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Thursday, October 3, 2013

Trace(s) of love - seeing with ears, hearing with eyes

" Kids."
"They are kids. Exactly. What pain do they feel that they need to take pill? Music, okay, too loud, so what. It is beautiful how they dance. But what pain do they feel too young to buy beer?"
"There's pain enough for everybody now," Eric told him.

 Music devoured the air around them, issuing from enormous speakers set among the ruined murals on facing walls. He began to feel an otherwordliness, a strange arythmia in the scene.

There was something infectuous in the air. It wasn't the music and lights alone that drew you in, the spectacle of massed dance in a theater stripped of seats and apint and history. Eric thought it might be the drug as well, the novo, spreading its effect from those who took it to those who did not. You caught what they had. First you were apart and watching and then you were in, and with, and of the crowd, and then you were the crowd, densely assembled and dancing as one.

But he felt old, watching them dance. An era had come and gone without him. They melted into eachother so they wouldn't shrivel up as individuals. The noise was nearly unbearable, taking root in his hair and teeth. He was seeing and hearing too much. But this was his only defense against the spreading mental state. Never having touched or tasted the drug, not even having seen it, he felt a little less himself, a little more the others, down there, raving. - Cosmopolis, pg. 125, 126,127


Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Island of a Book - Jacques Rancière's The Ignorant Schoolmaster, Don De Lillo's Cosmopolis

In 1818, Joseph Jacotot, a professor of French literature, was begining his lecturing days in the University of Louivain, expecting those to be a calm, uneventful period in his eventful life and career which begun when he was 19 and teaching rhetoric at the University of Dijon.

The students loved him and there were Flemish students who wanted him to teach them, but he knew no Flemish and they spoke no French. So Jacotot decided to give it a try, a bilingual edition of the French classic, Fénelon's Télémaque, being published at the time.

The students were given a book and asked to learn the French text using the translation. Jacotot entered the experiment with low hopes but having the bilingual edition (what Jacques Rancière in his work The Ignorant Schoolmaster refers to as the minimal link of a thing in common), he thought it worth a try.

" He expected horrendous barbarisms, or maybe a complete inability to perform. How could these young people, deprived of explanation, understand and resolve the difficulties of a language entirely new to them? No matter! He had to find out where the route opened by chance had taken them, what had been the results of that desperate empiricism. And how surprised he was to discover that the students, left to themselves, managed this difficult step as well as many French could have done! Was wanting all that was necessary for doing? Were all men virtually capable of understanding what others had done and understood?*
*Fénelon’s didactic and utopian 24~volume novel, Télémaque (1699), recounts the peregrinations of Telemachus, accompanied by his spiritual guide, Mentor, as he attempts to find his father, Odysseus. In it, Fénelon proposes an “Art of Reigning” and invents an ideal city, Salente, whose peace-loving citizens show exemplary civic virtue. The book was extremely displeasing to Louis XIV, who saw himself in the portrait of Idomeneus. But it was much admired by Enlightenment philosophers, who proclaimed Fénelon one of their most important precursors. In terms of Jacotot’s adventure, the book could have been Télémaque or any other.
(The Ignorant Schoolmaster, pg.2)

The Ignorant Schoolmaster is a book about Jacotot's curious educational adventure. It is about teaching as a process not between the teacher as the master of knowledge and understanding and the student as the ignorant one, not between the intelligences of the teacher and the student locked in hierarchical opposition of higher and lower, better and worse, more and less. 

"The pedagogical myth, we said, divides the world into two. More precisely, it divides intelligence into two. It says that there is an inferior intelligence and a superior one. The former registers perceptions by chance, retains them, interprets and repeats them empirically, within the closed circle of habit and need. This is the intelligence of the young child and the common man. The superior intelligence knows things by reason, proceeds by method, from the simple to the complex, from the part to the whole. It is this intelligence
that allows the master to transmit his knowledge by adapting it to the intellectual capacities of the student and allows him to verify that the student has satisfactorily understood what he learned. Such is the principle of explication. From this point on, for Jacotot, such will be the principle of enforced stultification."
(The Ignorant Schoolmaster, pg.7)

" It is this word that brings a halt to the movement of reason, that destroys its confidence in itself, that distracts it by breaking the world of intelligence into two, by installing the division between the groping animal and the learned little man, between common sense and science. From the moment this slogan of duality is pronounced, all the perfecting of the ways of making understood, that great preoccupation of men of methods and progressives, is progress toward stultification. The child who recites under the threat of the rod obeys the rod and that’s all: he will apply his intelligence to something else. But the child who is explained to will devote his intelligence to the work of grieving: to understanding, that is to say, to understanding that he doesn’t understand unless he is explained to. He is no longer submitting to the rod, but rather to a hierarchical world of intelligence. For the rest, like the other child, he doesn’t have to worry: if the solution to the problem is too difficult to pursue, he will have enough intelligence to open his eyes wide. The master is vigilant and patient. He will see that the child isn’t following him; he will put him back on track by explaining
things again. And thus the child acquires a new intelligence, that of the master’s explications. Later he can be an explicator in turn. He possesses the equipment. But he will perfect it: he will be a man of progress."
(The Ignorant Schoolmaster, pg.8)

It is about teaching as a process of emancipation and as a process in which one teaches what one doesn't know.

