seek to create in language new names to name that which, before the poem, has no name. And it is essential for poetry that these inventions, these creations, which are internal to language, have the same destiny as the mother tongue itself: for them to be given to all without exception. The poem is a gift of the poet to language. But this gift, like language itself, is destined to the common – that is, to this anonymous point where what matters is not one person in particular but all, in the singular.

Thus, the great poets of the twentieth century recognized in the grandiose revolutionary project of communism something that was familiar to them – namely that, as the poem gives its inventions to language and as language is given to all, the material world and the world of thought must be given integrally to all, becoming no longer the property of a few but the common good of humanity as a whole.

That is why one moment – a singular historic moment – has been sung by all the communist poets who wrote between the 1920s and 1940s: the moment of the civil war in Spain, which as you know ran from 1936 to 1939.


By PICASSO, la exposición del Reina-Prado. Guernica is in the collection of Museo Reina Sofia, Madrid. Source

Let us observe that the Spanish civil war is certainly the historic event that has most intensely mobilized all the artists and intellectuals of the world. On one hand, the personal commitment of writers from all ideological tendencies on the side of the republicans, including therefore the communists, is remarkable: whether we are dealing with organized communists, social democrats, mere liberals, or even fervent Catholics, such as the French writer Georges Bernanos, the list is extraordinary if we gather all those who publicly spoke out, who went to Spain in the midst of the war, or even entered into combat on the side of the republican forces. On the other hand, the number of masterpieces produced on this occasion is no less astonishing. I have already noted as much for poetry. But let us also think of the splendid painting by Pablo Picasso that is titled Guernica; let us think of two of the greatest novels in their genre: Man’s Hope by André Malraux and For Whom the Bell Tolls by the American Ernest Hemingway. The frightening and bloody civil war in Spain has illuminated the art of the world for several years.

Finish the chapter, and read more, in The Age of the Poets

Further reading:
César Vallejo’s 
‘Hymn to the Volunteers of the Republic’
Pablo Neruda’s ‘Arrival in Madrid of the International Brigade’
Works by Nâzim Hikmet and Bertolt Brecht

SubSense

The full book here.

“If the factory oscillates between pre-inscription and the unsayable, this is because it is caught in the trappings of its function as a machine and subtracted from its true essence, which is to be a political place, a production of truths.” – Alain Badiou

via A Requiem for the Factory — New Poetics of Labor

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The Immanence of Truths – Alain Badiou

  THE IMMANENCE OF TRUTHS is Alain Badiou's forthcoming sequel to Being and Event, and Logics of Worlds... Here is Terence Blake's translation of the book's contents page shared by François Nicolas... General Introduction Speculative Strategy Immanence, finitude, infinity The absolute ontological referent The two possible readings of this book Prologue. Formal Presentation of the absolute … Continue reading The Immanence of Truths – Alain Badiou

Altering the Supposedly Predestined Future: Utopia as Method, Structure, and Process

| Click Here to Listen | Recommended Voice: Hazel (English - GB) “It is easier, someone once said, to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism: and with that the idea of a revolution overthrowing capitalism seems to have vanished.” ~ Fredric Jameson, An American Utopia: Dual Power and the Universal Army. … Continue reading Altering the Supposedly Predestined Future: Utopia as Method, Structure, and Process

A Brief Note on Kant

Kant’s initial project was to explicate the difference between “knowing-what” (pure reason) and “knowing-how” (practical reason) in the way of laying the foundations of a scientific metaphysics. Counter to Descartes[1] and Hume[2] he aimed at situating the subject within the limits of what can be known by rational human beings. The Kantian subject is embodied, … Continue reading A Brief Note on Kant