[-empyre-] Re: love, sacrifice, and the eternal return

sergio basbaum sbasbaum at gmail.com
Wed Oct 29 12:33:43 EST 2008


Hi all,

Some notes on tough topic, this one...

Some of the best words about love have probably been written by John
Lennon... or by poets. Not a good topic for rationality... love & desire do
not obey rules or behave like if there were any rule at all... much probably
it is desire that rules... including rationality itself... (don't Deleuze &
Guatari speak of "desiring machines"..? "I'm just a toy of thinking in the
lack of my desire"--- this is a very rough translation of Lacan... probably
don't do justice to the original)...

One favorite on this is the scene in Jean-Luc Godard's "Vivre Sa Vie", when
Anna Karina talks to Brice Parain... who has very articulated answers for
everything... la verité, etcetera... but when she asks about love he's
embarassed, puzzled: JLG just foregrounds the music like if showing the
non-sense of those too many words... that cannot say it.

The topic of love is so dificult for Western tradition of knowledge, which
has banned afections to the territory of aesthesis, as if thinking should be
severed from feeling. The body pays the price for the transcendental subject
-- in another JLG scene, in "Je vous salue, Marie", Marie is reading Saint
Francis... she tells Joseph: "The sun, he named 'Brother Sun"... the moon,
he named 'Sister Moon'". So, asks Joseph, unquiet for always beeing
rejected: "And the body: How did he name the body?". And she answers: "The
body... yes, the body: Brother Ass"...  And by denying the body, Continental
tradition has given Christianity a good share of the rights over the word
"love"...  And it demands so much authority for an artist to deal with love
& affection... it is so easier to hide behind discourses, although every
creative action is also an act of love, like it or not -- many would blush
or keep it to private talk, since reality is a war.

I was a teenager when Brazilian writer Pedro Nava -- probably the most
important writer of memoirs of Brazilian literature -- was celebrating his
80th birthday. I saw him interviewed on TV, when he was asked "what are the
beautiful things of life?"; to which he answered: "In life, the only thing
worth to be lived is love. Physical love". Some days later, he shot himself
to death. Quite a story.

Humberto Maturana, who was recently commented on this list, believes that
love is the foundation of beeing human... what about post-human? Post-love
maybe.

love & good vibes from Brazil

s.



On Tue, Oct 28, 2008 at 6:30 PM, Harun Thomas <ThomasH at daytonastate.edu>wrote:

> sdv,
>
> Some definitions and concepts are dying, but others remain in tact.
> (See Obama's run for presidency.)
>
> You are hitting precisely upon the concept--the universal, though
> Butler warns us that claims of the universal or universality may not be
> sufficiently universal. I think Nic recuperates a fissure in this thread
> when he speaks of gnosis as "an espirit, a spiritus, that breath of
> life, or vital principle enacting existence in all bioorganisms." I also
> find Yvonne's post instructive, insofar as she offers a connection
> between agape and the Chinese word for love, enacting the sort of
> translation work that Spivak urges as critical. Dominic Pettman's
> invocation of Agamben points us also toward universality, in some sense,
> not only with respect to the quodlibet, but also in the exemplar—one
> may recall immediately in Agamben's text the Tiananmen Square
> protestor. I wonder if one might see any relevance in Barthes' punctum
> in relation to not only the Whatever, but also love . . . to be pricked
> or wounded, perhaps in the pincer movement that Simon attributes to
> Deleuze and Guattari.
>
> -hkt-
>
>
> >>> "sdv at krokodile.co.uk" <sdv at krokodile.co.uk> 10/19/2008 5:36 AM >>>
> Harun
>
> "Where does love begin/end/come into being, geographically speaking?"
>
> Geographically speaking ?  mean ?
>
> What can love and "geographically speaking" mean in a world, where the
>
> old definitions and concepts founded on geography, race are dying
> faster
> than the humans who might once have been associated to this concept. (I
>
> am thinking especially of deceased scientific concepts such as the
> "English Race" but also of Africans, Americans and so on, these
> geographical concepts have no validity left). Given this what can
> geographically speaking mean ?  And since I'd imagined that  'love' is
>
> as close to a universal as any concept describing an actual human and
> non-human might be, perhaps my difficulty and interest in this
> "geographically speaking" which must suggest that some humans in some
> geographies, don't love.... but where ?
>
> sdv
>
> Harun Thomas wrote:
> > Friends,
> >
> > I offer a spectral conversation and an afterthought:
> >
> > NRIII: . . . that is, love generates enemies by exclusion; the loved
> > excludes the unloved...we might ask: does love render solely an
> aporetic
> > circumstance of human existence?
> >
> > OW: The other half of the puzzle is that it doesn't seem there is
> > anything else to love than its repetition. So the force of repetition
> in
> > love, the condition of possibility for love becoming banal,
> > common-place, dead, is also the condition of possibility for its
> life
> > and affirmation. . . . Is the logic of sacrifice bound up with
> eternal
> > return?
> >
> > sdv: Why in Owen Ware's brief note is Barthes quoted and not (for
> > example) Kristeva's
> > much more interesting book 'Tales of Love', why that particular set
> of
> > discourses?
> >
> > NRIII: hmmm...a possibly interesting relation, perhaps...love,
> > sacrifice and the eternal return? I suppose that depends upon how
> one
> > renders such a concept as the eternal return, no?  Whose eternal
> return
> > are you referring to...there are many...?
> >
> > YM: Love and sacrifice are intimately intertwined throughout
> history.
> > Or should we say surrender rather? But, what is sacrificed or what
> is
> > surrendered to? . . . As soon as language returns, we fall into its
> > violence, and the violence and hence the I need to be sacrificed, if
> we
> > want to surrender to the affirmative 'love' [you].
> >
> > HKT: If there is an aporetic circumstance of human existence, is it
> > possible that this circumstance is preceded by a more originary
> aporia
> > that leads us back/forward to/ward the doubling of affirmation, the
> > inevitability of repetition, and terms such as exclusion and excess?
> I
> > began a few humble, rudimentary reflections of our discussion a few
> days
> > ago while visiting Philadelphia, the city of brotherly love, as it
> were,
> > where I visited family and friends. In an effort not only to escape
> my
> > propensity for reinscription, but also to acknowledge my come-lately
> > entrance into this discussion, I ask: Have we already discounted,
> > pre-empted, or foregrounded an ethics of exception (Lacan), a
> politics
> > of love and friendship (Arendt), the rule of law (starting with
> > Aristotle), or the birth of the subject through the discourses
> emerging
> > out of subaltern studies? I ask an even more naïve question, one that
> I
> > cannot resist: Where does love begin/end/come into being,
> geographically
> > speaking?
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >
> >>>> Yvonne Martinsson <yvonne at freewheelin.nu> 10/13/2008 3:35 AM >>>
> >>>>
> > Owen et al,
> >
> > Love and sacrifice are intimately intertwined throughout history. Or
>
> > should we say surrender rather? But, what is sacrificed or what is
> > surrendered to?
> >
> > In a Lover's Disourse Barthes says he wants to say 'I love you' in
> > Spanish - te quiero -  because the subject is dropped in Spanish
> > syntax. And even more preferably, he would like a language that drops
>
> >
> > the object as well. The subject - object sacrificed, excluded,
> > eradicated, the word 'love' becomes affirmative. In love 'I' don't
> > exist - which is very contrary to contemporary culture of taking
> > control, getting in charge etc that situates us in the violence of
> > language, control issues and so forth.
> >
> > Barthes also says he wants the lover to be a 'mute object'.
> > Interestingly enough he calls the lover an object here in the
> > discourse of love. A case in point for the 'tyranny of language'? As
>
> > soon as language returns, we fall into its violence, and the violence
>
> >
> > and hence the I need to be sacrificed, if we want to surrender to the
>
> >
> > affirmative  'love' [you].
> >
> >
> > Yvonne
> >
> > ====================================================
> >
> > http://freewheelin.nu
> >
> > ====================================================
> >
> >
> >
> > 13 okt 2008 kl. 03.00 skrev empyre-request at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au:
> >
> >
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> >> Today's Topics:
> >>
> >>    1. Re: love, sacrifice and the eternal return (Nicholas Ruiz
> III)
> >>
