December 18, 2010

What is the meaning of the end of the world? How do we write this certainty? It is surely all there is left to write. The failure of humanity is well evidenced. Its survival is unlikely. Our survival!

This is all the writing that remains to be done.

Advertisements

December 16, 2010

When speaking of enjoyment we must disregard the bland and facile escapism from the tedium and horror of the modern world we most commonly associate with the word in ordinary language. Our habitual alcohol induced anihilation of conciousness in which we regularly endulge helps us to survive a daily life conditioned by capitalism. But to speak of it as joy, to say that we enjoy our lives, that we enjoy the world? We must at least find humour in this belief. Let us speak of survival rather than enjoyment.

December 15, 2010

New ways of being in everyday life. Is this why we think? Wittgenstein sought to neutralise thought by untangling the knots within our practices which create problems. In so doing he sought to neutralise his most powerful insight. It is possible to traverse forms of life rather than sit within them, and in so doing we can create problems rather than neutralise them. The neutralisation of a problem leaves everything as it is. Wittgenstein had his reasons for this preference. But we are not Wittgenstein. We seek to change things. We seek to traverse already existing forms of life, becoming the active movement of affective relations, a creative force producing a surplus of desire. We are no longer men and women. We are the creators of a new world.

December 14, 2010

Humanity is dying. We have seen Nietzsche’s last man. We see him everywhere. We are ourselves the last men and women, lost and alone in a world that has ceased to be really lived. There is no longer anything of importance precisely because the real is inaccessible to us. We can merely grasp at the flow of images which move so quickly and evaporate before we have have sufficiently registered them. The modern world is the end of man. Is it possible to think beyond this man/world relation?

December 11, 2010

It was not too difficult to understand at first. Only later did my faculties fail me. For at that point the doctor had explained everything, and the images, the sounds, the feelings I had been so sure of before began to come apart in my hands, as if they were so flawed from the very start that all that was required was the slightest touch to begin the onset of their decay.

I left the surgery at night, having been interrogated for an indeterminate period of time, not only by the doctor himself, but also by many others, whose names and identities remain to this day in a state of imbalance, unsure of themselves and of their purposes, sure only of my delusional nature and the falsity of the memories I had created for myself, memories which, at the same time, only I had ever had direct contact with: the death of my mother; the mathematical precision with which I once dealt a blow to the head of a rival, using a heavy, blunt, instrument. And since it was with this very same instrument that I had in fact removed myself, by force, from the surgery that night, I thought it prudent to walk until morning, but soon becoming tired of this cycle I began to vary my transportation patterns from walking to skipping, and then back from skipping to walking. The transition between walking and skipping, being the easiest of all transitions to accomplish, I chose having never been accustomed to accomplishing difficult transitions, and by taking this route I was at least assured of the satisfaction inherent in accomplishing something. But this cycle became tiring in the end, and having never accomplished anything more difficult than the transition from walking to skipping, and the reverse transition, from skipping to walking, I felt tempted to try something more challenging.

This temptation was left unfulfilled, however, because of a chance meeting between myself and a young woman who strode confidently toward me and told me something I did not already know. This came as a surprise to me, for she did not speak a word, but simply stood before me and held out her hands. I took them without considering the consequences, as was my usual practice, learned and honed to perfection over a great many years. They were warm and soft, beautiful hands I would say, and I immediately leaned towards her and kissed her. We walked together for some time in the silence, and from time to time we would stop and kiss, disregarding with cynicism the customary prudence of the world within which we lived, for it was not a world we were built for, and we both understood this as we made our way onward.

When our destination revealed itself to us it was morning, but the sun had failed to rise. This did not disturb us for we and we alone had been expecting this absence. Since we could not see in the darkness of the night we could only listen to the waves crashing below us on the rocks. She unfolded the blanket and we sank down together, and for the first time since our meeting she spoke. She told me many things which I failed to understand. I knew the words she used, and I understood that they were arranged and ordered into sentences without grammatical error. And yet these sentences remained obscure, like stories from a book without stories, as one grammatically correct sentence followed another without any easily discernable relationship between them. The despair this induced in me was equally matched by the absolute admiration I had for her voice, which soothed my body just as her words disrupted it, leaving me in a condition of paralysis; and all I could do is lay on the damp ground, being both disrupted and soothed in equal measure by her sadness and her joy, turning my back on the world and leaving it behind as she led me down beneath the waves.

