Gilles Deleuze

BY Srivale

Mark Lester





Vo Boundas




Cant nts

First published in Great Britain in 1 Park Drive, London WII 7 G

I 90

by The Athlone Press

'opyright © 1990 Columbia University Pre s Originally publi hcd as Lo8iqlle du Seas © 1969 by es Ed itions d" M inui t, Paris



British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data Deleuzc, G illes, J 925The logic of sense. I. M"aning-Philosophi al perspective I. Titlt· I!. Boundas, Constantine V. I!. Logiquc du scns, Ena/ish
121' .6

Platonic distinction nite identity-Alicc;"s

between limited things and bccoming-mad-Infiadventures or "events"



.itoic distinction between bodies or states of atfalr and incorporeal effects or e\,ents-C1ea,'age of the causal rdation-Bringing to the suracc;'Discoverv of the surface in the work of Lewis Carroll
All riglns reserved. 0 part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system. or transmitted. in any form or hy any means. vlectronic, mechanical, photocopying or otherwise, without LIlt" prior permission in writing from the publish 'r.



Prinu-d in he United States of America






Book "!'sign by Ken




--I u ]~

-Dot's the proposition have a fourth dimension?-·-Sen~e, expression, and CITntDouble nature of sense: the "expressible" of the proposition and the attribute of the state of affairs, insisten 'e. and extra-Being





Bodie,' language, to cat/to speak-Two kinds of words-Two dirncnsions of the proposition: denotations and expressions, conslIl11l tions and sense-The two s eries

Characteristics of the paradoxi ' C'!cmcnt-What does it mean for it to be nonsense; the two fllTlIrl's of nons IlS -The two forms of the b absurd (without signilic tion) which arc derived from it-co-presenn· of sense and nonsense-Sense as "effect'





Indefi nite proliferation - Sterile spl itting-· Neutrality of the essen '-Absurd and impossible- objects

the third state

The nature of good sense and the paradox-The nature of common sense and the paradox-Nonsense, sense, and the organization of the so-called se ondarv language



Serial Iorm and heterogeneous series-·Their constitution-Th of convergence of the scrics==Lacan's paradox: the strange (empty place or occupant without place)-The sheep s shop

point element







Synthesis of ontraction on one series (connection)-Synthesis of coordination of two series (conjllnction)-Synthesis of disjun tion or the ramification 0 s ries: the problem of portmanteau word

Antonin Artaud and Lewis 'arroll--To eat/to speak and schizophrenic langllage~Schizophrenia and failure of the surface-The word-passion and its exploded literal values, the word-action and its inarticulate tonic va lues - Distinction between the nonsense of depth and the nonsense of the surface, the primary order, and the secondary organization of language






Levi-Strauss' larities


of a structure-The

role of singu-

lncorp real events-effe ts, their cause and quasi-cause-c=Impassibtlir and genesis-Husserl's theory-The .ondinons of a real genesis: transcendental field without the 1 or a center of individuation



.-ingularities i s-Aicatory

and events-Problem

and event==R



point and singular points

The battle-The transcendental field cannot retain the form of consciousncss-c=Irnpersonal and pre-individual singularities-T ranscendental field and sllrfaceDiscourse of the individual, discourse of the person, discourse without ground: Is there a fourth discourse?







Rules of ordinary games-An extraordinary of time: Aion and Chronos-Mallann€


two rea lings

Gen('sis of the individual: Leibniz.ondition of the "compossibilitv" of a world or of the onvcrgence of series ( ontinuitv )-T ranslorma'ONTE TS



tinn of the evenririto predicate-From Persons, properties, and classes

the individual to the person-






The characteristics of Chronos and its overthrow by the becoming of the depths-Alon and surface-Tilt, organization which is derived from Aian and its differences frolll Chronos

Transition of the dimensions of the proposition-Sense tion-- I eutrality of sense-Surface and lining





Philosophy and heightopher: the Stoic-Hercules

Philosophy and depth-A
and the surfaces

n w type of philos-

Problem of alogical incompatibilitiesLeibnizPositive distance and affi rrna ti ve syn thesis of the disju nction - Etc rna I return, Aion, and straight line: a more terrible- labyrinth



of the -ternal return-The three

Individual and event-Continuation significations of univocitv

From sign ihcation to d(·signa tion --- Stoic ism a nd Zen - Classical d iscourse and the individual, romantic discourse and the person: irony-· Groundless discou rse --The d iSCOl! rse of singul a rilles: humou r or the "fourth person singular"



Wha t rna kes language possible language-Verb and infinitive

Reca pi ttl lation of the 0 rgall ization of



The two poles of morality: physical divination of things and logical use of representation-Representation, usage and expression+> To understand, to lViII, and to represent the event

Problem of the dynamic genesIs: from depth to surface-"Positions" accordjng to Melanie Klein-Schizophrenia and depression, depth and height, Simulacrum and Jdol-· First step: from noise to the voice






The eternal truth of the event-Actualization and counter-actualization: the actoj--c-The two asp -cts of death as event--Thc meaning of "to wi 1.1 the event"

The Nogenous zoncs-· Second step of the dynamic genesis: formation of smfacf's and thei I' coordi nation -I mage- N atu re 0 f the oed ipal complex, role of the genital zone






TIll' "crack lip" (Htzgnald)--The two processes and the problem their distinction--Alcoholism and depressive' mania-·-!-Iomage psyclwd el ia

of to



The oedipal affair in its relation with the constitution. of the surface= -_ To restore and to bring hack-Castration-Intention as a categorv._, ,



step of genesis:

from the physical surface

to the metaphysical


251 253

su rface (the doub le screen)




and event-


ego, and singularities-


verb, and language



Platonic dialectics: signification of dil·ision-The selection of the suitors---Copi s and simulacra-Characteristics of the simulacra-Hiswry of representanon-s-To n.'v('l"s{,Platonism: tilt' modern work of art and tht' revenge of the simulacra - Manifest and late nt content of the eternal return (Nietzsche against Plato)-EternaJ return and simulation - Modernity

Phantasm, passage, and beginning-The couple and thought-Metaphysical surface Orientation in psychic life, the mouth, and the brain



The diverse-« =Nature and nontotalizabie sum-Critique of Being, One, and Whole - Differen t aspects of the principle of causality -·-The two I-igures of method-The swerve and the theory of time. True and false in Iinit)' _.- Distu rbance of th e soulEma na tions of the depth, sim ulacra of the surface, theological, oneiric, and erotic phantasms+ _. Time and the unit of method-Origin of the false infinity and of the disturbance of the soul---· Naturalism and the critique of myths

Series and sexualities: connective series and coordination-Third

series and erogenous zone, conjunctive [01111 of sexual series, disjunction and

divergence-Phantasm and resonance-Sexuality and language: the three types of series and the corresponding wordsFrom voice to speech






Recalling the three kinds of esoteric words in Lewis Carroll-Compared summaries of A/ice and Tilrouah the Looking-Glass- Psychoanalysis and literature, neurotic familial novel and novel-Work of art



The disjunctive syllogism from the point of view of the body and language-- Pornography and theology-Seeing and speakingReflections, resonances, and simulacra-Denunciation-Flexion of body and language--Exchange and repetition-Repetition and the simulacrum -. Role of frozen scenes-The dilemma: bodies/language-God and Antichrist: the two realmsKantian theory of the disjunctive syllogism -The role of God-Transformation of the theory in KlossowskiThe order of the Antichrist --Intention: intensity and intentionalityThe eternal return as phantasm

structure of the phantasm: resonance and forced movement -From speech to the verb-End of the dynamic genesis-Primary an d scconda ry repress ion -- Satirical, ironic, h tI morons x


Robinson, clements, and endstill'

Problem of perversion-e-Thc

effect of

Other upon perception-The Other as an a priori structure-The {'rft'ct of the Other upon time-The absence of the Other-Doubles

and clements-The three meanings of the loss of the Other-From the simulacrum to the phs ntasrn-e+Thc Other and pen' -rsion





Crack-up and heredity-Instincts and their objecrs -e-The two heredities-Death instinct and instincts-Thp human beast-Thefantasized object-The tragic and the epic

Preface: From Lewis Carroll
to the Stoics






work of Lewis .arroll has everything required to please the modern reader: children s books or, rather, books for littl girls; splen-



I UWl' a d -bt of gratitudl' during for the t'llcouragement the rime I was engaged in translating

Tlu-rc <lIT many to whom and friendship

didly bizarre and esoteric words; grids; codes and decodings; drawings and photographs; a profound psychoanalytic content; and an xernplary logical and lingui. tic formalism. Over and above the immediate pleasure, though, there is something else, a pia of sen. e and nonsense, a chaoscosmos. But ince the marriage of language and the unconscious has already been onsurnrnated and celebrated in so many ways, it is necessary to examine the precise nature of this union in Carroll's vvork: what else is this marriage conne ted with, and what is it that, thanks to him, this marriage celebrates? We present here a series of paradoxes which form the theory of sense, It is easy to explain whv this th ory is inseparable from para. doxl's: S' sc is a nonexisting entity, and, in fact, maintains very special ____ --~a...._ ..

thcv provided

LOW'/lIe d" ,-em_ Hut I would especially
I h-r valuable sllgge~tions and criticisms,

like to acknowledge Linda Cognato. as well as her unwavering support,
of this piece

relations with nonsense. The privilege I place aSSigned to Lewis Carroll i~ due to his ha\'ing provided the first great ac .ount, th first great mise ell 5ccnc the parado es of sense-sometimes collccting, sometimes


mall.' her as d .... 'l'ITing of credit as anyont: for the appearance in English. I would like to ell-Jil-ate the translation to lu-r

--M_L. xii

n'lll'wing, sometimes in enting, and sometimes preparing them. The prhikged place aSSigned to the Stoics is due' to their ha"ing been the initiators of a new image of the philosopher which broke a\vay from the

pre-Socratics, Socratic philosophy, and Platonism. This new image is already closely linked to the paradoxical constitution of the theory of sense. Thus to each series thoro correspond figures which are not onlv historical but topological and logical as well. As on a pure suriatT, certain points of one figure in a series refer to the points of another figure: an entire galax), of problems with their corresponding dicethrows, stories, and places, a complex place; a "convoluted story." This book is an attempt to develop a logicaJ and psychological novel. ln the appendixes we present live articles which have already been published.While reprinted here in modified form, their theme remains unchanged and develops certain points which are but briefly touched on in the preceding series (each connection being indicated by means of a note). The articles are: I) "Reversing PIaton ism, " Renle de tllitaph 1'siqve et de Morale, 1967; 2) "Lucretius a~ld Naturalism," Etudes Pllilo;opbiques, 196J; 3) "Klossowski and Bodies-Language," Criliqllc, !96~; 4) "A Theory of the Other" (Michl,1 Tournicr}, Cru iq lit, 1967; 5') "Introduction to Zola's La Ber,e h lJmaille, " Cercle Precieux du Livre ,I 967 . We wish to thank the editors for having authorized their reproduction .




1~lt()M I fOWlS




Fir t S ri s of Paradoxes of Pure Beoming

Alice and ThrolJoh [he Looking-Gloss involvea category of very special things: events, pure events. When I say "Alice becomes larger," J mean that she b com~rger than she was. By the same token, however, she becomes smaller than she is now. Certainly, she is not bigger and smallerat the same time. She is larger now; she was smaller before. But it is at the same moment that one becomes la!'ger than one was and smaller than one becomes. This is the ~lta_neit)' of'!'Q£comingwhos! characteristic is to elude the prest~nt. Insofar as it dudes the present, beconung UDeS not tolerate the separation or the distinction of before and after, or of past and future. It pertains to th eessence of becoming to move and to pull in both directions at 0I1ce; Alice does not grow without shrinking, and vice versa. Good sense aFfilms that in all things there is. a determinable sense or direction (sens}; but paradox is the arfirmation of both senses or directions at the same time .. Plato invites us to distinguish between two dimensions;
(I) that of

limited and measured things, of fixed qualities, permanent or temporary which always presuppose pauses and rests, the fixing presents, and the assignation of subjects (for example, a particular subject having a pa rticular largeness or a pa rt icu lar srna llness atapa rticu]a r moment); and (2) a pute bl"coming without measure, a veritable bOi'coming-mad,


which never rests .. It moves in both directions at once. It always eludes the present, causing future and past, more and less, too much and not enough to coincide in the simultaneity of a rebellious matter .. , '[Hjotter' never stop. s where it is but is always b ..... 'point further. , and the same ~ croing·a applies to 'colder,' whereas definite quality is something that has stopped going on and is fixed;" " ... the younger becoming older than the older, the older becoming younger than the younger-but they can never finally become so; if the), did they would no longer be becoming, but would be so." I We recognize this Platonic dualism, It is not at all the dualism of the intelligible and the sensible, of Idea and matter, or of Ideas and bodies It is a more profound and secret dualism hidden in sensible and material bodies themselves. It is a subterranean dualism between that which receives the action ot. the Idea and that which eludes this act jon. It i. .!1Q! the between the Madej and_ the COP)!, but rather be_tween col'Jies and simulacra. Pure becomjIlg th~1!!!limi.!ed, is the matter of the simulacrum insofar as It.eludes the action of the Idea and insofar as it- contests both model and copy at once. Li rni ted- thi~~ li'e beneath the Ideas; but even beneath things, is there not still this mad element which subsists and occurs on the other side of the order that Ideas impose and things receive? Sometimes Plato wonderswhether this pure becoming might not have a very peculiar relation to language. This seems to be one of the principal meanings of the Crary/us. Could this relation b " perhaps, essential to language, as in the case of a "How" of speech, or a wild discourse which would incessantly slide. over its referent, without ever stopping? 2.!:_mig!1t there not. be_ two langlE!g.ej_ .and two sorts oE "names,"...oll designating_ the pauses and rests which receive the action of th Idea, the other expressing the movements Qr rebel becorn ings? 2 Or further still, is it not possible tha t there are two distinct dimensions internal to language in general-one always concealed by the other, yet continuously coming to the aid of, or subsisting under, til(' other? The paradox of this pure becoming, with its capacity to elude the present, is the paradox of infinite identity (the infinite identity of both directions or senses at the same time-of future and past, of the Jay hefore and the dOl)' after, of more and Jess, of two much and not (,IlOllgh, of active and passive, and of cause and effect). It is language which lixes the limits (the moment, for example, at which the excess
2 I';I 1<' ST SE R I ES 0 fO I' A RAn 0 XES 0 F !' U R f BEe





sensing that l! is always in both directions at the same time, so that for once she stays the same, through an optical illusion; the reversal of the day before and the day after, the present always being eluded-"jam tomorrow and jam yest{'l"day-·-but never jam to-day": the reversal of more and less: five nights arc five times hotter thana single one, "but they must b five times as cold for the sam reason"; the reversal. of active and passive: "do cats eat bats?" is as good as "do bats eat cats?"; the reversal of cause and effect: to be punished before having committed a fault, to cr), before haVing pricked divided up th servings. oneself, to serve before ha"ing

begins), but it is language as well which transcends the limits and restores them to the infinite ('c!uivaicnct' of an unlimited becoming ("A red-hot poker will burn you if yOlt hold it too long;. and .... if you cut your tingel" I'cry deeply with a knife, it usually bleeds"). Hence the reversals which constitute Alice's adventures: the reversal of becoming larger and b coming smallcr -e-vwhich way, which way?" asks Alice,

.AU these reversals as they appear in infinite identit), have one conseguence: the contesting of Alice's personal identity and the loss of her proper name. The loss of the proper name is the adventure which is repeated throughout all Alice's adventures. For the proper or Singular name is guaranteed by the permanence of SO voir. The latter is embodied in general names deSignating pauses and rests, in substantives and adjectives, with which the proper name maintains a constant connection. Thus the personal self requires God and the world in general. But whe n substantives and adjectives begin to dissolve, when the names of pause and fest are carried away by the verbs of pure becoming and slide into the language of events, all identity disappears from the self, the world, and God. This is the test of saroh and recitation which strips Alice of her identity. In it words may go awry, being obliquely swept away by the verbs. It is as if events enjoyed an ineality which is communicated through language to the savoir and to persons. For personal uncertairrty Is not a doubt foreign to what is happening but rather an objective structure of the event itsdf,insofar as it moves in two directions at once, and insofar as it fragments the subject following this double direction. Paradox is initially that which destroys good sense as the only direction, but it is also that which destroys common sense as the assignation of fixed identities. c,









Second Series of Paradoxe: of Surface Effects

inlin'itel9 dlillibl'e

Prol ortics, but rather logical or dialectical attribut s. ~nKJ'arc not things or facts, bu events. Vlte cal not ,'a: that they exist, hu rather that they subsist or inhere (havilwb this minimum of being - whtch is ~ appropriate to that which is not J thing, a nonexisting elltity), The), are not substantives or adjectives hut verbs, They are neither agents nor patients, but results of actions and pa .. ions. The-yare "impassive" cntitics-impassiv results. Thcv arc not living preSl'l1ts, but infinitives: the unlimited Aion, the becornins which divides itself inlinitelv , in r= ;:, and future and always eludes the present Thus ~ must be grasped t'\'it~e, in two complementary though rnutuallv exclu: ive fashions. First, it must be,,&;asped entirely as the living present in baclk" ",hi ·h a -taii(J' arc acted upon. Second, it mllst b rras J(,d entin,l. as an entity into ast and future, an into tne incorporea

e' ects

ic result from bodies, their a 'bOllS ~H1(1their pa sions, present exists in time and gathers together or absorbs the past and future. But OI1J), the past and future inhere in time- and divide each present infinitely. These are not three. u cessivc dimensions, but two


aha 9istinguish between two kinds of things, First, there l!!:c bodies with their tensions, ph sical qualities, a tions and passions, and the corresponding "state, of affair ," ~~ates of af~irs, a 'tioos. and, passions, are determined by the mixtures of bodies. At the limit, there is a unit)' of all bodies in virtue of a primordial Fire into which they become absorb d and from which they develop ac ording to their respective tensions. :rhe .only time of bodies and states of affairs is the pre i_l;l1t. For the living PI' sent is the temporal extension which accompanies tJ,€ act, expresses and measures the action of the agent and the passion among passive bodies causes of the patient. But to the degree that there is a unit' of bodies themselves, to the degree that there is a unity of active and principles, a cosmic pre ent embraces the entire universe: only exist in space, and only the present exists in time. There are no and effects among bodies. Rather, all bodies ar causes-cause,

The Stoics

simultaneous readings of time. In his fine reconstruction of 'toi - thought,

Emile Brchier says:

when the scalpel cuts through the flesh, the first body produ cs lIpon the . ('cond not a new propcrty but a new attribute that of being cut. The arrribule docs not deSignate any real qua/i)y . , ... it is, to the contrary, always expressed h.:,' the verh, which rn .ans that it is not a being, but a way of being, ... This way or being finds its lf somehow at the limit, at the surface of ~eing, the nature of which it is not able to change: it is, in .'3 t, neither a rive nor passive, for passivity would prcsuppo e c corporeal nature which undergoes an action. It is purdy and simply a result, or an dfectwhich is not to be classified among beings .... [The Stoics distingUished] radically two plane'S of bring, something that no one had done before them: on th one hand, real and profound b~'ing, for '['; on the other, the planc of facts, which frolic on till' surface of being, ami cOllstitut,l' an endless multiplicitv of incorporeal IWings.! Yet, what is more intimate


in r lation to ea h other and for each other. In the scope of the cosmic present, th unity is called Destin. ' Second, all bodies are causes in relation to each other, and causesJQ! each other-but causes of what? They are causes of certain things of an entirely different nature. These ~lTeClS are not bodies, but, prop,cd)' 'Iwaking, "incorporeal" entities. They arc not physical qualities and

or essential to bodies than events such a'

gl'Owing, becoming smaller, or bdng cut? What do the Stoics mean 1\ hen the), contr: st the thickness of bodies with these' incorporeal events which would play only on the surjacc.Tike a mist over the prairie (('\'('11 less than a mist, since a mist i after all a body)? Mixtures arc in bodies, and in the depth of hodic s: a body penetrates another and
.... -.l'ONJ) J SJ:RIf-.:Of-. I'AHAJ)()XJ S OJ· "URI-'ACF I:-J'I-'I'CTS ~

coexists with it in all of its parts, like a drop of wine in the 0 .ean, or fire in iron. One body withdraws from another, like liquid from a vas. Mixtures in general determine the 9uantitativ and qualitative states of affairs: the dimensions of an ensemble-the red of iron, the gre n of a tree. Hut what we mean by "to grow," "to diminish," "to become red," "to become green," "to cut." and "to be lit," etc., is something entirely rliffcrent. These are no longer tates of affairs-mixtures deep inside bodies-but incorporeal events at the surface which are the results of these mixtures. The tree "gre ns." .. 2 The genius of a philosophy must first be measured by the new distribution which it imposes on beings and concepts. The Stoics ar in the process of tra ing out and of forming a frontier where there had not been one before. I~ this sens they displace all reflection. ~ are in the process of bringing about, first, an entirely new deavag of the causal relation. They dismernb r this relation, even at the risk of recreating a unity on each side. They refer causes to causes and place a bond of causes between them (d;stiny). They refer eff ct to effects and pose certain bonds of effects between them. But these two operations are not accomplished in the same manner. Incorporeal effects are never themselves causes in relation to each other; rather, they are only "quasi-causes" following laws which p rhaps xpr s in each case the r lative unity or mixture of bodies on which they del' nd for their real auses, Thus freedom is preserv d in two ornpl mentary manners: one in the interiority of destiny as a connection betw en causes, and on e more in the exteriority of events as a bond of effects. l-or this reason the Stoics can oppose d stiny and necessity.3 The Epicureans formulated another ck'avage of causality, which also grounds freedom. They cons rye the homogeneity of cause and effect, but cut up causality ac ording to atomi series whose respective independence is gu< ranteed by the c/inam:ll-no longer destiny without necessity. but causality without destiny." In either case, on begins by splitting the causal relation, instead of distinguishjng types of .ausalitv as Aristotl had done and Kant would do. And this split alwa, s refers us back to language, either to the existence of a declension of causes or as we shall see, to the existence of a collju8ation of effects. Ihis new dualism of bodies or states of affairs and effects or incorporeal events entails an upheaval in philosophy. In Aristotle, for ex6

ample, all categories are said of Being; and difference is present in Being, b tween substance as the primary. ense and the other cat gories which are r lated to it as accidents. For the Stoics, on the other hand, states of affairs, quantities, and qualities are no les: beings (or bodies) than substan - is; th . arc a part of substance and in this sense they are contrasted with an (!X!ra-BeIllB which constitutes the incorporeal as a nonexisting entity. The highest term therefore is not Being, but SomeriJins (aliquid), insofar as it subsumes being and non-being, existence and inherence.! Moreover, the Stoics are the lirst to reverse Platonism and .t~ bring about. a radical inversion. For if bo.di:s with their states. qualities, and quannnes, assume all the haracteristics of substanc and cause, conversely, the characteristics of the Idea are relegated to the oth r side, that is to thi impassive extra-Being whi h is st rile, inefficacious and on the surfa e of things: the ideational or the incorporeal can no loneer be an)'~hine other than an .·:!Jeel. " These consequences are extremely important. In Plato, an obscure debate was raging in the depth of things, in the depth of the earth, between that which undergoes the action of the Idea and that which eludes this action (copies and simulacra). An echo of this d~bate resonates when Socrates asks: is there an Idea of everything. even of hair, dirt, and mucl-or rather is there something which always and obstinately escapes the Idea? In Plato, however, this something is n vel' suffici ntly hidden, driven back, pushed deeply into the depth of the body. or drowned in the ocean. EI'efphinB noll' returns to the sutjaee. Thi is the result of the Stoic operation: the unlimited returns. Becomingmad, becoming unlimited is no longer a ground which rumbles. It climbs to the surface of things and becomes impassive. It is no longer a question of simulacra which elude the ground and insinuate themselves cv rvwhere, but rather a question of Ifects which manifest themselves and act in their pia _ These are effects in the causal sense. but also sonorous, optical, or linguistic "effects"-and even less, or much more, sin e they are no longer corporeal entities, but rather form th entire Idea. What was eluding the Idea climbed up to the surface, that is, the incorporeal limit, and represents now all possible ideality. the I tter bt'ing stripped of its causal and spiritual efficacy. The Stoics discovered surface effects. Simulacra cease to be subterranean rebels and make the most of their effects (that is, what might be called "phantasms,"
SEC 0 NilS ~. ]{ I I' SOl-' P A ]{ A










I-' 1\ C EEl-'




_0dependcn I)' of the Stoic rcrrnmolog ). The most concealed becomes the most manifest. All the old paradoxes of becoming must again take shape in a new YOllthfulness-transmutation. Be- 'oming unlimited come to be the ideational and incorporeal event, with all of its .haracteristic r versals betw en future and past, active and passive, cause and effect, more and less, too much and not enough, already ami not et. The infinitely divisible event is always borh ilal oll~e. lt is eternally that which has just happened about to happen, but never that which is happening and not enough). The event, being itself impassive, and the passive to be interchanged man.' easily, since nor the other, but rather their ommon result (to and that which is (to cut too deeply allows the active it i neitber rhe one cut-to be cut).

most profound is the immediate, in the other, the immediate is found in langu ge. Paradox appe r as a dismiss I of depth, a display of ev nts at the surface, and a deployment 0 languaO"e along this limit. Humor i the art of the surfac , which is opposed 0 the old irony, the art of depths and heights. The Sophists and Cynics had already made humor a philosophical weapon against Socrati iron; but with the Stoics, humor found it dialectics, its diale 'tical principle or its natural place and its pure philosophical concept. Lewis arroll carries out this operation, inaugurated by the Stoics, or rather, he tak s it up again. In all his works, .arroll examines the difference b tween events, things, and states of affair .. But th entire first half of Alice still seeks the secret of events and of th b coming unlimited whi h they imply, in the depths of the earth, in dug out hafts and hole which plunge beneath, and in the mixture of bodi s which interpenerrat and coexist. As one advances in the -tory, however, the digging and hiding gil's way to a lateral sliding from right to left and left to right. The animals below ground become secondary, giving way to card .figures which have no thickness. One could say that the old depth having been spread out became width. The becoming unlimited is maintained entirely \ ithin this inverted width. "Depth" is no longer a omplement, Only animal are deep, and they are not th nob] st for that; the noblest are the flat animals. Events are like crystals, they become and grow only out of the edges, or on th ..;:dge. This is, indeed the first secret of the stammerer or of the left-handed person: no longer to sink, but to slide th whole length in su h a way that the old depth no longer exists at all, haVing been reduced to the opposite side of the surface. By sliding, one passes to the other side, since the other side is nothing but the opposite direction. II' there is nothing to .IT b 'hind the curtain, it is because (,\·erything is visible, or rather all possible science is along the length of the curtain. [t suffices to follow it far mough, precisely enough, and superf ially enough, in order to reverse sides and to make the right side he orne the left or vice versa.



