“The Emptiness cannot be destroyed. lt had to be filled with love.”

The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations

By Christopher Lasch (page 97):

Skjermbilde 2016-04-03 kl. 21.49.55.png

Neverending Story 2 towards the end: “The Emptiness cannot be destroyed.
lt had to be filled with love.”

(image source: https://drafthouse.com/show/the-neverending-story-ii )


Recon Club – Austin’s Lectures

I have limited myself to write these blog posts focusing on one text through one day (see my previous post), and the day I had time for it this time was while sitting on a train without my computer at hand, so under here you can find links to my handwritten notes. I tried to make them as understandable as possible.

I found Austin’s book How To Do Things With Words systematical, but a bit too general. However I couldn’t point my finger to why it felt so, until I started glancing through Limited Inc and saw Derrida problematize “communication” as such, and then the whole language theory of Austin seemed a little too simplified in it’s view of reality, a bit like in the Dilbert comic strip over. But it can’t be underestimated however that Austin makes some very good points in the same way that Dilbert in Scott Adams’s cartoon does it, dry and witty, with Derrida’s self counscious problematizating viewpoint on the other side of the table. One thing I really found interesting in the pages I read quckly through in Limited Inc (I will not anticipate the course of events, I am going to read the whole text in that book later and make an entiteled one day-blog post about it, this is just an important digression) was something Derrida wrote in his opening remarks about the concept of “communication”:

Screen drop from Limited Inc on Google Books.

Screen drop from Limited Inc on Google Books.

When reading this I came to think about an example in which communication functions somewhat in this way. I thought about my fascination for jewish culture, which takes place in an indirect manner. It’s not like I’m celebrating jewish passover or travel to Israel once a year, nor that I read lots of jewish literature or books concentrating on judaism and jews’s position in world history or contemporary affairs. It’s more like I have a intuition on some characterizations of jewhish individuals; for instance I can like a film written and / or directed by a jew but with non-jews in the main roles, like the film 2001: A Space Oddysey. On the other hand I can like films written and directed by non-jews, but with a jew in one of the leading roles, which is the case with the film The Thin Red Line from 1998. Sean Penn, whom’s father was jewish, plays Edward Welsh. One get an impression of Welsh’s character in these lines from the film:

First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Hey Witt, who you making trouble for today?
Private Witt: What do you mean?
First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Well, isn’t that what you like to do? Turn left when they say go right. Why are you such a trouble maker Witt?
Private Witt: You care about me? Don’t ya Sergeant? I always felt like you did. One day I come up and talk to ya. Then the next day it’s like we never even met. Lonely house now, you ever get lonely?
First Sgt. Edward Welsh: Only around people.
Private Witt: Only around people.
First Sgt. Edward Welsh: You still believin in the beautiful light are ya? How do you do that? You’re a magician to me.
Private Witt: I still see a spark in you.

film animated GIF

It’s probably this spark, which some people have called “this inner drive” (“this inner drive comes not from the years of education or any other sort of conditional factors, but because of the inner spark within each Jew” (http://bit.ly/1JBAn08)) I see too, weather it’s in a grandious work of art as with Kubrick’s 2001: A Space oddysey, which Arthur C. Clarke described in this way in the process of making it: “a work of art which would arouse the emotions of wonder, awe … even, if appropriate, terror”, or it is the self assure brave (maybe necessary) cheeky character of first Sgt. Edwar Welsh. This is more like “a passage or opening”, to use Derrida’s formulation, and not something one can communicate in clear words. I’m sure you can provide plenty of other examples yourself which describes similar phenomena; with film, literature, relations and experiences from the shock value of extraordinary events to the repetitative atmospere of everyday life, which can be about anything; religion, emotions, memory, death. In my case it seems to derive from a fascination on jews (by the way I’m not jewish myself, I sometimes compare my situation to Kramer’s in Seinfeld who neither is jewish by birthright, but has adopted their culture because “I agree with the concepts and the religious beliefs of Judaism and I’ve adopted Judaism as my religion,” in my case: change “agree” with “am curious about”, “Judaism” to “jews in arts and culture” and “religion” to “muse”).

Next post will be about Derrida’s text «Signature Event Context» and published sometime during September.


