File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2003/lyotard.0302, message 126


Subject: terms 
Date: Sun, 23 Feb 2003 12:16:20 -0600


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Hugh wrote:
 
Hugh:  Call it the "il y a", the "is it happening", the "Real".   Steve
mentions encounter with the infinite and with nature.  Are we speaking
of the unknown?  Of future potentials, of potential futures?  
 
Hugh,
 
I would say that these terms are concerned with the present and the
actual as well as the potential and the future.  It is not that they are
unknown, but rather that the cultural categories that you mention tend
to usually cover them over. 
 
'Il y a' is a very common French expression meaning 'there is.'
Heidegger talked about the facticity of being, it's brute thereness.
Sartre developed this insight in his novel "Nausea" where the main
character is overcome with horror at the brutal existence of the world
which seems to have no real purpose or meaning, but simply is. I might
be wrong about this, but I think Levinas is simply attempting to develop
this Sartrean theme in its own way.  You are right there is something
hellish about the experience.
 
I have read that Sartre experimented with mescaline in the thirties and
had a number of what we now would call 'bad trips.' There seems to be
some evidence that the basic experience recounted in "Nausea" is based
upon these drug experiences that Sartre had.
 
The 'real' for Lacan is connected with other two modalities he describes
- the imaginary and the symbolic. The 'real' is the third realm that
cannot be emcompassed by the first two.  I might be wrong about this as
well, but I have always interpreted Lacan's real to be a little like
Lyotard's sublime - something that exists, but cannot be adequately
represented because of the limits of language and presentation. 
 
eric
 
 

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Hugh wrote:

 

Hugh:  Call it the "il y a", the "is it happening", the "Real".   Steve mentions encounter with the infinite and with nature.  Are we speaking of the unknown?  Of future potentials, of potential futures? 

 

Hugh,

 

I would say that these terms are concerned with the present and the actual as well as the potential and the future.  It is not that they are unknown, but rather that the cultural categories that you mention tend to usually cover them over.

 

Il y a’ is a very common French expression meaning ‘there is.’  Heidegger talked about the facticity of being, it’s brute thereness.  Sartre developed this insight in his novel “Nausea” where the main character is overcome with horror at the brutal existence of the world which seems to have no real purpose or meaning, but simply is. I might be wrong about this, but I think Levinas is simply attempting to develop this Sartrean theme in its own way.  You are right there is something hellish about the experience.

 

I have read that Sartre experimented with mescaline in the thirties and had a number of what we now would call ‘bad trips.’ There seems to be some evidence that the basic experience recounted in “Nausea” is based upon these drug experiences that Sartre had.

 

The ‘real’ for Lacan is connected with other two modalities he describes - the imaginary and the symbolic. The ‘real’ is the third realm that cannot be emcompassed by the first two.  I might be wrong about this as well, but I have always interpreted Lacan’s real to be a little like Lyotard’s sublime – something that exists, but cannot be adequately represented because of the limits of language and presentation.

 

eric

 

 


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