'one rning the cause and the Hect, v nts, beiflg always only ~[fcCLS, are better able to fOl1TI among themselves functions of quasi-causes or relations of quasi-causality which are alwavs revcrsibl (the wound and the scar). The Stoics are amateurs and inventors of paradoxes. It is nee ssary


to reread th astonishing portrait of Chrvsippus given in several pages written by Diogenes Laertius, Perhaps the Stoics used the paradox in a completely new manner-both as an instrument for the anal), is of language an I as a means of syntheSizing events. Dtaleaics is preciselv this science of incorporeal events as they arc expressed in propositions, and of the connections between events <l. they are expressed in relations between propositions. Diale ti is, indeed, the art of conju,901ion (see U1C corifatalia or series of events which depend on one another). But it is the task of language both to establish limits and to go beyond them. Therefore language includes terms which do not cease to displace their extension and which make possible a reversal of the .onnecrion in a given series (thus too mu h and not enough, fc\.v and many). The event is coextensive with becoming, and becoming is itself coextensive with llanguage; the paradox is thus es en iall), a "sorites," that is a series of interrogative propositions whi 11, following becoming, proceed through sue essive dditions and retrenchments. Everything h. ppens at the boundary between things and proposition . Chrysippus taught: "If yOll say something, it passes through your lips; so, if you say "chariot," a chariot pass{'s tJlrough your lips." Here is a use of paradox th only equivalents of which are to be found in Zen Buddhism on on hand and in English or Ameri an nonsense on the other. In one case, that whi ·h is

lt is not therefore a question of the advenuires of Alice, but of Alice's her climb to the surface, her disavowal of false depth and her d iscoverv that everything happens at the border. This is why Carroll abandons the original title of the book: Alice's Adl'cn!lJres Underground. This is the ('as('-('v(,11 more so-in Through the Looking-Glass. Here events, difTl'ring radically from things, are no longer sought in the





depths, but at the surface, in the faint in orporeal mist which escapes from bodies, a film without volume which envelops them, a mirror which reflects them, a chessboard on whi ·h they are organized accord-

-I_I ( depths,

ing to plan. Alice is no longer able to make her way through

to the


Instead, she rel cas cs her incorporeal double. I< ". by jollo,,;na <I" border, by skirtina the 5uifacc, that aile possesIrom bodies to the incorporeal. Paul . Valer had a profound idea: whs t is most deep is th skin. This is a Stoic discovery, which presupposes, great deal of wisdom and entails an entire ethic. It is the discovery of the Iittl I." girl, who grows and diminishes only from the (>dges-a surfa e which reddens and become: green. She knows that the more the event. traverse the entire, depthless extension, the marc they affect bodies which they cut and bruise. Later, th adults are snapp d up by the ground, fall again, and, being too deep, they no long I' understand. Why do the same Stoic examples ontinue to inspire Lewis Carroll?-the tree greens, the scalpel cuts, the battle will or will not take place. .. It is in front of the trees that Alice loses her name. It is a tree which Humpty Dumpty addresses without looking at Alice. Recitations announce battles, and everywhere th re are injuries and cuts. But are these examples? Or rather, is it the case that every event is of this t Ipe~~forest, battle and wound-all th more profound since it occurs at the surface? The more it skirts bodies, the more incorporeal it is. History tea h s us that sound roads hav no foundation, and geography that only a thin layer of the earth is fertile. This redis ov ry of the Stoic sage is not res rved to the Inde d, it is true that Lewis Carroll detests boys in general. too much depth, and fals depth at that, false wisdom, and Th male baby in Alice is transformed into a pig. A a general little girls understand Stoicism; they have the sense of the little girl. They have animality. rule, ani event and

sion of the first part is to th glory the East, from which comes all that is good, "the substance of things hoped for, and the existence of things not seen." ler even the barometer neith r rises nor falls, but goes lenathwise, Sideways, < nd gil'('. a horizontal V" ather. A stret hing machine even lengthens songs. And Fortunatus' purse, presented as a Mobius strip, is made of handkcr hid's sewn in the 1-I,'(on8IFO)'. in such a manner that its outer surface is continuous with its inner surface: it envelops the entire world, and makes that which is inside be on the outside and vice versa." In _~I'/l'ic and Bruno. the technique of passing from reality to dream, and from bodies to the incorporeal, is multiplied, completely renewed, and carried out to perfection. lt is, however still by skirting the surface, or the border, that one passes to the other side, by virtue of the strip. The continuity between reverse and right side repla es all the levels of depth; and the surface effects in one and the same Event, which would hold for all events, bring to language becom-


?F a Parti-cle:

ing and its paradoxes." As .arroll say in an article entitled The D namif.~ "Plain Superficiality is the character of a speech .... "



release an incorporeal double. But it happens sometimes that a little boy is a stutterer and left-handed, and thu con9uers sense as the double sense or direction of the surface. Carroll's hatred of boys is not attributable to a deep ambivalence, but rather to a superficial inversion, a properly Carroll ian concept. In SylVie and Bruno, it is the little boy who ha. the inventive role, learning his lessons in all manners inside-out, outside-in, above and below, but never "in depth." This important novel pushes to the xtrerne the evolution which had b gun in /Wce, and which continued in Throllgh the Lookinq-Class. The admirable conclulO






'1': Jofl-ECTS



OJ': I'AIC'\l)()X:s







en s of the


It would be wrong to treat them as universal concepts, I~)r they are formal particulars (sin_qllliers) which function as pure "designators" or, as B nveniste savs, indexicals (indicateurs}. Th se formal i71ciexicals are: this, that , it , here, there, v . terdav, now, t. Proper .. names are also indexical. or designators, but they have special importance since they alone form properly material singul rities. Logically, rlcno ation has as its elements ann its criterion the true and the false. "True" signifies that a denotation is effectively tilled by the state of affairs or that the indexicals arc "realized" or that the correct image has been selected. "True in all cases" signHje. that the infinity of parti -ular images a sociable to words is filled, without any selection being ne essar ~. "False" sionifies that the denotation is not filled, either .._ b

:>..t~L' ~rs.

as a result of a d feet in the selected images or a, a resul of the radical irnpossibilit of producing an image which can be asso iated with words. A second relation of the proposition is often called "manifestation." lt concerns the relation of the proposition to the person who speaks and expresses himself. [<lllifestation therefore is presented as a statement of desires and beliefs which correspond to the proposition. D sires and beliefs are causal inferences, not associations. Desire is the internal caw; litv of an image with respect to the existence of the object or the corresponding. tate of affairs. .orrelativclv, belief is the anti ipation of this object or state of affair insofar as its e dsten must b... produced hv an external causality. 'Ne should not conclude from this that manif(>station is secondary in relation to denotation. Rather, i makes denotation possible, and inferences form a systematic unity fl'om which the associations derive, Hume had seen this clearlv: in the association of cause and effect, it is "inference according to the relation" which prcccdc« the relation itself. The primac)' of manifestation is confirmed hy linguistk analysis, which reveals that there arc in the proposition "manifcstl'l"s" like the !ipe ial parti [ s I, you, tomorrow, always, elsewhere, vvcrvwhcrc, etc. In the same that the proper name is a
• J

Bct\>\("en these evenrs-effe ·ts and language, or even the possibility of language, there is an es ential relation. It ~ th characteristic of events _to be expressed or expres ible, uttered or utterable, in propositions which are at least possible. There arc many relations inside a proposition. Which is til best. uited to surfac . effects or event? Many authors agree in recognizing three distin t relations within the proposition. The first i .alled denotation or indication: it is the relation of the proposition to an external state of affairs (datum). The state of alTa irs is indil·idllGwd:it includes particular bodies mixtu res of bodies, qualities, quantities, and relations. Denotation functions through the association of the words them elves with parucular images which auahl 10 "represent" the state of affairs. From all the images asso iated with a 'Nord-with a particular word in the propo ition-we must choose or 'elect those which correspond to the given whole. The Jenotating intuition is then expres .ed by the form: "it is th; t," or ' it is not that." The question of knowing' hethcr the association of words and images is primitive or derived, necessarvJ or arbitrary,/ can not yet be [ormulatcd. What matters for the moment is that certain words in the proposition, or certain lingUistic particles. function in all cases as empty Forms for the selection of in ages, and hence for the denotation of each


privileged indicator, ' I" is the basic rnanifcster. But it is not onlv the other manifl'sters which depend on the "I": all indicators are relat~d to il as well.' Indication, or denotation, subsumes the individual stares of «[hi,rs, the particular images and the singular designators; hut rnaniles\("r", lll'ginning with th!''- "I," comtitut~ the do~,ain of the personal. which function;; as the principle of all possible denotation. finally, from
T Ii I R () ..,E It II· S

I· Till'

Pit () P() SIT I ) N


denotation to manifestation, a drsplacement of logical values occurs •vhich is represented by the Cogito: no longer the true and the false, but veracity and illusion, In his celebrated analysis of the piece of wax, far example, Descartes is not at all looking for that which was dwelling in the wax-this problem is not ev n fOlmulated in this text; rather, he shows how the I, manifest in the 'ogito, grounds the judgment of denotation by which the wax is identified, We ought to reserve the term "signification" for a third dimen ion of the proposition. Here it is a question of the r lation of the word to universa! or genera/ concepts, and of syntactic connections to the irnplications of the oncept, From the standpoint of signification, we always consider the elements of the proposition as "signi~ring" conceptual impli ation capable of referring to other propositions, which serve as premises of the nrst, Signification is defined by this order of conceptual implication ... vhere the proposition under consideration intervenes only as an element of a "demonstration," in the most general sense of the word, that is, either as premise or as conclusion. Thus, "implies" and "therefore" are ess ntialJy linguistic signifiers. "Implication" is the sign which d nnes the relation between premises and conclusion; "therefore" is the sign of assertion. which defines the possibility of affirming the conclusion itself as the outcome of implications. When we speak of demonstration in th most general sense, we mean that the Signification of the proposition is always found in the indirect process which corresponds to it, that is, in its relation to other propositions from which it is inferred, or conversely, whos conclusion it renders possible. Denotation, on the other hand, refers to a direct pro ess. Demonstration must not be understood in a restricted, syllOgistiC or mathematical sense, but also in the physical sense of probabilities or in the moral sense of promises and commitments, In this last ase, the assertion of the conclusion i~ represented by the moment the promise is effectively kept.2 Th' logical value of Signification or demonstration thus understood is no longer the truth, as is shown by the hypothetical mode of implications, but rather the condition if truth, the aggregate of onditions under which the proposition "would be" true. The conditioned or on luded proposition may be false, insofar as it actually denotes a nonexisting state of affairs oris not directly verified. Signification does not establish the truth without also establishing the possibilit' of error. For this reason, the condition of truth is not OP] osed to the false, but

to the absurd: that which is without neither true nor fals .


or that which rna


Tht' question of whether Signification is in turn primary in relation to rn~nifestation and denotation requires a complex response. For if manifestation itself is primary in relation to denotation, if it is the foundation, it is so only from a \'I:'r/ specific point of view. To borrow a classic distinction, we say that it is from the standpoint of speech (parole). b it a speech that is silent. In the order of speech, it is the [ which begins, and begins absolutely. In this order, therefore, the I is primary, not only in relation to all possible denotations which are founded upon it, but also in r lation to the significations which it CIlI'e10pS. But precisely from this standpoint, conceptual signiflcations are neither valid nor deployed for thernselv s: they are only implied (though not expressed) by the I, presenting itself as ha ving Signification which is imrn diately und rstood and identical to its own manifestation. This is why Descartes could contrast the definition of man as a rational animal with his determination as Cogito: for the former demands an explicit development of the signified concepts (what is animal? what is rationalr), whereas the latter is supposed to be under .tood as soon as it

is said.l

This primacy of manifestation, not only in relation to denotation but also in relation to signifi ation, must be understood within the domain of "speech" in which significations remain naturally implicit. It is only here that the I is primary in relation to concepts-· +in relation to the world ~nd to God. But if another domain exists in which Significations ~re. valid and d veloped for themselves, significations would be primary In It and would provide the basis of manifestation. This domain is preCisely that of lanat/Dge (langue). In it, a proposition is able to appear only as a premise or a conclusion, signi.fying concepts before manifesting a~U~Ject, or even b fore denoting a state of affairs. It is from this point of. \'IC'W that Signified concepts, such as God or the world, are always pn~lal"y in relation to the self as manifested person and to things ~s tlt'.lgnatcd objc ts. More generally, Benveniste has shown that the ,:v1ation between the word (or rather its Own acoustic image) and the tonccpt was alone nee "ssar)" and not arbitrary. Only the relation betwcen the \1'0'I cI anr I t I11." concept en)o),s a necessity which the other . ' .' Iviatlon'

do not

have . TI'e latter rernam ar I . . • a tel »trarv

them directly and escape the arbitrary

,(' insorar as we consider only inso'far as we connect them





to this primary' relation, Thus, he possibility of causing particu~ar images associated with the word to var)', of substituting one image for another in the [orm "this is not that, it's that," an be ('xplained only bv the constancy of the signitied concept, Similarly desires would not I~rm an order of demands or even of dub '5, distinct from a simple urgell 'y of ne ds, and beliefs would not form an order or inference, distinct from simple opinions, if the words in whi h the:' wcr. manifested did not refer hrst to concepts and conceptual implications rendering these desires and beliefs significative, Th presupposed primacy of signill ation over denotation, however. till raises a delicate problem. When we say "therefore," when we consid r a proposition as concluded, we make it the object of an assertion,We set aside the premises and affirm it for itself, indcpcndently. We relat it to the state of affairs which it denotes, independently of the implications which constitute its signification, To do so, however, two onditions have to be tilled. It is first necessary that the premi, es be posited as effectively true, which already forces us to depart from the pure order of implication in order to relate the premises to a denoted state of affairs which we presuppose. But then, ven if we suppose that the premises and B are true, we ran only con ludc from this the proposition in question (let us call it Z)-we 'an only detach it from its premises and affirm it for itself independently of the implication-by admitting that Z is, in turn, true if A and B are true. This amounts to a proposition, " which remains within the order of implicati n, and is unable to escape it, since it ref rs to a proposition, 0, which states that "Z is true if A, B, and C ar true" ," and so on to infinity, This paradox, which lies at the heart of logic, and which had decisive importance for the entire theory of symboli implication and signifi arion, is L wis Carroll's paradox in the celebrated text, "What the Tortoise Said to A hilles.':" In short, the conclusion can be detached from the premises, but only on the condition that one always adds other premises from which alone the conclusion is not detachable, This mounts to saying that signification is never homogeneous; r that the two sign' "impli s" and "therefore" arc completely heterogeneou.; or that implication never succeeds in grounding denotation xcept by gi\ling itself a ready-made denotation, once in the premises and again in the conclusion, from denotation

signifl -ation to manifestation and to cit notation, we are carried along a circle, which is the cir .lc of the proposition. Whether we ought to be cont('nt with these three dimensions of the proposition, or whether we should add a Jourlh =r-whicl: woukl be ,~Cn5C- is an economic or strategic question, It is not that we must construct an a posteriori model 'ofresjJonding to pr vious dimensions, but rather the model itself must han' the aptitude to function a priori from within, were it forced to introduce a supplernentarv dimension which, because of its evanescence, could not have been recognized in experience from outside, It is thus a question de jure, and not simply a question of fact, everthcl '5$, there is also a question of fact, 11<.1 it is ne e: ary to begin by asking wheth 'I' sense is capable 0 being localized in one of these three rumensions.lr-notation, manifestation, or signification, We could answer first that such a localization seems irnpossibl within denotation, Fulfilled denotation makes the proposition tru ; unfulfilled denotation makes the propo ition fal e. S nse, evidently, 'an not consist of that which render: the proposition true or false, nor of the dimension in which these values are realized. Moreover, denotation would be able to support the weight of the proposition only to the extent that one would be able to show a .orrespondenc between words and denoted things or states of affair. Brice Parain has discussed the paradoxes that such a hvpothese cau: es to arise in Greek philosophy." How are we to avoid paradoxes, like a chariot passing through one's lips? More directly still, .arrol] asks: how .ould names hay a "re: pendent"? What does it mean for something to respond to its name? And if things do not re 'pond to their name, what is it that prel'ents them from losing it? What is it then that would remain, save arbitrariness of denotations to which nothing responds, and the emptiness of indexicals or formal designators of the "that" type -both being stripped of sense? It i undeniable that all d notation presuPI oses sense and that we position ourselves slraiSilt <'111'<'1)' within sense whenever we denote, To idcntifv sense with manifestation has a better chance of success, since the designators themselves have sen e only in virtue of an I which 1l1,1I1irestsitself in the proposition. This I is indeed primary, since it Jllo\\'~ spcl'ch to begin; as Alice says "if you only spoke when you were ~pok('n to, and the other l)er5on al ",'ays waited for you to begin, you see nobor]v would ever say anything, , , ." It shall be concluded [rom this that sense resides in the hdiC'r.~(or desires) or the person who C'xpre.ses

to manifestation,

then to signih ation, but also from




hersdC" " 'When I usc 3 word,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'it means [ust what I -hoosc it to mean -neither more nor less, , , , The question is , , . \\·hich is to be masterthat's all.' " W(' have, however, seen that the nrdr r of beliefs and desires was founded on the order of tilt' l'()11 l'l'p ttl a I implications of Signification, and that even the idcntitv of the sdf which speaks, or sa~r, "I," was guaranteed only bv till' pennancnce of certs in :;ignilieds (the concepts of God, th ~ world, ' .), TIl(' I is primary and sufficient in the order of speech only jusofar as it envelops significations which must be developed for themselves in the order of language (Ianyue), If these sicriihcations ollapse , or are not b . established in themselves, personal identity is lost, as Alice Ininflilly " experiences, in conditions where God, the world, and the self be orne the blurred characters of the dream or someone who is poorlv determined, This is why the last recourse seems to be identifying sense with


. ignification, We arc then sent back to the circle and led back to .arroll's paradox in which signification can never exercise its role of last foundation, since it presupposes an irreducible denotation, But perhaps the re is a very genf'ral reason why signif1cation fails and why there i. a ircularitv between b' around and grounded, Wh n we define sionif .ation as the ·b condition of truth, w give it a characteris tic which it share with sense, and which is already a characteristic of sense, But how does signilication assume this hara .teristic? How does it make use of it? In discussing the conditions of truth, we raise ourselves above the tru and till' false, since a fal c proposition also has a s nsc or signification. But at the same time, 11'(' define this superior condition solely as the possibility for the proposition to he true ,7 This possibilitv is r'llthing other than the .form C?! possibili~1' of the proposition itself, There are many forms of possibility for propositions: logi .al, geometrieaJ, algenrai phvsical, syntactic, , , ; Aristotle defined the rOml of logical possibility by means of U1C relation between th" terms of tilt' proposition and ~he 'loci of the' accident, proprwm, genus, or dehni ion; Kant even invented two Ill'\" forms of possibilitv, the transccndcn ,I and the moral. But hv whatever manner one dcfin~s rOml, it is an odd procedure since it im';lh'es rising from the conditioned to the cond ition, in order to think of the condihall as the sirn p Ie possib iiity of the con di tialled,He re one rises to a foundation, hut that which is foundl'd remains what it was, indepcndcntlv of the operation which founded it and una frl' ted by i . Thus
rlIIIU) 'ohl(ll'.~ 01, '1111, 1'1()I'O'oITION

(i<-Ilot.ltion remains ext 'mal to the order II hich conditions it, and the tru« . nd the fal c rc main indifferent to the principle which determines lhl' possibilit:' of the o Ill', b)' .1110\\ ing it only to subsist in its former rdalion to (he other. One' is pcrpct uallv referred from the conditioned t() rh« condition, and also from dll' condition to the conditioned, For Ihe condition of truth to avoid this ddi::ct, it ollght to have an clement (II' it;" 01' n, distinct from the 1'01111 of the conditioned, It ought to have \·<lIlI':lhtn.q unconditioned capable of assuring a real genesis of denotation ,1I1d the other dimensions of the proposition, Thus the condition of truth would be defined no longl'r as the 1~)m1of conceptual possibility, but rather as ideational material or "strs tum," that I:; to sa)" no longcr as signification, but rather as sense. S,'nsl' is the fourth dimension of the proposition. The Stoics discovered it along with the event: sense, the expressed the ptoposiuon. is an in 'orporeal, complex, and irreducible entit" a he surfa .e of thing" a IJure event whi h inheres or subsists in the proposition, The discovcrv was made a second time in the fourteenth centurv J'" in Ockham's school ,



by Gregory of Rirnini and

I icholas d'Autrecourt.

It v as made a third

and Meinong against Hegelian lOgiC and its lineage, The qu stion is as [ollows: i. there something oliouid, which III rges neither with the proposition or with the term of the propo ition, nor with the obje t or with the state of affairs which the proposition denotes, neither with the "I ivcd," 0 r representation or the men tal acti \'ity of the persoll who expresses herself in the proposition, nor with con epl:! or e en signin('d essences? If there is, sense, or that whi h is c 'pressed by the proposition, would be irreducible to individual ta e: of affairs, I articular images, personal beliefs, and universal or general concepts The Stoics 'aid it all: neither word nor body, neither sensible representation nor rauonal representation. 'l Hettel' yct, pcrhap: sense would be "neutral," JitogYlhn indifli.'rent to both particular and general. ,'ingular and uniI{'r~'ll, personal and impcr: onal. It would b~ of an cnrirclv diffcn,'nt narun-. Hut is it lll'CeSsary to recognize such a su pplcrnentarv instance' must 11'(' indced managt' to get along with what \\T al ready have: d"not • I' 'f"' " Ion, maru cstation, an d signi if cation? In eac h period the centro(h'

time at the end of the nineteenth century, by the great philosopher and logician Mcinong,8 Undoubtedly there ar ~ reasons for these mom nts: we have seen that the, itoic dis 'overy pre.upp sed a reversal of Plateni.~I11; sirnilarlv, Ockharn's looic reacted against the problem of Uruversals 6


T I I t H IJ '0 J', H I h S () ,. T' t I: I' R () P () ~ tTl



vt'rsy is taken up' anew (Andre ell Neufcl~ateau and Pierre d' Ailly against Rimini, Brcntano and Russell against MeLnong). ln truth, the attempt to make this fourth dimension ('\"id -nt is a little like Carroll's Snark hunt. Perhaps the dimension is the hunt itself, and sense i. the Snark. lt is difficult to respond to those \\·ho wish to be satisfied with words, things, images, and ideas. l-or W'" may not even say that sense exists either in things or in the mind; it has I~e~ther physical nor mental existence. Shall we at least sa,' that it is useful, and that it is necessary to admit it for its utility? ot even this, since it is endowed with an inefficacious, impassive, and sterile splendor. This is v hy we said that in .facl we an only infer it indirectly, on the basis of the cir Ie where ~he ordinary dimensions of the proposition lead us. It I onl ~Y b.reaklllg open the circle, as in the case of the Mobius strip, b unfoldm~ a,~cl untwisting it, that the dimension of s nsf' appear,. for Itself, m. lt~ irreducibility, and also in its genetic power as it animates an a priOri internal model of the proposition.i'' The logiC of sense is inspired in its entirety by empiricism. Only empiricism knows how to transcend the experiential dimensions of the visible without falling into Ideas, and how to track down, invoke, and perhaps produce a phantom at the limit of a lengthened or unfolded xperience. Hus erl calls "expression" this ultimate dimension, and he distinguishes it from denotation, manifestation, and demonstration. 11 ~e is that whi 'h is t"x oressed. Husser], no lcs than Meinong, r dis ov red the living sour es of the Stoic inspiration. For example, w~en Husserl reflects on the "perceptual noerna," or the "sense of perception," he at once distinguishes it from the physical object, from the psychologica[ or "lived," from mental representations and from logical concepts. He presents it as an impassive and incorporeal entit- > without physical or menta! existence, neith r acting nor being acted lIpon -a pure result or pure "appearance." The real tree (the denotatum) can burn, be the sub]c t and object of a .tions, and enter into mixture .. This is not the case, however, for the noema "tree" There are m ny noemata or senses f, r the same denoiatum: vening star and morning tar are two noernata that is two ways in which the same denotauu» Illay be

o[1J'ccti\'e unity, as the intention [ correlate of the act of perception. The nOl"llla is not given in a perception (nor in a recollection or an image). It has an entirely different status which consists in noc existing outside rhc proposition whi h expressl's it-whether the proposition is perceptual, or whether it is imaginati\T, rccollective, or representative. We dbtinguish b tween gr en as a sensible color or quality and "to green" as a noematic olor or attribute. 'The tree ereen.l"-is this not finally the sense the color of the tree; and is not "the tree weens" its global meaning? Is the noerna anything more than a pure event - the tree occurrence (although Husser] does not speak of it in this manner for terminological reasons)? And is that which he call. "appearance" anything more than a urface effect? Between the noernata of the s me object, or even of different objects, complex ties ar dev loped, analo0"0 us 0 thos which the Stoic dialectic e. tablished between events. t;;. Could ph nom nology b this rigorous science of .urfac effects? Let us onsider the complex status of sense or of that which is expressed. On one hand, it does not exist outside the proposition which expresses it; what is expressed does not exist outside its expression. This is wi )' we cannot say that sense exists, but rather that it inheres or subsists. On the other hand, it docs not merge at all with th propo 'ition, for it has an objective (objeclirej which is quite distinct. What is expressed has no res mblan whatsoever to the expression. S nse is indeed attribut d, but it is not at all the attribute of the propositionit is rather the attribut of the thing or state of affairs. The attribute of th proposition is the predi 'ate-a qualitativ predicate like green, for example. [t is attributed to the subject of the proposition. But the attribute of the thing is the verb: to green, for example or rather the ev nt expressed by this verb. It is attributed to the thing denoted by the subject, or to the state of affairs denoted by the entire proposition. Com' .rselv, this logical attribute does not merge at all with the physi al state of affairs, nor with a quality or relation of this state. The attribute is not a being and doe. not guali~y a bt"ing; it is an extra-being "Green"



presented in exp:essions. When therefore Husser! says that th is the perceived such as it appears in a presentation, "the perceivedas such" or the appearance, we ought not understand that the,l1oema involves a sensible gi\'en or quality; it rather involves an ideation, [
20 Till RI S I, IU IeS () f- T I-I f: f> R 0 PO SIT I


deSignates a quality, a mixture 0 things, a mixture of ree and air where chlorophvll coexists with all the parts of the leaf. "To ereen " on the contrary, is not a quality in the thing, but an attribute vvhich is said of the thing. This attribute does not exist outside of the proposition \\"!lich expresses it in denoting the thing. Here we return to our point 01 d('partufC': sense docs not exist outside of the proposition ... , et .
J' ~ ,




01- Till-



Hut this is not J circle, It is rather the coexistence of two sides without thickn 's~, such that \\l' P,!iS from one to the other hy following their length, Scme i.1 "OIh Ihe expressible or rhe expressed r:f [he propo.sirioll, and the uuributc C!fthc \I,IIC C!fC!ilclirs, It turns one side toward things and one sick toward propositions. But it docs not m<:'rge with the proposition which expresses it any more than with the state of affair or the quality which thl' proposition denotes, I t is exactly the boundary lwt\\ ccn

roll rth




~IJlropositinns and things, It is this aliquid at once extra-Heiilg and ~nl:l'rl'n~'l" that is, tl~i, mini~um o~: heing whi '~ ,befit, inlwrent'l's,ll It IS JIl th IS sense that It IS an event : on the condition Ihar the el'en/ IS nOI CO,!/llSl:d wir h irs spar i -temporal realian iOI1 in a SllIre ?f '!ffairs, We will not ask therefor what is the sense of the event: the event is sense itself The event bel mgs essentially to language; it has an essential relationship to language, But langllage is what is 'aid of things. Jean Galtegno has indeed noted the difference between 'arroll's stories and classical fairy tales: in Carroll's work, everything that takes place occurs in and b)' means of language; "it is not a story which he tells us, it is a discourse which he address s to us, a dis .oursc in several pieces, .. ." I j It is indeed into this Hat world of the sense-event, or of the exprcssibl ,attribute, that .arroll situates his entire work, Hence the connection between the fantastic work signed "Carroll" and the mathematicolOgical work signed "Dodgson, 'I seems cLff-icult...,tosay, a. has been done, that the fantastic work presents simply the traps and difficulties into which we fall when we do not observe the rul sand laws formLllarcd by the logical work. ot only because many of the traps subsist in thclogical work itself, but also becau c the distribution seems to be of an entirely different .ort. It is surpri ing to find that Carroll's entire logil'al work is directly about 'iBIl!rwtioll, implications, ami onclusion: and only indirectly about sense-preci. ely, through the paradoxes which signitication does not r solve or indeed which it creates. On the contrary,.. the fantastic work is immcdiatelv , con .erned with sense and attaches the power of paradox dire tly to it, This corresl onds well to the two, t t s of sense, de facto and de jure, a posteriori and a priori, one by which the circle of the proposition is indirectly inferred, the other by which it is made to appear for its 'If, by unrolding the 'ircle along the kngth of the border between propositions and things,


f-ir~t important duality was that of causes and eff<cts, of corporeal things and incorporeal events. But insofar as events-effects do not exist outside the propositions which express them, this duality is prolonged in the duality of things and propositions, of bodies and language, This is the source of the alternative which runs throuch all ;hc "works of b Carroll: to eat or to speak. In 5_rlrie and Brullo, the alternative is between "bits of things" and "bits of ihakespeare." At lice's coronation dinner, ~'ou either r-at wh t is presented to you OJ" you are presented to what


you ea t. To ea t a nd to be eaten - th is is the opera tional model of bodies, the t:Ve of their mixture in depth, their action and pas, ion, and
the way in \\'hid~ they coexist within one another. To speak, though, is till' movement of the surface, and of ideational attribute or incorporeal events. What is more serious: to speak or food or to eat words? In her alilll<"l1t,ary obsessions, Alice is overwhelmed hv nightmares of absorhing and being absorbc d. She Iinds that the poems she hears recited re


~'h(~~'lI'dil,k lish. If

\11.' then speak of food, how can we avoid speaking Ill,honl 01 tho on ' who is to be served as food? 'onsklcr, for example, !\ll\_\"~ hluurk-r ~ . I', " , ., III rout 0 f' t I1(' M ouse, II (J\\' can we avoid eatlllg the puddlllg to which Ill' have hccn presented? Further still, spoken words

11M \'


If() to


a \ \T\,,



~"II' tl "
.\ ~


,I'll' attractcc I I)y t I (Icpth. o f bodies, the;' ma." , . w




01· TIl)'


be ac ompanied by verbal hallu .inations, as in the: case of maladic where language disorders arc accompanied by unrestri ted oral behavior (everything brought to the mouth, eating any object at all, gritting one's teeth'). "I';;' sure those arc not the right words," says Alice, summarizing the Fate of the person who speaks of food. To eat words, how - vi-r is exactly the opposite: in this case, we raise th operation of bodi s up to the surface of language. We bring bodi '5 to th urface, as \IT depril"c them of their former depth, even if we place the entire language through this challenge in a situation of risk. This time the disorders arc of th~ surface; they are lat ral and spread out from right to left.



