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By nivenkumar,

To follow on from my previous blog entry:

Derrida says: To write is not only to know that through writing, through the extremities of style, the best will not necessarily transpire, as Leibniz thought it did in divine creation, nor will the transition to what transpires always be willful, nor will that which is noted down always infinitely express the universe, resembling and reassembling it. It is also to be incapable of making meaning absolutely preced writing: it is thus to lower meaning while simultaneously elevate inscription. ...To write is to know that what has not yet been produced within literality has no other dwelling place, does not await us as prescription in some topos ouranios, or some divine understanding. Meaning must wait to be written in order to inhabit itself..."

If writing is more meaningful than meaning itself, if inscription becomes the elevated principle in the ontological act of writing, if I must write in order to know what I write and hence, why I write, wherefore is the need in me to pull back, to retreat from words, to retreat into solitude.

When orpheus descends in search of Eurydice, he descends into this ontology of writing, of being, when he re-emerges from the depths of hades, he knows there is only the turning away, but he cannot resist looking back into the night of writing.

If writing precedes meaning, just as sound precedes light, our inscriptions upon the skin of the everyday already hold the essences of being.

But my turning away from words is a turning away from its inability to express, truly express, and yet I seek them out, forever questioning, forever interrogating them. To escape, perhaps, but escape what? The silence? The quiet space of death? And yet, it is precisely that which i crave.

So, when I blog, when i think to myself, "I shall blog," when I poise my fingers above the keyboard and think, what shall i write?, I pour myself into the virtual abyss, the night that Orpheus sought.

I still have no clue why i began this.

Andrei Makine: You know I shall have to go soon. But before leaving, I shall have enough time to tell you what is essential. The winter's day I can see and which one part of me is beginning to inhabit. A muted day, traversed by slowly eddying flakes. A time will come when everything is like that moment in winter. You will appear amid the snowbound sleep of the trees, on the shore of a frozen lake. And you will begin walking on the still fragile ice - every step you take will be deep pain and joy for me. You will walk towards me, letting me recognise you at every step. As you draw closer you will show me, in the hollow of your hand, a fistful of berries, the very last of them, found beneath the snow. Bitter and frozen. The icy treads of the wooden steps will give off a crunching sound that I have not heard for an eternity. In the house I shall remove the chain from the weight-driven clock so as to undo the knot. But we shall no longer have any need of its hours. (From Requiem for the East)

So ends this novel, with the deep, heavy tones of the sombre mind. His words weigh heavily on me, for they speak, for me at least, of some unfathomable, invisible world deep within the recesses of the Subject. This is the Other, the One we love and the one we fear to the point of Abjection, a Kristevan crystal.

It is terrifying, its simplicity tears at me. This is terror we know intimately, at the very bottom of that pit we call the Self, a sort of inconsequentiality that stares at you plainly, warmly, horrifically - "deep pain and joy"

I have become increasingly sceptical of action, of

acting. All action is action in reaction. We are never alone. is there a possibility for a pure action? The act for the act;s sake, for the joy of acting. Theoretically, there is such a thing. But the act, once executed, like a text, is sent forth into the collective, and like the text, is read, interpreted, dissected, reviewed, rejected, scorned, and reacted upon, spawning other text-acts or act-texts. Authorship is a mirage, for any act, joyful or no, is already a supplicant to a greater textual regime. We no longer speak with our own voices, for there is no one singular, but a murmur of voices that intersect all action. One's joy can only come from the hope that the act-text is heard/read/watched/thought.

I was given a glimpse of its dark abyss today, when two school kids, 16 or 17, waved at me, puched the air with their fists, their faces soaked in excitement (Of what kind?) and shouted "Obama!".

What had they meant to say? And were they saying this to me? Why me? What has Obama turned me into?

Like the blog, this is new territory for me. The battle lines, the genre limitations are re-drawn, the rules of engagement totally new. I am conscious for the first time in many many years of my 'brown-ness'. For the first time in many many years, I do not know how to write, like Seamus Heaney, I must use my pen to do something and my body for purposes alien to me.