Pause

December 9, 2010

How to begin. That is the difficulty. There are always innumerable points of entry. And the point of entry need not necessarily be the beginning. The beginning can situate itself at the beginning. I mean our point of entry can be the beginning, if that is the way it works. I only mean to begin by stating that it is unnecessary for it to be so. So where do I begin? My birth? No. Let us never speak of it again. In any case, I do not remember it sufficiently. Other things. Now my hand is healthy. Now it is withered. The passage from the healthy state to the withered state, now that is a story. But I will not tell it. I might tell it. At least not yet. Let it be known only that it happened gradually, by degrees. You see my difficulty though. Wherever I begin the problem remains. How do I relate this point to that point? My withered hand to the disappearance of the cat. Not that I have any hold over it of course. Cats do as they please. Not like dogs. Now dogs, they are pathetic animals. No pride. No courage. That is anthropomorphic, I know. In both cases. The cat and the dog. I do not remember when I learnt that word. Nor from where. I like it though. More than most words. I haven’t much time for words, after all. And with this hand it is difficult to write. But for whatever reason I write. And I struggle for a beginning. The words to begin. What about the cat. It is black. At least it was black. Whether it remains so is anybody’s guess. Things change after all. Like my hand. My hand has changed from healthy to withered. The cat too, has changed. The cat has changed from present to absent. If the cat can change from present to absent then who is to say that it cannot change from black to white? The wife too. She changed. She changed from alive to dead. Another interesting transformation from one state to another. She was alive. She was dead. Some change is reversible. The cat, for example, might come back. I hope it is well. But they tell me that the wife cannot become a living person now that she is a dead person. This change is apparently irreversible, so that the most I can hope for is the safe return of the cat. I am aware of the possibility, of course, that the cat might too be dead, in which case the most I can hope for is that they are wrong in what they tell me, that the passage from a living state to a dead state is irreversible. And if I can hope for that then I can hope for the return of both the cat and the wife. As for the hand, I have no idea if the condition it is in is reversible or not. They refuse to tell me. They do not say yes. They do not say no. They do not say that they do not know. They say that they cannot tell me, from which I infer that they may or may not know, but that whether or not they do is irrelevant, for its revelation through the medium of speech is out of the question. Have I told you that I have a dislike for words? Not all of them. I have to admit that some have an appealing sound. Pause, for example. I say it again, for the sheer frivolous pleasure of the whole thing. Pause. It amuses me how I must pause in order to utter such a sound. But writing it does nothing for me. It is the sound I like. Nothing to do with signification. And in any case, it is more painful for me to write that word than any other. I do not know why. Something about the shapes of the letters and their specific order of combination aggravates my disability in a particularly aggressive manner, volatile as it is anyway. So I shall just utter the sound to myself as I write, avoiding if at all possible the requirement to write it down, and replacing it with a different but equally suitable word for those times when I wish to express such a notion. Break, for example. It does not hurt the hand so much to write that word. A sensitive issue, the hand. I wish to inform you about it, about the passage from the healthy state to the withered state, but it is a difficult story to tell. It started with just a finger. No, a finger nail. I do not remember which one. The smallest, yes, but which one that was I cannot determine. My memory is not good, you see. That is another interesting change. Just as my hand became withered, having previously been healthy, my memory became bad, having previously been good. And when my memory was good, my hand was healthy. And when my memory became bad, my hand became withered. That is the order in which it happened, insofar as I remember. And as to the relationship between the passage from a good memory to a bad memory, and the passage from a healthy hand to a withered hand, I have no idea. There were other things too. I had a cat. A black cat. And a wife too. She is dead now. I do not remember how, but it might come back to me. The cat might come back too. I do not know for how long it has been gone. Which went first? The cat or the wife? Or the memory? There are leaflets for the cat. Leaflets with a photograph, only the cat in the photograph is white. The wife distributed the leaflets. That was before she became dead. The cat must have gone first then. That is only reasonable. Several people contacted me offering information about the cat, but nothing came of it. My hand was healthy then. I believe. I have no evidence for that. A bit like the cat. No photograph, you see. That is why the photograph on the leaflet is of a white cat. That must be the reason. The