Swuering has replaced th ~f7c1,d'fe; phantaslfTIs of, the dsurfl:dc have thhe d replaced the hallu ination 0 ept; reams or ac e erate g I lllg replace the painful nightmare of burial and absorption. The ideal little

girl, incorporeal

and anorexic, and the ideal little boy, stuttering and d, must disengage themselves from their real, vora .ious, glut-

tonous, or blundering images. But this second duality-body/language, to eat/to speak-is not sufficient. We have seen that although sense does not exist outside of the proposition whi h express s it, it is nevertheless the attribute of states of affair' and not the attribute of the proposition. The event subsists in language, but it happens to things. Thin~s and propositions are less in a situation of radical duality and more on the two sides of a frontier represented by sense. This frontier does not mingle or reunite them (for there is no more monism here than dualism); it is rather something along the line of an articuli tion of their differ nc : body/ language. Comparing the event to a mist rising over the prairie, we could say that this mist rises precisely at the frontier, at the juncture of things and propositions. As a result, the duality is reflected from both sides and in each of the two t rrns. On the side of the thing, there arc physical qualities and real relation which constitute the state of affairs; there are also ideational logical attributes which indicate incorporeal events. And on the side of the proposition, there are names and adjectives which deflate the state of affairs; and also there are verbs whi h express events or logical attributes. n one hand, ther are Singular proper names, substantives, and general adjectives which indicate limits, pauses, rests, and presences; all the other, there are verbs carrying off with them becoming ami its train of reversible events and infinitely dividing their present into past and future. I uillpty Dumptv
24 F0 U II. T II

rorccfullv distin<Tuished between two sorts of words: "Thcv've a temper, some ot: them-particularly verbs: they're the proudest-adjectives vou can do anything with hut not I'Nhs-however, I can manace the ~"holl' lot of them! lmpcnctrabil it~'1 That's what I say" And when l-lumptv Dumpty explains the lise of the odd word "impenetrability," ill' provides a much too modest explanation ("I meanr . . that we've had enough of that subject"). In act, impenetrability does mean something else. Humpty Dumpty oppose's the impassibility of events to the actions and passions of bod ics, the non-consumable nature of sense to the ('(liblc nature of things, the irn] cnetrability of incorporeal entities without thi kness to the mixture' and reciprocal penetration of substances, and the resistance of the surface to he softness of depthsin short, the "pride" of verbs to the complacency of substa n tives a nd adjectives. Impenetrabillty also means the Frontier between the twoand that the person situated on the fronti r, precisely as Hurnpt \.Dumpty is seated on his narrow \'\'aJI, ha both at his disposal, being the impenetrable master of the articulation of their difTcrcnce (" ... however, f can manage the whole lot of them"). Hut thi. is not yet sufficient. Duality'S last word iii not to be found III this return to the hvpothesi of erGI)'/lI . The duality in th propo ition is not between two sorts of names, names of stasis and names of becoming, names of substances or qualities and names of events; rather, it is between two dimensions of the proposition, that is, between denotation and expression, or between the denotation of thing and the expression of sense, It is like the two sides of a mirror, nly what is on one side has no resemblance to what is on the other (" ... all the rest was as different as possible"). To pass to the other side of the mirror is to pass from the relation of denotation to the relation of xpresston without pausing at the intermediaries, namely, at manifestation and signilication. lt is to reach a region where language no longer has any n~lation to that which it denot~s, but only to '-that which it expresses


that is, to sense This is the final displacement inside the proposition.

of the duality: it has now to offer the

The Motu, re .ounts that when the lords proposed
crown to William the Conqueror,

"tlw archbishop of Canu-rburv round if adds, hlc-,"-"rollnd what?' asked Iw l)uck.-'TOlintl II." the MOlIS(' replied rather crossly: "of coun e you
I- 0 U H.T H S I· R I I·:S 0 F D U A LIT ) ~,:,

s EI, I l-, S 0

F D 1IA LIT I t: s

2 r;

know what 'it' means. "_ "l know what 'it' means well clough, when I find a thing," said till' Duck: "it's gencrally a frog, or a worm. The question is, what dirl the archbishop hnr]?"

It is deaf that the Duck employs and understands "it" as a denoting term fi)r all things, state of affairs and possible qualities (an indicator). It sped lies ('ITn that the denoted thing is essentially something which is (or may be) eaten. Everything denoted or capable of denotation is, in principle, consumable and penetrable; Alb' remarks elsewhere that she i. only able to 'imagine" food. But the Mouse made use of "it" in an cntirclv dilTcrent manner: a the sense of an earlier proposition, as the event ex pres cd by the proposition (to go and offer the crown to William). The equivocation of "it" is therefore distributed in aCCOfdance with the duality of denotation and expression. The two dimensions of the proposition are organized in two cries whi h com'erge asymptotically. in a term as ambiguolls as "it," sin e they meet one another only at the fronticr which they continuously stretch. One serie: resumes "eating" in its own way while the other extracts the essence of "speaking." for thts reason, in many of .arrolj's poems, one witI n sses the autonomous development of two imultaneous dimensions one referring to denoted objects which are always onsumable or Jecipients of consumption, the other referring to always expressible meanings or at least to obje ts which are the bearers of language and sense. These two dimensions onl'erg onlv in an so1'eric word, in a non-identifiable aliquid. Take, for example, till' refrain of the Snark: "They sought it with thimbles, thcv sought it with care; / The), pursued it with forks and hope"-where the "thimble" and "fork" refer to designated instruments, hut "hope" and "cz rc" to considerations of sense and events (sense, in 'arroll's works, i' often presented as that which one must "take care of, , the obj -ct of a fundamental "care"), The strange word "Snark" is the frontier which is stretched as it is drawn by both series. EH'n more typical is the wonderful Gardener's song in .~r/1'}eand Bmno. Everv stanza puts into play two terms of \'cr~' different kinds, "vhich offer two distinct readings: "He thought he saw He looked again and saw it was ... " Thus, the ensemble of stanzas develops two Iwtt'rogeneous series. One is composed of animals, of beings or objects whk·h either consume Or are consumed; th '! arc described by phvsi .al (Iualitie.s, either sell. ihlc or sonorous; the other is
2h HHI RT II ~I· III I-S () I·

composed of ob] ccts Of eminently svmboli ' characters, dcfined by logil'al attributes, or sometimes hv parental n 111 l'S , and bearers ~f l'I','nls, neil'S, messal:!:e., or sense. In the conclusion each verse, the l;ilrdl'l1cl' draws a melancholic path, honk-reel on hoth sides hv both ... ries; lor this song, WC' learn, is its 011'11 story. c . ~ .



, Ie thought he saw an Elephant,

That practi cd on a I-ili.·:
, k· looked again, and found it was

A letter from his \\'ife. length I realize," he. aid, "The bitterness lik."


! lc thought he saw an Albatross That Huttered round the lamp: , '" looked again, and found it was A Pcnnv-Po t<ge-Stamp. "You'd best be getting home," he said: "Thl' nights arc I'('ry clamp!"
l le hought he saw an Argument

That proved he was the Pope:
He looked ag, in, and found it was A Hal' of Mottled
"A EH.'t so


'f '

dread," he Iaintlv said, "htinguishes all hope!" I

II t\ liT


1-0 U H T II S 1-R I I· SOl·

I HI t\ I IT 11-.S


Fifth S ries of

il11potcncc' of the speaker and to the highest power of language: my impotence to_ sta~~ _dlC sense of what I say, to say at the same time sOllwthing and its meaning; but also cht: infinitc power of language to speak about wonk In short, gin·n a proposition which denotes <I state of affairs, one may always take its sense as that which another proposition denotes. If we agree to think of a proposition as a name, it would then appear that every name ,."hieh denotes an object may itself become the object of a new name which denotes its sense: nl refers to 112, which denotes the sense of n I; n 1 refers to n 3; etc. Fa!:. each one of its names, language must contain a name for the sense of this name, This innnit<:' proliferation of verbal entities is known as Frege's paradox I' But it is also Carroll's paradox. It appears in rigorous fonn on the other side of the looking-glass, in the meeting of Alice and the Knight. The Knight announces the title of the song he is going to sing: "The name of the song is called 'Haddock', Eyes' "~"Oh,. that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, trying to fed interestl,d.-"No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little vexed. "That's what the name the song is called. The name really is 'The .,j8ed ABed Mon. ' "- "Then [ ought to have said That's what the sonD is called'?" Alice corrected herselJ.-"No, YOli ollghtn't: that's quite another thingl The song is called Ways and .l/eans'. but that's only what it's called, you know!" _ "Wen, what is the song then?" said Alice, who was by this time completely bewi!dered.-"l was coming to that," the Knight said. "The song really is 'A-siHini/ on a Care'! ... " This passage2 distinguishes a series of nominal entities. It does not generate an infinite regn'ss but, preciselv in order to limit itself, proceeds according to a conventionally finite progreSSion. We must therefore start at th end in order to restore the na tu fa! regress. I) Carroll says: the song leal£~' is "A-sitting on a Gate." The song itself is a proposition, a name (n.). "A-sitting on a Gate" is this name, the name which is the song and which appears as far back as the first stanza .. 2) But it is not the name of the song. Bcin(J itselra name, the song is . . b d('.~ignated hy another name. The second name (n1) is "Ways and Means," which fonns the theme of the second, third, fourth, and fifth stanzas. "Ways and Means" is thus the name which designates the song, or wba: Ihe SOll9 is called ~) But the real name, Carroll adds, is "The Aged


Sense is never only one of the two terms of the duality which contrasts things and propositions, substantives and verbs, denotations and expressions; it is also the frontier, the cutting edge, or the articulation of the difference between the two terms, since it has at its disposal an impenetrability whic]; is its own and within whleh it is reflected. For these reasons, sense must be developed for its own sake in a new series

of paradoxes,

which are now internal.

The paradox rewess, ar indifinill! prol!ferotion. When I designate something, I ah!Vays suppose that the sense is understood,_;hat it is already there. As Bergson said, one does not proceed from and from images to sense; rather, one is established within sense. Sense is like the sphere in which I am in order to enact possible denotations, and even to sounds to images "from the outset" already established think their condi-



tions .. ense is always presupposed as soon as f begin to speak; I would not be able to begin without this presupposition. In other words, I never state the sense of what [ am saying. But on the other hand, I can always take the sense of what I say as the object of another proposition whose sense, in turn, I cannot state. I thus enter into the infinite regress of that which is presupposed. This regress testifies both to the gn'<Ic

~g('d Man," who in ract appears in the entire song. The denoting name itself has a meaning which forms a new name (nd. 4) This third name
I' I f: T I I SE HIE SOl' SEN SE 29

in its turn, however,

must be dc~ignat('J by a fourth. That i~ to S(lY, the

meanino of n , narnclv n \' must be designated bv 11". The fourth name is 1:.hGl ~he na~11' 4 Ih~ 50118 IS called, na~ely, 'H;ddoek'. E)T~," which appe rs in the sixth st. nza. There <.11'(' indeed in Carroll's classification four names: there is he name or what the song really is; the narn denoting this IT,. litv, \\'hieh ~ thus clcnotr« the song or represents ",'hat the song is called; the sense of this name, which forms a new name or a new reality; and the name wh ieh denotes this reality, which thus denotes the sense of the name of the song, or r('presents what the name of the song is called At this point, several rem, rks an: necessary. first, 'arroll has voluntarily limited himself, in e he does not take into ac aunt ca h particular stanza, nd sil ce his progressive presentation of the. cries permits him t gi\'~' himself an arbitrary point of d partllfc: "Haddo k's Eye ." But it goes wit] out saving that the series, taken in its regl'e"si\'1;' sense, mav IX' extended to infinity in the alternation of a real name and a name \\·hicb deSignates this reality. It will be noted, however, that Carroll's series is much more complex than what we have just indicated. Hitherto, in
J 'l,,:.l

WJl,I;)rgC't to talk. I an't tell vall j ust what the moral of that is, hut I shall remember in a bit." But as soon as Alice does speak. the Duches. is busy finding morals:
"The game's going on rather better

. I lip 1w conversation

now." she

Alice] said, by wav of kecl)ino

a littk _"

Tis so," s, id the Duchcs : "and the moral of



that is, 'Oh, 'tis love, 'tis low' that makes the world go round!' "-"Somebody .,aid," Alice whispered, "that it's rloru: by evcrvhodv minding their 0\\,;1 . ~ J ... husinessl"-"Ah well! !t means much the same thing," said the Duchess, ... ",1 III I the moral of lila! is, Take ,''In' o!' the sense, and the sounds will tab, carr ()I' themselves.' "

In this I assage, it i. not a question of association of ideas, from one scntcn c to another; rather, the moral of ea .h proposition consists of another proposition which denotes the sense of the first. Making sense th ' object of the new proposition amounts to "taking care of th sense," in such conditions that propositions proliferate and "the sounds take care of themselves." Th LIS, the possibil it)' of a profound link between the logic of sense and ethics morals or morality is confirmed. There is indeed a way of a\'oiding this infinite regr('ss. It is to fix the proposition, to immobilize it, just long enough to extract from it its sense-the thin film at the limit of things and words. (Hence the doubling up whi h w [u t
The paradox sterile division, or reiteration.

fact, the question was only about a name which, in dl'noting something, sends us over to another name which denote. the previous name's ense, and on to infinity. In C rroll's classification, this pI' cise situation is repn's'nt d only by nl and 114: n, is the name whi h denotes the sense of Ill' But 'arrol1 added two other names: a lirst name, be .ause it treats the originally denoted thing as being itself' a name (the song); and a third name, because it treats the sense of the denoting name itself as a name, independently the name which is going to denote itin turn. Carroll forms therefore the regress with four nominal entities which arc displaced ad infinitum. Tlla is to say, he decomposes each




couplet and freezes it, in order to draw from it a supplementary couplet. We shall see why. But we can he satisfied with a rcgr('ss of two alternating ~ terms: the name which denotes som thing and the ~ narn c whi h denotes the sense of this n me. This two-term rl-grcss is the minimal condition of indchni e proliferation. This Simpler expre. sion appears in a passage from A/;ce in which the Duchess is alwavs ciiscoH'ring the moral or the morality which must be d ra wn From ('very th ing - a t least from l'\'t'ryt h ing on the cond it ion rha t it he a proposition. l-or when Alice does not speak, the Duchess is disarmed: "You're thinking about something, my dear, and tha .makes

obs{'.n-eJ .in Carroll's work at each stage of the regress.) But is it the destIny 01 sense that this d lmension be indispensable, or that we do not know what to do with it as soon as we attain it? What have \ e done indeed, aside from disengaging a neutralized double of the proposition, OJ phantom, and a phantasm without thickness? Is it because th sense is ~'xl.)fl'ssed by a verb in the proposition that the verb is expressed in its m1initi~'e, participial, or interrogati"e form: God-to be; or the heinghi 1(' 01. ~I){'sky, or is th sky blue? 'ense brings about the suspension of ~~o.thaffirmation and n gation Is this the meaning of the proposition: Cod is," "th« sky is blue"? As an attribute of states of, f[ irs, s nse is (·xtra-lwing It is not of being; it is an aliouid which is appropriate to

A~ that which is expressed by the proposition, sense does ex ist, but inhr-rr-s or subsists in the proposition. One of the most

rt'lllarkahk poi nrs of Stoic logiC is the stcrilitv of sense-event: on lv hodi('~ <111 and ~lIlr('r, not the incorporeal l'ntiti~s, which arc the Iller:'

results of actions and passions. This paradox rna, be called the Stoics' paradox. All the way down to Husscrl, there resounds the declaration of a splendid sterility of the l'xpresse I, oming to confirm the statu: of the nocma: "The stratum of expression-and this constitutes its peculiarity-apart from the fa t that it lends expression to all other intentionalities, is not produ tive. Or if one prefers: its productivity, its noematic service, exhausts itself in expressing." j Extracted from the proposition, sense is independent of it, since it susp' nels its affirmation and negation, and is n everth I ss only its evanescent double: Carroll's smile without the cat or flame without a candle. The two paradoxes, that of infinite r 'gress and that of steril division, form the two terms of an alternative: one or the oth r. If the lirst forces us to combine the greatest po\ver with the greatest impotence, the second imposes upon us a similar task, which we must lat r on fulfll1: the task is to .ombine the sterility of sense in relation to the proposition from which it was extracted with its power of genesis in relation to the dimensions of the proposition. In any as, it eerns that Carroll had been a utely aware of the fact that the two paradoxes fOn11 an alternative. In Alice, the characters have only two possibl means of drying themselves aft r falling into the pool of tears: eith r to listen to the MOlls's stor , the "dryest" story one could be acquainted with, since it isolates the sense of a proposition in a ghostly "it"; or to be launched into a CaUClLSR. e, running around from one proposition to another, stopping when one wishes, without winners or losers, in the circuit of infinite prolif ration. At any rate, dryness is what shall later on be named impenetrability. And the two paradoxes represent the essential forms of stuttering, the choreic or clonic form of a convulsive circular proliferation, and the tetanic ur tonic fann of a fitfw immobilization. As is said in "POCIa FiL, non ascitur, " spasm or whiz-these ar the two rules of the poem. The paradox .f neutralit.y, or q/ essence's Ihird estate. The second !paradox necessarily catapults us into a third. FOl" if sense as the double of the proposition is indifferent to affirmation and negation if it is no more passive than active. then no mode of the proposition is able to affect it. Sense is strictly the same for propositions which are opposed from the point of view of quality, quantity, relation, or modality. For all of these points of view affect denotation and the diverse aspects of its actualizaFIFTH SE H II:. SOl" SE _-E

tion or fulfillment in a state of affairs. Hut they do not affect either scns or expression" Let us take hrst quality affirmation and negation: "God is" and "God is not" must: hal" the same. ense, by virtue of the autonomy of sense in relation to the existence of the denotauun. This wa ,in a .t, in the fourteenth century, the fantasti paradox of icolas u'Autrecourt, the obj t of reprobation: coturadictoria ad imicem idem si8n!ficam .! Let us take quantit : all men are white, no man is white, som men are not white ... ; or relation: sense must be the same in the case of inverse relations, since tJ1C relation with regard to sense i always established in both directions at on e in ofar as it causes all the paradoxes of becoming-mad to appear yet again. Sense is always a double sense and excludes the possibility that there J:'!:Iayt_e ~ "good sense" in the relation. Events are never causes of one another, but rath r enter the r lations of quasi-causality, an unreal and ghostly causality. endlessly reappearing in the two sens s. It is neither at th same time, nor in relation to the same tbing, that I am younger and older, but it is at the same time and by the same relation that I become so. Hence the innumerable examples dotting Carroll's \ ark, wh ere one finds that "cats eat bats" and "bats eat cats," ") say what I mean" and "I mean what) say," HI like what I get" and "I get what I like," and "I breathe when I sleep" and "I sle p when I br athe," hav one and the same sense. This includ s th final example of SY/lrie and Bruno, in which the red jewel carrying the proposition "All will love Sylvie" and the blue jewel carrying the proposition "Sylvi ~ wil] love all" are two sides of one and the same jewel, so that one can never be preferred except to iLse!/~ follOWing the law of b coming (to choose a thing I' Om itself). T Let us finally examine modality: bow would the possibility, the reality, or the necessity of the denoted object affect sense? The event, for its part, must have one and the same modalit , in both future and pa t, in line with whi h it divides it. presence ad infinitum If the event is possible in the future and real in the past, it is necessary that it b hoth at once, since it is divided in them at the same time. Is this to say that it i. necessary? One is here reminded of the paradox of contingent futures and its importance in Stoic thought. The hypothesis of necessity, hDl\'t:'ll'r, rests on the application of the principle of contradiction to the proposition whi h announces a future. In this perspective, the Stoics \\ cnt to astonishing lengths in order 0 escape nee ssity and to affirm

the " fated" wi thou t a ili rmi Ilg the ncccssa ry. 5 Wf' m LIst ra thcr lea \"(' th is perspective, even if it means rediscovering the Stoic thesis from another point of view. For the principle of contradiction concerns the impossibility 01' the realization of denotation and, also, the minimal condition of si"gnificatio!1. Hut perhaps it does not concern sense: neither possible, nor real, nor necessary, yet fated The event subsists in the proposition which expresses it and also happens to things at the surface and outside of being; this is, as We' shall see, the "fated." It behooves therefore the event to he cited by the proposition as future, hut it ht'hoo\·e.~ the proposition no less to cite the event as past. One of Carroll's general techniques consists of presenting the event twire, precisely because f'v'rything 0 curs hyway of, and within, language. It is presented once in the proposition in which it subsists, and again in the state of affairs where it crops up at the surface. It is presented once in the verse ofa song which relates it to the proposition, and again in the surface effect which relates it to beings, to things,. and states of affairs. (Thus the battle between T weed] -dum and T weedledee, or that between the lion and the unicorn. The sam' occurs in Sy/rie and Bruno, where Carrollasks the reader to gu(>ss whether he composed the verses of the- garcicl1c:-r's song in accordance with the events, or the events in accorda nee with the verses.) BLit isit necessary to rcla tc the event /lI'ice, since both an' always at the same lime. since thev are two simultaneous , .' faces of one and the sa me su rface, whose inside and all tside, their "insistence" and "extra-betng," pa~t and future, are in an always reversible continuity? How could we summarize these paradoxes of neutrality, all of which displa y se rise as LIlla ffected by the modes of the proposit ion? The p hi Iosopher Av icen na distinguished t hree states of essence: un iversa] in relation to the intellect which thinks it in genera!; and Singular in relation to the particular things in which it is embodied, But neither uf these two states is essence itself. An animal is nothing other thalt an animal ("animal non est nisi animal /anwm") being indifferent to the universal and to the simTlllar, to the particular and to the ~ general.6 The ~ hrst state of essence is essence as Signified by tilt' proposition, in the order of rill' concept and 0[' conceptual implications. The second state of essence is essence as d(;'signated by the proposition in the particular thinvs in which... it is involved. But the third state of essence is essence b . .. . as sense, essenceas expressed - always in this dryness (animal tantum}
. <;;

sterility or ncutralitv, It is indifferent to thl" universal and to the singular, to tile general and to the particular, to the personal and to "the colTedlve' it is alsoindilTcrl'nt to affirmation and negation, de In short, it is indifferent to all opposites. This is so because all of (hest' opposites arc but modes the proposition considered in its relations of denotation and signilication, and not the traits of the sense Il"hich it expresses. Is it, then, dw status of the pun' event, 01- of the [atom which accompanies it, to surmount all the oppositions in this way? Neither private nor public, neither collccnvo nor individual ... , it is more terrible and powerful in this ncutralitv, to thr- extent that it is all of these til ings at once?

and this splendid


The paradox C!! the absurd, or rJ the impossible obiects. From this paradox is derived -vet another: the propositions which dt_'signate contradictory _ !i.C.....~ _ objects themgll'eii haw.' a sense. TJ~ s[_enotation, however, cannot at all he fulfilled; nor do they have a signitication, which \\'ould define the type of possib~it)' for such a fulfillment. They arc without signification, that is, they are absurd. Nevertheless, they haw' a sense, and the 11'0 notions of absurdity and nons 'nS1:: must not be confused. lrnpossible objects-e=square circles, matter without extension, perpewum mobile, mountain without vallev, etc.-arc objects "without a horne,' outside of heing, but they have a precise and distinct position within this outside: they are of "extra bC'ing"-pure, ideational events, unable to h(' realized in a state of afTairs. We are obliged to call this paradox "Mcinong's paradox," for Meinong knew how to draw from it the most hl'auti ful and brilliant elTccts. If we distingUish two sorts of beings, the beinv of the real as the matter of denotations and the being of the b u possible as the f0l111 of significations, we must yet add this extra-being which defines a minimum common to the real, the possible and [he impossible. For the principle of contradiction is applied to tho.' possible and to the real, but nol to the impossible: impossible entities an' "extraI'X istents," reduced to this minimum, and insisting as such in the I)rnposi tion,




ClI· ~LNS!'

1-1I·T I!


1E ~ () 1- SI, N Sf·


Sixth Seri s on Serialization


paradox of indefinite regress is the one from whi h all the other paradoxes are derived. Now, regress has, necessarily, a serial form: each denoting name has a sense which rnu t be denoted by another name: J n I -'l> n2-'l> 113 ____,.n~ ... If we consider only the succession of names, the series brings about a synthesis of the homogen ous, whereby each name is distingui. hed from the one preceding it onlv by its rank, degree, or type. In fa t, in ornpliance with the theory of "types" each nam (I-noting the sense of the one preceding it is superior in degree to that name and to that whi h it denotes. But if, instead of considering the simple- succession of names, we consider hat which alt rnz tes in this su cession VW' see that. each name is taken hrst in the denotation which it brings about, and then in the sens which it t'xpre ses, because it is this sense which serves as the denotauoti of the other name. The advantage of Carroll's procedure lies precisely in making apparent this difference- in nature. This time W{' are confronted with a synthesis of _ J the heterogencous; the serial Jorm is necessarily reolized in the simuiwneil)" 01 least 111'0 series. -\"(;'1")' unique scri 5, whos homogeneous terms art' distinguis\,cd only according to type or degree, necessarily subsumes under it two heterogeneous serie: , each one of whi h is constituted by terms of the same type or degref', although these terms differ in .nature

from those of the other s ries (they can of course difler aloin degree). The serial form is thus essential lv multi-serial. This is indeed the case in l11ath~matics, where a series c<:nstru .t d in the vi inity of a point L signihcant only in relation to another series, constructed around another point, and onverging with, Of di\C'rging from, the first. AJiceis the storv of an oral re8ress. but "regress" must be understood first in a logical sense, as the synthesis of names. The homovencous fonn of this ~ b synthesiS subsumes under it two heterogeneotl series of orality: to ("at/to speak, consumable- thing.- expressible senses. The serial f0l111itself therefore refers us to the already described paradoxes of duality and forces us to address them again from this new point of view. These two het rogeneotls serie: can, in fa t, be determined in various \\'3)'S. We can consider a series of events and a series of things in which these events are or are not realized; or we can consid r a series of denoting propositions and a series of denoted things; or a series of verbs and a series of adjectives and substantives; or a series of expressions and senses and a series of denotations and denouua. Th se variations are unimportant, since they represent solely d grces of freedom in the organization of het rogencou: series. The same duality, we have seen, occurs outside, between events and states of affairs; a! th« su1ace. between propositions and denoted obje ts; and inside the proposition between expressions and denotation. What is more important is that we an construct the two series under an apparently homogeneous form: in this case, we can onsidcr two serie of thinos 0'- state of affairs two Co ' series of events, two series of propositions or denotations, and two .cries of senses or expressions. Is this to sa)' that th constitution of series is surrendered to the arbitrary? The law gov rning two simulta'neolls serie: is that they are never

equal, One repr sent the sian!/ier, the other the si8nif1ed. But thanks to Our terminology, these two terms aCCjuirc a particular meaning. We cal! "signilicr" any sign which presents in itself an aspect of _ens"e;we call
"signified," on the contrary, that which serves as the correlative to this aspt· .t of sense, that is, that which is defined in a duality relative to thi. aspect. What is signi6ed therefore is never sense itsel J n a restrained sense, . igni ied is til concept; in an extended sense, Signified is anv th illg which may be defined on the basis of the distinction that a certain aspect of sense establishes with this thing Thus, the Signifier is primarily the event as the ideal logical attribute of a state of affairs, and the




affairs to£:ctlH'1" with its qualities and real ~ signilier is also the entire proposition, insofar as it im'ludcs d inll'J1sions of denotation, mani cstation, and signific. tion in till' strin sense, And the.' signif-ied is the independent term \\ h ich corresponds to these dimensions that is, the con cpt, and also the denoted thing or manifested subject. Finally, the signiher is the sole ~ , diml'nsion of expression, which in fact has the privilegl: of not heing relative to an independent term, since sense as expressed does not exist outside or the expression; and the signified in this case, is the de-notation, the manifestation, or even the signification in the strict. cnse. In other words, the signified i the proposition insofar as sense, or that which is expressed, is distinguish('d from it. However, when we extend
S'~"11 It·'


'f' ,(I i~ rhv state The



serial tc 'hnicIUl'S of an cxernpl ry li)l'lnaJisl11. Joyce, ~()I' example, secured the relation between the sivnifving~ series "Bloom" and the t::'! _ signilied series "lIly~ses," thanks to multiple [orrns which included an ardH'olog\" of narrative modes a svstvm of correspondence between numbers, a prodigiou~ crnplovmcnt of esoteric words a n ethod of cjlll'stion and answer and the establishment of urrcnts of thought or multiple trains of thought (Carroll's double thinking?>. Raymond ROllssc-l hased the communication of St'rics on 11 phonernatic relation ("Ies bandcs dli I'!eux pillard." dies bandes Ju deux billau!" = b/p), and filled up
.._.. l ..

the" serial method -in order to consider two series of events, two series of things two series of propositions, or two series of expressions - homogeneity is only apparent: it is always the case that one series ha: the role of the ignili· r and the other the rol of the 'ignifi('d, even if these roles are interchanged as \\"e change points of view. J acgues Lac-an has brought to light the existen .e of two serif's in one of Edgar Han Poe's stories. first series: the king who does not see the compromising lett r r eiverl by his wife; the CJu en who L relieved to have hidd en it so de" rly by leaVing it out in the open; the minister who sees e erything and takes possession of the letter. Second series: till' police vvho tin I nothing at the minister's hotel; the minister who thought of lealring the letter in the p n in order better to hide it; Dupin who sees ever rthing and takes back pos, c. sion of the letter. I It is obvious that diffcrene>s between series IlU)' be mor or less greatverv g-reat 'with certain authors, or vcrv small with those others who int;oclu .e only lnhnttesirnal, and yet equally efficacious, variations. It is also obvious that series relation. -that which relates the signifying series to the signified and the assured in the simplest [ashion ignified to the Signifying-may by the continuation of a storv,

resemblance of situations, or the identity of the characters, But nothing in all this is essential. On the contrary, the essential appears when SIn II or great dilTeren -e: prcdomins te over re ernblan 'es and become primary; in other simultancouslv, mined identity. J t is cas)' to