I revel in the delight of a Obamian America, but I am merely Niven, but it seems I am swept up by Obama, by the phenomenon, not the man.

A new species is being born, the Obama Man.

Second life

By nivenkumar,

Our second life ( is virtual. We project into the ether a Levinasian "otherwise than being." Money transactions are completed in order to 'live' in this world. It is like a Borgesian Aleph, an ecrits virtuelle. It is the plunging into the non-spatiality of our dreaming/desiring.

Second lives no longer confine the imagination, or even the capacity to desire. There is no longer desiring in seconadry living, for there is no longer death, and yet, there is 'writing.'

What occurs when a question is unleashed into the world? What propels it? What does it seek? Does the question, or more precisely, the act of questioning begin with the presumption that there is an answer, that there must be an answer? Must we question in order for a reply? Where does it look, the question, when it rears its earnest countenance? Does it stare into the night, pointlessly, and what does it see in the darkness?

Does it not begin in darkness, in nothingness, or must it come from some deep restlessness for it to emerge as itself, as a knife in the silent night? Does it seek light? Can it even be sure if what it receives is true? If so, is it a suicide, the act of questioning? If questions do not necessarily require an answer, then, must we remain silent, in the growing abyss of one

The path in front of me is new and puzzling. The signposts are not there. How can one proceed? I immediately clutch at the straws of known genres (known and familiar to me). But I seem to clutch at thin air. Must one walk here, or crawl, and if walking, should one walk upright, languidly, hurriedly, purposefully, but to what purpose? Then, the medium itself, a fibre-optic, virtual, and hence, immaterial medium. Am i to walk on air, or cyber-space? After all, the medium must preclude some generic conventions? But Derrida...derrida says, the moment we venture to embrace genre, we are already inviting death, the end of things.

Is Blogging, therefore, a kind of exhaustion, or the logical next step to a Borgesian meta-fiction? The new Bloggerature of exhaustion?

The precipice is uncannily mesemrising.

Holderlin's poetry explores, in Foucault's words, "the shimmering absence of gods and pronounced the new law of obligation to wait, infinitely long no doubt, for the enigmatic succor of 'God's failing.' From the very outset, then, Holderlin waits for failure. At least his art, his writing, his desiring, is already the art, the writing, the desiring of failure. To be sure, he does not desire failure, but he already embraces it, already writes it upon the text that is his being, and hence upon the text of the Everybeing.

If Death, writing, desiring, if these are all one and the same, and at the same time, separate (since each has its own structure, its own modus operandi), and if Holderlin's waiting can only be a waiting for god, the absent god, who fails, must fail, is already failing, then language, the act of desiring itself, must forever be an act of reaching for an outside, an outside of meaning, the other side of this, "the otherwise than being" as Levinas would have it.

I am trying to reach that point, not only in my being, not only in my life, but also in my intellectual understanding of why i write, despite not wanting to, where one sees the otherwise than being. Of course, it is a very intellectual exercise, and does not seem to have any bearing on the banal everyday, the teeth-brushing, toilet-going, obligatory handshaking banality of the evryday. And yet, at moments of frightening clarity, I see everything in one big blast of yellow light, a yellow light that engulfs both the banality and intellectuality of my project. I cross the line constantly, constantly crossing myself, transcending what seems to be the limits of my banality, but each time I shit on my own palms (in an attempt to search for some secret to my inside) I am already on the outside of everything, and the more my life becomes the epitome of banality.

And to be sure, once i have washed my hands of this muck (though the trace of its abject warmth remains throughout the day and the silent pathways to my dreams), I am no more and no less than the picture of mediocrity, no longer a transgression, but merely a preface to it, a preface that never ceases being one.

