Erik (eriktrips) wrote,
Erik
eriktrips

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spill

just from the need to sputter into the void here is some stuff i had to get out of my system after class last tuesday. i hadn't looked at it again until this morning and decided it was worth emailing to my professor.

it may or may not make sense out of context.



Part A:

because i cannot live unless i articulate this again and even though having articulated it today i will have to articulate it tomorrow for at least the third time or similarly risk death:

the point of impurity of the 'self' (to use f's slippery term) seems to me the crucial (cruciate? ha.) point of christianity's renunciation of the self and might indicate the difference between the lesson f seems to want us to take from christianity and the lesson of christianity itself. that is, if the truth of the subject is its own renunciation, can we map this onto the idea that the truth of the self is its own undoing insofar as the self cannot ground itself in anything other than what is exterior to it while not strictly speaking being separate from it since the self is nothing but exteriority: a surface utterly exposed to the other.

the passage i have in mind is in the footnote from the Howison lecture on 177: "The power which hides inside my thoughts, this power is of the same nature of my thoughts and of my soul. It is the Devil. It is the presence of somebody else in me."

it seems to me that the difference between christianity and what foucault (or levinas since he is my constant underwriter these days) are trying to do is that christianity names the point of otherness in the self the Devil and casts it out in a continuous gesture that is never complete and can never be complete precisely because the self is improper to the core which is not a core but a surface of exposure; whereas one might consider certain contemporary movements of thought as an attempt to say a nietzschean 'yes' to christianity's 'no': Agamben's gesture which leaves no residue of Gehenna outside itself and yet which is, levinasianly speaking, always only outside itself.

this recurrent thought i have is that god is occult, or that lucifer cannot be cast out of heaven because he constitutes heaven in his very indeterminacy and unpredictability and otherness: the promise or the halo is precisely the point of otherness within the subjectwhichisnotasubject and constitutes its divinity,which cannot be made present and thus can become the object of an indefinite obsession and consequent unending narrative such as mine or christianity's or even samuel beckett's. in my case i seem to want to articulate an a/theology in which the self is always dispossessed and that is its very promise; likewise (because we are the image of god after all) god as the guarantor of presence is quite absent and yet the articulation spins on around that point where he disappeared. god, as the approach of the other always occult, is demonic precisely because it cannot be brought into the light (that diurnal prejudice) and is always falling away from the scene of locution.

i could go on. one of these days i'm going to figure all this out and then i can rest. but then what would i live for?


Part B:

the one problem with all this is of course that one risks positing something like an ahistoric impropriety as divinity itself, but i think the discourse has to take the paradoxical mode of stating that there is no stating that which it states. in other words if the truth of the subject is that there is no truth of the subject but only an area (which is not a place) of contact with an other (who is nonetheless remote) which cannot be stated and thus cannot be figured even in the articulations of subjectivation which come to the 'self' from outside then how is one to say anything other than this is where there is no self without setting up a metaphysical "not-I"?

what is there before the self is addressed by the other? nothing, or a pure exposure. but this would be precisely levinas' a-historical interiority, no? an interiority which is an exteriority because it has no representable boundary and yet an exteriority which is singular in its susceptibility to this particular address and not just any address (which is just any address since it is the accusative 'you' everywhere one looks.).

the question it seems to me is how to state impropriety in the language of existence, the noun of being and truth, when impropriety is the untruth of the subject and its refractoriness to a-historicization.

how does one own what one cannot own.

something like that.
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