11(' the

the differ'n e with a marvelous story in which the 'ignifying series p links lip with the signih('d series b: the.' enigmatic nature of the story is emphasized in this general procedure, to ~he extent that the Signified series ma~' remai n hid den.1 Robbe-C riilet esta hl ished his series of descriptions of tares of affairs and rigorolls deSignations with small differences. He did it by hal'ing them revolve around themes which, although hxed, are nevertheless. uited to almost imperceptible modification and displacement in each series. Pierre Klossow ki relies on the proper name "Roberte," ccrtainlv not in order to designate a character and manifest its identity, hut on the contrar., in order to express a "primary intensity," to distribut differen' and to obtain the doubling lip of two series: the first, signifying, whi h refers to 'the husband being unable to imagine his wife orherwise than as surprising herself as she would allow herself to be surprised"; the second, signil·jed, \ hich refers to the wife "rushing into initiatives whi .h ought to onvince her of her freedom, when these initiatives confirm only the vi ion of her spouse." j Witold Gornbrowicz established a signi~ring series of hanged animals (what do they signi.(v?), and a signillcd series of feminjne mouths (what is signif ing thernj); each series develops a system of signs, sometimes b_ excess, sometimes by default, and communicates with another by means of strange interfering objects and by means of the esoteric words pronounced by Leon." Three characteristics, lion and distribution or an- in perpetual relative ( .hu», fix example, the therefore, permit the specification or the rclaseries in general. First, the terms or ca h series displacement in relation to those or the other position occupied by the minister in P c's two

words, when two 'Iuite distinct stories arc developed or when the characters have a vacillating and ili-deter, cite various authors, who have known how to CT -ate

-vrics}. Ther« is an essential lack of correspondence. This shift or di:'I)lacemel1t is not a disguise covering lip or hiding the rescmbjs nces ol set-it's through the introduction secondary variations in them. This



'Ii X T II :-;1- IU I· S () N :-. - IU ALI LA T 1 () N 1





relative displaccmcnr is, 011 tI e contra f)', the primal" variation without which neither series would open up onto the other. Without it, the series ,,·ould not t" institute thcrnselv s thrQugh this doubling up, nor would they refer to one another through thi. variation alone. There is thus a dO~lhlc sliding of one series over OJ" under the other, which const itut s both, in a perpetual disequilibrium vis-a-vis each other. Second this disequilibrium must itself h(;' oriented: one of the two series

it,·e!f." We must say that the paradoxical entity is never where we look
for it, and onversclv that we never hnd it where it is. As Lacan says II 10 observe irs place (elle manque a sa e1ace).6 It also fails to obsen:e 'its 0\\,11 id ntity, resemblance, equilibrium, and origin. We will not say, therefore, of the two series it animates, that the one is originar)' and the other derived, though thcv certainlv mav b originarvJ or derived in c... relation to one another. They can also b su e sive in relation to one
J) "-'


one determined as signifying, to be precisc, presents an excess 0\"('1' the other. For there is always a blurred excess of Signifier. Finally, \\T reach the most important point a very special nd paradoxical case, which ensures the r lative displacem nt of the two series, the excess of the one over the other, without heing reducible to any of the terms of the series or to anv relation between these terms. The leuer in Lacan's

commentary on edgar Allan Poe's 5tor)', for example, is one such case. Another example is giyen by acan in his commentary 011 the Freudian ase s tudy of the Wolf Man in which the existen e of series in the unconscious is made evident, Here Lacan des ribes th signified pate-rnal series and the signifying filial series, and shows in both the particular role of a spe ial element: the debt. 5 In Finneqan, Wake, once again a letter causes an entire world of series to communicate in a chaos-co mo . In Robbe-Griller's writing, the series of deSignatiOns, the more rieorous or 0 rigorously de. criptive the)" become, the more they converge on he expression of indetcrmined or ovcrdctcrrnin d objects such as the eraser, the fine cord, or the insect bite. Acconling ~ to Klossowski , tilt' name "Robe rte" t'xpresses an "intensity," that is, a difference of intensity, before deSignating or manifesting any person. W ha tare the cha racteristics of th is pa radox ica Inti ty? It ci rcula tes without end in both series and, for this reason, as. urcs their communication. It i. a two-sided entity, equally pre. ent in the signif~ ing and the signified series. It is the mirror. Thus, it is at once word and thing '" ~ name and ohje t, sense and denotaium, expression and d signation, etc. It guarantce , therefore, the on\'crgence of the two series whi -h it traverses, but preciselv on the condition that it makes them endlessly di\"l·rge. It has the property of being alway di: placed in rei tion to itself. II' the terms of each series are relatively displaced, ill relation 10 one ana I/IC T, it is primarily because they have in themselves an absolute place; hut this abso1\Jt(' pia e is lwavs determined by the terms' distance from this clement which is always displaced, in the two series, in relation 10
t_-, '-

another. But they are strictlv simultaneous in relation to the entity by means of which they communicate. They are simultaneous without ever being equal, sine the entity has two sides, one of which is always absent from the other. It behooves it, therefore, to be in excess in the one series which it constitutes as signLfying, and lacking in th other whi h it constitutes as signihed: split apart, incomplete by nature or in relation to itself. Its excess always refers to its 0\'\11 lack, and conversely, its lack always refers to its excess. But even these determinations are still relative. For hat whi h is in excess in one case is nothing but an extremely mobile empty place; and that which is lacking in another case is a rapidly moving object, an occupalll without a place, always supernumerary and displaced. . In fact, there is no stranger element than this doubl -headed thing With t\VO unequal or uneven "halves." As in a game, we participate in the combination of the -'mpt)' place and the perpetual displacement of a piece. Or rather, it is as in the Sheep'S shop, where Alic discovers the complementarity of "the empty shelf" and of the "bright thing always in the shelf next above," that is, of the place without an occupant and of the occupant without a plac . "The most provoking of all" (oddest: the most incomplete, the most disjoined) was that "whencv r Ali 'e looked hard at any shelf, to make out exactly what it had on it thcu particular shelf was always quite empt)" though the oth rs round it were crowded as full as they could hold.' How things disappear here, says she 11nally in a plaintive tone, after ha ing spent about a minute in a "air pur. uit of a "large bright thing that looked sometimes like a doll and sometimes like a work-box, and was always in the shelf next above the one she II"OS looking at ... I'll follow it up to the I'ery top shelf of all. It'll puzzle it to go through the ceiling, I expect!" But e\·'11 this plan failed: "the thine went through the ceil ing as quietly as possible, as if it were ljllltc used to it."






s rx'r u



Thc Iarrcr is a st.-ange object, displaced in relation to itself, sinc« the heroine is rorced to run with a fairy's s",iftness in order to return it to him), S~'cond, we find

[so in









Seventh Series of Esoteric Words

mtcrnol and accelerated d!fierenccs h(,lTl_qre,qll/<l/ed ~I' propositions, or QI leas 1 ~F s(,lllnds and onomaLOpOelGs. This is the lavv of the mirror as 'arroil describes it: ''. , , what could be seen fron the old r am II"aS quite ullinteresting, hut. ,. all the rest was as dim.'rcnt as possible,' The drcarn-roallrv se-ries of f)'lv/e and Br(l/7O arc constructed in accordance with this [axv of dil('rgen e, with the splitting of characters from one series to another and their further splitting in each 011(' them, In the preface to the sl't'ond part, Carrol) presents a detailed table of states, both human and lairy, whi h guarantees the .orrcsponden .e of the two eries in each passage of the book, The transitions lrorn one series to another, and the rornrnunication between, erics, arc generally, ecured through a proposition whi .h begins in one series and nels in another" or through onomatopoeia, that is, a sound which partakes of both, (VIc do not understand why the best of .arroll's commentators , above all the ,



'arroll explored

and c tablished

a serial method

in literature,

Wf' hnd in his work several methods

for developing

series. lI'e.findftrsl

series ?f erenls wilh sliail[ internal differences being re8u/Gled ~\' a SI range ohjeo. In SY"'ie and Bruno, for ex •.mplc, the accid ent of a youno cyclist is displaced from one series to the other (chapter 23). U ndoubtedlv, these two series are successive in relation to each other, yet simultaneous in relation to the strange obje t-in this case, an eight-handed watch with re\'ersing pin which never follows time. On the contrary. time foIlOl\'~ it, It makes events return in two \\,<1)'5, either in a becomingmad which reverse th ir sequential order, or with slight variations according to the Stoic latum. The young cyclist, who falls over box in the first ~eri('s of events, now proceeds uninjured, Hut when the hands of th:'- watch return to their orioinal 1)0, ition, the cvclist lies once again b ~ \,.. wounded Oil the wavon which t< kcs him to the ho: pita]. It is as if the watch knew how t~ conjure lip the accident, that is, the temporal occurrence of the event, hut not the bent itself. the result, the wound as an ctcrna I "'ruth. , , , The same thing again happens in the second part of \drie and Bruno (chapter 2), We find in it a scene' which reproduces, albeit with slight differen 'CS, a s .cnc of th first part the variable position of the uld man whic]: is determined by the "purse."

hench, have so man.' reservations and trifling riticism with n">spect to Syll'ie and Bruno. a masterpiece which, in omparison with Alice and 171rouah Ihe LookiIW-Gbs, displays a set of entirelv new tcchniqucs.) Tbtrd, we .find 111'0 series l?f propOSilion.5 (or rather, one series of propositions and one series of "consumptions," or one series of pure expressions and one series of denotations), These series are characterized bv .'I'em dispariSr. and are re,qu/alcd by means howr-ver, a 'knowledge that Carroll's

if all

e otcric word. We must tirst, esoteric words belong to verv

types. One tYIJe is formed by contracting the syllabic elements of one proposition, or of many propositions which follow one another. lor example, in .~·"·ie and Bruno (cha] tor I), "y'reince" t kes the place "rOlJr rova! HiHhness," This contraction aims at the extraction or the gl()hal sen. c of the cntir proposition in order to name it with a singk ~:'JI<lhlt--or an "Unpronounceable Monosvllabie," as Carroll savs. We
k nuvv of different procedures in Rabclais ~IlU Swift: for example, the ,yllabic l'longii ion with an overload or consonants; or the simple dcvot'aliz<ltion, when' only con: onants are preserved (as if they II'lT(' suited 11) ('xpr('s~ the sense and as if vowels W('IT merclv elements of dcnotalion), I In JIl\' case, csotcri words of this first type form a .onncction, a ~\'Iltll('si~ of succession which bears upon a single series,



-, he esoteri \_



arc chara tcristic

of Carroll,


belong to another type. They b'long to a synthesis of coexistence' intended to guarantee the conj unction of two series of heterog('neou~ propositions, or of dimensions of propositions. (This of course amounts to the same thing, sin c it i always possible to onstruct the propositions of one seri s by making them embody a particular dimcnsion.) We have seen that the b st example of this was the word "Snark": it circulates throughout the hID series of alimentary and semiological orality, or throughout the two dimensions of the proposition-the denotative and the expressive. 5_,rll'ie and Bruno oilers other examples as well: the Phlizz, a fruit without taste, or the Azzigoom Pudding. This variety of names can easily be explained: not one of them is the word .... hch circulates; rather, the I arc' names which denote this word ("what th word is called"). The 'irculating word is of a different nature: in principle, it is the empty square, the empt)' shelf, the blank word ( ewis Carroll occasionally advised timid people to leave certain words blank in their letters). This word therefore is "called" by names which indicate evane cences and displacements: the Snark is invisible, and the Phlizz is almost an onomatopoeia for something \'anishing. Or again, the word is called by names which are quite indeterminate: aliquid. it, that, thing, gadget, or "whachamacallit." (See, for example, the if in the Mous 's. tory or the chino in the Sheep'S shop.) Finally, the word has no name at all; it is rather named by the entire refrain of a song, which cir .ulares throughout the stanza and causes them to communicate. Or, as it is the case with the Gardener's song, the word is named by the conclusion of each stanza which brings about the ommunication between premises of two different g nres, Fourth, l\'e .find 8rearly ramified series bein8 rCSI!/med by p0rtmameau words and comriwred !f necessary throllgh esoteric words dJC prel'ious kind. In fact, the. e portmanteau words are themselves esoteric words of a new kind. They arc defined bv their function of contra tino several words and of " I:> em-eloping several senses ("fTumious" = fuming + furious). The problem, however, is to know when portmanteau words become necessary; for one can ;'t\\"ays find portmanteau words, ami, given crood will ~r • " b arbitrariness, almost all esoteric words may be thus interpreted. But, in fact, the portmanteau word is grounded or formed only if it coincides with a particular [unction of an esoteric word which it supposedly denotes. For example, an e. oteric word with the simple function of

cOl~traction within a single series CI' 'reince) is not a portmanteau word. A further example may be found in the famous "Jabberwocky," where a great .number of words . ketch out a fantastic zoology but do not necessarily form portmant all words: thus, for example, "roves" (badg('rs-hzards-corkscrews), "boropoves' (birds-buoys), "raths" (green pigs) and the verb example, we heterogeneous just seen that by words like Nevertheless,

"outgribe" (belJowing-wbist!ing-sneezing).2 ln one final must point out that an esoteri word subsuming two series is not nccessarilv a portmanteau word. We have this dual function of suhsurnpt ion was adequately fulfill J "Ph!izz," "thing, ' and "it." portmanteau words rna) appear even on these I vels,


.'Snar~" is a portmanteau word which deSignates a fantastic or composanimal, shark + snake But it is a s econdarv or ac essory portmant.cal! word, since its content (teneur) does not coincide as such with its tu~ction as an soteric word. By its content, it refers to a composite animal, whereas, by its function, it connotes two heterogeneous series, only one of whi h is about an animal, albeit composite; the other is about an incorporeal sense. It is not therefore in its "portmanteau" ~spect that the word fulfills its function. On the other hand, Jabberwock IS undoubtedly a fantastic animal; but it is also a portmanteau word whose cont nt, thi time, coincides with its function. In fact, "arrall sll~ests that it is formed from "wocer" or "wocor," which means ofhpring or fruit, and "jabber," which expresses a voluble, animated, or chattering discussion. It is thus as a portmanteau word that "JabberIt onnotes a series of the animal or vegetabl(, provenance of dibl and denotable objects and a series of verbal proliferation of expressible senses. It is of COllrse the case that these two series may be connoted otherwise, and that the portmanteau word does not I,nd in them the foundation of its necessity. Th definition of the portmanteau word, as contracting. evi-ral words and encompaSSing several senses, i therefore a n;minal definition only.

k" Connotes two series analogous to those of "Snark."


words the word. "slithv" (= lithe-slimy-active) 1111msy (= nllnsy-rnlserable), etc. Here our discomfort increases. We sec- cI 'ady in each case that there arc several contracted words and '('llSes; but these elements are easily organized into a 'ingle series in order to compose a global sense, 'vVe do not therefore see how the

~:flcr. a~, portmanteau.

'.', 'ommenting

on th

first .. tanza of "Jabberwocky," s








portnunt(' u wore] call 1)(' dislingllisl,cd from, simple contr~actiun or [rom a svnthvsis of l'onlll'cti\'(' succcsston. We can, of .oursc, introduce a sl'l'omi seri!'., 'arroll himself explains that the interpretive possihilitics an' inhuitv h)r example, we may bring "Jabberwq 'ky" ba ·k into thr- schema of the Gardener's song, with the two, er ics of clcnotable ohjccrs (edihle all imals), and of objects hearing sense (svmholu or functional heings the "bank cmplovcc,' "stamp," or "diligence" tVl'l'S, or nell the "a tion of the railway" type, as in tip Snarli) Thus, on one hand, it is possible to interpret the end of the first stanza in the

lht' ramitication of the s rics into \\-hich it is inserted, This is the reason II'hl' it never t' x ists alone. It beckons to othe r po rtma ntea 1I words wh ieh prccede Dr follow it, and IIhich shOll that CITI} series is already ramified in principle and still further ramifiable. Mi .hel Butor said i I en' \\'dl: "each these words can act as a switch, and We' (',111move



or Humpty Dumpty: green pigs (raths). far from home = From home) ~ bellowinq-whistling-snc zingt (ouwribiI18); hut it is b abo possible to interpret as follows: taxes, preferential rates (rarl! = rare + rather), far from their point of departure, were prohibitive [outorabc}. But lb. alono this route, anv serial interpretation mav be ac~ cepted, and it is not therefore dear how the portmanteau 1V0rd is distinguished from a conjunctive synthesis of coexistence, or from an)' esoteric word what 0(:,1'('1' assuring til' coordination of two or more
rj,_ "{}


heterogeneous series. The solution to this problem is gi\'en l-iuntill8
Supposing king, e-ither could

by Carroll in the preface to The

'!f the Snark:
that, when Pi. tol uttered rhe well-known

trom one to another by means of many passages; hen e the idea of a book which loes not simply narrate one story, hut a whole- occ n of stories." I Thus WE' may now answer the que, hall posed at the outset, When the esoteric word functions not onlv to connote or coordinate tHO heterogeneolls series but to introduce disjun tions in the scri s, then the portmanteau word is necessary or nccessarilv founded. In this rase, the esoteric word itself is "named' or denoted I y a portmanteau 11"01'<1_ The esoteri word in general refers at on e to the empl}' square and to the occupant without place. But, in Carroll's work, we must distinguish three sorts of esoteric words: contractinq words. which perform a svnthesis of su cession over a single series and bear upon the svllabic dements of a proposition or a succession of propositions in order to extract from them their composite sense ("connection"); CJrcu/atill8 words, which perform a synthcsi f coexi tence and coordination I ctwe n two hetcroveneous series and which dire tlv and at one b , hr-ar upon the respective senses of these series ("conjull tion"); and Jisjllncril'e or p rtrnanteau words, which perform an infinite ramification of coexisting series and bear at once upon words and senses, or syllabic an.l scmiolojrical elements ("disjunction"). The ramif)'ing function or the disjun rive synthesis offers the' r al delinition of the portmanteau


\\'ords- "Under which Bezonian? Speak OJ' eli ,I" Justice Shallow had felt certain that it was William or Richard, but had not been able to settle which, so that he not possibly .,ay either name bC'liJl'{' the other, can it be doubted that, than die, he would have gasped QUI' "Rilchiarnl"

then that the portmanteau word is grounded upon ,1 strict disjunctive svnthcsis far from being confronted with a particular case, lI'e discover the law of th portm, nteau word in general, provided that we disengage each time the- disjunction which may have been hidden, Thus, for "frurnious" (Illlning + furious): "I your thoughts incline ever :;0 little toward.'; 'fuming,' you will say 'fuming-furious'; if they turn, even by a hair's breadth, to\,~~ards'fllrio~ls,' you ,~.'iJlsay 'furious-fuming'; hut if you han' that rarest of gifts, a pcrfectl)' balanced mind, you will say 'fr<1111iollS,' " Thus, the necessary disjun .tion is no between Cumins and furious fur one may indeed be both at once; rather, it is between rlll11ing-and-rLlriou~ on one hand and furious-and-fuming on th other. In this sense, the function of the portmallleau word alwavs consists in
46 ~ I: V I NT II SI-.lU I·" () 1- I: S() T I-- H. u. \;\1 () R n S ~I-\'I:NT" ~I'IUI" OF 1-~()'-FHJl' WORDS 47

It seems

This paradox might be named Robinson 's paradox. It is obvious Robinson, on his desert island, could re onstruct an analogue of so only by giving himself, all at once, all the rules and laws which reCiprocally implicated, even when the), still have no objects.

that ietv ar~ The

Eighth Series of Structure

Le,'i-Strau, _ has indicated a paradox in th form of an antinomv, which is similar to Lacan's paradox: two series Iping givcn, one signiying and the other signified, the first presents an excess and the latter a lack. By means of this excess and this lack, the series refer to each other in 'eternal disequilibrium and in perpetual displacement, s the hero of Cosmos says, there ar alwav too many signifying Signs. Th primordial ignilier is of the order of language In whatever manner language is acquired, the clements of language must have been giv n all together, all at once, since they do not exist independently of their possible differential relations But the signified in general is of the order of the knQ\\"I1, though the known is subject to the law of a progre. sive movement which proceeds from one part to another-partes eXIra partes. And II'hat('I'(,1" total izations knowledge may perf 01111, they remain as),IllIJtotic to the virtual totality of langu(;' or language. The signifying series organize. a preliminary totality, whereas the signified series arranges produced totaliti;5. "The Universe signill d long before we

conCJuest of nature is, on the contrary, pm9Tessive, partial, and advances tep by step. Any so ietv whatsoever has all of its rules at oncejL~ridi~al, religious, politi :al, economic; law governing love and labor, kinship and marriage, servitude and freedom, life and death. But the conquest of nature, wit] out which it would no longer be a societv, is a hiev d progress: ely, from one source of energy to another, from "one object to another. This is whv loll' weighs with all its might, even before its obje t ~s known, and without ever its object becoming exactly known. lt IS this disequilibrium that makes revolutions possible. It is not at all the case that revolutions are determined by technical progre s. Rather, they are made possible by this gap between the two series, \l'hi .h soli its realignment of the economic and political totality in relation to the parts of the technical progress. There are therefore two errors which in truth are one and the same: the error of reformism or technocracy whi h aspires to promote or impo. " partial arrangements of so ial relations ac rding to the rhythm of technical achievement . and the error of totalitarianism, which aspires to constitute a totalization of the ivnihable and the known according to the rhvthm of the social totality existing at a given moment. The technocrat the natural "riend of th dictatoromputel"s and dictatorship; but th revolution-


rcchni 'al progress from social totality, and inscrib s there his dream of permanent revolution. This dream, therefore, is itself action, reality, and an effective menace to all established order; it r nder. possibl what it dreams about.

ry lives in the gap which separates

. L:t. us r tll~n .t~ Levi-: 'trauss' paradox: two cries being given, slgmfymg and slglllheci, there is a natural excess of the si&Jllif;'ing series
a.llll.~ natllI.al I~ck of the :5ignjfie(~seri.cs. There is, necessarily, a '.'fioolina II_qn!fter, which I, the servitude 01 all finite thought, but also the promise of all art, all poetry, all mythi and aesthetic invention." W~, would like to add that it is the promise of all revolutions. And thr-n then' is on the other .~ide a kind of l!!!ared sion!fied, giH'1l by the signiner "without being there by kn0\'\11," lI'ithou t lx'ing therebv assiened or real ized. Ll~1i~ <.: ' b ,)trauss proposes to interpret in this way the wor ts "gadget" or "wh tnot,' "something," "oltquid," but also the fal110US "macna''; (or, yet again,



began to knoll' what it was signifying ... Man, since his origin, has had at his disposal a completeness of Signifier which he is obstructed from allocating to a signifed, given " such without being an)' better known. There is always an inadequacy between th two." I


"it" Lc;al). This is a value "in itselh'oiJ ofs nse and thus suscl'ptibl" of taking on any scns .. whose unigul' fun tion would be' to ';11 the gap bt"t\\":'cn signifier and signified." "It is a svmboli . value zero, that is, a

sign markit;g the Ill' 'cssit)' ~f a. s.)wbolic content supplerncntarv to that which alrcadv charges the slgmhed, but able to t< ke am' value vvhatsoncr, on the 'condition that it belong to the available reserve ... " It is ncccssarv to understand that the two series are marked, one hv excess, the other by lack, and that the two determinations arc interchanged without ever reaching equilibrium. What is in excess in the signifying series is literally an empty sguarc and an always displaced place without an occupant. What is lacking in the signified series is a supernumerar:' and non-situ, ted given-an unknown, an occupant without a place, or something always displa eel. These are two sides of the s me thingtwo uneven sides-by means of which the serie: communi .ate without losing their differenc~.

It is the adventure

in the Sheep'S shop or the

\I'hieh is their "differel1tiator." Thi~ is the principle of the emission of .~ingularities. Thi. element h{'long~ 0 110 se-ries: or rather, it belongs to both series at once and n 'ITr l~'aSI'!>to circulate throughout them. I hJS therefore the property of alwavs beillg displaced in relation to itself of "heing absent li'om its own placv," its own identity, its 011'11 rcscmhlanc«, and its Own equilibrium, It appears in one of the series as an c-xccsx, but only on the condition that it would appear at the same time ill the other as a lack. But if it is in I'Xl"{"SS in the one, it is so onlv as an empty sCI ua re; and if it is lacking in the other, it is so on I~ as a ~t1pe'rnllmerary pall'll or an oc upant without a compartment It is both word and object at once: esoteric 1I'0rd nd exoteric object. It has the fun lion of articulating ~ the two series to one another , of rcllccting them in one another, of making them .ommunicate, ocxist, and he ramified. Again, it has the fun tion of joining the singularities whieh correspond to the t,I'O series in "tangled tale," of assuring the' passag" From one distribution of singularities to the next. In short, it has the function of bringing about the distribution of singular points; of dete rrn in ing as siPTIiJyi g the ser ics i11 II"hich ita ppea rs i 11 excess, and, n .:IS signified, the series in which it appears correlatively as lacking and, above all, of assuring the bestowal or sense in both signifying and signified series. For s~nse is not to b confused with significa;iOl~; it is r tiler what is attributed in .uch a wav that it determines both th signifier and the signified a. such. We can .oncludc frolll this that there ~ is no structure without . cries, without relations between the terms of vach series, or without singular points corresponding to thcs relations. But abov all, we can conclude that there is 110 structure without the l'lnpty sgllare, which makes ('\'t'rything function.

storv that the esoteric word narrates. We may, perhaps, cit-tennille certain minimal conditions For a SUlIClUre in general: I) There rnust be at least two heterogeneous series, one of whic'--hshall be determined as "signifying" and the ~th('r as "signified" (a single series never suffices to fonn a structure). 2) Each of th se series is constitut d by t rms which exist ani through the relations thcv n aintain with one another. To these relations or rather to the "al:les of the e relations, there orrcspond very particular events, that is, sinouiariries which arc assignable within the structure. The situation is. I'e!"), similar to that of differential calculus, where the distributions 01 singular points correspond to the values of differential relations." l-or example, the differential relations among phonemes assign singu'larities with in laneuace in the ., vicinitv" of which the sonorities and significat- ~
l ...

tions characteristic of the language are constituted. Moreover, it seems that the Singularities attach~d ~o a series determine in a complex manner th . term of the other series. Inn. .asc, a stru turc includes two distributions of singular puints corrc:"ponding to the bast' series. And for this reason, it i imprecise to 01 pose structure and event: the structure includes a register of ideal ercms, that is, < n entire hisrol"Y internal to it (for example. if the series include "characters," it is a history 1.1 hich connects all the singular points corresponding to the positions of till' characters relative to one another in the two series). 3) The two hetcrogeneous series cOlllcrg toward a paradoxical clement,
S"O I I c: II I 11 "I IU 1-'" () 1ST Ru






Ninth S nes of the Problematic

series extending in a determined direction right up to the vi init)' of ;moth'r singularity. In this sense, not only are there everal divergent series in a structure, but each series is itself constituted by several L"OIl\Trgent sub-series. If we examine the singularities corresponding to the two important basic series, W(' sec that they are distingUished, in both cases, by their distribution. from one to the other, certain Singular points disappear or are divided, or undergo a -hange of nature and function. The moment that the (\\·0 series resonate and communicate pass from one distributlon to another. The moment that the series are traversed b the paradoxical agent, singularities are displa ed, redi _ tributed, transform cl into one aneth r, and chang ers, If the singularirics are veritable v nts, they communicate in one and the same Event which endlessly redistribute; them, while their transformations form a hislOlY. Peguy clearl saw that history and event were inseparable from those Singular point: "Events have ritical point ju t as t mperatur


is an ideal

vent? It is a singularity-or

rather a set of Singular-

ities or of singular points characterizing a mathematical urv ,a physical state of affairs, a psy hological and moral p rson. Singularities are turning points and points of inflection; bottlenecks, knots, foyers, and centers; points of fusion, condensation, and bailing; points of tears an joy, si kness and health, hope and anxiety, "s nsitive" points Such Singularities, however, should not be onfused either with the p rsonality of the one expressing herself in discourse or with the indiViduality of a state of affairs designated by a proposition, or even with the generality or universalitv or a on ept signifled by a ngure or a curve. The Singularity b lones to another dimension than that of denotation, manifes~ation or Sign~fi ation. It is css ntially pre-individual, non-personal, and a-conceptual. It is quite indifferent to the individual and the collective, the personal and the impersonal, general-and to their oppositions. Singularity hand,

has critical points-points of fusion, ongelatiol1, boiling, condensation, coagulation, and crystallization. And even within the event there are states of surfeit which are precipitated, crystallized, and determined only by the introduction of a fragment of the future event." 2 Pegu was able, as 'Nell, to invent an entire language, among the most pathological and aestheti . that one might dream of, in order to explain how a Singularity is prolonged in a line of ordinary points, but also how it Lx·gins again in another Singularity, how it redistributes itself in ano her set (two repetitions, a bad one and a good one, one that enchains and the other that aves). Events are ideal ovalis sometime. sa s that there are two courses of events, one of them ideal, the other 'real and imperfect-for example, ideal Protestanism and real utheranism.:' Th distinction however is not between two sorts of v nt ; rather, it is b tween th vent, wh] ·h is ideal by nature, and its spatia-temporal realization in a state of affairs. The distinction is between eI'em and accident. Events are ideational singularities which communicate in one and the same Event. Th\~y have therefore an eternal truth, and their time which rc lizes them and mak s th m exist. Rather, :,\ion, the Infinitive in which they subsist and insi t. uk-ali ties T 0 reverse PI··' .., ., .. .. atorusrn IS fi 1St ana I c rorernost <lnd to substitutris nev r the pres nt it is the unlimited Events are the only

th particular and the is neutral. On the other
is opposed

it is not "ordinary":

the Singular point

to the or-

We said that a set of singularities corresponds to each one of the series of a structure. .onverselv, ea ch singularity is the sour e of a

to remove essences events in their place, as jets of singularities. A double


battle has tho objective to th« art all dogmatic confusion bet\\'I,'en event and essence, and also ('\'Cry ('Illpirici~t con fusion between event and accident. The 11. ode of the event is the probl mati'. One must not sa~' that there are problcrnati« events, but that events hear ex lusivclv upon problems and define their l'Olld itions. In the beautiful pag('~ in whirh he oPI OSl'S the theorematic conception of geoml'try to the pmhl -m tic, the Ncoplatonic philosopher Proclus dehnes the problem by means of the vents which come to aflcct a logical subject matter (sl'ctions, ablations, adjunction', crc.), whereas the theorem deals with the properties which are dedu ed from an essence'. I The event hy itself is problernati ' and problematizing. problem is determined only by the Singular points whi h e'xpfes. its .onditions. We do not say that the problem is ther by resolved: on the contrary, it is determined a. a problem For example, in the theory of differential equations, the existen 'e and distribution of singularitic. are relati e to a problematic field defined by the equation 3. such. As for the solution, it appears only with the inteoral curves and the form they take in the vicinitv of
~ _ J