Derrida disagrees with Heidegger's summation that the measure of a Philosopher's life is that he was born, he thought, and he dies. But in an interview admits, that in heidegger's words, he finds something oddly familiar. He is only prepared to give his interviewers the mere 'facts' about the way he met his wife Marguerite.

Elsewhere, he argues that one revolts against the bizarre, but there are times that one accepts the bizarre.

At the root of this contradiction, of turning away and desiring, is writing, not writing as we know it, taking pen to paper, but a primordial writing, an articulation, of stamping an impression, in order to leave a trace, to marry a heideggerian and Derridean motif in one fell swoop. It is the writing of one's presence, a desiring to be and a interest in be-longing.

I will continue this later.

Note: I had intended to post all my blogs to this category :il n'ya pas de hors texte, but still haven't figured out yet how to transfer the six blogs that are uncategorised into this one.

If desiring is desiring because one fears the loss of desire(click here) , then in the act of desiring there is already the spectre of death.

She says: Do you know the mayfly lives about 24 hours? sometimes three, but, yeah...

He says: But why? I mean...

She says: What? What do you mean...?

He says: I mean, why 24 hours? What's the purpose of that?

She says: to lay eggs, to propogate, to continue its species.

He says: yes, but why?

She says: You mean why 24 hours, or why continue the species?

He says: I mean why has the eco system sustained such a pointless exercise.

She says: Our life spans are relative. Nietzsche himself has said that every being thinks they are the centre of the universe. You are humanising the lived experience of the may fly.

He says: This is true. In which case...

She says: In which case...?

He says: In which case I would prefer my adult life to be a day long.

She says: But why?

He says: What do you mean....?

She says: I mean why a day?

He says: so that my desires are proportionate to my capacity to desire.

Desiring is always desiring in darkness, and away from the blinding glare of daylight. It is a secret ministry that can only execute its functions in absentia. Desiring says, I want that which belongs to me in the darkness of me, that which seeps through into the light, but which must begin from the darkness. This desiring is constantly battling what happens in spite of its desiring.

Desire, these days, is harnessed onto the system of consumption which turns desiring inside out, forcing it into the daylight, and making it fashionable. True desiring (I may be essentialising here) resides only in the darkness of our silent, inaccessible subjectivities. It inhabits a world of constant reaching out, and pulling away. When it reaches out, it sees the limits of its reach, and the ever widening syncope of its groundlessness. To reach out means to leave the ground, to lose groundedness. Once the limits of its reach are reached, it pulls back, and each time, groundlessness becomes more and more pronounced.

Desire and loss, therefore, are dark bedfellows. Desiring is desiring because one fears the loss of desire, the loss of that which we do not want to lose. If writing allows me to access a world I desire, it is also motivated by the fear of losing it, as well as the fear of groundlessness.

A colleague said to me, "It is a good time to be a black man."

I smiled, and walked away from him, with a quick, and hopefully polite excuse, as fast as i could, embarrassed, and somewhat apalled. But I had no idea why.

A good time to be a black man. In that statement, there is a ferocious undercurrent of partisanship that irks me, and which Obama claims is not his intent.

But I hobble through the department corridors now somewhat self-conscious of my own skin pigmentation. I am not black, brown perhaps, but my colleague's statement was directed at me, at my non-whiteness, at my presence, at my extra-presence. As much as it is a wonderful sign of the times, Obama's ascendancy has etched racial divides into the sand deeper than anything else can. Even Mandela's presence was a far away constellation.

One statement, innocuous though it was intended to be, has re0-drawn the lines of the new world order. And separates the present and the future from everything else that has happened.

The Disjuncture, the crevice that is widening, and will continue to widen into a gorge, between the future and the years of insidiuos, deep-rooted segregatory dreams of European imperialism (to which I am ironically indepted), forces a separation of values. A good time, indeed, to reclaim the past, in fact, to enable the collective forgetting, the absolution of guilt.

A reprieve, Jean-Paul, that I am sure you wouldn't have expected.

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