Thursday, July 05, 2012

Of Love and Death

Let us start from a claim, an old mythical story about Love and Death from which modern mythology has nourished a lot. This is our departure point.

Such claim as what regards love the correlative to the world of metaphors is rather a ghastly mistake. If love is metaphoric, it means it is “within-language” as if language is a signifying system which produces meaning. Love is however neither something meaningful nor something meaningless. Love is the extremes of thought: intensity. It is where language produces the anathema to what it has been producing so far: non-sense, the realm of the unthinkable. Along with love, death is also a non-sense since it goes beyond any possible metaphor. Love is the affirmation of life in its extremes, thus it must also be correlative to the standpoint of death because life in its extremes slides towards death. The “entanglement of life and death” is why love is so complicated and hard because, on the one hand, love is not conceived of as living with regard to death, and on the other hand, language is inaccurately considered as a self-sufficient system. Love is thought of as a metaphor because it is placed in the world of language. This is wrong because love is the impossibility of thought and anathema to it. Love is the pure affirmation of non-sense and not a simple negation of meaning.

Thought takes place not in language but in crises within language since thinking necessitates distancing, and in distancing, the subject always recognizes an object outside itself. Becoming critical of the standpoint of the object is becoming critical of the standpoint of the subject. Thinking is therefore thinking “in-crisis”, in-between, through intermezzo, through special milieu, because it is necessarily correlative to language (and its variations), and the realm of the affirmation of the relations and affirms the subject / object binary and the distancing of the two. Love and death are, however, “in-crisis”, but a crisis different from the realm of the binaries (different from distancing that is between subject and object, and thus recognizing the object through subjective distancing): Love proceeds in semantic gaps, in stammers, stutters, and in distancing; and Death accepts all the gaps and is thus sheer silence. Both death and love do not bear any meaning, anyway. Being “in-crisis” of love and death, therefore, refers to the opposition to the system of meaning – and also refers to the binaries such as life / death, day / night, subject / object, self / other, and so on – and not to distancing subject from object. There is an in-between distancing, not a subjective distance. Furthermore, death is anti-metaphoric since the subject says nothing in confrontation with death, or namely, it becomes ineffable, language leaps and turns into something other than itself: variations of language itself instead of language as such. Love is anti-metaphoric insofar as it is not prone to understanding and does not endure being stated. The relation of subject / object in the time of death does not work anymore and any distancing analysis puts the analyst into trouble and carries him to a realm in which, instead of disclosing the intensities of immanent forces of love and death, he comes up with a semantic interpretation insofar as it tries to rule out death from the living realm and considers it as something anti-life, regardless of the fact that love in the terms of death is the affirmation of life in its extremes and intensities. Both death and love are not interpretive / signifying, hence they are not open to analysis. The reason is to be sought in the impossibility of distancing between the subject / object binary and in the intermingling of the two, and not in the reunion and correlation of subject / object, because the subjective and objective levels are so entangled that neither subject nor object make any sense: There are only intermezzos, in-betweens, and milieus.

The world appears to be the interpretation of interpretations as if it were the plurality of statements. Each statement is interpreting the other statement, and each statement reflecting a meaning. Love is, however, not in statement but in crisis. Statements cannot reflect the crisis of death. Statements, too, fail to understand death fully, and to leap language itself. Crisis here no longer refers to the subject / object binary but to the impossibility of language. Statements thus have no way but to turn to metaphor. Each statement is itself a metaphor. Each statement is itself an interpretation. Love is not statable. Love is glancing at the grave, at the corruptible and the rotten: at the dead body. It is in the trembling hands of the lovers that the resulting fear and anxiety of death can be discerned and be affirm life at its thresholds. Anything other than that is thinking in the realm of the metaphors: the intermediary language: the statable. The problem of language with love / death is that it cannot make the situation immanent to itself. Death distorts the boundaries between subject / object in such a way to deprive the subject of the possibility to think and to leave the objective aspect of the death indeterminate. The death cannot be formatted in the realm of subject / object binary, dead standpoint is indeterminable. No response is to be given to the state of the dead but to say that it has made thought impossible. Something that is seen but talking about the state not only does not reflect its standpoint, it cannot also be stated either. Talking about a state which death assumes in front of our gazing eyes cannot necessarily be anything but talking nonsense. The open mouth of a subject which had already emphasized its subject-ness, and has now faced death, at the moment wants to think about it (i.e. saying yes to the subject / object binary in order to reach statability) is itself a sign of the same confrontation of the indeterminate and the anti-metaphorical of death: the stupidity of believing in the subjectivity of (one)self when facing the death of the other.

