Filed under: philosophy, difference, text, narrative, fiction, the political — sdv @ 06:25:47 pm

always like the notion of intertextuality, its the way it invites us, the reader to understand and interpret a text as a meeting of texts. In structuralist and formalist approaches to texts and reading this has been understood as source or quotation bound. But equally it can be understood as reintroducing history into structuralism and formalism,the texts that Duras and Burroughs read and which enabled The Sailor from Gibraltar and The Ticket that Exploded to exist, also introduce history into the experiments. Duras interest in revolution, Burroughs use of science fiction are useful materials for this method. But perhaps the delineating of the connections between the internals of a text and the externals demonstrate the extent to which both writer and reader are in process. Not for nothing do I mention those most carnivalesque and polyphonic of writers…


the politics of philosophy (notes)

Filed under: philosophy, difference, narrative, the political, spectacle — sdv @ 02:34:40 pm

To say that everything is political will always be a strange concept because people will continuously confuse politics with the exercise of power and the related struggle for power and control. But politics is not simply about power because as Ranciere says for politics to exist a particular sort of community has to come into existence. But even this is not an adequate description of why the ‘everything is political’ is essential. I would extend this with the proposition that not everything has a community, though it always has relationships. Ranciere assumes that politics is conflictual an argument across disagreements and (sometimes) differends, but this is not always the case. Because politics exists between any two beings, a man and woman together will constitute the moment in which the personal is always already political, even the act of walking down the street is always a political moment and act…

So that to read recent notes which try and define aspects of human activity as non- or a-political in any sense is interestingly enough to define precisely why these aspects are always already political or if you wish the always-becoming-political. The not so obvious obvious example below might help.

The politics of philosophy is different from the politics of the philosophers. Clearly the concept of the politics of philosophy does not reference the personal political engagements of the writers in the present or historical moments. And nor does it concern itself with the way they misrepresent society, politics or even the identities that don’t really exist in their texts. No what the concept discloses is that the politics of philosophy is political simply because it exists. The concept recognizes that on the philosophical plane there is a line of practice which is political and which is always synonymous with the philosophical practice. A practice which is usually not about the invention of concepts, but about the repetition of already existing concepts. This repetition is the central moment which demonstrates why philosophy is always political… for just as the man and woman together constitute a personal political moment because of their relationship so does the repetitive or constructive moment in philosophy. Perhaps we might say that the political always reconfigures what is perceived…

(should have referenced Lyotard more directly i suspect and perhaps the Ranciere text i was thinking of…)



Filed under: difference, text, narrative, the political — sdv @ 12:41:37 pm

I’m still not sure that the piece on post-humanism will end up being written, its not that the multiplicity of ideas don’t work, because with the research review I’m carrying out as I prepare my notes demonstrates and confirms that, but that the time necessary to turn them into something concrete doesn’t seem to be there. The actual world sits on the margins of the text, the keyboard even and demands more attention…


Leadership or Employees (power short version)

Filed under: event, text, narrative, the political, network — sdv @ 09:44:39 pm

Some years ago a place I worked in received, in the morning mail sack a bomb. It was sent from some Yorkshire based fascist group and contained enough explosive to maim or kill. In the moment of panic and virtual violence we called the police, along came the bomb squad and some armed officers, and they set about disarming the bomb they then disappeared leaving us to be interviewed by a second set of information gatherers.

Prior to this I might have thought of the police less ambiguously but after that moment of employment…. [’ur… please come we’ve got a terrorist bomb…’ ‘Ok we are on our way’] I realized later that after that moment and a few subsequent burglaries that Serres is correct in his analysis that they are our employees, people who we employ to carry out specialized tasks so that we do not have to.

So the question to ask about these functions is what do I want to do ? Become an expert in explosives ? Have to spy on my neighbour in case he’s abusing his wife ? In case she is abusing her children and animals ? Evaluate and judge whether this person should be allowed to work with children ? Evaluate which path should be relaid ? Judge whether Socrates should be accused ?

We could go on. But the point is that what might have been everyday actions have become roles and tasks carried out by others so that we don’t have to do them. You can interpret some of these roles as oppressive, the police, judiciary, politics, management and so on, but when the bomb arrives though the post who are you going to call ?

This may have the smell of liberalism, it smells of consequences, of course it does. But it is an alternative way of understanding what the chief of police does. The alternative is to nostalgically believe that these people are leaders who expect you to follow them like the main character in Celine’s Journey to the end of night blindly into the abyss, when you should be saying ’sorry, you work for me, don’t think the abyss is a good idea…’


Another memory goes with this

Filed under: event, difference, text, narrative, fiction, the political — sdv @ 01:20:59 pm

Another memory goes with this. At Cowes, one summer day, on the yacht which was moored in the harbour, side by side with all the other yachts. Father and Mother had gone on shore, and the men had gone on in the dinghy to buy things to eat and had not come back. Yesterday they had brought me a pair of new shoes. The dull brown leather shoes with a strap and a boot button, worn before the days of sandals, before the blessed summer nakedness of children today: at a time when two kind of drawers and two kinds of petticoats, a pinafore and serge frock imposed, as I can still remember, a very real strain on one’s vitality…. Mary Butts

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