Monday, November 13, 2006

The Matter of Truth, The Matter of Matter: Which Matters More? Part I

“Truth matters to me, and I have the fundamental fantasy that it matters to everyone else as well. That's what bothers me so much, I think. I'm the victim of my own desire."- Sinthome, of Larval Subjects

I would suffer too if I thought that truth was a thing which matters, or matters most, and that it was necessary that truth’s mattering most be recognized by everyone, but that in my devotion to the truth of the matter, I could see that truth did not matter to everyone…

Something which mattered to me and which more importantly was necessary to matter, but which mattering was not appertaining…A not appertaining of necessity would necessarily lead to disaster or catastrophe or hardship or tragedy of some sort, at some time, for some people, or perhaps for all, as a collective fate.

I would see disaster coming, and I would suffer anxiety.

I would be a victim of my presentiment because I would suffer it: seeing an impending fall, but being unable to prevent it, I would sweat and sorrow.

I am not sure, however, whether any of this has anything to do with what Sinthome is trying to express in the few sentences I’ve quoted, above.

What fascinates me in these sentences is not one desire which is expressed as a ‘fundamental fantasy’ but the nexus of desires which are being subsumed under the heading of ‘fundamental fantasy.’

I want to take these apart and look at them, if I can.

The process by which I do this may be cold and callous, because as a matter of fact, I do not care overly much what it was that Sinthome, as an individual, might have been trying to get across. What I want to get at is the extra-individual assemblage I intuit is present, with these bold conjunctions which are, from my point of view, smashing things together in a way which I would never believe they belong together.

“Truth matters to me AND I have the fundamental fantasy…”

“Truth matters to me AND I have the fundamental fantasy,” – because it would be a fantasy, and demonstrably so, to believe that the truth matters to everyone, and therefore, anyone believing that truth matters to everyone is fantasizing? And that fantasy is the fundamental one, why? Because it is so shocking and jarring and alarming when one learns the truth of the matter?

There’s a political program and strategy implicit in Sinthome’s words.

If it is truth which matters, and is necessary to matter, and if it doesn’t matter to everyone, what we need to do politically, what must be done, is to get truth to matter to everyone.

This would be a spiritual reform…of some sort, and most likely coercive. Someone please explain to me how it could be conceived otherwise.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Yusef, good to hear from you again. Unfortunately, your posts are becoming less frequent.

Here's my take, FWIW, on your recent remarks.

You quote Levi on his blog for the following statement: “Truth matters to me, and I have the fundamental fantasy that it matters to everyone else as well. That's what bothers me so much, I think. I'm the victim of my own desire."

Then you do a close-reading of the quote. You end up with a interpretation that implies a totalitarian stance in the quote, which you find inherent in Levi's statement (or wish). You then ask whether this (by you) analyzed absolutism doesn't really require coercion in order for it to be implemented politically.

I feel there's a problem there. The way I read (no, let's say deconstruct) the quote is that it is basically narcissistic and not programmatic. Notice the use of numerous personal pronouns, especially in the last sentence. You concentrate on the generalistics (TRUTH) and not on the (obvious) particularistics (ME, I, ME, I, MY OWN).

In other words (mine!) you are creating a linguistic and ideological Other to which you then attribute the following tautological naivism,

it would be a fantasy, and demonstrably so, to believe that the truth matters to everyone, and therefore, anyone believing that truth matters to everyone is fantasizing?

Apart from being a rhetorical trick, it is also (as you, of course, know from Derrida) a NEW text that has morphed into a new context: You have written a political manifesto which you then question the validity of.

That's OK. We all do it all the time.

I'm tempted to quote Deleuze from Pourparlers, 1973-1990 in his "Letter To A Harsh Critic", where he is talking about the two ways of reading books (or in this case: quotes). Either you view it as a box that you open to find its secrets = you keep writing the book about the book, or you can look at it as a small a-significant machine whose only problem is: Does it work and how does it work - for me? If it doesn't, take another book. It's a reading of intensities.

You have read Levi in the latter mode.

I haven't.

Orla Schantz

7:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, I screwed up.

Please correct the following sentence in my post, You have read Levi in the latter mode. to "the former mode".

OR - maybe not ? !

It's late - on this side of the Atlantic!


7:31 PM  
Blogger Sinthome said...

I had written a long post responding to this, yet blogger erased it. I echo Orla's sadness that you haven't been posting more recently and hope that it's because you've been joyously enjoying the women in your life who wound you so... Mook (?) and so on.

In contrast to Orla, I think you're correct in your evaluation of my totalitarian tendencies; though Orla is correct about my narccisism. I take it that the two are interconnected, as narcissism seeks completeness. I haven't written about this yet, as I'm embarrassed about it; but I conceive much of my writing over at Larval Subjects as a kind of healing or curing of myself (hence my recent reference to Klossowski), that might produce more joyous passions and desire and not feel so compelled to squelch the desires of others, even where they differ from my own. I'm not yet a master of disjunctive synthesis, as our exchanges have sometimes excessively shown. I'm gratified and honored that you've noticed this theme.

9:41 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

I very much appreciate that you've read the post and commented upon it and that you are with me thus far; I plan to develop my ideas much further because I think there is a great deal at work here, and I want to get at these concepts.

10:53 PM  
Blogger Sinthome said...

If you need a foil, I am happy to provide you with one. We've danced in such a way so far, and I dare say we have enough ego and non-ego to dance a bit further. And, of course, I'll be grateful to get a bit further beyond the political program you discern as unconscious or implicit in my desire.

1:45 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear Yusef and Levi,

Thank you both so much for inviting each other to the dance floor for, hopefully many, spins. You both have so much to offer to us grateful readers.

You are my favorite bloggers and I applaud the sentiments of making an effort to cast off the straitjackets of ego and instead engage in a spirited dance of ideas.

This is what we all enjoy - and learn from.

I'll be the wall-flower, trying to learn the steps.

Orla Schantz

10:35 AM  

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