Dead signifies death and life at the same time. Death is a signifier which is colored through its signified, i.e. death. The dead is something visible and death is something invisible. In such a standpoint we are always faced with a gap between signifier and signified. But how can death take a signified’s role when it is itself a within-language-gap? Death is not thus the signified of any signifier, and it consequently distorts the signifier / signified binary in the system of production of meaning (non-signified explodes the signifier without signified by affixing to it). It is the death’s state of self-contradiction; and it is true since death is open to all differences and depths. We thus consider death as the immanent cause of gap. The death is consequently the “ought” of life because it is correlative to gaps and get its signification from life. Love situation appears from the viewpoint adopted when facing death. If the stated is not the seen, there must be a surplus in the seen which does not go round the statable and differentiates the stated from the seen. We are tempted to say this surplus is the gap between the signifier and signified. We still know that language does not respond death and that it is thus left alone. What we called the seen is death and what we called the stated is the language of death; a stating which we already knew as the non-sense, as the open mouth: foolishness, but “I base my conviction on the folly of my fellow human beings” (Georges Bataille, Guilty, p.76)

Every surplus makes a distance; a distance between what can be understood and what is in itself. Such a distance / gap makes metaphor in the system of meaning production. A gap is made and we begin to think. A gap is opened up and the signifiable is formed. The meaning system is this vey gap, this very metaphor, a mediatory that wants you to connect with it in order to make you related; a mediatory which in a wholly signifying situation seeks to extract meaning out of love. Love is not correlative to metaphor since it cannot think about its own standpoint. Thinking about love is impossible. When we think, we immediately create distance and are distanced. Instantly begin to cause / create gap. Yet love is not the anathema to but the very gapping of thought since it does not endure the binary. Therefore, thinking through love is itself thinking through immanence. That is where thought becomes impossible: non-sense. The last temptation is nothing but this: death as non-sense is the surplus of meaning, and love is the immanent cause of producing non-sense. Thinking of love is necessarily thinking through death and thinking of death is necessarily thinking of love; no matter how impossible it is. One cannot fall in love through language, one can only think transcendentally through language by means of intermediaries.

Love is night and thought is day. Thought radiates over things and makes them visible and then statable. Love is, however, like night, night as the impossibility of day. Night and day are not of two opposite essences, they are but two situations in that the former is the impossibility of the latter and the latter is the absence of the former. On the one hand, love as night, therefore, makes thinking impossible, and on the other hand, thought as day is the absence of love. We say yes to such a moment: the moment you think you cannot fall in love. On the one hand, this claim is itself cursing the idea of thinking in language and is saying yes to the forces of love as immanent elements of a relationship immanent to life and death; and on the other hand, it does not accept the possibility of thinking in language either; if thinking is possible from this viewpoint, or if it wants to become possible, it ought to correlate with death: love. If thinking is thinking only by thinking in distances, love is the impossibility of any distancing; love removes the subject / object barriers and the gap dissolves: the impossible becomes real. Metaphor dies. Language wobbles and begins to toss and turn: night / day begin to cease opposing one another, and thought enters the realm of the possible: this event is the reflection of the crisis of language itself; a language which wants to move among metaphors and consequently among interpretations, and whether wanting it or not, it necessarily says yes to the night / day binary as two opposing poles. The wobbling language of the lover is the affirmation of the extremes of living: stammer, silence, insanity, and death.

Death is the only one. It says no to language. Language desists. Death is not negative. Death is the positivity of non-sense in its pure extremes. Language is something metaphorical, so how can it make the situation of love and death immanent to its interpretive / signifying situation? It by no means can. Love and death mean nothing but the death of language itself following its inability in becoming-immanent and its yielding to transcendence. Death accepts all depths; by accepting all the differentiations and distances, it thus turns to one plane: an uneven plane by whose side you can always stay, laugh at its “within-language” metaphors while smiling. This plane, in its acceptance of all gaps and going to extremes is now at length an unthinkable plane; and that is because it has rejected the subjective and doubts even its own being an object. Language cannot think about nonsense, it is thus interpreted by a contradiction which is non-sense and cannot recognize it as the extremes of meaning, that is, as the leftovers of the apparatus of language. That is why, in thought, we are, on the one hand, to do with the binaries of day / night, subject / object, self / other, etc., and on the other, with day / subject / other die in the moment of death, and night / object / self entre an anti-interpretive / anti-significant realm. If death distorts the a priori significant relation in a way that it tolerates neither itself nor the other, loving in the sense of falling into night, the realm of the yet unthought, the unthinkable, non-sense is anti-interpretive; just because it faces death. Love is thus to love with regard to grave. That is, to love with regard to the intensities of death. That is, to love with regard to thresholds and extremes. Love and death are not anathema to thought but the impossibility of thought within language. If love breaches thought and makes it impossible, it is in turn death which makes language leap towards it since in the moment of death not only the other dies but also the subject / object relations distort: thought falls into night and talking about any metaphor is nothing but senseless. The death of intermediaries is the rise of impossibilities.

What are we doing in this text? Thinking of death and love? According to our methodology, whatever we have said so far is senseless. Love and death are a labyrinth outside thought; a labyrinth outside the realm of thinking in language. And that what remains outside the realm of thinking in language (i.e. what we think of in a non-linguistic realm, e.g. in death and love, in intensity and extreme, in excess and producing difference, in the production of the non-signified and its coupling with numberless wandering signifiers) cannot be anything but a perpetual stutter and ends in the silence of the body itself. Nothing can thus be written about death. The intensities of love cannot be reworded. Love and death are where everything becomes impossible since the possibility of love and death in language affirms its own impossibility and it is thus love and death themselves that brag their impossibility. It is not so difficult a matter: our politics is to shift strategically towards the realm of the impossible, where death is the non-signified of all of the significant relations and love is a non-language. Love’s being a non-language gets us to the realm of the heterogeneous and death’s being a non-signified gets us to intestine and its intensities (Intestineanalysis): the anti-productive love; a special poem (without poet) that occurs only within writing and through silence: writing of the impossible.

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