Derek Jarman, Blue (1993)

Derek Jarman, Blue (1993)

Wittgenstein-Ludwig-Josef-Color-Quote-05A-W“In Why is the No Video Signal Blue? Or, Color is No Longer Separable From Form, and the Collective Joins the Brightness Confound (2011) Andrew Norman Wilson deconstructs the linguistic and symbolic convention that usually communicates the signal’s absence on any screen or projector. In a Derridian manner he shows that this blue’s metaphysical meaning is generated by an invisible game from which the individual is excluded. The blue’s detracted ontological presence leads to a never-ending displacement of its meaning’s grounds, giving rise to a feeling of precariousness that Wilson relates to our dematerialized environment.” -Bianca Stoppani, KaleidoscopeSkjermbilde 2015-06-05 kl. 01.28.13

Confusions With Barnabas In Kafkas The Castle


Barnabas (an early Christian)

Barabbas, or

Jesus Barabbas (prisoner) and

Jesus Christ and

Peter (Jesus’ disciple)

Paul (the Apostle)

Paul (characther in Haneke’s Funny Games)

Peter (characther in Haneke’s Funny Games)

Barnabas (character in Kafka’s The Castle)

K. sees Barnabas as a Hermes figure sent from the gods of the Castle, a figure who shines in his immanence. His name also alludes to the biblical apostle Barnabas, a messenger of Christ, who traveled with St. Paul to spread the word, imbued with that word of God. K. wants to believe in Barnabas immanence because then Barnabas is not only a connection to the Castle but its explainer, its messenger imbued with the truth. But Barnabas presented himself to the Castle as a messenger in hope of mitigating Amalia’s crime of insulting the messenger who had brought Sortini’s lewd letter. Because their motives are unpredictable they become frightening. In Funny Games, Paul tells the terrified family that Peter had a terrible childhood, and then laughs and says in fact “he’s a spoiled little shit.”

Source: Kafka Translated: How Translators have Shaped our Reading of Kafka By Michelle Woods

Convolute A: Memory, art, holocaust

Still from Guy Debord's film Critique of Separation, 1960

Still from Guy Debord’s film Critique of Separation, 1960

I could hear them howling from afar
I saw them rushing to your car
In a moment all went screaming wild
Until the darkness killed the light

I remember running to the sea
The burning houses and the trees
I remember running to the sea
Alone and blinded by the fear
Röyksopp – Running To The Sea feat. Susanne Sundfør

“No wonder, then, that the Nobel committee should have compared this writer of corrupted autobiographies to Proust, but the reader who expects Proust’s polymorphous sentences will be disappointed. Modiano’s prose is a bleached surface, and Polizzotti has produced a satisfyingly neutral equivalent: «That Sunday evening in November I was on Rue de l’Abbé-de-l’Epée. I was skirting the high wall around the Institut des Sourds-Muets …» For Modiano is really the anti-Proust – in his writing, time is lost for ever. True, these novels are dense with Parisian place names, and the minor characters often turn out to encode a network of occupation history: the modern neon city is identical to its ghostly sepia twin. But the past in Modiano’s novels is also irrevocable: «It’s like in the morning when you try to recall your dream from the night before, but all that’s left are scraps that dissolve before you can put them together.»”
Adam Thirlwell, “Suspended Sentences by Patrick Modiano – three novellas from the Nobel laureate”

“It is necessary to destroy memory in art. To undermine the conventions of its communication. To demoralize its fans. What a task! As in a blurry drunken vision, the memory and language of the film fade out simultaneously. At the extreme, miserable subjectivity is reversed into a certain sort of objectivity: a documentation of the conditions of noncommunication.”
Guy Debord, Critique of Separation (film soundtrack) translated by Ken Knabb

“With a single stride he was out of the café, not turning around, and I felt an emptiness all of a sudden. This man had meant a lot to me. Without him, without his help, I wonder what would have become of me, ten years back, when I was struck by amnesia and was groping about in a fog. He had been moved by my case and, through his many contacts, had even managed to procure me a legal identity record.”
Patrick Modiano, “Missing Person” (“Rue des Boutiques Obscures”)

