Thursday, November 10, 2011
"Being exhausted is much more than being tired. It's not just tiredness, I'm not just tired, in spite of the climb.' The tired person no longer has any (subjective) possibility at his disposal; he therefore cannot realize the slightest (objective) possibility. But the latter remains, because one can never realize the whole of the possible; in fact, one even creates the possible to the extent that one realizes it. The tired person has merely exhausted the realization, whereas the exhausted person exhausts the whole of the possible. The tired person can no longer realize, but the exhausted person can no longer possibilize. 'That the impossible should be asked of me, good, what else would be asked of me.' There is no longer any possible; a relentless Spinozism. Does he exhaust the possible because he himself is exhausted, or is he exhausted because he has exhausted the possible? He exhausts himself in exhausting the possible, and vice-versa. He exhausts that which, in the possible, is not realized. He has done with the possible, beyond all tiredness, 'for to end yet again.'"
Gilles Deleuze, "The Exhausted"
Thursday, November 3, 2011
Forever be accursed the star under which I was born, may no sky protect it, let in crumble in space like dust without honour! And let the traitorous moment that cast me among the creatures be forever erased from the lists of Time! My desires can no longer deal with this mixture of life and death in which eternity daily rots. Weary of the future, I have traversed its days, and yet I am tormented by the intemperance of unknown thirsts. Like a frenzied sage, dead to the world and frantic against it, I invalidate my illusions only to irritate them the more. This exasperation in an unforeseeable universe - where nonetheless everything repeats itself - will it ever come to an end? How long must I keep telling myself: "I loathe this life I idolize?" The nullity of our deleriums makes us all so many gods subject to an insipid fatality. Why rebel any longer against the symmetry of this world when Chaos itself can only be a system of disorders? Our fate being to rot with the continents and the stars, we drag on, like resigned sick men, and to the end of time, the curiosity of a denouement that is forseen, frightful and vain.
- E. M. Cioran, A Short History of Decay
Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Life is only science now. The science of the sciences. Now we are suddenly taken up with nature. We have become intimate with the elements. We have put reality to the test. Reality has put us to the test. We now know the laws of nature, the infinite High laws of nature, and we an study them in reality and in truth. We no longer have to rely on assumptions. When we look into nature, we no longer see ghosts. We have written the boldest chapters in the book of world history, everyone of us has written it for himself in fright and deathly fear and none of us of our own free will, nor according to his own taste, but following the laws of nature, and we have written this chapter behind the backs of our blind fathers and our foolish teachers, behind our own backs; after so much that has been endlessly long and dull, the shortest and most important.
We are frightened by the clarity out of which our world suddenly is born, our world of science; we freeze in this clarity; but we wanted this clarity, we evoked it; so we cannot complain now that the cold reigns and we’re freezing. The cold increases with the clarity. This clarity and this cold will now rule us. The science of nature will give us greater clarity and will be far colder than we can imagine.
Everything will be clear, a clarity that increases and deepens unending, and everything will be cold, a coldness that intensifies ever more horribly. In the future we will have the impression of a day that is endlessly clear and endlessly cold.
Thomas Bernhard, Speech at the Award Ceremony for the Literature Prize of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen
Monday, June 20, 2011
"There is nothing innocuous left. The little pleasures, expressions of life that seemed exempt from the responsibility of thought, not only have an element of defiant silliness, of callous refusal to see, but directly serve their dialectical opposite. Even the blossoming tree lies the moment is bloom is seen without the shade of terror; even the innocent 'How lovely!' becomes an excuse for an existence outrageously unlovely, and there is no beauty or consolation except in the gaze falling on horror, withstanding it, and in the unalleviated consciousness of negativity holding fast to the possibility of what is better. Mistrust is called for in the space of all spontaneity, impetuosity, all letting oneself go, for it implies pliancy towards the superior might of the existent. The malignant deeper meaning of ease, once confined to toasts of conviviality, has long since spread to more appealing impulses. The chance conversation on a train, when, to avoid dispute, one consents to a few statements that one knows ultimately to implicate murder, is already a betrayal; no thought is immune against communication, and to utter it in the wrong place and in wrong agreement is enough to undermine its truth. Every visit to the cinema leaves me, against all my vigilance, stupider and worse. Sociability itself connives at injustice by pretending that in this chill world we can still talk to each other, and the casual amiable remark contributes to perpetuating silence, that concessions made to the interlocutor debase him once more in the person of speaker. The evil principle that was always latent in affability unfurls its bestiality in the egalitarian spirit. Condescension, and thinking oneself no better, are the same. To adapt to the weakness of the oppressed is to affirm in it the pre-condition of power, and to develop in oneself the coarseness, insensibility and violence needed to exert domination.... For the intellectual, inviolable isolation is now the only way of showing some measure of solidarity. All collaboration, all the human worth of social mixing and participation, merely masks a tacit acceptance of inhumanity. It is the sufferings of men [sic] that should be shared: the smallest step towards their pleasures is one towards the hardening of their pains."
- Theodore Adorno, Minima Moralia