" Jacotot decided to devote himself to this. He proclaimed that one could teach what one didn’t know, and that a poor and ignorant father could, if he was emancipated, conduct the education of his children, without the aid of any master explicator. And he indicated the way of that “universal teaching”— to learn something and to relate to it all the rest by this principle: all men have equal intelligence." (The Ignorant Schoolmaster, pg.18)

Like Télémaque, Cosmopolis is just another book. 

" The book. Télémaque or another one. Chance placed Télémaque at Jacotot’s disposal; convenience told him to keep it. Télémaque has been translated into many languages and is easily available in bookstores. It isn’t the greatest masterpiece of the French language; but the style is pure, the vocabulary varied, and the
moral severe. In it one learns mythology and geography. And behind the French “ translation,” one can hear the echo of Vergil’s Latin and Homer’s Greek. In short, it’s a classic, one of those books in which a language presents the essential of its forms and its powers. A book that is a totality: a center to which one can attach everything new one learns; a circle in which one can understand each of these new things, find the ways to say what one sees in it, what one thinks about it, what one makes of it."
(The Ignorant Schoolmaster, pg. 21)

To learn something and relate to it all the rest.
Everything is in everything. 
There is no outside.
How many readings of Cosmopolis on this blog, how many things in the thing, the book, itself? 

No man is an island, 
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manor of thy friend's
Or of thine own were:
Any man's death diminishes me,
Because I am involved in mankind,
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.
  - John Donne

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Eric Packer as Singularity and Event: Franco Berardi Bifo Reading Through Jean Baudrillard


Curioushaired Gal
4:31 PM (23 hours ago)

to me

Eric's suicide, Dalva's suicide, DFW.....

"Only suicide has proved to be efficient in the struggle against power. And actually suicide has become decisive in the history of our time. The dark side of the multitude meets here the loneliness of death.Activist culture should avoid the danger of becoming a culture of resentment. Acknowledging the irreversibility of the catastrophic trends  that capitalism has inscribed in the history of society does not mean to renounce it. On the contrary, we have today a new cultural task: to live the inevitable with a relaxed soul. To call forth a big wave of withdrawal, of massive dissociation, of desertion from the scene of economy, of non-participation in the fake show of politics. The crucial focus of social transformation is creative singularity. The existence of singularities is not to be conceived as a personal way to salvation, they may become a contagious force...."

" Capitalism is over but it's not going to disappear. The creation of Non Temporary Autonomous Zones  is not going to give birth to any totalization. We are not going to witness a catharthic event of revolution, we will not see a sudden breakdown of state power. In the following years we'll witness a sort of revolution without a subject, In order to subjectivate this revolution we have to proliferate singularities."

"By the word singularity I mean the expression of a never before seen concatenation. The actor of this expression can be an individual, a collective but also an event. We call it singularity is this actor recombines the multiple flows traversing its field of existence following a principle that is not repetitive and referring to any pre-existing form of subjected subjectivity.

By the word singularity, I mean an agency that does not follow any rule of conformity or repetition, and is not framed in any historical necessity. Singularity is a process that is not necessary , because it is not implied in the consequentiality of history neither logically nor materially. It is the emerging of a self-creative process."

Identity in the Order of Production, singularity in the Order of Seduction.
Another reading of Cosmopolis, Eric as singularity, yay!

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Subverting the Norm at Drury University: DeLillo's Cosmopolis Reading Eric Packer and Jesus Through Each Other As Intellectual Terrorists

To defy the system with a gift to which it cannot respond save by its own collapse and death. Nothing, not even the system, can avoid the symbolic obligation, and it is in this trap that the only chance of a catastrophe for capital remains. ...For it is summoned to answer, if it is not to lose face, to what can only be death. The system must itself commit suicide in response to the multiplied challenge of death and suicide. (Jean Baudrillard - Symbolic Exchange and Death 37)

Baudrillard following Nietzsche:
Capital stripped bare by Speculation itself, like the bride by her bachelors. What becomes of Capital once the veil of Profit is lifted? What becomes of Labour once the veil of Capital is lifted?(Baudrillard - Cool Memories II 38)

Contrary to the historical slogan which says that the 'emancipation of the workers will be achieved by the workers themselves', we have to accept that Capital will be put to death by Capital itself or (not at all). (CM II 38)

We knowers are unknown to ourselves, and for a good reason: how can we ever 

hope to find what we have never looked for? There is a sound adage which 

runs:"Where a man's treasure lies, there lies his heart." Our treasure lies in the 

beehives of our knowledge. We are perpetually on our way thither, being by 

nature winged insects and honey gatherers of the mind. The only thing that lies 

close to our heart is the desire to bring something home to the hive. 

