nikki moore

cavorting with johns

In Subjection on January 11, 2009 at 10:48 pm

i didn’t read him for years, mainly because, ostensibly and albeit contestedly, foucault couldn’t stand him.

you could say i am a devoted friends.  or… here, at the end of nausea, you  might instead call me a betrayer.  but i’m not the point.
“in the first place, starting from 1801, I understand nothing more about his conduct.  it is not the lack of documents: letters, fragments of memoirs, secret reports, police records.  on the contrary i have almost too many of them.  what is lacking in all this testimony is firmness and consistency.  they do not contradict each other, neither do they agree with each other; they do not seem to be about the same person.  and yet other historians work from the same sources of information.  how do they do it?  am i more scrupulous or less intelligent?  in any case, the question leaves me completely cold.  in truth, what am i looking for?  i don’t know…”

“…I am beginning to believe that nothing can ever be proved.  these are honest hypotheses which take the facts into account: but i sense so definitely that they come from me, and that they are simply a way of unifying my own knowledge.  not a glimmer comes from Rollebon’s side.  slow, lazy, sulky, the facts adapt themselves to the rigour of the order i wish to give them; but it remains outside of them.  i have the feeling of doing a work of pure imagination.”          Nausea, Jean-Paul Sartre.  p 13

*i think the idea is that there are no ideas.  there is stuff.  there can be emotions.  is that what Jean-Luc is saying (and what is with the hyphenated johns)…

“singular essences are mobile, volatile, and always different than themselves and defer their essential nature – however they never cease to promise sameness.  it is the latter property which is endowed with the spark of an idea: this stone, that fern and this woman.”     “Strange Foreign Bodies”, for Lacanian Ink #32, p 129

but this brings me back to foucault.  does it bring sartre as well? if the body is the cage/seat/site of the soul (foucault) and the body is strangeness, with the promise of sameness… it is just body but body not flesh and blood and guts but body as body, full body.

“my hands touch each other, and my body recognizes itself as coming toward itself from an outside that the body is itself.  the body takes in the outside world.  this chiasm of the flesh is very well described by the most perceptive phenomenologist of the body – and this chiasm which makes us sensitive to how we are women to the world… “inside” is to be und between outside and outside, and this in-between – the in-between of its hide-out, of its cave and its myths and ghosts – is in the end nothing but another out.”

“the body does not contain anything… the body exposes itself to the depths of its guts, between the fibers of its muscles and along its vessels.  it exposes the inside to the outside and always escapes further, deeper into the abyss that it is.  however this is the truth of the world: it comes out of nothing, it is created, which means that is is unproduced, unformed, and not constructed.  it is an alteration and a spasm of nihil.  the world is an explosion and an expansion of an exposure (which can be called ‘truth’ or ‘meaning’).  the chiasm of the body and of the world exposes exposure to itself – and with it, the impossibility to finally bring the world to the spirit, and bring meaning to significance.”

“the body is strangeness which is not preceded by familiarity.”     again, Nancy, “Strange Foreign Bodies” pp 125-126

and so there are just objects.  extremely complex, but then again that complexity belies connectivity, which insinuates meaning and means all the wrong thing…

there is more to think about. here.

  1. Don’t guilt-trip yourself about liking Sartre; didn’t Frederic Jameson go through a Sartre “phase” of his own?

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