wife is another story. I have a photograph of her. Before she died. On her deathbed. It was in a hospital I think. It looks that way. She looks dead. Perhaps she was. Myself too, sitting beside her. I don’t suppose I could have been dead at that point, unless they are wrong when they tell me that a dead person cannot become a living person. They are emphatic on this point, which makes me think that if they are incorrect about it, then they are either ignorant or lying. I have no way to tell, so I take their word for it. Provisionally, that is, and with a degree of scepticism befitting someone in my position, a position of which I have only a vague notion. I know that my hand is withered, and that this condition makes it difficult for me to write. I have two hands. I can count that far. One of them is my left hand and the other is my withered hand. Since I am not left handed I am obliged to write with my withered hand, and this is not easy, especially when it comes to forming certain words. Pause. That is a very hard word to write. Painful is the way in which I would describe it. It is a dull ache, deep in my groin. Why it hurts my groin I do not know. I understand to a certain extent why it hurts my hand, but it is an altogether different kind of pain in an altogether different place, and the relationship between the pain in my hand and the pain in my groin when I write the word pause is mysterious to me. It must be something to do with the shapes of the letters and the way in which they are organised in relation to one another. Having said that, I have never attempted to write the letters of the word pause together but in a different order than that in which they appear in the proper spelling. Uasep. Only the normal intensity of pain in my hand and nothing in my groin. So regarding the relationship between these two pains I am lost in the fog. On the other hand the pain in my groin may be unrelated to the pain in my hand and only by a string of highly improbable coincidences do they appear to be so. The whole business is a shame, for it is my favourite word to say. Only because of the sound. Why I consider it to be a shame I do not know. For to utter the word for the sake only of the sound is not the same as to write the word. I have no patience for its significance, and so when I say it, as I so frequently do, it is not for anything other than the joy that the sound brings to my ears. To write it brings me no joy. Only pain. There are other words too, words that do not cause so many problems. The wife taught me some. Anthropomorphism. That was one of them. I do not remember what it means. Something to do with man. From the Greek, I believe. The wife would know. She has a talent for words. Not so much now. She died whilst handing out leaflets. It was something to do with the cat. That’s right, information about the cat. It went missing. People came forward when they saw the leaflets. Some even bought animals with them, feral cats which they mistook for the cat. But the cat was not feral. Nor was it white. It was black, I believe. A black house cat went missing and all we could find were white feral cats. The wife and I each played our part. I made the leaflets. She handed them out. I dealt with the responses. This pattern repeated itself for some time. I do not remember how long. My memory is not what it used to be. There was a photocopier involved too. I remember that. Not only myself and the wife. The first leaflet took the longest. That is because I made it by hand and by that point the hand had become withered. So it cannot have been healthy, contrary to what I said before. I made it by writing on some paper. Then I took a photograph and I pasted it onto the paper, taking great care not to cover up any of the writing. Had it not been for the hand the whole process would have been easier. The hand would also have prevented me from photographing the cat. A photograph was of course required for the leaflet. How else would we expect people to identify the cat? But I could not have used the camera with my hand in such a condition. I put this to the wife, who very kindly offered to operate the camera for me. We spent quite some time searching for the cat so that we could photograph it, but it was nowhere to be found. In the end I was obliged to use a photograph of a cat different from the cat we were looking for. It was a white feral cat. Nothing like the cat. The house cat leaves and is replaced by the feral. I think it is still here somewhere. It comes and goes, as is the nature of cats. Always changing, are cats. At times they are present, then they are absent. This happened to the black house cat. At other times it goes the other way. During these times there is an absent cat which becomes present rather than a present cat which becomes absent. This happened to the white feral cat. It boggles the mind how some things go one way and also the other way, but other things go one and only one way, rather than that way and the other way too. And the things that go only one way sometimes go only one way because that is the only way they can go, whereas sometimes things that go only one way could just as well go the other way and even so do not. And things that go one way and not the other because the way they go is the only way they can go are said to go the way they go out of necessity. And the things that go