SUNDAY, 24 JULY 2005

Every Name in History is I

Keith Ansell Pearson's A Superior Existentialism (pdf file!) sheds some light on Klossowski's Vicious Circle:

This is how Klossowski brings together the thought-experiments of the later Nietzsche:

The 'overman' becomes the name of the subject of the will to power, both the meaning and the goal of the Eternal Return. The will to power is only a humanized term for the soul of the Vicious Circle, whereas the latter is a pure intensity without intention. On the other hand, the Vicious Circle, as Eternal Return, is presented as a chain of existences that forms the individuality of the doctrine's adherent, who knows that he has pre-existed otherwise than he now exists, and that he will yet exist differently, from 'one eternity to another' (p. 70).

This articulation of the doctrine reveals both the enormous influence of Bataille on Klossowski's configuration (or disfiguration) and gives expression to his own unique conception of a new fatalism, that of fortuity. This can be understood in terms of a 'renewed version of metempsychosis', in which the 'richness of a single existence' resides in infinite possibilities of becoming-other, it resides in 'affective potential' (p. 71). Within the economy of the vicious circle one fortuitous soul is dissolved in order to give way to another equally fortuitous soul. The experience of return is one of intensity, then, which 'emits of a series of infinite vibrations of being' (p. 72). The promise of this new teaching is the promise of a new creature coming into being, one that has gone beyond the established gregarious conditions of life and which no longer lives according to the 'durable fixity of species'. Moreover, 'The day human beings learn how to behave as phenomena devoid of intention - for every intention at the level of the human being always implies its own conservation, its continued existence - on that day, a new creature would declare the integrity of existence' (p. 139).

This reading is both impressive and disquieting. It becomes even more so when Klossowski attempts to extend these insights to a conception of Nietzsche's own organism and brain. Nietzsche's body and organism became, according to Klossowski, the battleground upon which the struggle of life seeking to overcome itself to higher levels of intensity and energy was played out. He interprets, boldly or foolishly depending on one's perspective, the collapse in Turin in terms of disproportion between 'the time of the pathos' and the 'time of the organism'.


Hail to the Baphomet...

... and why shouldn't the ADD sufferer (stumbling through a studio filled to the brim with broken promises and unfinished business) at least acknowledge the victory of the 'Prince of Modifications'?

I've been reading Hollingdale's translation of Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra over the holidays (which consisted of a week in Prague and a week walking in Poland), and since our return home Heidegger's Nietzsche (volume two), Pierre Klossowski's Nietzsche and the Vicious Circle and, as indictated above, The Baphomet.

Heidegger's lectures on Nietzsche are fairly easy to understand. Klossowski's reading of the 'Eternal Recurrence of the Same' requires much more work -- I confess I'm floundering in it -- but promises rarer and more esoteric insights. Any one interested in forming a Pierre Klossowski reading group?


On vacation for the next two weeks.


Two interesting articles:

  1. "Adorno's Hut": Ian Hamilton Finlay's Neoclassical Rearmament Programme by Drew Milne

  2. Secrecy and Publicity: Reactivating the Avant-Garde by Sven Lütticken


Attention War

Earlier this week, in an effort to thwart telemarketers, we installed a new phone system with new (unlisted) numbers and yesterday I bought and installed a commercial SPAM filtering solution (SpamSieve) to replace's built in filters. Time, attention and money spent to combat those who would steal our time and attention.

Death to Spammers! According to the Teergrubing FAQ: "Several hundred teergrubes are able to block spamming worldwide without blocking any e-mail."

June 2005

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Significant other: Generosity