(preface The Genealogy of Morals)

Now look. A man in flames. Behind Eric all the screens were pulsing with it. And all action was at a pause, the protesters and riot police milling about and only the cameras jostling. What did this change? Everything, he thought. Kinski had been wrong. The market was not total. It could not claim this man or assimilate his act. Not such starkness and horror. This was a thing outside its reach. (C. pp. 96-98)(Kathy Chang(e) 

This is Eric Packer's Epiphany. The Burning Man is the pivotal point in the novel.

It is the terrorist model to bring about an excess of reality, and have the system collapse beneath that excess. - Baudrillard 


DeLillo Cosmopolis Interview with Krasny SUMMARIZED  HERE parts 1.6

If you check the summaries parts 1-6 DeLillo discusses narrative transcendence. Foucault and Baudrillard do not believe in transcendence so this is where DeLillo parts with them. DeLillo was raised Catholic and educated by the Jesuits.

DeLillo wanted his character Eric Packer to destroy cyber-capital in one day as the financial world has speeded up our world. He mentions Baudrillard's term "implosion." Packer is borrowing dumbfounding amounts of YEN and in fact wants all the YEN there is.

Yen speculation HERE EXPLAINED.

The problem of the will. Eric Packer cannot even summon the word to turn off his lights. He doesn't know what he wants. THE WILL DISCUSSED HERE by Hannah Arendt and Baudrillard.

He didn't know what he wanted. Then he knew. He wanted to get a haircut. (C 7)

Eric has a yen. Then he wants all the yen there is. Does that much yen equal wanting, equal desiring? Packer cannot desire because desire is in a relation with lack. Desire/Lack always go together. Packer lacks nothing. He is the man who has everything in excess. Everything. Eric Packer is "packed." So he cannot desire nor want. Just yen. So DeLillo offers a playful pun here on yen as currency and as a weak "want."

Packer is shorting the yen. He wants all the yen he can borrow. Then when it goes down relative to the dollar he will pay it back at a lower rate relative to the dollar and the difference between borrowing yen and paying it back will be his profit. What goes up must come down.

As Eric Packer continues his journey east to west on 47th street by quarter inches in the traffic grid, DeLillo's sentences are short, choppy mirroring the start/stop of the traffic. Packer is in his limo in the Order of Production. As the day goes on to keep his Appointment in Samarra with Death, Destiny is crossing his path with Elise, creating alterity, and Packer keeps losing his clothes, his shirt, his wallet, his money. He ecstatically borrows yen in dumbfounding amounts driving all the other currencies down and depleting Packer Capital and his investors of all their money including his own. He destroys his assets, the assets of his investors and the value of all other currencies relative to the yen. The only currency left is YEN. 

He is disappearing it! He is not losing it. He is ecstatically tossing it away with joy. HE IS DESTROYING THE MONEY CHANGERS IN THE TEMPLE OF FINANCE just as Jesus destroyed the money changers in the Temple by turning over all the tables. 

 It is the terrorist model to bring about an excess of reality, and have the system collapse beneath that excess. - Baudrillard

And the imploder, the intellectual terrorist, will disappear as his world becomes a different world because of his actions. He will make the leap into death to offer the gift of his life. The world will die when Packer dies.

He's not a self-destructive loser, folks. He is an intellectual terrorist. 

And so was/is Jesus.  HERE

El Greco painted Jesus in the Temple overturning the tables of the money changers for 40 years. HERE

Eric: He knew they would figure it out eventually how he'd made it happen, one man, bereaved and tired now. (C 140) HERE 

When Eric Packer sees The Burning Man he thinks Vija is wrong. What has happened is that The Burning Man is of the Symbolic Order of Sacrificial Death. Vija is still thinking in the Order of Production but she is pulling at her mole as she tries to integrate The Burning man in her thinking, but then sums him up as unoriginal. So see my blog lower down of Jesus and his unoriginality, which changed the world BTW in case you hadn't noticed.

And it is exactly at this point that Eric Packer borrows yen in dumbfounding amounts. Switching to Lacan, the more yen Eric wants, the more yen Eric borrows, the more yen Eric experiences for the world. He is exploding with hunger.

Eric Packer's Death: The world is willing it. : The excess of reality must be coupled with sacrifice in the Symbolic Order.

When he died he would not end. The world would end. (C p.6)

Packer will allow himself to be drawn to his assassin to be killed. At this point he is letting the world will him, becoming passive. He shoots himself in the palm of his left hand, creating the stigmata of blood.