“Indeed, Derrida’s writings deploy the word «holocaust» in a variety of contexts, at times recalled to its original, Greek sources as if current usage could (or should) be ignored, at other times stunningly decontextualized. («I am still dreaming of a second holocaust that would not come too late,» he wrote; or again: «Of the holocaust there would remain only the most anonymous support without support, that which in any event never will have belonged to us, does not regard us. This would be like a purification of purification by fire. Not a single trace, an absolute camouflaging by means of too much evidence.») In Derrida’s work, «holocaust» is subjected to iterations that could almost be said to aim at or, more precisely, to tend toward banalization — unless it is the precise opposite.”
Gil Anidjar, Everything Burns: Derrida’s Holocaust (http://lareviewofbooks.org)

Essay On Marguerite Duras (Notes to Myself)

From http://collection.fraclorraine.org/collection/showtext/169?lang=en

“Born in 1914 in Gia-Dinh (VN)
Died in 1996 in Paris (FR)

Icon_werke Print
35 mm film transfered onto DVD, colour, sound
Duration : 11′
Purchased in: 2003
Aurélia Steiner (Melbourne)
Aurélia Steiner (Vancouver)
Les Mains négatives
To show on the basis of something being missing, such is no doubt the obsessive quest in the films of Marguerite Duras. Like her stories and novels, they explore absence (of meaning, of the other); and her films are full of the idea of her own death; of its inability ever to replace the text. While Marguerite Duras has made screen versions of some of her narratives (her way of exhausting them perhaps), this cycle dating from 1979 is taken from no independent writing. The writing is introduced beneath, or beyond, the pictures, it never accompanies them. These four shorts are not blind films in which Duras took her experimentations with the cinema to their limits (L’Homme atlantique, of 1981, for instance). But they do carry the premises of it, being full of that ‘tepid softness of the threatened image’. They in fact start a transition, taking the disassociation of the picture and the soundtrack further on from work like India Song (1974), with a more conventional narrative structure.

Aurélia Steiner (Vancouver) begins with a crack noticed in the stonework. Then the horizon appears, which has ‘the evenness of a huge crossing-out’. A smooth, frail voice intones, ‘I love you, beyond my strength. I do not know you.’ It is an incantation that digs into the film with its mystery, undermining its every image; river banks, clouds and trees. All these places with no origin or reference. ‘I am beautiful, so beautiful I am a stranger to myself. My name is Aurélia Steiner. I am your girl. I am informed about you, through me.’ ‘I’, ‘you’ … But what ‘I’, what ‘you’? Carried off by these fluctuating identities, and by the conjugation of all the tenses, the text is borne along by a multiple voice, with ghosts passing through, over three generations of a Jewish family. Gradually, this slow montage of black and white panoramas together seems to echo this name that might carry within it a landscape: Aurélia Steiner as water and stone? It in any case carries within it a whole memory: ‘Aurélia is there or elsewhere. She is broken, scattered throughout the film. She is there, as elsewhere, in every Jew; the first generation is her, as is the last.’1
In Aurélia Steiner (Melbourne), pictures of the Seine have taken the place of pictures of the sea. Chaotic fluidity of writing, confusion of referents: the principles are identical. Whether urban or watery, the landscape is like a sensitive surface, a blank page, from which memory emerges, in that so typically Durassian mode: ‘The river drained off all the Jewish dead and carried them away. There was talk of Aurélia everywhere, you could hear her name being murmured under bridges, she was the memory of all those days. Yes, the river carried them off in the funerary boat towards the river’s singular end, the universal dilution of the sea […] The death of a Jew from Auschwitz for me populates the entire story of our time, the whole war. I think the Jews, this disturbance for me so powerful, and which I can see in all light, before which I stand in a killing clearsightedness, this ties in with the written word. Writing is seeking outside of yourself something that is already inside of yourself.’2

It is in the light of this statement that her film “Césarée” should be tackled with came about from the unused footage of “Navire Night”, dating from the same year (the images in Les mains négatives were also taken from there). Made up of stills of the Tuileries gardens and its statues by Maillol, “Césarée” is stamped with the memory of Berenice, queen of the Jews, and of her city of which nothing remains but the name, abandoned following her repudiation. There is this same confusion of time periods and resurgence of narratives in Les Mains négatives. Its dolly shots trace a slow advance through Paris, which is deepened by the reference to the drawings of hands found in many caves dating from the Magdalenian age. Thus comes to a head an ode to humanity, and to all its excluded ones, that daylight, only just risen over the city, has not yet forced into extinction. Its murmur resounds for a long time: ‘Everything is being crushed, I love you farther than you. I would love anyone hearing me shout that I love you.’”