Friday, 28 February 2014

The fictions petrified in our language

A quantum of force is equivalent to a quantum of drive, will, effect - more, it is nothing other than precisely this very driving, willing, effecting, and only owing to the seduction of language (and of the fundamental errors of reason that are petrified in it) which conceives and misconceives all effects as conditioned by something that causes effects, by a "subject," can it appear otherwise. For just as the popular mind separates the lightning from its flash and takes the latter for an action, for the operation of a subject called lightning, so popular morality also separates strength from expressions of strength, as if there were a neutral substratum behind the strong man, which was free to express strength or not to do so. But there is no such substratum; there is no "being" behind doing, effecting, becoming; "the doer" is merely a fiction added to the deed: it posits the same event first as cause and then a second time as its effect.
The absence of posts in February will hopefully be compensated for in March. The above quote (Nietzsche) as a prelude to the next post.

Sunday, 2 February 2014

The Activity of Writing.

 “For it would seem - her case proved it - that we write, not with the fingers, but with the whole person. The nerve which controls the pen winds itself about every fibre of our being, threads the heart, pierces the liver.”


In the usual image of the writer and of writing, writing is always belated. It comes after, it lags behind, it re-captures or re-presents.. Life.

 We might say of Joyce, for example, that he manages to render the vicissitudes and minutiae of consciousness, the creative mutations of dreaming. There is a process, a mode of life, which the writer follows, captures and then sets before us. Writing is judged in terms of its fidelity to what has already gone before it.

But if dreaming and thinking (for example) are two of the modes of mental life, writing is another. Writing is not simply an attempt to re-present those other modes. It is a mode in itself, with its own movements, energy, articulations. But it happens on the page not in the head.

The writer is not someone who lags behind life. For the writing is itself the signature and declaration of a mode of life. And the writer is the conductor of this mode of life.