> >> Från: Nicholas Ruiz III <editor at intertheory.org>
> >> Datum: söndag 12 okt 2008 15.34.13 GMT+02:00
> >> Till: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> >> Ämne: Re: [-empyre-] love, sacrifice and the eternal return
> >> Svara till: soft_skinned_space <empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au>
> >>
> >>
> >> hmmm...a possibly interesting relation,
> >> perhaps...love, sacrifice and the eternal return? i
> >> suppose that depends upon how one renders such a
> >> concept as the eternal return, no?  Whose eternal
> >> return are you referring to...there are many...?
> >>
> >> NRIII
> >>
> >>
> >> --- "Owen J. Ware" <owen.ware at utoronto.ca> wrote:
> >>
> >>
> >>> Nicholas,
> >>>
> >>> Let me try to address your first question about the
> >>> 'superfecundity'
> >>> of love.  There's something of a paradox here.  On
> >>> the one hand, there
> >>> is what we might call the 'tyranny of love' as a
> >>> force of speech or
> >>> signification that, as you put it, 'assaults' us
> >>> from every direction.
> >>>   This is the threat I see Barthes struggling with:
> >>> the threat of love
> >>> becoming cliches.  For Barthe, love-cliches are a
> >>> symptom of a deeper
> >>> exclusion, perhaps the exclusion of an excess that
> >>> animates love and
> >>> its discourse.  The other half of the puzzle is that
> >>> it doesn't seem
> >>> there is anything else to love than its repetition.
> >>> So the force of
> >>> repetition in love, the condition of possibility for
> >>> love becoming
> >>> banal, common-place, dead, is also the condition of
> >>> possibility for
> >>> its life and affirmation.
> >>>
> >>> In my article, this is what I identify as the
> >>> "Nietzschean" quality of
> >>> love discourse.  For Barthes, it is the fact that "I
> >>> love you" must
> >>> also somehow mean "Let us begin again."  It must
> >>> always be the
> >>> affirmation of a repetition--not, however, the
> >>> repetition of the same,
> >>> but the repetition of the different.  This, then,
> >>> would mean that love
> >>> (as a discourse) has no 'content', unless we want to
> >>> define that
> >>> content in terms of an eternal return.  Perhaps this
> >>> connects to your
> >>> other questions.  Is the logic of sacrifice bound up
> >>> with eternal
> >>> return?
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> -Owen.
> >>>
> >>> Quoting Nicholas Ruiz III <editor at intertheory.org>:
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>> The signs of love are ubiquitous...we are
> >>>>
> >>> assaulted by
> >>>
> >>>> 'love'...it's superfecundity...perhaps this,
> >>>>
> >>> alone, is
> >>>
> >>>> its content?  Or else, we might ask, why hasn't it
> >>>> already disappeared, like, some might say, God?
> >>>>
> >>>> The love of exclusion by sacrifice, a sort of
> >>>> scapegoating, can be traced at least as far back
> >>>>
> >>> as
> >>>
> >>>> the ideology of ancient near east...via the
> >>>>
> >>> scapegoat
> >>>
> >>>> sacrifice, where the love or desire for a certain
> >>>> outcome is ensured by sending an animal off to its
> >>>> destruction, or of course, more directly, by
> >>>>
> >>> bleeding
> >>>
> >>>> an animal or human sacrifice.
> >>>>
> >>>> Considering some theses that posit 'love' as
> >>>>
> >>> tainted
> >>>
> >>>> with exclusivity of a religious variety (e.g.
> >>>>
> >>> Girard's
> >>>
> >>>> 'Violence and the Sacred,' Bataille's 'The Cruel
> >>>> Practice of Art' or Nirenberg's 'The Politics of
> >>>>
> >>> Love
> >>>
> >>>> and its Enemies' Critical Inquiry, V.33, No.3,
> >>>>
> >>> 2007)
> >>>
> >>>> that is, love generates enemies by exclusion; the
> >>>> loved excludes the unloved...we might ask: does
> >>>>
> >>> love
> >>>
> >>>> render solely an aporetic circumstance of human
> >>>> existence?
> >>>>
> >>>> NRIII
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>>>> forwarded by our guest contributor, Owen Ware:
> >>>>>
> >>>>> "Once a discourse is thus driven by its own
> >>>>>
> >>> momentum
> >>>
> >>>>> into the backwater of the 'unreal', exiled from
> >>>>>
> >>> all
> >>>
> >>>>> gregarity, it has no recourse but to become the
> >>>>> site,
> >>>>> however exiguous, of an affirmation."
> >>>>>
> >>>>> - Roland Barthes, A Lover?s Discourse
> >>>>>
> >>>>> Thirty years after Barthes wrote these words, we
> >>>>> must
> >>>>> ask: Can theory carry out this task of
> >>>>>
> >>> affirmation
> >>>
> >>>>> today?  What conceptual resources are now
> >>>>>
> >>> available
> >>>
> >>>>> to
> >>>>> bring love and its discourse back from exile?
> >>>>> The resources are multiple: we can speak of the
> >>>>> experience of love (phenomenology), its
> >>>>>
> >>> performative
> >>>
> >>>>> forces (speech-act theory), its tensions in
> >>>>>
> >>> ethics
> >>>
> >>>>> and
> >>>>> politics (feminism, Marxism, deconstruction).
> >>>>> But how do these resources become a site of
> >>>>> affirmation?  That is the question - and perhaps
> >>>>>
> >>> the
> >>>
> >>>>> task - of thinking through the various
> >>>>> meanings, practices, and performances of love.
> >>>>>
> >>>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>>> empyre forum
> >>>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> >>>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >>>>>
> >>>>>
> >>>> _______________________________________________
> >>>> empyre forum
> >>>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> >>>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >>>>
> >>>>
> >>> _______________________________________________
> >>> empyre forum
> >>> empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> >>> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >>>
> >>>
> >>
> >> _______________________________________________
> >> empyre mailing list
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> >> http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >>
> >
> >
> > Dr. Harun Karim Thomas
> > Assistant Professor
> > School of Humanities and Communication
> > Daytona State College
> >
> > _______________________________________________
> > empyre forum
> > empyre at lists.cofa.unsw.edu.au
> > http://www.subtle.net/empyre
> >
> >
>
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-- 
-- Prof. Dr. Sérgio Roclaw Basbaum
-- Coord. Tecnologia e Mídias Digitais
-- Pós-Graduação Tec.da Inteligência e Design Digital - TIDD (PUC-SP)
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