The re lation b(;'twcen mathematics and man may thus be con civcd in a new way: the question is not that of quantifving or measuring human properties, but rather, on the one hand, that of probl('l11atizing human events, and, on the other, that of developing as various human ('I'l'nt~ the conditions of a problem, The recreational mathematics of \1 hieh Carroll dreamt offers this double aspect. The first appears preei:.;c1y in a text entitled "A Tangled Tale." This story is composed of ~'n(lIS whi h, in each case, surround till' singularities corresponding to a problem; characters incarnate th('se singularitie,~ and are displaced or rearranged from one problem to another, until th v find each other again in the tenth knot, caught in the network of th - i;' kinship relations. ~ ~ The Mouse's it , which used to refer either to consumable obje ts or to expressible senses is now rep] a cd b, data, which refer sorn times t alimentary gifts and sometimes to given or problem conditions. The second, and more profound,
ti-clc: ... two lines might The elder and
to young



in The DynamiCS



have been observed impulsive

wending their way across a plane
acquired the art, so

singularities inside the field of vectors. It seems, therefore, that a roblem alwavs finds the solution it merits, according L to the conditions P , which determine i as a problem. In fact, the singularities preside over the genesis of the solutions of the equation. Nonetheless, it is still the case, as Lautman said, tha the instance-problem and the instance- / solution diFfer in naturt,S-as they represent respcctivclv the idcaV event and its spano-tcmporal realization. We' must then break with the long habit of thought which lorccs us to consider the' problematic as a subjective category of our knowlcdoe or as an empirical moment which would indicate" o'~I, the imperfecti~11 of our method and the unhappy necessity 1'01' LIS not to know ah ad time-a necessity which would


of the two had by long practice

loci, of I_ing evenly between his 'xtrcmc points; hut the younger, in her girlish impetuosity, was ever longing to divergc and become a hyperbola or some such romantic and boundless curve .... Fate and the intervcning superficies had hitherto kept them asunder, but thi was no long(,r to be: a line had intersected them, rnaking the two interior angles logt>tlwr less than two right angles. We . hould not see in this passave a simple allegory or a manner of Jnthropomorphizing mathcm: tics. or should we ~('(: these tendencies in tit' .elebrated passag fron yh'ie and Bruno. "Once a was taking a walk with a little a cidenr, and they met an ... " When Carroll speaks or a parallelogram which lonvs b b ,)ngks and complain, at not being able to he inscribed in a



disappear as we acquire knowledge. Even if the prol k111 is concealed h its solution, it subsists nonetheless in the Idea which r late. it to its l'~lI1ditions and organizes the bo vent'sis of the solutions. Without this ldca, the solutions would have no sense. The problematic is both an objective catl'vor" ~ or knowl ,dve and a Ilerl(_" Iy objective kind of heing. "Prob-b b lcmatic" qualities prccisclv the ideal objectivities. Kant was without doubt the first to accept the problematic not as a fleeting uncertainty hut as the very object of the ldea, and thcrebv as an indispcnsab]«
L J ...

coincidence explanation [or exterior circle or of

vurv« which suffers

';)r('('<1 to undergo, one must remember

from "se -tion: and ablations" that it has been rather that ps\'choloflical and

rnoral character; are also made of pI' -pcrsonal singul;rities, :nd that their I(.'t'lings or their pathos arc constituted in the vicinitv of these ~i g 1Ila ri til's: Sl 'IlS it i\'t' crisis poi n ts, tu I'll ing poi nts, bOiling po inrs, knots, n
'l~'d 0YlTS (what l "rroll\

horizon of all

tlh t Ol'CU

rs or appears.

calls plain ant7er or righl anger, for example). two lines evoke two resonating series; and their longings evoke Carroll


distributions 0 singularity, merging and being r distributed in the current of a tanglecl talc. As .arroll said, "(p)lain superficiality is the character of a speech, in which any two points bing taken, the speaker is feu nd to Iit" W hall)' wit h rega rd to those two poi nts. ,,6 In The Dynamics of a P<1rli-cJe L noll outlines a theory of serie: and of degrees or pow .rs of partie] S 31Tangcd in these series ("LSD, Q fimCli~n if areal value ... 'J We can speak of events only in th context of the problem whos conditions they determine. We can speak of events only as singularities deployed in a problematic field, in th vicinity of which the solutions are organi:l d. This is why an entire method of problems and solutions traverses Carroll's work, on. tituting the s .ientitic language of events and their realizations. NO\ , if the distributions of singularities corresponding to each series form fields of problems, how are we to characterize the paradoxical element which runs through the series, makes them resonate, ornmuni at , and branch out, and which exercises ornmand over all the repetitions, transformations, and r distributions? This element must its If be defined as the locus of a question. The problem is determined by sinDl/lar points corresponding to the series, but the question is determined by an aleaiory poin! corresponding to the empty squar or mobile element. The metamorphos s or redistributions of singulariti s form a history; each combination and each distribution is an event. But the paradoxical instance is the Event in which all events communicate and are distributed. It is the Unique event, and all other-->" events are its bits and pie es. Later on, James Joyce will be abl to give sens to a method of qll estion and answers which doubles that of problems-the Inquisitory which grounds the Problematic. The question is developed in problems, and the problems are enveloped in a fundamental question. And just as solution do not suppress problems, but on the contrary di ov r in them the subsisting conditions without which they would have no sense, answers do not at all suppress, nor do they saturate, the question, which persists in all of the answers. There is therefore an aspect in which problems remain without a solution, and the question without an answer. It is in this sens that problem and question designate ideational objectiviti '5 and have their own being, a minimum qrbeina (see the "answerless riddles" of Alice). We have alread seen how esoteric words were essentially tied to them. On one hand, the portmanteau words are inseparable from a problem which is deployed in the ramified series. This problem does not at all expre.s a
~6 N J NT I-I S I! HIE S CJ I' THE I' R 0 H L I::. MAT I C

subje tivc un '-rtainty. but, on the contrary, it expre. ses the ob] tive eqtlilihriul11 of a mind situated in [ront of the horizon of what happens or appears: ls it Richard or William? ls it fuming-FuriOUS or furiousfuming? ln each case, there is a distribution or singularities. On the other hand, blank word , or, rather, words denoting th blank word are in.'il"jx'rable from a question which is enveloped and displaced throughout the serif'S. lt b ·Iongs to this clement whi h is always absent from its proper place, proper resemblance, and proper identity to be the object of a fundamental question which is displaced along with it: what is the Snark? what is the Phlizz? \Vh t is It ((oj? Being the refrain of a .ong, who: e v rses form the many seri s through which the element circulates, being the magic word, in whose cast' all the names by which it is "called" do not l-ill in the "blank," the paradox ie, I instance has precisely this Singular being, thi. "objective." which corresponds question as such, ami .orrcsponds without ver answering it. to the



OJ· TI[I-:




Series of the

Ideal Gam

,Iistil1("(. Each one of them !:rings about a fixed distribution correspondill<' to one case or another. (!:I'CI1 when the glamt' is I ased on a sinole b ~ ~ throw this throw is good only lx-rausv of the fixed distributi n which it brings about and IXTaus,: uf its numerical part icularitv); 4) the l"IH1scqucnc's or the throws range over the alternative "victorv or dell'at." The characteristics of normal games arc therefore the preexisting categorical rules, the distributing hvporhcscs, the fixt:·d and numericallv distinct d istributlons, and t he l'Ilsuing results, These games arc partial in two ways: first. tile)" characterize only one part of human activity, and second. even if thcv are pushe I to the bsolutc, they retain c/WI1CC Ol1lj' 01 certain points. Ie';]\'ing the remainder to the mechanical .k-vcloprnent of conscCJu'nct's or to skill, understood as the art of causality It is inevitable therefore that. being themselves mixed, they refer to another type of acril"it, ' labor, or morality. whose .ari ature or counterpart they are, and whose elements they integr, re in a new order. Whether i be Pascal's gambling~ man or eibniz's ch sS-I)la"il1o ~~ God, the' game is explicitly taken as a model only be ause it has implicit modds which are not gam '.~: the moral model of the Good or the Best, the economic model of causes and effects, or of means and ends. It is not enough to oppose;' a "major" game to the minor game of man, nor a divine game to the human game' it is necessary to imagine other principles, even those which appear inapplicable, by means of which the game would become pure. I) There are no preexisting rul s, each IllO\"E' inv rnts its own rules; it bears upon its own rule. 2) Far from Ji\'iding and apportioning chance in a reallv distinct number of throws all thl"(~lVsaffirm chanc~ and endlesslv ra~'ify it with ea h throw, 3; The throws therefore arc not really (;r num~ri 'ally distinct. They are qualitath'('ly distinct, but are the qual it tiv form. of a Single cast which is onrologically one. Each throw is itself a series, but in a rime much smaller than the minimum of .ontinuous, thinkable time; and, to this serial minimulll, a distribution of singularities corresponds. I Each throw emits Singular poinrs-e=the points on the dice, for example. Hut the set of thro\\ ~ is in ~[lIded in the aleatory point, a unique cast which is endlessly (Iispian'd throughout all series, ill (l Lime wearer than ,he maximum (;f ('O!ltinuotls, thinkable tin c. These throws are SlI .ccssivc in relation to

only docs Lewis Carroll invent games, or transform the rules of known games (tennis, croquet), but 11(' invokes a sort of ideal game whose meaning and function are at first glanct' difficult to assess: for example, the caucus-race in Alice. in which one begins when one \visht'f; and stops at will; and the ero'lu t match in which the balls a~(' hedgehogs, the mallets pink Hamingos, and the loops soldiers who endlessly displace thernse In's from one end of the gain' to the other. These g~mes han' the following in common: they hLa\'c a great deal of movement, they seem to have no precise rules, and thev permit neither winner nor loser. W(.' are no 'a .quaintcd" with such games which seem to contradict themselves. The games with whi 'h wr are aCCJuainte I respond to , certain number of principles which may make the object of a theory. This thcorv pplies equally 0 games of skill and to games of chance; only the nature of the rules differs, I) It is n('CTSS,U\' , that in cvcrv. cas a set preexists the playing of the game, and, when one plays, this set takes on a categorical value; 2) these rules determine hvpotheses which o , di\'id~~ and apportion chance, that is, hypotheses of loss or gain (what happens if . , .); ~) these hvporheses )I'g. nizc the 111. c 01" the "\'ing game ~ .... an'or-ding to a plurality of throws, which arc really and numerically
of rules


yet simultaneous in relation to this point which always "h,1ng(':-; the rule, or coordinates and ramifies the cotTesponciing Tries a,\ It in. inuates chance on'!" the entire length of each series. Th unique
one another,

r I, N T

II S l-: R II::'

() I- T 1'11:- 1 n E J\ L (; A M 10


ast is a 'haas, each throw of whi ·h is a fragment. Each throw operates a distribution of singularities, a const ellation. But instead of dividing a dosed space between fixed results which correspond to hypotheses, the mobile results are distributed in the open space of the unique and undi\'ickJ cast. This is a nomadic and non-sedentary distribuuon, wherein each system of Singularities communicates and resonat . with the others, being at once implicated by the others and impli ating them in the most important cast. lt is the game of problems and of the question, no longer the game of the categorical and the hypothetical. 4) Such a (Jam ~-without rules, with neither winner nor loser, without responsibility, a game of innocence, a aucus-race, in which skill and chance are no longer distinguishable-s ems to have no reality. Besides, it wouJd amuse no one. Certainly, it is not the game played by Pascal's gambler, nor by Leibniz's God. What cheating is there in Pascal's moralizing wager! What a bad move is there in L ibniz's economic combination! This i not at all the world as a work of art. The ideal game of which we speak cannot be played by either man or God. lt can only be thought as nonsense. But precisely for this r ason, it is the reality of thought itself and the uncons ious of pure thought. Ea h thought forms a series in a time which is small r than the minimum of consciously thinkable continuous time. Each thought emits a distribution of singularities. All of these thought~ communicate in one long thought, causing all the forms or figures of the nomadic . di tribution to correspond to its own displacement, evervwh re in inlIating chan' and rarnifvin ea h thought, linking the "on e and ror all" to "c"ach time' for the sake of "all ;ime." Fo~ only thought finds it all chance and to to play this game other if one tries to produce a result produced. This game is reserved
to ~ffirm

one another (for example, the rotation of the' roulette and the rolling bali). Once the encounter is made, the mixed series follow a single track, protected from any new interference. If a player sudden] bent ore]" and blew with all his might in order to speed lip or to thwart the rolling ball, he would be stopped, thrown out, and the move would he annulled. What would han: been accomplished, however, other than

breathe a little more chance into the game? This is how describes the Babvlonian lotterv: .


L. Borges

if the lottery is an intensification or chance, a periodic infusion of chaos into til, osmos, would it not be desirable tor chan T to intervene at all stages of till' lottery and not m rely in the drawing) ls it not ridi .ulous for chan e to dictate the death of someone while the circumstances of his death - its silent reserve or publicity, the time limit of one hour or one century-should remain immune to hazard? . In reality, the number qf drDl"1Il8' I.~lrifirllle. No
decision is.final, all diverqe inro others. an infinite amount

The iBlloram suppose that an irifinile number
ill reaiity, il sliffices


druwin,qs requires



lime be i~fin;le~r

as is the case in the larnous parable of the Tortoise

and Hare.i

I possible one tries

make chance into on objecL1?f_qffirmarion.

Ir than in thought, not lung happens; and other than the work of art, nothing is then for thought and art. In it there is

The fundamental question with which this text leaves us is this: what is this time which need not be infinite but only "infinitelv subdivisible"? , lt is the Aion. We have seen that past, present, and future were not a all three parts of a Single temporality, but that they rather formed two readings of time, each one of which is complete and excludes the other: on one hand, the always limited present, which mea ures the a tion or bodies as causes and the state of their mixtures in depth (Chronos), on the other, the essentially unlimited past and future, which gather incorporeal events, at the surface, as effects (Aion).

nothing but victories for those who know how to play, that is how to affirm and ramify chance, instead of dividing it in order to dominate it, in order to waoer in order to win. This game, which can only exist in t» ' \." thought and which has no other result than the work of art, is also that hy which thought and art an' real and disturbing reality, morality, and the e .onornv of theworld. ln game; with which we are familiar, chance is fixed at certain points. These are the points at which independent causal series en,c un60 T~;NTII SERlE'> 01- TIll: IDf-AI <JAM-

The grcatne:s of Stoic thought is to show at once the necessity of these two readings and their reciprocal exclusion. Sometimes it will be said that only the pr sent exists; that it absorbs or contracts in itself the past and the future, and that, from contraction to contraction, with ever greater depth, it reaches the limits of the entire U nil' erse and becomes a living cosmic present. It suffices in this ca. e to proceed according to the order of the deconrractions, in order that the Llniverse begin ag~in and that all its presents be restored. Thus the time of the [ll"l's('nt is always a limited hut infinite time; infinite because cyclical, Jni~ating
rnoi al eternal

a ph~sical eternal return as the return of the Same, and a Wisdom as the Wisdom of the .ause, Some lime ., on the other
TEN"tll Sl-.IU ES Of TilE IDEA 1_(lAME




that they subdivide each present, ad inlinitun , however srn II it Illay he, stretching it out ove-r their l'Il1Pt~· line. The complementarity or past and future
only the past and future subsist, then itself; dearly: each prc'sent a pure themselves of Chronos++a rc urn line again

it will he !iaid that


as the



' the

te-mporal of acting in turn,

realization bodies

or th

cvent-e+ and impein two

that is, its incarnation in a state netrJbility, directions What of affairs -. has no at once, pure

in the depth the event present. bing event the

and its incorporation

in its impassibility retreats object of a double and at the about

appears infinitum. upon

is divided straight rom Is there and ... the

into since




ad hack destill, of

It rather
pcrp(·tual has

and advances

Or rather,

.~uch time

is not infinite,

i never

question: same timei

it is unlimited,

line the two each not other

extremities of
nd lx-corne

is going which

to happen?
has just

is that happened

ju. t happened? something

The agonizing'

which ('J1(llcssl~' distance
fl'n"cli into ITry

'1."f)cct of the sOlllething

it 1. always and The x, with

eli rrcrcnt

the past and the future from

in the Aion a bbyrinth more ethic know time terrible (an ethic


lahvrinth another words: The

lll'\'cr something

wh] ·h command:

another eternal
think i~ a single straight

which The sense signs that been the



or Horge's made


of : Grcok
I kill vou ...

which you

1. pure

I promise

the lahvrinth


Single straight

lir)t' which indicate


to happen; one il just happened, is the object of the "novella"; and the x alwa s about to happen, is the object of the "tale" ("conte "), event is bo h tale ami novella, never an a tualirv, It is in this events are siam:. .

is happ(,ning.


to which

il visiblo and t'\'('rla~ting." only greater the

Sometimes i t'verything; between two other case, the past and future presents. One bl:'aring es the of these it is a past has a upon a

the Stoics things.

say that

signs are always that





In the one case, the present

the relative
extension extension.

difference while the

of he

present has been


cannot and

sa)' of someone


wounded he is having

wounded does just





I ut

that to die

smaller mathcrnati

has a contraction the present which ('xprcs.



esc ayom b/esseJ, and that
not contradict of rea. on whi

he is due

01 esc. devon:
it is into

In the other a being it is

is nothing;

mourir}. something happen, living divides Aion


present as being has flying

and about

Aion; on the contrary, ad infinitum that is going

al instant, in.to ''''!lich

of r ason Bridly,



h is subdivided 'ol11l"thing at once. the upon event.

there are IlVa times, one C!/ which is composed only C!/ interlocking presents; the other is conslanc~1' decomposed into elongmed pasO' and ./ulUres. There are two times, one of which is al""ays
future definite, active or passive; which surface, limits the other and One is eternally infinitive and eternally straight


that always




in both

directions br-ings

The other

present; the





an eternal the


But the event the line of the Aion, which
future. is that The no a pushes


n eutral.

One is cyclical,


the movement f-ills it out;

of bodies and depends is a pure form ill found an empty time, abber-

it eternally endlessly ever

into a proximate rendering that them

past and an imminent

on the matter

the other words


event and


past event

as well a.

line at the
independent wacky" cant must


of til<.:' esoteric

lutu rc, without empty pn'sent such advancing,

less urvent.

of all matter.


one CITr dies, but has always
of the Aion, that

just died or is always going
is, in eternity.

to die, in the said: under probreakthan the into

"wabe" "soak."

rninates both times: "wabc." for, according to one sense, be understood a, having been dcriv d from "swab" or case, it would oesignatC' e
it is the the rain-drenched Chronos

As he was describing ideality-MalJarmt to the past, the Mime without smaller it is divided

"lIne en'ds,

it had to be mimed-pure

In this

roundinv b
and the mous rain Aion,

a sundial;

physical _.

and cyclical

r the




remembering, -in

to the future, such allusion, time, be .ausc

It i

the ral.~(' appc, ranee

or the pr('s('nt-· J-:ach event

a manner

lil"ing 1Jr!.:sent. But ~

in another which ha the

sense, been itself future the

it is the lane extending unfolded. from and form, toward

far ahead autono-

whose game is Iimitcd

to a perpetual is the


behind, oreal

"way-be," Aion

"a long way before,

a long way behind." It has become the past.









in the act of di~im'esting at once, straigl toward
t lint'

its matte r and

flees in both In it, even .ts.

directions heing

pro)(imatl" pa·t and imminent future. But it is also the longest time, IOl1ger than the maximum of continuous thinkable time, bt'~aus<:'it is ('ndh'~~I\" ltnlil1lit(:d subdil'idcd bv the ion which that c renders it equal in the Aion to its own is smaller lim-. Let us understand

falls horizontallv



)f .~dde and Bruno. This of evcnts-cffe

and empty

is the time



than the smallest subdivision of Chronos; but it is also greater than the greatest divisor .hronos, namely, the entire cycle. Through its unlimited subdivision in both directions at once, each event runs along the entire Aion and becomes coextensive to its straight line in both directions. Do we then sense the approach of an eternal return no longer ha,'ing an thing to do with the y le, or indeed of the entran e to a labyrinth, all the more terrible since it is the labyrinth of the unique line, straight and without thickness? The Aion is the straight line tra cd by the aleator point. The singular points of ach event are distributed over this line, always in relation to the aleatory point which . ubdivides them ad infinitum, and it auses them to ommuni ate with each other, as it extends and stretches them out over the entire line. Each event is adequate to the entir Aion; each event communicates with all others, and they all foml one and the same Event, an event of the Aion where they hav an eternal truth. This is the s cr t of the event: it exists on the line of the Aion, and yet it does not fill it, How


(the hrst and last pages on a Single folded sheet); its multiple internal series endow d with singulari it's (mobile, inter hangeablc pages, constellations-problems); its two-sided straight line which reflects and ramifies the serie (" entral puritv." "an equation tinder god Janus"), and over this line the aleatory point endlesslv displaced, ap~('aring as an empty squar' on one ide and as a supernumerary object on the other (hymn and drama, or "a bit priest, a bit dancer"; or again, a lacquered piece of furnitur made of pigeonholes and the hat without a helf, as the architectonic el merits of the book). Now, in ide the four, a little too elaborate, fragments of the Book of Mallarrne, something in his thought resonates which vaguely conforms to Carroll's series. One fragment develops the double series: things or propositions, to eat or to speak, to feed or to b presented, to eat the inviting lady or to answer the invitation. A second fragment releases the "fiml and benevolent neutrality" of the word, a neutrality of sense in relation to the proposition and also of the order expressed in relation to the p'rson who hears it. Another fragment display' in two intertwined fi mal figures th uniqueline of the Event which. being always in disequilibrium, presents one of its sides as the sen e of propositions and th other as th attribute of states of affairs, And finally, another fragment shows the alcator point which is displac cl over the line, the point of [Situf, or of the dice-throw. doubly indicated by an old man who has died of hunoer • b and by an infant born of spe eh-"for right to begin anew __ .. " 5 dying of hunger gives him the

could an incorporeal till up the incorporeal or the impen trable fill up the impenetrable? Only bodies pen trat each other, only Chronos is fill d up with stat s of affairs and the movements of the obj cts that it measures. But being an empty and unfolded form of time, the Aion subdivides ad infinitum that which haunts it without ever inhabiting it -·-the Event for all events, This is why th unitvJ of ev nts or effects , among themselves among themselves. is very different from the unity of corporeal • causes

The Aion is th ideal player of the game; it is an infused and ramified chance. It is the unique cast from whi h all throw are qualitatively distinguished. It plays or is played on at least two tables, or at the border of two tables. There, it traces its straight and bisecting line. It gath rs together and distributes over its entire length the Singularities corresponding to both. The two tables or series are like the sky and the earth, propositions and things, eXI ressions and consumptions. Carroll would say that they are the multiplication table and the dinner tabl . The Aion is precisely th border of the two, the straight lin which separates them; but it is also the plain surface which co~s them, an impenetrabl window or glass. It circulate' !iJerl£Fore throughout the series and never ceases to ref!e-Gt and to ramify them. It makes one and the same event the expressed of propositions and the attribute of things. It is Mallarrne's game, that is, "the book." This book has its tW? tables

Eleven th Series of Nonsense

sec." Word = x in a series, but at the same time, thing = x in another series; perhaps ('''-'C' shall see this later) it is nc ('ssary to add tu the ion yd a third aspect, action = x, insof, I' as the series resonate and COI11municatc and form a "t. nvled talc." "Snark" is an unhc rd-of name hut it is also an invisible monster. It refers to a formidable a .tion, the hunt, at the end of which the hunter is dissipated. nd loses his idcn itv. "Jabberwock" is an unheard-of narne, a fantastic beast, but also the object of a formidable action or of a great murder The blank word is clesignated bv esoteric words in genera! (it thing Snark, etc.). The fUllction~ of the 1~lank word, or of tl~e esoteric' word~ of the first order, is to 'oOl·din. tc the two hett'mgeneouc series. Esoteric words, in turn, may aL 0 be designated by portmanteau words, word. of the second order, whose function is to ramify the series. Two different fio-ures orrespond to these two po\'\'('rs. First .fi,qure: tl e paradoxical dement is at once word and thing. In other 'Nards, both the hi nk word denoting it and the esoteric word denoting the blank word have the function to expres the thing. It is a word that denotes exactly II hat it expresses and expresses what it denotes. It expresses its denotaand deSignates its 011'11 sense. It says something, but at the same time it says the sense of what it says: it says its own sen. e. It is therefore .omplctely abnormal. We know that the normal law governing all names endowed with sen. c is precisel , that their sen" may be denoted


us summarize the characteristics of this paradoxical element or mobile. Its function is to traverse the heterogeneous series, to coordinate them. to make them resonate and converge but also to rami~ th m and to introdu 'C into each one of them multiple disjunctions. It is both word = x and thing = x. Since it belongs Simultaneously to both series, it has two sides. But he sides an' never balan ed, joined together, or paired off, because the paradoxical element is always in disequilibrium in relation to itself. To account for this correlation and this dissvrnmetrv we made use of a number of dualities: it is at once , excess and lack empty square and supernumerary object, a place without an occupant and an occupant without a place "Aoating signifier" and floated signitied, esoteric word and exoteri . thing, white word and bla k object. This is why it is constantly denoted in two "vays: "For the Snark was a Boojum, . you see." We should not imaeine that the ~ Boojum is a particularly fi-ightening species of Snark; the relation of genus and species is hen' inappropriatf'. Rather, we are fa ('<I with the two dissvmmetrk-al halves of an ultimate instance. Lik~, from Sextus Empiricus W(' learn that the Stoics had at their disposal a word stripped of meaning, "Bluuri.' and that the;' employed it in a doublet with the corrcla te "SkmJopsos" I "For Hlituri wa: a Skindapsos, :,ou


only by another name (nl~n2~n: ... ). name saying its own sense can onl), be nonsense (N,,). onsensc is of a piece with the word "nonsense," and the word "nonsense" is of a piece with words whi h have no sense, that is, with the conventional words that we use to denote it. Second .fioure: the portmanteau word is itself the principle of an alternative the two terms of which it forms (frurnious = fuming-andfurious or furious-and-fuming). Each virtual part of such a word denotes the sense of the other or expresses the other part whi 'h in turn clcnot s it Under the same fann, the entire word says its own sense and is, for this reason, nonsense. Indeed, the second normal Jaw gon'rning n. Illes endowed wi h SCI1S' is that their sense can not d vterm in:' an alternative into which rhcv thcmsclvc: enter. onsense thus has two sicks, one corresponding to the regressi IT synthesis, the other to the disjunctive synthesis. '~ .


