Sunday, August 26, 2007

L’Origine du Mundane



I’m interested in describing strange and frightening convergence – frightening because of the power to induce ennui – the terrible feeling that nothing matters or is important, nothing is worth the trouble, that the pleasure of the world can never satisfactorily compensate the pain of the world, that one can’t live contentedly within the world without being a zombie, or live vigorously within the world without courting psychosis.

It can’t be an obvious place to start, but I’ll start there anyway: with the convergence occurring at the top of a woman’s legs.

I’m starting here and at this point, abruptly, but not so abrupt as it may seem: I think it is ridiculous that we speak of desire without ever speaking of any specific object of desire…And I think that as specific objects of desire go, a woman is as good an object as it gets.

It’s already profoundly culpable to speak of woman as an object- but hey, it is also the literal truth of the matter...The literal state of our state.

The object of desire is an object…But this object of desire, this intense object of desire, can’t, as object, produce desire. As object, it gives way to ennui.There’s no way it can swallow all desire, either. What crazy curvatures of space, time, and matter will flow through this wormhole? Hardly any at all.

Image: Bruno Bisang.

5 Comments:

Blogger Fido the Yak said...

"I think it is ridiculous that we speak of desire without ever speaking of any specific object of desire."

I agree. (I don't often speak of desires. Don't want to reveal too much.)

Should we talk about desires instead of desire?

Barbaras talks about desire being desire for a world. Should we talk about worlds?

When you were wrestling with (your) lust for power, I was thinking about the lust for life. Funny how those terms are loaded. Is either one any more pleonastic than the other?

What's intentionality about? Specifics?

6:49 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

p.s. Dylan Trigg's latest post is about abjection. I'm putting Kristeva's Powers of Horror: An Essay on Abjection on my wishlist. (See, I can talk about my desires.) She says:

"If it be true that the abject simultaneously beseeches and pulverizes the subject, one can understand that it is experienced at the peak of its strength when that subject, weary of fruitless attempts to identify with something on the outside, finds the impossible within; when it finds that the impossible constitutes its very being, that it is one [none?] other than abject. The abjection of self would be the culminating form of that experience of the subject to which it is revealed that all its objects are based merely on the inaugural loss that laid the foundations of its own being. There is nothing like the abjection of self to show that all abjection is in fact recognition of the want on which any being, meaning, language, or desire is founded. One passes too quickly over this word, 'want,' and today psychoanalysts are finally taking into account only its more or less fetishized product, the 'object of want.' But if one imagines (and imagine one must, for it is the working of imagination whose foundations are being laid here) the experience of want itself as logically preliminary to being and object - to the being of the object - then one understands that abjection, and even more so abjection of self, is its only signified. Its signifier, then, is none but literature."

Okay, a lot to disagree with. (Barbaras for instance would see desire apart from loss or need. Maybe he's onto something, maybe not.) Maybe there's something similar though to your ruminations on ennui. The subject, "weary of fruitless attempts to identify with something on the outside."

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

"(I don't often speak of desires. Don't want to reveal too much.)"

Exactly - I also don't want to reveal too much, either. What I've discovered, via this blog and my other, is how painful any unflinching revelation of desire is --the pain is almost too great. However, I want to lay on the line every bit of misogyny, egotism, fascism, arrogance, and authoritarianism I own - without turning the place into a public confessional, and that's also hard.

"Should we talk about desires instead of desire?"

I think we should, but I am going to continue to talk about desire because desire in the singular as control mechanism infiltrating my subconscious seems so relevant.

Thanks for the questions. As always, they deserve much more thought than I can muster at once.

2:48 PM  
Anonymous Yusef said...

"What's intentionality about? Specifics?"

By asking this, which are you saying:

1) Be specific about what you mean by intentionality.

or,

2) Is intentionality manifested in the form of specificity?

or,

3)Intentionality is about specifics.

or,

4)None of the above or all of the above.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

3). When we talk about intentionality in terms of consciousness, will, or desire we miss what it's really about. Specifics might be another name for the given, or for difference. Have to run. Would you want to think of desires as being called (for)? Maybe this leads nowhere.

2:11 PM  

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