File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0112, message 147

Date: Sun, 30 Dec 2001 13:11:11 -0600
Subject: anthro


Hugh mentions mysticism. The word 'mystic' comes from closed mouth and
it is usually taken to refer to the vow of silence taken by those who
have entered the mysteries. However, since as Lyotard says, silence is a
phrase, it can also be taken to refer to the open secrets of
inarticulate phrases, which cannot be spoken, but only witnessed.  Each
one must testify to the silence that remains after all the words are

The anthropology I am proposing is this.  The human/inhuman is a
diachronic linking of phrases in time; a series of one-night stands with
the marvelous.

Steve and I are like two Seigfrieds deep in the valley of the Rhine
forest, arguing over paternity issues.  Who is my father, Hegel or Kant?
- when all along it is Wotan, the Wanderer, that nomadic god with a
patch on the eye and a Raven on his shoulder who left Valhalla in order
to become a pirate.

The Monad is the Dragon we have to destroy. It is not enough to resist
and to be fearless.  We need something to put something else in its
place.  Psychoanalysis means to testify to the hidden part of us that
can never be known and must never be forgotten. 

Recently, I have been reading a book on Andre Breton.  With a few
tweaks, the following statement appears to be very similar to what I
hear Lyotard saying in various ways in the Inhuman:

"Breton was to be more acutely preoccupied with availability to chance. 
In the search for chance and coincidences, which was to become under his
guidance one of the primary activities of surrealism, the most
formidable obstacle is the routine of life itself. The young Breton's
opposition to earning a living arose therefore out of an antipathy not
to work itself but to regular activity in the pursuit of economic
security; it cut off, he thought, the most precious hours and years of a
man's discovery of self. ... the pattern of work must be as erratic as
the pattern of leisure and directed to opening as many avenues as
possible to the flow of chance..."

"Man's ability to determine and control an ever increasing number of
factors in his life leads not necessarily to more liberty, but to
conformity, which puts a certain liberty in a few hands and takes it
totally away from others."

That states the issue rather well, I think: Their Monad versus our coup
de des.  The psychoanalytic anthropology I am proposing involves a
certain relationship to time and an openness to the event.  It means
never to forget, never to forget.  In remembrance lies destiny.  It is a
matter of working through and rolling the bones.



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