One could object that all of this means nothing. It is a had plav on orcls to suppose that nonsense expresses it own sense since, bv

definition, it has none. Hut this objection is unfounded. The pia), on words would he to say that nonsense has a sense, the sense being precisely that it hasn't any. This is not our hypothesis at all. When we assume that nonsense says its own sense,we wish to indicate, on the contrary, that sense and nonsense have a specific rei. ti n which can not copy that of the true and false, that is, which can not be conceived simply on the basis of a relation of. xclusion, This is indeed the most gt'ner,1 problem of the logic of sense: what would be the purpose of rising from the domain of truth to th domain of sense, if it were only to find between sense and nonsense a relation analogous to that of the true and the false? We have already seen that it is futile to go from the conditioned to the ondition in order to think of the condition in the image of the conditioned as the simple form of possibility. The condition cannot have with its negative the same kind of relation that the conditioned has with its negative. Th logiC' of sense is necessar-ily determined to posit between sense and nonsense an original type of intrinsic relation, a mode of co-presen e. For the time being, we may only hint at this mode by dealing with nonsense as a word which says its own sense. The paradoxical element, under the two preceding I1gures, is nonsense. But the normal Jaws are not exa tly opposed to the two figure. These figures, on the contrary, subsume normal words endowed with sense under these laws which do not apply to them. Any normal name has a sense which must be denoted by another name and which must determine the disjunctions 1111 by other names. Insofar as these names, ed \, hich are endowed with sense, are subject to these laws, they receive v

to which a classification is made cannot lx-long to any of the groups of the same type which are classified in relation to it. An element cannot be p rt of the sub-sets which it determines, nor a part of the set vvhose t'xistenceit presupposes. Thus, two forms of the absurd correspond to the two figures of nonsense, and these [orm: are defin ed a "stripped of signification" and as constituting paradoxes: a set which is included in it 'I"lf as a member; the member dividing the set which it presupposes -th> set of all sets, and the "barber of the regim nt." The absurd then is sometimes a confusion of formal levels in the regressive synthesis, sometimes a vi ious circle in tile disjunctive synthesisr' Th interest of the determinations of Signification lies in the fact that they engender the pI-in iples of non-contradi .tion and the excluded middle, instead of these principles being given ready-made. The paradoxes themselves enact the genesis of contradiction and inclusion in the propositions stripped of signification. P rhaps VI! should envisage frolll this point of viI'II' certain Stoic conceptions concerning the conn ction of propositions. For when the Stoics display so much interest in hypothetical propositions of the sort "if it is day, it is light," or "if this woman has milk, she has giv n birth," commentators are certainly right to re call that the question here is not about a relation of physical ~onseguence or of causality in the mod rn ense of the word. But they are perhaps wrong to see in them a simple logical conseCjuc:>nce in the form of identity. Th Stoics used to number the members of the hypothetical proposition: we can onsider "being day" or "having given birth" as signifying properties of a higher type than those over whi h they preside ("being light," "having milk"). Th link between propositions cannot be reduced either to an analytic identity or to an empirical synthesis; rather it belongs to the domain of signifi ation-·· so that contradiction may be engendered, not in the relation of a term to its opposite, but in the relation of a term to the other term. Given the transformation of the hvpothetical to the conjunctive, "if it is dav, it is light" implies that it is not possible that it be da), and not light. Perhaps this is the case, because "being day" would have to be an elern nt of a set which it would prE'suppose and would classified in relation to it. have to belong to one of the groups

determinations ~fsinnifiwlion The determination of signiflcation and the law are not the same thing; the former derives from the latter and relates names, that is, words and propositions, to concepts, properties, or c1as es. Tim., when the regreSSive law states that the sense of a name must be denoted by another name, these names of different dt'grees refer, from the point of view of signification, to classes or properties of different "types." Ever), property must belong to a type high r than the properties or individuals over which it presides, and e~ da. s must belong to a type higher than the objects which it contains: It follows that a class cannot be a member of itsel f, nor may it contain members of different types. ikewise, according to the disjunctive law, a determination of signihcation states that the property or the term in relation
68 10 LEV EN T II S E R I I: S () F 0 SEN S E

No less than the determination or signification, nonsense enacts a JOll(l/ion <!IJensc. But i does so in an entirely different manner. hom the point 0[" view of sense, the regressive law' no longer relates the names ~ ~

of different dl'gITl'~ to classes or properties, but rather distribu res them in a heterogeneous scril's of vents. These series arc unrloul cdlv determined , one as signih'ing, the other as sigllHied. But the disrriburion ... ~ ..__ of sense in each one of them is entirely independent of tI c precise relation of signification. This is whv, as we have seen, a term dl'\'oid of signif'ication has nonetheless a sense, and the sense or the event is in~kpcndcnt all the modalities aH'ectillg classes and properties, heing neutral in relation to all af these haractcristics. The event differs in nature from properties and classes. That which has a sense has also J signiiication, but for reasons which art' different from its havine ~ a sense. c Sense is thus inseparable fr rn a ncw kind of paradoxes which mark the presence of nonsense within sense, Just as the preceding paradoxes marked the presence of non. ense within. ignification. This time, we arc confronted with paradoxes of subdivision ad inf-initum and also with paradoxes of the distribution of Singularities. In. id the seric , each term has sense only by virtue of its position relative to every other term, But this relative position itself depend. on the absolute position of each term r lative to the instance = x. The latter is determined as nonsense and circulates endlessly, throughout the series. Sense i. actuallv" ~ Produced by this circulation as sense which affects both the sienitier and . ~ the Signified. In short, sense is always an ~fTeCl.. lt is not an effect merely in the causal sense; it is als an c-I}(_ t in the sense of an "optical effect"


Authors referred to as "strueruralisrs" hv recent practice ma)' have (,5S ntial point in common other than this: sense, r 'garded not r all as appearance but as surface elTeet and position eflect, and produced by the circulation of th empty sqllClI'e in the structural series (the place of the dummy, the place of the king, till' blind spot, the floating Signifier, the value degre zero, the off-sravc or absent cause, ctc.). Structuralism, whcrbcr consciouslv or not, nt'brates new tind ings of a Stoic and Carroll ian inspiration. Stru .turc is in fact a machine lor the production of incorporeal sense {skindapsos] Hut when tructuralisrn shows in this manner that sense is produced hv nonsense and its perpetual displacerncnr, and that it is horn or the respective position of elements which arc not by themselves "signit~ring," we should not at all compare it with what \ as called th ~ philosophy of the absurd: .arroll, ),(';;; Camus, no. This is so because, far the philosophy of the absurd, nonsense is what is opposed to sense in a simple relation with it, so that the absurd is always defined by a deficiency or sense and a lack (there is not enough of it ... ). From the point of view of stru .ture, on the contrary, there is always too much sense: an excess produced and over-produced by nonsense as a lack of its If. [akobson defines a phoneme zero, haVing no phonetically dctermin d value, by its opposition to the absence rhe rhoneme rather than to the phon '111(' itsel], Likewise, nonsense docs not have any particular sense, but is opposed to the abocnce of sense rather


or a "sound effect," or, even better a surface effect, a position effect, and a language effect. SU ·h an erf, .t is not at all an appearance or an illusion. It iS,a product which spreads out over, or extends itself the length of, the surface; it is strictly co-present to, and coextensive with, its own cause, and determines this cau: c as an imminent cause, inseparable from its effects, pure nihil or .Y, outside 0 the effects themselves. Such eff("cts, or such a product, h<ve usually been designated by a proper or a ~ingLilar name. A proper name ca n be considered fully as a sign onlv to the extent that it refers to an effect of this kind. Thus, physics speaks of the "Kelvin ('ffcct," of the "Seebeck effect," of the "Zeeman dfct" ," etc. Medicine de:ignates diseases by the names of the doctors who were able to elaborate the lists of their symptoms. following this path, the discoverv of sense as an incorporeal effee , being always produced by the circulation of the elcment=s x in the cries of terms which it traverses, must be named the " .hrvssipus efTect' or th "Carroll dfect."

than to the sense that it produces in excess - without ever maintaining with its produ .t the simple relation 0 exclusion to whi .h some people would Ii kc to redu ce them. 1 Nonsense is tha t which has no sense, and that which, as su h and as it enact the donation of sense, is opposed to absence of sense. This is what we must understand b "nonsense." In the fin. I analysis, the importance of structuralism in philosophv, and fur all thought, is that it displaces frontiers. When the emphasis shirted from failing Es: ences to the notion of sense, the philosophical di\'iding lin« .ecrned to be established between those who linked sense to a new transcendence, a new avatar of God and a transformed heaven, and those who found sense in man and his abyss, a ncwlv excavated dvpth and underground. ell' theologians of J' rnistv sky '(the skv of


ill tlw name the Cod-man or the Man-god as the secret of sense, \()nwtinl('~ it \\'JS diflil.'ult to distinguish Iwt~\'('('n them. Hut what todav rc-nd l TS t 11(' dis tiIlcLiOI1 impossi h Icis, Iirst and foremost, our CUITl'I;t


ami m-w humanists

of tl~t" caverns, spra"ng upon the s"tage

fatigue with this intel'minabk- discourse, in which one wonder - wheth r it is the ass which loads man or man who loads the ass and himself. Moreover, we have the impression of a pure counter-sense impos d on sense; for. in any case, heavenly or subterranean, sense is presented as Principle, Reservoir, R serve, Origin, As heavenly Principle, it is said to be fundamentally forgott -nand veiled or, as subterranean principl , it is said to be deeply erased, diverted, and alienated. But beneath the erasure and the veil we are summoned to reCUSCD\!'r and to restore Illc.:ming, in either a God which was not well enough understood. or in a man not fully fathomed, It i. thus pleasing that ther resounds today the news that sense is never a principle ~r an origin, but that it i-s produced, It is not something to discover, to restore, and to re-employ; it is something or depth, but surface whi h or he ight, but to produce by a new machinery. It belongs to no height rather to a surface efff'ct, being inseparable from the is its proper dimension, It i not that s nse la ks depth rather that height and depth lack surface, that the y lack

nr-ithcr man nor Cod, sinoularities which art:' neither gen ral nor individual, neither personal nor universal. All of this i: traversed by ir ulations, echoes, and events which produce more sense. more f~eedolll, and more strength than man has CH'r dreamed of. or God ever conceived. Today's task is to make the empty square circulate and to make pre-individual and nonp rsonal singularities speakin short, to produce sense,

sense, or have it only by virtue of an "effect" which presupposes sense, We no longer ask ourselves wh ther the "originary meaning" of religion is to be found in a God betrayed by men, or in a man alienated in the image of God, We do not, for example, seek in ietzsche a prophet of reversal or transcendence, If there is an author for whom the death of God or the free fall of the ascetic ideal has no importance so long as it is compensated by the false depth of the human, by bad faith and ressemimeru, it is indeed ietzsche. He pursue his dis ov ries el. ewhere, in the aphorism and th po m (where neither God nor man peak), in machin for the production of sense and for the sun'ey of the surface, Nietzsche establishes the effective ideal game, We do not seek in Freud an explorer of human d pth and originary ense, but rather th prodigious discoverer of the machinery of the unconscious bv means of whi -h sense is produced always as a function of nonsen e>" And how' could we not feel that our freedom and strength reside , not in the ~ divine universal nor in the human personality, but in these singularities which ~re more us than. we ourselves an": more divine tharthc (1ods, as thcv animate concretely po m and aphorism, perrnanent-tcvolution and partial action? What is bureaucratic in these fantastic machines which are peoples and poems? It suffices that we dissipate ourselves a little, that we he able to be' at the surfa .e. that we stretch our skin like a drum. in or IeI' that I e "great politics" begin_ An empty squ< re ,for
E I. I' V I' N T II S I: R I I'S 0 F 0 N SEN S E E LI: V tNT II . I, R I E SOl-' NOS ESE 73

Twelfth Series of the Paradox

lion is applicable to the r -al and the possihl«, but not to the impossible [rom II"hich it derives, that is, to parado.xl'~ or rather to what paradoxes ["(-prescnt. The paradoxes of signilication are essentially that of the tJbllornwl sel (which is included .1S ,] me-mber or which includes members of dilferent types) and that the: rebel clement (which forms part a



sl't whose exi: renee it prcslI PPOSl'S and Lwlollgs to two sub-sets which it <ktl'1111ines). The paradoxes of sense are e. scntiallv that of the w/xiirisioll ad iry.finiwnr (alwavs pa~t-ruture and never present), and that of the nomadic disutbuuo» (distrihuting in an open spac'c instead of distribllting a lost' 1 spacc). Thev always have the characteristic of going in both directions at once, and of rc·ndering iclentihcation impossible, as tht'" emphasize sometimes

drl~ct~.This is the case

the tirst, sorncrimcs till' second, of these ith Alice's double adv ntllrc-the hccorn ing-

annot get rid of paradoxes by savingb that the)' arc more worthy ~ ~ of Carroll's work than they are of the Principia .Mmhemmica. What is good for Carroll is good for logic. We cannot get rid of paradoxes by savino that the barber of the ~egim('nt docs not exist any more than - th~ abnormal set exists. for I) ~adoxes, on the contrar)', i,;lwrc in I nvuave b b' and the whole problem is to know whether la,wuagc would be able to function without bringing about the insistence of such entities. J or could we sa ~' that paradoxes b' oive a false image of thought, improbable .... ~ and usclesslv .omplicatcd. One would have to be too "simple" to believe that thought is a simple act, .lear unto itself, and not plltting into play all the pOll"ers or the unconscious, or all the powcrs of nonsense in the unconscious. Paradoxes re recreational only when thcv . , are considered as initiatives of though. The), arc not recreational when the), are considered as "th« Passion of thought," or as disl'O'Tring what


can only be thought, what can only be spoken. despite the fact that it is both ineffable and unthinkable-a mental Void, tf~ Aion. Finallv, 11'(" '. nnot invoke the .ontradictorv character of the illsin~atl'd entities, nor can \\T sa)' that the barber cannot belong to the regiment. TIll' force of paradoxes is that they are not contradi .torv; they rather allow us to he prr-xcnt at the genesis of the contradiction. The principle centrad ic-

mad and th lost name. Paradox is opposed to doxa, in both aspects of dosa, namely, good sense and common sen e. NoH', good sense is said of one direction onlv: it is the unique sens and expresses the [ mand of an order according to \I'hich it is necessary to choose one direction and to hold onto it. This direction i easilv d tcrmin -d as that which '-' !!oes from the most , dilferentiated to tht, least differentiated, from things to the primordial lilT~The arrow of time gets its orientation from this direction, since the 111().~t difTerentiatt,d necessarily appears as past, insofar as it define the origin of an individual system, whereas the least differentiated appear~ JS future and end. This order of time, from the past to the furur , is thus established in relation to the present, that is, in relation to a determined pha. e of tim ~ chosen within the particular system under consideration. Good sense therefore is given the condition under which it [ullills its function, which i. essentially to foresee. It is dear that roresight would be impossible in the other direction that is, if one went from the least differentiated to the most dirferel1tiat!"d-for example, i temperatures which were at first indiscernibl wen' to go 011 diFfervl1tiJtin,! themselves. This is whv good sense rediscovered itself in the ... '" COntext of thermodynamics. t its point of origin, though, good sense dJillls kinship with the highest models. Good sense is essentially distriblItiw'; "on aile' hand and on the other hond" is its fom lila.
L •



the distribution which it puts into motion is accomplished in which 1)1 ce difference at the hC!Tinning and involve it in a ~ '[olltrollcd movement which is supposed to saturate, equalize, annul,



and compensate it. This is indeed the meaning of such phrases 3. "from things to the priJl10rdial lire," or "from worlds (individual systen s) to God." Such a distribution, implied by good sense, is defined precisely as a fixed or sedentary distribution. The essense of good sense is to give itself a singularity in order LO stretch it out over the whole line of ordinary and regular points which depend on it, but whi 'h also avert and dilute it. Good sense is altogether combustive and digestive. It is agricultural, inseparable from the agrarian problem, the establishment of cnclosu res, and the dealings of mi Idle classes the parts of which are supposed to balance and to regulate one another. The steam engine < nd the [ivesto k, but also properties and classes, are the living ourccs of good sense, not only as facts which spring up in a particular period, but as eternal archetypes, This is not a mere metaphor; it ties together all the senses of the terms "properties" and "classes." The systematic .haracteristi s of good sense are thus the follOWing: it affirm~ a Single direction; it determines this direction to go from the most to the .1 ast differentiated, from the Singular to the regular, and from the remarkable to the ordinary; it orients the arrow of time from past to future ac ording~ to this determination; it assivns to the present a dir ctino b b role in this orientation; it renders possible thereby the function of prevision; and it selects the s dentarv type of distribution in whi h all of the prl"cedjng chara teristics are brought together Good sense plays a capital role in the determination of signification, but plays no role ill the donation of sense. This is be ause good sense always com s se ond, and because the sedentary distribution which it enacts presupposes another distribution, just as the problem of enclosu res presupposes first a free, opened, and unlimited spacethe side of a hill r knoll Is it thn enough to say that the paradox follows a dire tion other than that of good sense, and that it goes from th last to the most differentiated, through a whim that micht onlv be a mental 1:> , diversion' To repeat some famous examples, it is certain that if temperature go s on differentiating itself, or if viscosity goes on acceic-rating itself, one auld no longer "foresee." But why not? It is not because things would be happening in the other sense' or dire tion. The other direction would still encompass a llnigue sense. Goo~ sense is not con~ent with determining the particular direction of th1unigue sense. It first determines the principle of a unique sense or direction in general, ready to show that this prin iple once given. forces u~ to

-hoose one direction over the other. The po\·ver of the paradox th refore is not all in allOWing the other direction, but rather in showing that sense always takes on both sense: at once, or follows two directions at the same time. The opposite of good senseis not the other direction tsens], for this direction is only a recreation for the mind, its amusing initi; rive. But the paradox as passion reveals that one cannot separate two direction, that a unique sense annot be established-neither a unique sense for serious thought and work, nor an inverse sense for recreations and minor games. If viscosity went on accelerating itself, it would eliminate the reasons behind rest in an unpredictabl sense. "Which way. \ hich way?" asks Alice. The <Jue tion has no answer, since it is th characteristi of sense not to have any direction or "eood sense .." Rather, sense always b ooes to both directions at once ' in the infinitely subdivided and elongated past-future, The physicist Boltzmann explained that the arrow of tim , moving [rom past to future, functions only in individual worlds or systems and in relation to a pre. ent detennineci within such systems: "For the entire universe, the t\ 0 directions of time are thus impossible to distinguish, and the same holds for space; there is neith r above nor below" (that is, there is neither height nor depth). I H re we redis ov r th opposition betwe n Aion

and .hronos. Chronos is the present which alone exists. It make of the past and future its two oriented dimensions, so that one goes always from the past to the future-but only to the degree that presents follow one another inside partial world or partial systems. Aion is the past-future, which in an infinite subdivision of the abstra t moment endlessly decomposes itself in both directions at once and forever Sidesteps the present. For no present can be fixed in a Universe which is taken to be the system of all systems, or the abnormal set, To the oriented line of the rres~nt. which "regularizes" in an individual svst m each Singular point which it takes in, ~he line of Aion is oppos This line leaps from one pre-individual singularity to another and recovers them all, each one of them within the others. It recovers all the systems as it follows the figures of the nornadi distribution wherein each event c


is already pa t and yet in the future, at on .e more and less, alway' the

day before and the day alter, inside the subdivision which makes' them
vornmunicate with one another. In common scns , "sense" is no longer said of a direction, but of an organ. It is .alled " omrnon," because it is an organ, a function, a
T W ELf' T H SE R II:: s 0 I' T H I:: I' A RAj)



lacultv of identification that brings divcrsitv in general to hear UPOIl the 1:C)m1 the Sarnc. Common sense identifies and recognizes, no less than good scns« tC1ITSl'CS, ,'lIbjlTtin'h', common, ensc subsumes under itsel]' ~Ill' various fa -ult ics of the soul, or the differentiated organs of the


body, and hrings them to bear upon a unity which is capabk- or sa:'ing "I." One and the same self perceives, imagincs, remembers, knows. ctc.; one and tilt' sam€' scl r breathes, sleeps, walks, and eats. , , , Language <lO('s not scorn possible without this subject which expresser and manifests itself in it, and which says what it does, Objectively, common sense subsumes under itself the given divcrsitvJ and relatt:s it to the unity of a particular I~)rm of ob]c t or an individualized form of a world. It is the same object which I see, smell, taste, or touch; it is the same object which I perceive, imagine, and remember. , , ; and, it is the same world that I breathe, \ alk, am awake or asleep in, as I move from one object to another follO\,ving the laws of a determined system, Here again, lan,guage does not see~m possible outside of these ide~titics which i designates, The complementarity of the two forces of good sense and common sense are clearly seen. Good sense' could not fix'-any beoinning

things and U1C world. In S_y!l·/c ami 8ruIlo, l-airvland is opposed to the Common-Place, Alice suhmits to (and fails Jt) all the tests of .ommon ,;CIl~C: tllt' test of self- onSCiOllSI1l'SS JTl organ-"Who as are ~ vou?" said , .._ Ih(' CJtcrpillar; the test of the pCI'l'l-ption of an ob]e .t as a test of rc(,ognition-the woods which is strip] ,d off all idcntif arion; the test oj' l11enlory as recitation-"It is wrong from beginning to end"; the test of the dream as unitv of till' \\'orldwherein each individual svstcm comes undone to the bClldit of a universe in which one is a'III'JYs an element in someone ('Ise's drearn-" _, _ YOll're only om' of
lilt, things in his dream, You knoll' \'cl")' well you're not real." How could Alice have any ammon sense left, since she no longer had good
" ~ c


end, or direction, it could not distribute any diversity, if it did not transcend itself toward an instance capable of rclatinob the diverse to the _. lorm of a subjc t's identity, or to the form of an object's or a world's permanencc, which one assumes to be present from beginning to end. 'onvcrsclv,, this form of id ntitv, within common s ·nse" would remain




empty if it did not transcend itself toward an instance capable of determining it by means of a particular divcrsirv, which would begin here, end there, and whi h one would suppose to last as long as it is necessary to assure the equalization of its parts, It is necessary that quality be at once stopped and measured, attributed and identified, In this .omplementarirv of good sen re and common sense, the alliance between the self, tht, world, and God is sealed-Cod heine the final outcorne of directions and the suprenlt' principle of identities, The paradox therefore is the simultaneous reversal of good sense and COIllrnon sense: on one hand, it appears in the guise of the two simultaneous S(,IlS('S or directions of the becoming-mad and the unforeseeable; on the other hand, it appc< rs as the nonsense of'thc lost identi v and the u nrel'ognizablc, Alice is the one who alwavs got'S in two di;('ctiolls at once: Wonderland exist. in an always subdil'ided double direction. Alit:c is also the one who loses the identity, 1I'1l('her her own or the identitv
7H TWf-1 I-T.II ::-ERII'.'; 01, Till, I'AI{ I)OX


sense? Language, in any case, seems impossible, haVing no subject which ('xpn'sst's or manifests itself in it, no object to denote, no classes and no properties to signify according to a tixed order, It is here, however, that the gift of meaninob occurs, in this region ._: which precedes all good sense and all common sense, For here, with the passion of the paradox, languag attains its highest power. Beyond good sense, Carroll's doubles ('epresent the two senses or two directions of the becoming-mad. Let us look first at the doublet of the Hatter and the March Hare in Alice- each one of them lives in one dir ction, but the two directions are inseparable; each direction subdivides itsel]' into the other, to the point that both are found in either. Two are necessary for being mad; one is always mad in tandem. The Hatter and the Hare went mad together the day they "murdered time," that is, the day they destroyed tilt' measure, sLlppres, ed th pauses and the rests \ hi h relate clualit)' to something fixed, The Hatter and the Hare killed the present which no longer survives between them except in the sleepy image of the DormoLlse, their tortured companion, But also this present no longl'r subsists ex ept in the abstract moment, at tea time, heing indefinitelv subdivisible into past and futur(', The re: lilt is that they noll' change pia .es en llesslj', they arc always late and early, in b th din'ctiullS at once, btl never on time, On the other ~idt, of the lookingglass, tile- I lare and the I atter are taken u!) again in tilt' two mcssenpcrs ' .._ ...__ b

om- going and the other coming, one sear 'hinu and the othe-r brineinc t:b .th,wk. on the basis the' two simultaneous directions of the Aion,
.... C



TII('pdkdl'(, and Twecdlcdurn testi v to the indiscernibilitv of the two din'('tions, and to the inlinite sub("'ivision of the two senses in each d irl't'tiol1, ove-r the bifurcating mutt" pointing to their housev But, i ust



a. the doubles render impossible any limit 0 be oming, any fixing of quality, and thus an;, exercise of good sense, Humpty Dumpty is royal simplicity, the Master of words, th - Giver of . ense. He destroys the exercise of .omrnor sense as he distributes ditTeren e. in such a manner that no fixed quality and no measured time are hrought to bear upon an identifiable or recognizable obje t. Humpty Duml~ty (whose waist an I nc -k, tie and b It, are indiscernible) lacks common sense amuch as he lacks diflerentiated organs; he is uniquely made of sh.ifting and "disconcerting" Singularities. Humpty Dumpty will not rccogni'lC' Alice for each of Alic 's Singularities seems to him assimilated in the ordinary arrangement of an organ (eye, nose, mouth) and to belong to the .omrnonplace of an all too regular face, arranged just like cH'ryone -lse's, In the :ingularity of paradoxes, nothing begins or ends, everything pro eeds at once in the direction of both past and future. s Humpty Dumpty says, it is always possible to prevent that we grow in tandem. One do s not grow without the other hrinking. Th I' is notlling astonishing in th fact that U1(' paradox is th force of the unconscious: it occurs always in the space between (Fensre-deux) cons iousn ss S ontrary to good. ense or, behind the back of ons iousness contrary to common sense. To the question as to wh none becomes bald, or when there is a pile, Chrysippus' answer used to be that we would be better olT to . top counting, that we ould even go to sleep, \\' could think later on. 'arncadcs does not seem to understand this response very well and he objects that at Chrvsippus' rea wakening, everything will b 'gin anew and the same gue. tion will braised. Chrysippus answers more explicitly: one can always manage in tandem. slOWing the horses when the slope becomes ~teeper, or decreasing with one hand while increasing with the other.f l-or if it is a question of knowing "wh at this moment rather than at another" "whv water changes its st;te of qualirv at 0° centigrade," the que~tion is' poorly stated insofar as 0° is onsid red as an ordinary point on the thermometer. But if it is consider ed, on th - contrary, as a singular point, it is inseparable from the event occurring at that point, always being zero in relation to its realization on the line of ordinary points, always forthcoming and already passed. / We ma:, therefore propose a table of the development of language at the surface and of the donation of sense at the frontier, between propositions and things_ iu -h a table represents an organization .\\·hich
80 T W I: L ~Til S~,R J E~ () F T II Ie I' f\ J{ A 1)( ) X

is said to be secondary and proper to language. I t is anima ted by the p,lradoxical element or aleatory p lint to \Ihich 11'(' have giv>n various douhle names. To introduce this clement as running through the two :;eril's at the surface, or as tracing between the two series the straight line or the Aion, amounts to tilt' same thing. It is nonsense, and it ddim's the tvvo verbal ligurC's of nonsense. But, precisely because n()n~l'nsf' has an internal and original relation to sense, this paradoxical i-h-mcnt bestows sense lipan the terms of each series. The relative positions of these terms in relation to one another depend on their 'absolute" position in relation to it. Sense is always an dTl'et produced in th« series by the instance which traverses thorn. This is why sense, such as it is gathered over the line of the Aion, has two sides which correspond to th dis -ymmetrical sides of the paradoxical element: one tending.._ toward the series determined as signifving, the other tending~ ~. toward the series determined as signilled Sense insists in one of the series (propositions): it is that which c n be expre. sed by propositions, hut does not merge with the propositions whi h expr ss it. Sense crops lip suddenly in the other series (states of affairs): it is the attribute of itates of affair~, but does not Illerge with the state of affairs to which it is attributed, or ..vith the dungs and qualitie which realize it. What permits therefore the determination of one of those series as signifying and of the other as -ignified are preci. ely these two aspects of sense (insistence and extra-being) and the t\VO aspects of non .ense or of th ' paradoxical clement from which they derive (empty square and supernumcrary objec ; place without oc upant in one series and occupant 1\ ithout place in the other _ This i. \\'h)' sense is the obje t of fundamental paradoxes which repeat the f-igures of nonsense. But the gift of sense occurs only when the conditions of signihcation are also being dvrerrnincd. Til terms of the series, on' provided with sense, will xu hscq 1I en tIy be submitted to these cond it ions, in a tert iary organ izatio n \1 hich will rei, t them to the laws of possible indications and manifestations (good sense, common sense). This presentation of a total deployI1Wnt at the surface is necessarily afTected, at each of these points, by an I'xtl'('I1W and persi: tent fragility,

T W I: [ l- T 1J


I: R I 1::::, 0


T II I: I' t\ 1<l\



Ii I


Series of th


and the Little Girl

a madman may carry along with him an immense poeti al work, in a d irect relation to the poet that he was and which he does not cease to he. But this does not at all justiiv the grotcsCjue trinity of child, poet, and madman. With all the force of admiration and veneration, we must lw attentive to the sliding which reveals a profound difference underlying the. e 'rude similarities. We must be attentive to the very different functions and abysses of nonscn .c, and to the heterogeneity of portmanteau words, which do not authorize- the grouping together of those who invent or even those who use them. A little girl may sing "Pimpanicoitle'', an artist may writ "frurnious "; and a schizophr nic may utter "perspend] ace," 1 But we have no reason to beli vc that the problem is the same in all of these cases and the results roughly analogous. One could not serious] onfus Babar': . om' with Artaud's howls-breaths (criso I' es), "Ratara ratara ratara Atara tatara rana Otara otara katara .... " SOl!ffi We may add that the mistake made by logicians, when they speak of nonsens , is that they ofler laboriously constructed, emaciated examples fitting the needs of their demonstration, as if they had never heard a little girl Sing, a great po~t recite, or a schizophrenic speak. There is a po\'C:rty of so-called logi al examples (except in Russell, who was always inspired b Lewis 'arroll), But here still the weakness of the logician docs not authorize us to reconstruct a trinity against him. On the

Nothing is mor fragile than the surfa e. Is not this seconder- organization threatened by a monster even more awesome than the Jabberwo ky-by a formless, fathomless nonsense, very different from what we previously en ountcrcd in the two figures still inherent in ense? t first, the threat is imperceptible, but a few ste ps suffice to make us aware of an enlarged crevice; the whole organization of the surface has already disappeared, overturned in a terrible primordial order. Nonsense I 0 longer gives sense, for it has consumed everything. We- might have thought at first that we were inside the same dement, or in a neighboring element. But we sec now that we haw' chang d elements, that we han' entered a storm, We might have thought to be still among little girls and children, hut we are already in an irreversible madness. We might han' believed to be at the latest edge of literary research, at the point of the highest invention of Janguages and words; we are already faCt'd by the agitations of a convulsive life, in the night of a pathological creation aReding bodic ... Lt is for this rr don that the obs rver must he attentive: it is hardly acceptable under the pr text of portmanteau wortjx, for example, to run together a child's Iluryxy rhymes, poetic experimentations, and experiences of madness. A great poet may write in < dire ·t relation to the child that she was and the children she loves:

