Friday, September 09, 2011


Larval Subjects on "writing and the anxiety of meaning":

Kierkegaard and Sartre were right: unless you take a “leap of faith” or simply choose despite the absolute contingency of your decision, you will never manage to write or produce work, whether you’re a philosopher, a social scientist, a scientist, an artist, a poet, and novelist, etc. Until you can accept the contingency of your decision and follow, as Badiou might say, the logic of its unjustifiable deductive fidelity, until you overcome your belief that there is an Other that “knows” and not just others that are navigating their way through the contingency of existence, you will never write. All you can do is throw your dice, maintain deductive fidelity to your decision, value your encounters, and hope for the best. You will never please everyone because, as Luhmann observes, every decision is contingent and could have been otherwise. Some will hate it, others will be mystified, others will love it, some will be indifferent. You will never know why they respond in these various ways, nor will you ever be able to make a move that pleases and appeals to everyone. The most paralyzing thing is always the belief that we know what others desire and our belief that there is someone out there that knows. All you can do is make your cut, make your distinction, and choose. We are always looking for masters, leaders, sovereigns, and priests that we believe “know” so as to extinguish the anxiety of the contingency of our choices. What we don’t recognize is that our very act of choosing these phallic priests and kings is our choice and that, as Sartre recognized in “Existentialism is a Humanism”, a way of transferring our decision to someone else even though that choice of someone whose voice can “speak truth for us” is still a voice that we chose. The tragedy is that our very desire for a father is also the source of the extinction of our ability to speak and act. We believe they’ve already done so in our stead. You must kill your mother and father to act and write.


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