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Toni Morrison, (1981) For a Heroic Writers Movement.
Written about publishing in particular, but fairly generalisable…
The body is to be compared not to a physical object, but rather a work of art. In a picture or a piece of music the idea is incommunicable by means other than the display of colour and sound. Any analysis of Cézanne’s work, if i have not see his pictures, leavers me with a choice between several possible Cézannes, and it is the sight of the picture which provides me with the only existing Cézanne, an therein the analysis find their full meaning. The same is true of a poem or a novel, although they are made up of words. It is well known that a poem, though it has superficial meaning translatable into prose, leads, in the reader’s mind, a further existence which makes it a poem. Just as the spoken word is significant not only through the medium of individual words, but also through that of accent, intonation, gesture and facial expression, and as these additional meaning no longer reveal the speaker’s thoughts but the source of his thought and his fundamental manner of being, so poetry, which perhaps accidentally narrative and in that way informative, is essentially a variety of existence. It is distinguishable from the cry, because the cry makes use of the body as nature gave it to us: poor in expressive means; whereas the poem uses language, and even a particular language, in such a way tht the existential modulation, instead of being dissipated at the very instant of its expression, finds in poetic art a means of making itself eternal. But although it is independent of the gesture which is inseparable from living expression, the poem is not independent of material aid, and it would irrecoverably lost if its texts were not preserved down to the last detail. Its meaning is not arbitrary and does not dwell in the firmament ideas: it is locked in the words printed on some perishable page. In that sense, like every work of art, the poem exists as a thing and does eternally survive as does a truth. As for a novel, although the plot can be summarised and the ‘thought’ of writer lends itself to abstract expression, this conceptual significance is extracted from a wider one, as the description of a person is extracted from the actual appearance of his face. The novelists tasks is not to expound ideas or even analyse characters, but to depict an inter-human event, ripening and bursting it upon us with no ideological commentary, to such an extent that any change in the order of the narrative or in choice of viewpoint would alter theliterarymeaning of the event. A novel, poem, picture, or musical work are individuals, that is, beings in which expression is indistinguishable from the thing expressed, their meaning, accessible only through direct contact, being radiated with no change of their temporal and spatial situation. It is this sense that our body is comparable to art.
Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of perception , pg 174-75
A paraphrasing of Schiller
paraphrased because he uses ‘men’ for ‘people’ and that pisses me off.
Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi - The Soul at Work
in this paragraph:
As demand shrinks and factories close, people suffer from a lack of money and cannot buy what is needed for every day life. This is a vicious circle that the economists know very well but are completely unable to break, because it is a double bind that the economy is doomed to feed. The double-bind of overproduction cannot be solved by economic means, but only by an anthropological shift, by the abandonment of the economic framework of income in exchange for work. We have simultaneously an excess of value and a shrinking of demand. A redistribution of wealth is urgently needed. The idea that income should reward performance is a dogma we should absolutely get rid of. Every person has the right to receive the amount of money needed for survival. And work has nothing to do with this.
We should not see depression as a mere pathology, but also a form of knowledge. James Hillman says that depression is a condition in which the mind faces the knowledge of impermanence and death. Suffering, imperfection, senility, decomposition: this is the truth that you can see from a depressive point of view.
In the introduction to What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari speak of friendship. They suggest that friendship is a way to overcome friendship, because friendships means sharing a sense, sharing a view and a common rhythm: a common refrain (ritournelle) in Guattari’s parlance."
Franco Berardi, The Soul at Work:
When dealing with depression the problem is not to bring the depressed person back to normality, to reintegrate the behaviour into universal standards of behaviour. The goals is to change the focus of his/her depressive attention, to re-focalize, to deterritorialize the mind and the expressive flow. Depression is based on the hardening of one’s refrain, on its obsessive repetition. The depressed person is unable to go out, to leave the repetitive refrain and s/he keeps going back into the labyrinthe.
The goal of the schizoanalyst is to give him/her the possibility of seeing other landscapes, to change focus, to open new paths of imagination.
I see similarity between the schizoanalytic wisdom and the Kuhnian concept of paradigmatic shift which needs to occur when scientific knowledge is taken inside a conundrum. In ‘The Structure of Scientific Revolution’ (1962) Kuhn defines a paradigm as “a constellation of beliefs shared by a group of people.” A paradigm may therefore be seen as a model which gives way of understanding a certain set of realities. A scientific revolution is Kuhn’s vision is the creation of a new model which fits the changing reality better than the previous epistemic model.
The word “episteme” in the Greek language means to stand in front of something: the epistemic paradigm is a model that allows us to face reality. A paradigm is a bridge which gives friends the ability to traverse the abyss of non-being.
Overcoming depression implies some simple steps: the deterritorialization of the obssessive refrain, the re-focalization and change of the landscape of desire, but also the creation of a new constellation of shared beliefs, the common perception of a new psychological environment and the construction of a new model of relationship.
Delueze and Guattari say that philosophy is the discipline that involves creating concepts. In the same way, they argue that schizoanalysis is the discipline that involves creating percepts and affects through the deterritorialisation of obsessive frameworks.
In the current situation, the schizoanalytic method should be applied as political therapy: the Bipolar Economy is falling into deep depression. What happened during the first decade of the century can be described in psychopathological terms, in terms of panic and depression. Panic happens when things start swirling around so quickly, when we can no longer grasp their meaning, their economic value in the competitive world of captitalist exchange. Panic happens when the speed and complexity of the surrounding flow of information exceed the ability of the social brain to decode and predict. In this case desire withdraws it investment, and this withdrawal gives way to depression.