:ontrary, the problem is a linical problem, that is, a problem of sliding from one organization to another, or a problem of the formanon of a IJrogressi\"(~and creative disorganization. lt is also a problem of criticism, that is, of the determinatlon of differentia] levels at which nons nse changes shape, the portmanteau word undergoes a change of nature, and the entire language changes dimension. 'rud similarities set their trap. We would like to onsider two texts in which these traps of sirnilarit can be found. Occasionally Antonin Artaud confronts Lewis Carroll: first in a transcription of th~ Humptv Dutnp'ty episode; and again in a letter, written from the asvlum at Rodl'z, in which he passes judgm nr on Carroll. As we read the first stanza of "[abberwockv," such as Artaud renders it, we han' the impr('~si()n that the two opening verses still correspond to Carroll's criteria and conform to the rules of translation (Jenera]]\, held I \' Carroll's other I-rl'l1ch translators, Parisot and Bruni us. But -beginni~g with the last I.. " WO["(. 01' the second line, from the third [me onward, a sliding is produced, and even a creative, central collapse, causin J us to be in
T I I I R • I: I~ T II SE R 1I::. S 0 F THE S . II I Z 0 P II H E: IC


another recosrn

lYorld and in an entirelv different tanguagc.2 With horror, lYe i"l;l..' it r-asilv: i l is t hl' language of sch izoph ren ia, Even the portIllan~l.all \\'ol"d:; ;l'~'01 to function nifferf"ntly, being caught up in s_:;n("opcs and Iwing {)\'{'I"loaded with gutturals. We measure at thl' same moment tlw distance separating Carroll's language and Artaud's language - the former em! tted at the su rface, the latter ca rvrxl i11 to the ;kp~h of bodies. We measure the qiffC'l"cnc(' between their respective prohlems, We are thus able to acknowledge the full impact of the dl'ciaratiol1s made hy Arraud in his letter from Rodez:
j have not produced a translation of "[abhcrwockv." I tried to translate a (ragnll"nt of it, hut it hored me. I never hkcd this poem, which alwavs struck rm- axan afl<-ctC'd infantilism. . I do nOI like poems or /(JIlBu(lses c:I the ilnfure which smell of happy Icisures and or intellectual succcsa-e+as if tht· intellect relied 011 the anus, but without an:' heart or soul in it. Thcanus js always terror, and I will not admit that one loses an excrement WIthout being torn from, rhcrebv lOSing one's soul as well, and there is no soul in "jabberwocky.' .. ' One may invent one's languagt', and make pure languagOO' speak with an extra-grammatical or a-grammatical meaning, but this meaning must have value in it~t>lf, that is, it must issue from torment .... "Jahberw{)ck:'» is the work of a profiteer who, satiated alkr a fine meal, seeks to indulge himself in the pain of others .. , When one digs through the shit or being and its language, the poem neccssa ril_l'.,mdls badly, and "J abhcrwockv" iIi a POt'lll whose author took steps to keep hirnsclf from the utefinclwing of suffering into wluch C'\'er;' gn'<lt poet has plunged, and haVing lXTI1 born from it, smells hadlv, There are in "[abbcrwocky" ra~.sagl'.~ of [i.x:ality,hut it is rhe fccaliry of an Engli~h snob, who curls the' nb~ccm~ within himself like ringll'fs of l1air around a curling iron .... I t is the work of a man who ate \\ell-and this makes itsr l]' felt in his writing. ,

orality: the duality of things/words, cOl1sumptions/\:xpressions, or con~\lmablc objects/expressible propositions. This duality between 10 ear Jnd ./0 speak ma), b 'even more Violently expressed in the duality betw('en [0 paylw ear and to slmho speak. But in particular. this duality is tran,~portcd to, and is recovered in, a duality of two sorts of words propositions, or two kinds of language: namely, the mother tongue,. English, which is essentially alimentary and excremental; and foreign languages, which are essentially expressive, and which the patient strives to acquire. The mother threatens him in two equivalent ways and keeps him from making progl"t'ss in these languages. Sometimes she brandishe.s hefore him tempting but indigestible food, sealed in cans; sometimes she pounces on him in order to speak abruptly in Englisb before he has had time to cover his ears. He wards off this threat with a number of ever more refined procedures. first, he eats like a glutton, crams himself full of food, and stomps 011 the cannisters while repeating endJess!y some foreign words. At a deeper level, he ensures a resonance bet we n the two series and a conversion from one to the other, as he translates English words into foreign words according to their phonetic elements (consonants being the most important). "Tree," for example, is cooverted as a result of the R which recurs in the French word "arbre," and again as a result of the T which recurs in the Hebrew term; and since the Russians say "derevo' for tree, one can equally II ell transform "tree" into "tere," with T becoming 0" This already complex procedure is replaced by a more generalized one, as soon as the patient has the ide-a of c\oking ~ a. number of associations: "earlv," whose consonants ~ Rand L post' particularly delicate problems, is transformed into various associated French Jocutions: "surls-Le-cbamp, '" "de bonne heuRe." "mounalemem," "a la paRole," "db'oRer L'espace,' or even into an esoteric and fictional word of German consonance, "urlicb." (One recalls that lbyrnond Roussel, in the techniques he invented in order to constitute and to convert series within the rrench language, distinguishes a prill1ary, restricted procedure and a secondarv, generalized procedure hascd on associa t ions.) It is often the case t ha t some rcbe IIious words all of these procedures, giving rise to lnsulferablc paradoxes. Thus, "I,l(lies," for example, which applies to only half of the human popular("sist

Summing this up, v could say that Artaud considers Lewis Carroll a ve pervert, a little pervert, who holds onto the estahlishment of a surfac language, and who has not felt the real problem of a language in depth -nam('ly, the schizophrenic problem of suffering, of death, and of life. To Artaud , Carroll's 'games sc rn puerile, his food too worldlv, and even . hi~ [ecality hypocritical and too well-bred. Lea"ing Artaucl's genius behind, let us consider another text whose heautv and dcnsitv remain clinical." ln LOllis Wolfson's book, the person who ;TFers to hil~sel F as the pa tien t or the sch iwphr("h~ "studcn t of languages" expe-riences the existence and disjunction of two series of

tion, can he transcribed only by the German "leuue '" or the Russian "loud: .. , which, on the contrary, designate the totality of humankind. I hore again, one's first impn ssion is that there is a certain resernTill HT F 1-N Til S E It 11-S O~· T HI: s

c: Ii I Z 0

PI! I{




blanco between all of this and the Carrollian series. ln Carroll's works as 11TH, th basic oral duality (to ea to speak) is sometimes displaced ariel PJSSC~ bet vvcen two kind~~or two dimensions of propositions. Some other times it hardens and becomes "to pay/to speak," or "excrement! language" (Alice has to buy an egg in the Sheep's shop, and Humpty Dumpty pays his words; as for fee a Ii ty, as Artaud says, it underlies Carroll's work everywhere). Likewise, when Artaud develops his own antinornic series-"to be and to oIlt,),, to live and to exist, to act and to think, matter and soul, body and mind"-he himself has the impression of all extraordinary resemblance with Carroll. He translates this impression by saying that Carroll had reached out across time to pillage and plagiarize him, Antonin rtaud, hath with respect to Humpty Dumpty's poem about the little fishes and with respect to "Jabber\\'0 'ky_" And yet, why did rtaud add that his writing has nothing to do with Carroll's? Why is this extraordinary familiarity also a radical and definite strangenessl It suff es to ask once mar how and where Carroll '. series are organized. The two series c re articulated at the surface. On this surface, a line is like the frontier between two series, propositions and things, or between dimensions of the same proposition. Along this line, sense is elaborated, both as what is expressed by the proposition and as the attribute of things-the "expressible" of expressions and the "attributable" of denotations. The two series are therefore articulated by their difference, and sense traverses the entire surface, although it remains on its own line. Undoubtedly, this immaterial sense is the result of corporeal things, of their mixtures, and of their actions and passions. But the result has a very different nature than the corporeal cause. It is for this reason that sense, as an effect, beino always at the surface, refers to a quasi-cause which is itself incorporeal. This is the always mobile' nonsense, which is expressed in esoteric and in portmanteau words, and which distributes sense on both sides simultaneously. All of this forms the surface organization upon which Can-oil's work plays a mirror-like ",0' ct. Artaud said that this is only surface. The revelation \...hich enlivened rtaud's geniu~ is known to any schizophr nic, who lives it as well in his or her 0\\'11 manner. For him, there is nOI. there is no {ollser. any surface. How could Carroll not strike him as an affected little girl, protected from all deep problems? The hr. t s hizophrcni eviden is that the surface has split opcn. Things and propositions have no longer any
S6 T H I RT E 10 T I I SE R I ES 0 1-T II ESC H I Z 0 P II R I: IC

frontier between them, precisclv because bodies have no surface. Th prim. ry aspect of the schizophrenic body is that it is a sort of bodysine'. Freud ernphasiz d this aptitude of the schizophrcni to grasp the surface and the skin as if they were punctured by an infinite number of little holes S The Con. eoucncc this is that the entire body is no 10nO"- r I ~ b


an:·thing but depth=-- it carries along and snaps up t;'\"C'r:,thing into this ~aping depth which r presents a fundamental involution. Everything i hock and orporeal. Everything is a mixture of bodies, and inside the hod;" intf'rlocking and p netration. Artaud . aid that everything is physical: "We have in our back full vertebrae, transfixed by the nail of pain, which through walking, the eADrt of lifting wC'ights, and the resistance to I('tting go, be orne annisters by being nest d in one another.?" A tI'C(" a column, a Hower, or a cane :::, orcw inside the bod' , other bodies always penetrate our body and .oexist with its parts. Evervthine is reallv a can-canned food and excrement. As there is no su;facc, I::!the inside and the outside, the container and the ontained, no longer have a precise limit; they plunge into a univ ersal depth or turn in the circle of a present which gets to be more contracted as it is filled. Hence the schizophrenic manner of living the contradiction: either in the deep hssure which traverses the body, or in the fragmented parts which encase one another and spin about. Bodv-siev fraO"'TTlentedbodv and b
.J , .,11

dissociated bod -these . chizophrenic body.


the three



of the

ln this collapse of the surface, the entire world loses its meaning. lt maintains perhaps a certain power of denotation, but this is experienced as empty. It maintains a certain power of manifestation, but this is experienced as indifferent. And it maintains a certain signification, cxpcrien ed as "false." cv rtheless, the word loses its sens , that is, itx powcr to draw together or to express an incorporeal ",fTect distinct from the a .tions and passions of the body, and an ideati nal event di~till!.;t from its present realization. Every event is realized, be it in a hallUCinatory form. Every word is physical, and immediately affects the hody. The procedure is this: a word, often of an alimen-tary nature, aprt'ar~ in capital letters, printed as in a collage which fn:e;es it and )\trir s it of its. cnse. But the moment that the pinned-down word loses Its sense, it bursts into pieces; it is decomposed into svllablcs, letters, : nd ahort, all into consonants whi h act directly on the 'body, pcnetratItw

I::- '

I 11(

hnllslllg .-

. W c Ilave It.

a Irea dy seen that this was the case for the
ic 87

T J II IU f' I: NT II S I: R I Ie S () I' T Ii J: S '111 Z 0 P H IU,

schizophrenic student of languages. The moment that the maternal language is stripped of its sense. its phonetic clements I ccorne ~ingularly wounding. The word no longer expres~es an attribute of the state of affairs; its fragments merge with unbearable sonorous qualities, invade the body where thev form a mixture and a new state of affairs, as if thcv themselves were a noi.)" poisonous food and canned .xcremcnt. TIll" parts of the body. its organs, are determined in virtue of decomposed rlcrncnts which affect and assail them.7 In this passion, a pure language-affect is substitut d for the effect of language: "All writing is PIG SHIT" (that is to say. eVlO'ryhxed or written word is decomposed into noisy, alimentary, and excremental bits). l-or the schizophrenic, then, it is less a question of recovering me. ning than of destroying the word, of conjuring up the affect and of transforming the painful passion of the body into a triumphant action, obedience into command, always in this depth beneath the fissured surfa e. The stud nt of languages provides the example of the means by which the painful explosions of the word in the materna] language are converted into a tions relative to the foreign languages. We saw a little while ago that wounding was accomplished by means of phonetic elements affecting the articulated or disarticulated parts of the body. Triumph may now be reached only through the creation of breath-words {tnotsIOl1f/es) and howl-words (mats-cris), in which all literal, vllabic, and phonetic values ha ve been replaced by values Il'hich are exclusivelv Ionic and not written, To these values a glorious body orresponds, being a new dimension of the schizophrenic body, an organism without parts which 'operates entirely by insulHation, respiration, aporation, and fluid transmission (th superior body or body without organs of Antonin Artaud)." Undoubre U, ' this characterization of the active procedure, in opposition to the procedure of passion, appears initially insufficient: fluids. in fact do not seem less harmful than fragments. But this is so because of the a tion-passion ambivalence. It is here that th contradiction lived in schizophrenia finds its real point of application: passion and ction are the inseparable poles of an ambivalence, because th two language~ which thc), fonn belong inseparably to the body and to the depth of bodies, On i. thus ne ver sure that the ideal fluids of an organism without parts does not carry parasitic worms, fragments of organs, solid food, and excremental rcsidu . In fact, it is certain that the maleficent forces make effective use of fluids and insufHatiqns in

order to introduce bit or passion into the bod 1'. The fluid is nccessarilv corrupted, but not by itself. It is corrupted only by the other pole from which it cannot be separated. The lat'l, though, is that it represents the active pol, and the state of perfect mixture. The latter is opposed to the encasings and bruisings of the imperfect mixtures which represent the passive pole. In schizophrenia, there is a way of lidng the Stoic distinction between two corporeal mixtures: the partial mixture which alters the body, and the total and liquid mixture which leaves the bodv intact. In the fluid element, or in the insulllatod liquid, there is the unwritten secret of an actin' mixture which is like the "prin .iple of th Sc, ," in opposition to the passive mixtures of the encased parts. It is in this sens that Art ud transform. Humpty Dumpty's poem about th sea and the fi h into a I oern about the problem of oh Jience and command. What d fines this s and language and this method of action, practically, is its consonantal, guttural, and aspirated overloads, its apostrophes and int mal ace nts, its breaths and its scansions and its modulation which replaces all syllabic or even literal values. It is a question or. transforming the word into an a tion by rendering it incapable 01 being d composed and incapable of disintcgratina: langt/aBe without. anicukuion. The cement here is a palatalized an-organic principle, a sea-block or a sea-rna ·S. With respect to the Russian word .'derevo ,. (."tree") the student of language is ovcrjoved at the existence of a plural Iorm dere<l'o-whose internal apostr phe seems to assure- the fusion of vonsonants (the linguist's soft ~ign), Rather than separating the con 0nants and rendering them pronounceable, one could say that the vowel, once reduced to the soft sign renders the consonants inc!issociable from 011(' another, b palataliZing them. It lc vc th III ill'giblc and even unpronounceable, as it transforms them into so rnanv active howls in one continuous breath." These howls are welded together in breath, Ilkl' the consonants in the sign which liqu ifics them, like lish in the on'~n-Ill~~s: or like the hones in the blood the horlv without organs. A sign of hre, a wave "whi h hesitates bctwce-ngas and water," said :\rtaud TIl(' howls arcgurglings in breath ~ When Artaud says in'-his'""]abbenmcky" "Until rourghe is to rouargh ~ has rouarghambdc," he means to activate, IIhlIl1Iatl', palatallze, and set the word aflam so that the word b 'comes


h.1~ rangmbdc and rangmbde

Llw action

or a body without


instead of being the passion of a rn i,

Sl-RII.~S 01'


fra(Tm('nted organism. The task is that of transforming the word into a ~ ~ df fusion of 'onsonantsfusion through the lise of soft signs an a consonants which ("annot be de .omposed. Within this language, on C 11 always find \\(lI·ds whi h would be quivalent to portmant au words. r~r "rourf/he" and "rouarqhe," Artaud himself indi arcs "ruee," "roue." "route," "reale," or "route d realer," To this list, we could add "Rollt'rgllc," that section of Rodez in which Artaud was at the time. Likew is:" "hen he sa's "Uk 'ho: is," with an internal apostrophe, he indicates "'ukhaIe," "hate," and "abruti,' and adds "a nocturnal jolt beneath Hecate which means the pigs of the moon thrown off the ~traight path." As soon as the word appears, however, as a portmanteau word, its structure and the commentary attached to it persuade us of the presence of something very different. Artaud's "Chore Uk'hati " an" not equivalent to th lost pigs, to Carroll's "rnorne raths," or to Parisor's "l·erchomIourBlIs." They do not compete with them on the same plane. The), do not secure the ramification of series on the basis of sense. On the contrary, they enact a chain of associations between tonic and consonantal elements, in a region of infra-sense, according to a fluid and burning prin iple which absorbs and reabsorbs effectively the sense as soon as it is produc d: Uk'haus (or the lost pigs of the moon) is K'H (cahol = jolt), 'KT (nocturnal), and !-I'KT (Hecate). The duality of the schizophreni word has not been adequately noted: it comprises the passion-word, which explodes into wounding phonetic values, and the action-word, which welds inarti ulate tonic values. These two words are developed in relation to the duality of the body, fragmented body and body 'without organs. They refer to two theaters, the theater of terror or passion and the theater of cruelty, which is by its essence active. They refer to two typcs of nonsense, passive and activ : the nonsens of the word devoid of sense, which is decomposed into phon tic elements; and the nonsense of tonic el mcnts, which form a word incapable of bein« decomposed and no less devoid of sense. Here everything happens, act beneath s .nse and far from the surface. Sub-sense, and is acted upon, a-sense, Unlersinn-

schizophreni language is dcJined by an endless and panic-stricken sliding of the signifying series to\\'ard the Signified series. In fact, there are no /oHser al~)' series aI 01/; the two series have disappeared. on ense has ceased to eive sense to the slu·fa .e; it absorbs and engulfs all sense, both on the side of the signifier and on th ide of the Signified. Artaud sa~'s that Being, which is nonsense, has teeth. In the surface organization \I"hich we called secondary, physical bodies and sonorous words are separated and articulated at once by an incorporeal frontier. This frontier is sense, representing, 011 011 side, the pure "expressed" of words, and on the other, the logical attribute of bodies. Although sense results from the actions and the passions of the body, it i a re ult whi h dif~ rs in nature, since it is neither action nor passion. It i a result which shelters sonorous language from any confusion with the physical body. On the contrary in thi primary order of schizophrenia, the only dualityJ left is that between the actions and the passions of the body. Language is both at onc , b·ing entirely reabsorbed into the gaping depth. There is no longer anything to prevent propositions from falling back onto bodies and from mingling their sonorous elements with the body's olfactory, gustatory, or dioestive aHects. Not only is there no long>r any sense, but there is no longer an)' grammar or syntax cith r-nor, at the limit, are there any articulated syllabic, literal, or phonetic elern nts. Antonin Artaud could have entitled his ssa)' "An Antigrammatical Effort Against Lewis Carroll." Carroll needs a very strict grammar, required to conserve the inflection and arti ularion of "'c;>rds, and to distinguish them from the inflection and articulation of bodies, were it only through the mirror which reflects them and sends a meaning back to them. II It is for this reason that we can oppose Artaud and Carroll point for point-primary order and se ondarv organization. The su1ace series of the "to eat/to speak" type have really nothing in common with the poles if depth which are only apparently similar. The two .fis u res qf nonsense at the surfa .e, which distribute sense between the series, have nothing to do with the two dives imo nonsense which drag along, engulf, and reabsorb sense (Uruersinnt. The two forms

this must be distinguished from the nonsense of the surface, According to Holdcrlin language in its two aspects is "a sign empty of meaning." Although a sign, it is a sign which merges with an action or a passion of the body.IO This is why it seems cntirelv insufficient to sav that
• J

of ~tutlering, the clonic and th tonic, are only rough Iy analogous to thl' two schizophrenic languages. The break (coupure) of the surface has nothin,g in common with the deep Spa/luna. The contradiction which Was gra;;r('d in an infinite subdivision of the past-future over the inTIIIRTI-.I;NT'I SL:Rllo~ Of'THE SCHIZOPHRE Ie 91



R T U' NT II S E R II· S OF T 111- S '11 I Z 0 I' 111<.1- I L"

corporeal line of the ion has nothing to do wi h th .. opposition ' poles in the ph~'si<:al present of bodies, Even portmanteau words have


functions which are completely heterogeneous. One may find a schizoid "position" in the child, before th« child has risen to the surface or conquered it. Even at the surface, we can alwavs lind schizoid fragm -nts, since its function is precisely to organize ami to display clcr Wilts which have risen from the depth. This does not make it am' less abominable or annoying to mix everything togethcr-the chilJ's conquest of the surface, the colla pst' of the surface in the schizophrcni , or the mast(,ry of surfaces in the persoll called, for example, "pervert." W> can always make of Carroll's work a sort of schizophrenic tale. Some imprudent English psychoanalysts have in fact done so: they note Alice's telescope-body, its foldings and its ullfoldings, her manifes~ alimentary, and latent excremental, obsessions; the bits which deSignate mors~ls of food as well as "choi morsels," th call, ges and label, of alirn ntary words which arc quick to decompose; her loss of identity, the fish and the sea. , . , One can still wonder what kind of madness is clinically represented by the Hatter, the March Hare, and the Dormouse. And one can always I' cognize in the opposition between Alice and Humpty Dumpty the two ambivalent poles: "fragmented organs-body without organs," bodv-sicve and elorious body. Artaud had no other reason for confronting the text of Humpty Dumpty. But, at this precise moment, we could listen to Artaud's warning: "I have not produced a translation .... I have never lik d this poem. I do not like the surface poems or the languages of the
L. ,.

gt·ographi 'al bcf re i is historical It uistinguishes different ountrics. Arraud is neither Carroll nor li T, 'arroll is not Artaud, Carroll is not ('ITn Alice. Artaud thrusts Ihe cllIld into an extrernelv violent alternative, an alternative of corporeal action and passion, which conforms to the two languages in depth. Either th .. child is not born, that is, docs not h-ave the foldings of his or her future spinal cord, over which her ,)an'nt fornicate (a reverse suicide), or she creates a Huicl, glorioLls, and flamboyant bod)' without orvans <In<l without I)arents (like those Artaud .t;. called his "daughters' yet to 1)(" born). Carroll, on the contrary, awaits the child. in a manner onforming to hi. language of incorporeal sense: he waits at the point and at the moment in which the child has left the depths of the maternal body and has yet to dis over rhe depth of her own body. This is the brief surface moment in ... vhich the little girl skirts the surface of the water, like Alice in the pool of her own tears. Th se are different I' gions, different and unrelated dimcn ions. We rnay believe that th urfa e has it monsters, the 'nark and the [abbcrwnck, its t rrors and its cruelties, which, although I at of the depths, have claws just the same and can snap one up laterally, or even make us falJ back into the abyss which we believed we had dispelled. For all that, 'anoll and Artaud do not en ounter one another; only th commentator may change dimensions, and that is his g.-.at weakne , the ~ign that he inhabits no dimension at all. We would not give a page of Artaud for all of Carroll. Artaud is alone in haVing been an absolute del eh in literatur , and in haVing dis overed a vital body and the pl'. ,digiolls language of tht body. A h says, h - discovered them through suffering. He explored the infra-sen.' , which is still unknown today. But Carroll remains the master and the surveyor surfacessurface which w r taken to be so well-known that nobody was ('xl>loring them anymore. On these surfa .es, nonetheless, the entire logic of; nse is loc~t d.

surface." Bad psychoanalysis has two wa_ s of dCl"eil"ing itself: by believing to have discovered identical materials, that one can inevitably flnd evervwherc, or bv believing to have discovered analogous forms which rea~(' false diff('~cnccs. Thus, the clinical psvchiatric aspect and th literary critical aspect ar botched Simultaneously, Structuralism is right to raise the point that form and matter have a scope only in the original and irrerlucib]« structures in whi h they are organized. Psychoanalysis mu: t have geometrical dimensions, before h ing con - rncd with historical < I ecdotcs. For life, and even exualirv, lies within the organization and orientation of these d irncnsions, before being found in generative matter or engendered form, Psvchoanalvsis cannot content irsel f with the desigr a ion of cast's, the manifestation of histories, or the signillcation or complex s. Psychoanalysis is the psy hoanalvsis of sens It is
92 TIIIRTI·I, Til \"I(IES 01' Til 1-:o.l"IIIL()I'IIIU:NIC


Til 1RTI··l-.:NTII






Fourteenth Doubl

Series af

~LlrfJCl' refer to th inter-molecular modifications on which they depend as their real cause, but also to the variations of a surface tension on which they depend as their (ide tional or "fictive") quasi-cau: e. 'We han' tried to ground this second causality in a way which would conform t the in orporcal character of the surface a;,d the event. It seemed to us that the event, that is, sense, referred !O a paradoxical element. intervening as nonsense or as (//1 aleatory point, and operaring as a
quasi-cause assurinB rhejidl


?F the tjJeel.

falSify the previously


(This autonomy does not !i-agility, sin .e th two -figures of

nonsense at the surface may in turn be transformed into the two "deep" nonscnses of passion and action, and the incorporeal effect can thus be ~l'absorbed into the depth of bodies. 'OIl\"erseJy, fragility faJsify autonomy as long as sense has its own dimension.) doe not


fragility of sense an easily be explained. The attribute has an entirely different nature than corporeal qualities. The event has a different nature than the actions and passions of the body. But it results from them, since sense is the effect of corporeal causes and their mixtures. It is alwa IS therefore in danger of being snapped lip by its cause, It escapes and affirms its irreducibility only to the extent that the causal relation comprises the h terogeneity of cause and effect-the connection of causes between themselves and the link of effects between themselves. This is to say that incorporeal sense, as the result of the actions and the passions of the body, may preserve its difTeren e from the corporeal cause only to the degree that it is linked, at the surface, to a quasi- ause which is itself incorporeal. The Stoics saw cle rly that the event is subject to a double causality, referring'-' on one hand to , mixtures of bodies whi h arc its cause ami, on the other, to 0 her events which are its quasi-cause. I On the contrary, the Epicureans did not succeed in developing their theory of envelopes and surfaces and they did not reach the idea of incorporeal effects, perhaps b~us(' the "simula ra" remain sub] cted to the single causality of bodies in depth. But the requirement of a double causality is manifest, even from the point of view of a pure physics of surfaces, The events' of a liquid

The autonomy of the ffect is thus defined initially b its differ nee in nature from the cause; in the second place, it is defined by its relation to the quasi- ause. These two aspects, howev r, give sense very differcnt and even apparently opposed characteristics. For, insofar as it aflirms its difference in nature from corporeal causes, states of affairs, qualities and physical mixtures, sense as an effect or event is haract rized by a striking impassibility (impenetrability, sterility, or inefficacy, \\"hi h is neither a rive nor passive), This impassibility marks not only the difference between sense and the denoted states of atTain;, but also the liffer ence from the propositions whi h 'xpress it. Viewed from this angle, it appears as a neutrality (a mere double extracted from the proposition, or a suspension of th modalities of the proposition). On the contrary as soon as sense is grasp d, in its relation to the quasicause which produces and distributes it at the surface, it inherits, participates in, and even envelops and posses es the force of this ici,cational cause. We- have seen that this cause is nothing outside of its dfC' ,t, that it haunts this effect, and that it maintains with the effect an immanent relation which turns the product, the moment that it is produced, into something produ tive. Th re is no reason to repeat that Sense is essentially produced. It is never originary but is al\\"ay. caused ;"iIKI deri\'d.HO\ ever, this derivation is two-fold, and, in relation to the immanence of the quasi-call e, it creates th paths which it tra 'e.. and causes to bifurcate. Under these conditions, we must understand this genetic power in relation to the proposition itself, insofar as th vxprcssed sense' must engender the other dimensions of the proposition