only one way but could just as well go the other way are said to go the way in which they go and not the other out of contingency. And of all the things that go one way and also the other, some go the ways in which they go out of necessity and some go the ways in which they go out of contingency. And the things that go one way or the other or both, out of contingency, go the ways in which they go because it is possible for them to go those ways. And the things that go one way or the other or both, out of necessity, go the ways they go because it is possible for them to go those ways. And by the same token, it is impossible for the things that go one way or the other or both, out of necessity, to go any ways other than the ways in which they go. And again, for the things that go one way or the other or both, out of contingency, it is possible for them to go in ways other than the ways in which they go, for this is what it means for something to be contingent. And so we say that the wife, who taught me the meaning of the word contingent, being as talented with words as she was, cannot become a living person because the passage from life to death necessarily goes only one way, and it is impossible for it to go any way other than the way in which it goes. And we say that the cat can become a present cat having been an absent cat because the passage from presence to absence can also go the other way, from absence to presence, and the negotiation of this passage is contingent. And as for the hand, we do not know whether or not the passage from a healthy state to a withered state can also go the other way, from a withered state to a healthy state. And these considerations, while they offer to us a solution to the problem of the wife, do not offer us a solution to the problem of the cat or the problem of the hand. For whereas it was contingent that the wife died, but necessary that she remain in that state, we have no way of determining whether or not the cat will return to a state of presence from its current state of absence, or whether or not the hand will return to a state of health from its currently withered condition. Even more troubling is the possibility which I have so far suppressed, in order to prevent this train of thought from spiralling out of control, that is, that the hand does not go from its currently withered state to a more withered state, or from its currently withered state to a more healthy state, but rather remains in its current condition permanently, without change. And this possibility is not the worst of the three, nor is it the best, but is somewhere in between the worst and the best. And it has in fact been in such a condition now for quite some time, without change, sitting somewhere in between the worst possibility and the best possibility, having started with a fingernail and spreading, eventually engulfing the entire hand, for a long time without pause, then pausing for an equally long time. But enough of that. I will say it instead of writing it. For writing the word pause hurts my groin and my hand, whereas saying it brings me joy, for I like the sound of the word when I articulate it. But because the answers to the questions of the cat and the hand are currently indeterminable, they will remain a mystery until they become determinable, which is why I continue to articulate my favourite word and gaze at the photograph of the wife. For the answers to them either will or will not become evident, and whether or not they do, there will always be other questions for me to contemplate, equally impossible to answer, or at least as difficult, such as the question of the relationship between the pain in the hand and the pain in the groin, which itself gives rise to even more questions: 1. Why does the pain occur in my hand when I write the word pause? 2. Why does the pain occur in my groin when I write the word pause? 3. Why do the pain in my hand and the pain in my groin occur together, and not one sometimes, and the other at other times? 4. Does the writing of the word pause cause the pain in my hand, which in turn causes the pain in my groin, or is the causal relationship between the three elements of a different order? 5. Is there any relationship at all between the three elements or is it an illusion founded on the repetition of an improbable coincidence which arises from the chaotic excess of existence? 6. Why is there pain? 7. What is the meaning of question number five? 8. Why does the spoken word pause occur at the same time as joy and the written word pause occur at the same time as pain? Given the exponential proliferation of questions regarding the pain in the hand and the pain in my groin which arise from asking a single question, it is easy to imagine the difficulties one can encounter in attempting to answer even a single one of them. And it is true that I have not yet resolved the problem of how to begin, which seems to me to be the most challenging of all I have dealt with. But even if I do successfully resolve this problem there is no guarantee that the question of the cat, or of the hand, or any of the sub-questions which are derived from these, or the question of pain along with its own derivations, will ever reach a satisfactory conclusion. Whether or not this is itself a problem is a question in itself. And it is a question with which I may never find the time to engage.