(signil-ication, manirc;<tation, and denotation.) But we must also understand it in relation to tl (' \\'ay in which these dimensions arc fuIIillcd, and eve-n in rl'iJtion to that which fulfills these dimensions to one dcglTf' or another and in ant' manner or another. In other words, we must undNstand it in relation to the denoted states of Jffairs, to the manifested states of the subject, and to the signified concepts, properties, and classes. How are we to reconcile these two contradictory aspe ts? On one hand, lIT ha ve impassibility in relation to states of affairs and neutrality in relation to propositions; on the other hand, we have the pow -r of genesis in I'd tion to propositions and in relation to states of affair. themselves. How are we to re oncile the logical principle, according to which a false proposition has a sense (so that sense as a condition of truth remains indifl'erent to both he true and the false), and the no less certain transcendental principle ac or-ding to whi h pr-oposition alway. has the truth, the part and the kind of truth which it merits, and which belongs to it according to its sense' It would not suffice to say that these two aspects arc explained by the double figure of autonomy, where in one case we consider the effect onlv as it diff,- rs in nature from its r al Call e, whereas in the other case we consider it as bound to its id ational quasi-cause. The fact is that these two figures of autonomy hurl us into contradiction, without ever resolving it. This opposition between simple fonnallogic and transcendental logiC cuts through the entire theory of sense, Let us consider, for example, Husscrl's Ideas. We rc 'al! that Husser] had un overed sense as the noerna of an act or as that which a proposition expr 55 5. Along this Path , lollowin«1;:0 the Stoics, and thanks to the reductive method' of phenomenology, he had recovered the irnpa sibilit)' of sense in the exprf'ssion. The noerna, from the beginning, implies a neutralized doublc of the thesis or the modality of the expressive proposition the perceived, th remembered, the imagined). Moreover, the noerna possessed a nucl us quite inti pendent of the modalities of consciousness and the theti . characteristics of the proposition, and also quite distin t from the phvsical qualities of the object posited as real (for example, pure predicates, like noematic 'olor, in which neither the r~t: of the object , nor the way in which we are conscious of it, intervenes). In this , nucleus of noematic sense, there appear. something even more intimate, a "suprcrnelv" or transcendentally intimate" 'enter" \\'hich~oothing
96 I· U U RT I- 1·_ Til S E IU f'S () 1- 11() 1I B '-I, l' A USA LI T Y

other than the relation bctwr-cn Sl'IlSC itself and 11.<: object in its realitv, RelQl.ion and reality must now be ('llOl'lldlTcd or constituted in a transccndental manner. Paul Ricoeur follo~I'ing Fink, has in fact noted this shift in the lourth section of the Ideas: "not~onlv is consciousness transcended in an intended meaning, but this intcnded meaning is transcended in an object. The intended meaning lI'a." vet only a content, an intentional, of course, and not a real .ontent. _. ' '(But now) the relation of the noerna to the object must it elf be constituted through transcendental COI1sciousncss a the ultimate structure of the nocma." 2 At the heart the


logic of sense, one always returns to this problem this immaculate being the passage from sterility to genesis. But the Husserlian geneSis seems to be a slight-of-hand, for the nucleus has indeed been determined as auribute; but th - attribute is understood as predicate and not as verb, that is, as concept and not as e\'em. (This is why the expression according to Husserl produ .es a form

of the onceptual, and sense is inseparable although this generality is not confused with forth, the relation between s nsf' and objc t relation bctwe n no mati predicates-a

from a type of generality, that of a species) Henceis the natural result of the 'omething = x whi h i

capable of fun 'tioning as their support or principle of unification. This thing = x is not at all therefore like a nonsense int mal and co-pres nt to scns , or a point zero presupposing nothing of what it nee ssarily ~'ngendcrs. It is rather tht' Kantian object = x, where "x" means "in genera!.' It has in relation to sense an extrinsic, rational relation of transcendence, and gives itself, ready-made, the form of denotation, just as S('Il S<' , as a predicable generality, was giving itself, ready-made, the lorm of signification. It seems that Husser] does not think about genesis on the- basis of a necessarily "paradoxical" instance, which, properly speaking, would be "non-identifiable" (lacking its own identity and its 0\\'11 origin). He thinks of it, on the contrary, on the ba is of an originan' [acul ~. common sense. responsible for ac '~Llnting for the identitv of an


')bj(' -t in general, and even on the basis of a faculty of good sense, responsible for a' ounting for the process of idcntih arion everv object in general ad infinitum.1 We can clca rly ee this in the Hussn!ia;,


thvorv of doxa, wherein the different kinds of beli >f are engendered with reference to an Urdosa. which acts as a facultv of .omrnon sense in relation to the specitl,d L1Culties. The powerlessness of this philosophy to break with the form of common sense, which was dearly pn's('nt in
I-(JUHTI;!-:. 'I'll SEHIEs 01' DOU1H b L'AU:-'ALITY


Kant, is also present ill Husser]. What is then the fate of a philosophy which knows \\'('11that it would not be philosophy if it did not, at least provixionallv, hrcak with the particular contents and rnodalitic: of the dosa? What is the fate of a philosophy which nevertheless conserves the essential (that is, the form), and is satisfied VI ith raising to the transcendClltal a mere empirical exercise in an image of thouoht presented as originan-? It is not onlv the dimension of signifi ation that is b oiven read v-rnacle, whenever sense is conceived as a general predicate; and it is not only the dimension of denotation that is given in the alleged relation between sense and any determinable or individualizablc object whatsoever. It is the entire dimension of manifestation, in the position of a trans endental subje t, which retains the form of the person, of persona! consciousness, and of subjective identity, and which is satisfied with creating the trans endental out of th _ characteristic of the empir'~ J

ical. What is evident in Kant, when he directly deduces the three transcendental syntheses from corresponding psychological syntheses, is no less evident in Husser] when he d edu es an originary and transcendental "Seeing" from pre eptual "vision." Thus, not only is everything which must be engendered ~r the notion of sense given in the notion of sense, but what is even more important, th whole notion is muddied when we onfu e the ex pres. ion lith these other dimensions from which we tried to distinguish it. We .onfuse it "transcendentallv" , with the dimensions from which we wanted to distinguish it formally. ucleus-rnctaphors are disquieting; th y envelop the very thing which is in question. The Husserlian bestowal of sense assum ~s indeed the adequate appcaranc of a homogeneous and regressive series degree by degree; it then assumes the appearance of an organization of heterogeneous series, that of noesis and that of noerna, traversed by a two-sided instance {Ur(/o,w and object in general).4 Bu this is only the rational or rationalized caricature of the true genesis, of the bestowal of sense which must determine this gen . is by rc.lizing itself within the series, and of the double nonsense which must preside over this bestowal of sense, acting as its quasi.ause. In fact, this bestowal of sense, 011 the basis of the immanent quasi-cause and the static genesis which ensues for the other dimension of the proposition, may occur only within a transcendental fie which would correspond to the conditions posed by 'artre in his decisive article of 1937: an impersonal transcendental Meld, not having the. form

of a synthetic personal onsciousne: s or a subjective identity-with the subject on the contrary, being always constitutcd.f The foundation can nev r resemble what it founds . It does not suffice to sa" of the J foundation that it is another mattefit is also another geography, without being another world. And no less than the fann of th personal, the transcendental field of sense must ex lude the form of the general and the form of the individual. For the Ilrst characterizes only a sub] t which manifesls itself; but the second characterizes only objective classes and properties whi h arc Sian!J1Cd: and the third characterizes only denotable systems which are individuated in an objective manner referring to subjective points of view which art' themselves indiridtlalinn and desianoling. It does not seem to us th refore that the problem is really advanced, insofar as Husserl inscribes in the transcendental field centers of individuation and individual s),stems, monads, and points of view, and Se/l'I!s in the manner of Leibniz, rather than a form of th [in the Kantian manner." One finds there, nevertheless, as we shall se , a \'ery important change. But the transcendental fidd is no more individual than personal, and no more general than universal. Is this to say that it i _ bottomless entity, with neither shape nor differen e, a s hizophrenic a abyss? Everything contradicts such a conclusion, beginning with the urfac organization of this neld_ The idea of singuJariti s, and thus of anti-generalities, which are however impersonal and pre-individual, must now serve as our hypothesis for the determination of this domain and its genetic power.








F () LI R

r 1-. E NT"

s I::HIE

S (H


0 1I B LEe




fiftc enth Series of

in the mortally wounded oldicr who is no longer brave or owardlv, c • no longl'r victor or vanquished, but rather so much beyond, at the plan' where the- Event is present, participating therefore in its t rrihlc impassibility. "Where" is tho battle? This is whv the soldier llees when he flees and surges when he surges, dctl'lTI1irwd to 'on. idcr each te-mporal actualization from the height of the eternal truth of the event which incarnates itself in it and,"'alas, incarnates itself in his 0\1"11 II sh. Still, the soldier needs a long struggle in order to arrive at this beyond of courage and cowardice, to this pure' grasping of the event by means of a "volitional intuition," that is, L\' means of the will that the event creates in him. This intuition is lis;inc from all the empirical intuitions whi h still correspond to types of actualization.' important book bout the ev nt, more important Hence, the most even than those of

Sing u Iari ti es

Stcndhal, Hugo, and Tolstoy, is Stephen .ranc's The Red Badae f!fColiraec, in which the hero deSignates himself anonymously a "the young man" Dr "the young soldier," It is a little similar to Carroll's b, ttles, in which a great fuss, an immense black and neutral cloud, or a noisv crow, hovers over the combatants and separates or disperses them-only in two moments of sense impassiblitv and genesis, neutrality and order to render them even more indistinct. There is indeed a god of war, but of all gods, he is the most impas: ive, the least permeable to prayers-"Impenetrability," empty sky, Aion. In relation to propositional modes in general the neutrality of sense Jppears from several different perspecth·es. from the point of view of 'luantity, sense is neither particular nor g eneral. neither univ rsal nor personal. from the point of view of quality, it is entirely independent of" both affirmaiton and negation. From the point of view of modality, it is neither assertoric nor apcdeirtic, nor evert interrogative (the mode of subjective uncertainty or objective possibility). From the point of view of relation, it is not confused within the proposition whi h expresses it, either with d notati n, or with manifestation, or with Signification. Finally from the point of view of the type, it is not confused with any 0 the intuitions, or any of the "positions" of l"<~nsciousness that we could empirically determine thanks to the play 1'1 the preceding propositional traits: intuitions or positions of empirical I?l'rl"l'ption, imagination, memor;', understanding, volition, etc. In conjormit_v with the requirements of tilt' phenomenological methods of reduction, Husser] clearly indicated the independence of sense from a

productivity, arc not such that one ll1a~' pass for the appearan "e 01" the other. Neutrality, the impassibility of the event, its indifference to the determinations of the inside and the outside, to the individual and the ollectiv , the parti ular and the gC'neral-ali these form a constant without which the vent would not hav eternal truth and auld not be di~tinguishcd fmm its temporal actualizations. If the battle is not an example of an event among others, but rather the Event ill its essence, it is no doubt because it is actualized in diverse manners at once , and because each participant may grasp it at a different 1('1'(,1 actualization of within its variable present. And the same i true for the now classic comparisons between itcndahl, Hugo, and Tolstoy when they "see" the battle and make their heroes "see , it. But it is above all because the battle hovers over its own held, being neutral in relation to all of its temporal actualizations, neutral and impassive in relation to the victor and the vanquished, the coward and brave; because of this, it is all the more terrible. Never present but always yet to come and already pass d, the battle is c gra.~pablt' only by the will of anonvmitv ~ which it itsel f .. / inspires. This will, which IICC' must call will "of indifference," is pr"sent


certain number of the:;{' modes or points of view. But what p]"(~VC"nts him from cOIKcil"ing sense as a full (Impenetrahlej neutrality is his concern with retaining in sense the rational mode of a good sense and a common sense, JS he presents incorrectly the latter as a matrix or a "non-modalized root-form" (Urdoxa). It is this same concern \-\"hich makes him conserve th, form of consciousness within the transcendental. It follows then that the full neutrality of sense may be attained only as one of the sides of a disjunction within consciousness itself: either the root position of the real cogito under the jurisdiction of reason; or else neu traiiza t ion as a "cou nterpart," an" im proper cogito," an inacti ve and impassive "shadow or reflection" withdrawn from the jurisdiction of reason.' What is then presented as a radical cleavage of consciousness dearly corresponds to the two aspects of sense, neutrality and genetic power with respect to modes. But the solution which consists of distril uting the two aspects in a disjunctive alternative is no more satisfactory than the solution which treated one of these aspects as an appearance. Not only is the genesis, in this case, a false geneSiS, but the neutrality is a pseudo-neutrality. On the contrary, we have seen that, in relation to the rnodifications of being and to the modalities of the proposition, the same thing had to be grasped as neutral surface effect and as fruitful principle of production. It had to be grasped, not according to a disjunction of consciousness, but rather ac 'ording to the division and the conjunction of two causalities. We seek to deterrnine an impersonal and pre-invididual transcenden-

transcendental ev nrs, and h;·rlinglwtti calls them "the fourth person singular." Far from being individual or personal, singularities preside over the genesis of individuals and pcrsom; Uley arc distributed in a "potential" which admits neither Self nor I, but which produces them byactualizi ng or realizing itself, aIthough t he figures of this actua Iiza tion do not at all resemble the realized potential. Only a theory of Singular points is capable of transct>nding tht" svnthesis of the person and the analysis of the individual as these arc (or arc maJe) in consciousness. WI! can not accept the alternative which thoroughly compromises psychology, cosmology, and theology: either singuleritresalready comprised in individuals and persons, or the undifferentiated abyss. Only when the world, teaming with anonymous and nomadic, impersonal and pre-individual singularities, opens up, do we tread at last on the field of the transcendental. Throughout the preceding series, five principal characteristics of such a world have been outlined. In the first place, singularities-ev'nts correspond to heterogeneous series which are organized into a system which is neither stable nor unstable, but rather "metastable," endowed with a potential energy wherein the differences between series are distributed, (Potential energy is the energy of the pure event, whereas f0n11S of actualization correspond to the realization of the event.) ln the second place, singularities possess a process of auto-unification, always mobile and displaced to the extent that a paradoxical element traverses the series and makes them resonate, el1l'eloping the corresponding Singular points in a Single aleatory point and all the emissions, all dice throws, in a Single cast, In the third place, singularities or potentials haunt the surface. Everything happens at the surface in a crystal which develops only on the edg's. Undoubtedly, an organism is not develop d in the same manner. An organism does not cease to contract in an interior space and to expand in an exterior space-to assimilate and to externalize. But membranes are no less important, for they carry potentials and regenerate polarities. They place internal and external spaces into contact, 'without regard to dl~tance. The internal and the external, depth and height, have biological value onl), through this topological surface of contact. Thus, even b.iologlcally, it is necessary to understand that "the deepest is the skin." I h r- skin has at its disposal a vital and properly superficial potential energy. And just as events do not occupy the surface but rather frequent

tal 6eld, which does not resemble the corresponding
and which nevertheless

empirical fields, is not confused with an undifferentiated depth.

This field can not be determined as that of a consciousness. Despite Sartre's attempt, we cannot retain consciousness as a milieu while at the same time we object to the form of the person and the point of dew of individuation. A consciousness is nothing without a synthesis of '" , unification, but there is no synthesis of unification of consciousness without the form of the I, or the point of view of the Self. What ls neither individual nor personal are, on the contrary, emissions of singuJariti s insofar as they occur on an unconscious surface and possess a mobile, immanent principle of auto-unification through a nomadic distribution, radically distinct from fixed and sedentary distributions as conditions of the syntheses of consciousness. Singularities arc the true


. " not it, super !.. I cnc!-g:·' !•.. - /·o'·"/.I.-zed at the surface, but I·.Srather bound lela' .~ ,,~~ to its formation and feformation. Gilbert Simon don has expressed this

verv well: Th(: !i,·;ng .lilTS

or Jil,.


till' limit of itsdf", on its limit. - - . The characti-risric
ir is here that topology


is ~t the level 0(" the membrane; as an asrect bv which of a dynamic it exist» ...


exists in an essential itself maintains of internal. ~pacC" is


which content

with the content or external spacC' at the limits of the lil'ing~ there is, in Iact, no distance in topology; the entin' n1J~S of living matter contained in the internal spacl';s actively present to the external world at rh.- limit of" the lil"ing. . To bdon,q 10 l!1Icriorily does IW! melln "II~I· 10 "be imide." hUI 10 be {Ill Ille . 'in-side' ?f I be lunu, ... At tlw level of the polarized membrane, internal past and external luture liKc one another _ I
t()l){)I()iJiCan~'in contact


_ The entire

the nature of directed Singularities and their existence and directionless d istribu tion d epcnd on object ivel v d isti net insta n 0':·5 , 'I Hcnrc, the condWons of the true gt·nesis become apparent. It is true that sense is the characteristic- discovery of transcendental philosophy, and that it replaces the old rnetaphvsical Esse-rises. (Or- rather, sense was first discovered in the form of an impassive neutrality by an empirical 'logic of propositions, which had broken away from Aristotelianism; and then, for a second time, sense was discovered in the form of a genetic prodllctivity by transcendental philosophy which had broken away from metaphysiCS.) But the qu('"stion of knOWing how the transcendental ficld is to be determined is very complex, It seems impossible to endow it, inthe Kantian manner, with the personal form of an 1. or the synthetic unity of apperception, even if this unity were to be gi\'en universal extension. On this point, Sartre's objections are decisive, But it is no more possible to preserve for it the form of consciousness, even if we define this impersonal consciousness by means of pure intentionalitics and retentions, which still presuppose centers of individuation, The error of all efforts to determine the transcendental as consciousness is that they think of the transcendental in the image of, and in the re-semblance to, that which it is supposed to ground. In this case, either we give ourselves ready-made, in the "originary" sense presumed to bdong to tile constitutive consciousness, whatever VI'e were trying to gt'nerate through a transcendental method, or, in agreement with Kant WI' give lip genesis and constitution and \IV limit ourselves to a simple transcend mtal conditioning_ But we do not, [01" all this, escape the vicious circle which makes the condition refer to the conditioned as it reprod uces its image. 1t is sai d tha t the defini tion of the transcenden tal as origina.ry consciousness is justified, since the conditions of the real object of knowledge must be the same as the conditions of knowledge; without this provision, transcendental philosophy would lose all meaning and would be forced to establish autonomous conditions for objects, resurrecting thereby the Essences and the divine Being of the old metaphysics. The double series of the conditioned, that is, of the crnpirical consciousness and its ob] cts, must therefore be founded on an originaJ")'i nsta nee wh ich reta ins the pu re form 0 r object ivi ty (object == x) and the pure Iorm of consciousness, and which constitutes the former on the basis of the latter But this requirement does not seem to be at all legitimate_ What is
ShHIIc:S 01' SINC;LlU\RITIE~ 10),

As a fourth determination,


will say therefore

that the surface is

the locus of sense. signs remain deprived of sense as long as they do not enter into the surface mganization which assures the resonance of two series (two imaoes-sians" two 'photocrmphs, two tracks, erc.). But til is b ~ 0world of sense does not vet imply unity of direction or community of
l _

organs. The latter requires a receptive apparatus capable of bringing about a successive superimposition of surface planes in a cordance with another dimension. furthermore, this world of sense, with its eventsSingularities, offers a neutrality which is essential to it. And this is th case, not only because it hovers OI'N the dimensions according to which it will be arranged in order to acquire signification, manifestation, and denota t ion, btl t also beca lise it hovers oyer the actual izations of its energy as potential energy, that is, th« realization of its events, which may be internal as well as external, collective as well as individual, according to the contact surface or the neutral surfac -lirmt which transcends distances and assures the continuity on both its sides. And this is wh v (determ ina tion nu mber fi ve) th is world of sens _. has a

status: Singularities are distributed in it properly problematic held and crop up in this field as topological events to which no direction is attached. As with chemical elements, with re-spect to which we know where they are before we kno w what they are, likewise here we know of the existence and distribution of singular points before we know their nature (bottlenecks, knots, foyers, centers ... ). This allows us, as \11'(' ha I"C seen, to give an entirely objective dcl-inition to the term "prohlcmatic" and to the mdetcnrrination which it carries along, .since


common to metaphysics and transcendental philosophy is, above ail, this altcrnatil'{' ",hich they both impose on us: either an undifferentiated ground, a groundlessness, formless nonbeing, or an abyss without diffcr~n c. and ~"'ithollt properties, or a supremely ind.ividuated Being and an intcnsclv personalized Form. Without this Being or this Form, you will have 0l~1\' cham.. In other words, metaphysics and transC('ndental philosophv reach an agreement to think about those determinable sin911larilies on£1" which are already imprisoned inside a supreme Self or a superior I. It seems ther fore entirely natural for metaphysics to determine this slll rernc S If as that which characterizes a Being infinitely and completely determined by its concept and which thereby possesses the entire originary reality. In fact, this Being is necessarily individuated, since it rei gates to nonbeing or to the bottomless abyss every predicate or property which expresses nothing real, and del gates to its creatures, that is, to finite individualities, the task of receiving derived predicates which express only limited realities. S At the other pol, transcend ntal philosophy chooses the hnit synthetic form of the Person rather than the infinite analytic being of the individual; and it thinks natural to determine this superior 1 with reference to man and to enact th grand permutation Man-God which has satisfied philosophy for so long. The I is coextensive with representation, as the individual used to be coextensive with Being. But, in both cases, we are faced with the alternative between undifferentiated groundlessness and imprisoned singularities. It is necessary therefore that nonsense and sense enter into a simple opposition, and ense itself appears both < S originar. and as mistaken for the primary predicatesither predi cates considered in the infinite determination of the individuality of the supreme Being, or predicates onsidered in the finite formal'onstitution of the . uperior subject. Human or divine, as Stirner said, the predicates arc the same whether they belong analytically to the svntheticallv bound to the human ;riainary , a[~d predicable, it makes b about a divine sense foreottcn bv t;;, , divine being, or whether they are form. As long as sense is posited as no difference :'hether the question is man or whether it is about a human

when in The Binh if Traaed), he allowed the woundless Dionysu to speak, contrasting him to the divine individuatinn of Apollo, and to the human character of So 'rates as well. This is the fundamental probJ m of "who speaks in philosophy?" or "what is the subject of philosophi al discourse?" But even if the formless ground or the undifferentiated abyss is made to speak, with its fldl voice of intoxication and anger, the alt rnative irnpos d by trans endental philosophy and by metaphysics is not left behind: beyond the person and the individual, you will discern nothing .... Nietzsche's discovery lies elsewh re when, haVing liberated himself from Schopenhau I' and WagncT, he explored a world of impersonal and pre-individual Singularities, a world he then called Dionysian or of the will to power, a free and unbound energy. These are nomadic ingularities which are no longer imprisoned within the Ilxed individuality of the infinite Being (the notorious immutability of God), nor inside the sedentary boundaries of the finite subject (the notorious limits of knowledge). This is something neither individual nor personal, but rather Singular. Being not an undifferentiated abyss, it leaps from one singularity to another, casting always the dice beloncring to the same cast, always fragmented and formed again in ea h throw. It is a Dionysian sense-producing machine, in which nonsen e and sense are no longer found in simple opposition, but are rather co-present to one noth r within a .new dis ourse. The new discourse is no longer that of /1 the form, but neither IS It that of the formless: It I. rather that of the ~ \ pure unformed, To the charge "You shall be a monster, a shap less mass," i tzs he responds: "We have realized this prophe y.,,6 As for the subject of this new discourse (except that there is no longer any subject), it is not man or Cod, and even less man in the place of God. The subject is this free, anonymous, and nomadic Singularity which I travers s men as well as plants and animals independently of the matter \ of their individuation and the forms of their personality. "Overman" means nothing other than this-the superior type of eller)'lhil1a that is. This is a strange discourse, whi h ought to have renewed philosophy, and which finally deals with sense not as a predicate or a property but as an event. In his own discovery, Nietzsch glimpsed, as if in a dream, at the means of treading over the earth, of touching it lightly, of dancing and I<.:'adingba k to the urface those monsters of the deep and forms of the sk;, which w rc left. But it is true that he was overtaken by a more


sense alienated in God. lways extraordinary are the moments in which philosophy makes the Abyss (Sans:fond) speak and finds the mystical language of its wrath, its formlessness, an I its blindness: Boehme, ' 'helling, S hopenhauer. ictzs he was in the beginning one of them, a disciple of Schopcnhauer,

profound task, one which was more gr~ndiose and also more dangerous: in his discovery, he saw a new way of exploring the depth, of bringing a distinct eve to bear upon it, of discerning in it a thousand voi es, or making all ;)1' these voices sp -ak- being prepared to be snapped up by this ckpth which he interpreted and populated as it had never been before. He could not stand to st )' on the fragile surface, which he had IlCl"crthcless plotted through men and gods. Returning to a bottomless ahvss that he renewed and dug out afresh, that is where Nietzsche perished in his own manner. It would be preferable to sa)' that he "quasi-perished '; for sickness and death arc the event itself, subje t as such to a double causality: that of bodies states of affairs, and mixtures, but also that of th - quasi-cause which represents the state of organization or disorganization of the Incorporeal surface. ietzschc, it seems, became insane and died of general paralysis, a corporeal syphilitic mixture. But the pathwa which this event followed, this time in relation to the CJllasi-cause inspiring his entire work and o-inspiring his life, has nothing to do with his general paralysis, the ocular migraines and the vomiting from whi h he suffered, with the exc ption of gh'ing them a new causality that is, an eternal truth independent of their .orporeal realization - thus a style in an a:ul're instead of a mixture in the body. We see no other way of raising the gllestion of the relations bctv een an a:uvre and illness e .cept bv means of this double .ausali , v. ,

Sixte nth Seri s of the Static Ontologi al Gencsi ~

This surface topology. these impersonal and preindividual nomadic 'singularitie. constitute the real transcendental field. The way in which the~ individual is derived out of this held r presents the fir. t ;tage of the genesis. Th individual is inseparable fr0111a world; but what is it that \\'(' call "world"? In general, as we have seen, a Singularity may be grasped in two ways: in its existence and distribution, but also in its nature, in conformity with whi h it extends and spread' itself out in a determined direction over a line of ordinary points. This second aspect already reprt'scnts a certain stabilization and a beginning of' the actual iz. tion of the singularities, A singular point is xtended analytically over a series of ordinary points up to the vicinity of another singularit)" etc, A world th("n.:·fore is can. titured on the condition tha series cOIl\-erge. C'Anothcr" world would begin in the vicinity of those points at which the resulting ..cries would di\,erge). A world already envelops an inhnite system of Singularities selected through cOl1l'ergencc. Within thi: world, however, individuals are con~tjluted which select and envelop a finite number of the singularities of the- svstcrn. Thcv combine them with the sineulartries that their own '. 0 hody incarnates, The;' spread them out over their own ordir arv line. anr] a.: ('1'('11 capable of forilling them again on the membranes which






bring the inside and the outside in contact \ ith each other. Leibniz then was rivhr to say that the individual monad expressl's a world according n; the rda~ion of other bodies with its own, as much as it C'xpn'sscs this relation accoruing to the relation of the part~ of its own bodv. An inrlividua I is ther fOIT always in a world as a 'irde of con~'cr'Tenl'e, and a world may be formed and thought only in the b \'icinit)' of the individuals which occupy or fill it. The question wheth r the world itself has a surface capable of forming again a potential of sinO'ularities is ~ generallyJ r' '01 ved in the negative. A world ma)' be b infinite in an order of convergence and nevertheless may have a hnite C'nergy, in which case this order would be limited. We recognize her>
J ~

the problem of entropy, for it is in the same way that a singularity is extended over a line of ordinary points and that a potential energy is actualized and falls to its lowest level. The power of renewal is conceded only to individuals in the world, and only for a time-the time of their living present, relative to which the past and future of the surrounding world acquire, to the contrary, a permanent and irreversible direction. From the point of view of the static genesis, the structure individualworld-interindividuality defines the hrst level of actualization. At this first level, singularities are actualized both in a world and in the individuals whi h are parts of the world. To be actualized or to actualize oneself means to ext nd over a series of ordinary points; to be selected a cording to a rule of conv rgence; to b - in .arnated in a body; to become the state of a body; and to be renewed locally for the sake of limited new a ·tualizations and extensions. ot one of these characteristics belongs to singularitie as such; they rather belong to the individuated world and to the worldly individuals which envelop them. This is why actualization is always both ollective and individual, internal and external, etc. To be actualized is also to be expressed. Leibniz held the famolls thesis that each individual monad expresses the world. But this thesis is poorly understood as 10110' as we interpret it to mean the inherence of predicates in the expressive monad. It is indeed true that the expressed world does not exist outside of the monads which express it, and thus that it does exist within the monads as the series of predicates which inhere in them. It is no less true, however, that God created the world rather than monads, and that what is expressed is not confused with it expression, but rather insists and subsists. 1 The expressed world is rnade

of differential relations and of contiguous singularities. lt is rormed as a world precisely to the extent that the scri~s which depend on each singularity converge with the series which depend on others. 711iscom'eri}t'nce d~fines .'compossibi/iIJ" as the rule oj' a workl s),l1thesici. When' the series diverge, another \ oriel bt'gins, incompossible with the first. The ext raord ina ry notion of com possib iiitv is thus defined as a fOlHil1(wnJ of singularities, wher by continuity has the con\'ergence of series as its ideational criterion. It follows that the notion of in ornpossibilitv is not reducible to th notion of cor tradiction. Rather, in a certain way .onrradiction is derived from incompossibility. The contradiction ! ~~ tween Adam-the-sinner and Adam-non-sinner results from the incornpossibility of worlds in which Adam sins or does not sin. In ach world, the individual monads express all the singularities of this world-an infinity-as though in a murmur or a swoon; but each monad envelops or expresses "clearly" a ertain number of sing-ularities only that is those in rhe ricinil)' c:f which it is constituted and which link up witl: its ~lI'n bod)'.' We see that the confillUUnJ of singularities is entir Iy distinct from the indi.\·iduals which envelop it in variable and complementary degrees of '[ant)': s.!.Dgula.rJti s-al' ~re--~n4iv-.dual. [f it is true that the expressed world exists onl in individuals, and that it exists there only as a PI' dicate, it subsists in an entirelv dif~ 'rent manner as an event or a verb, in the Singularities which pr~side over the constitution of individuals. It is no longer Ad m-the-sinncr but rather the world in which dam has, inned .... lc would be arbitrary to give a privueg d status to the inherence of predicates in eibnizs philosophy. The inherence o~ pr xlicat 'S in the e prcssive monad presuppose the cornpossibilitv of the expressed world, which, in turn, presupposes the di. triburion of ?ure Singularities a cording to the rules of cOIl\'ergen and divergen 'e. These rules belong to a logic of sense and the event and not to a logi of predication and tru"th. Lcibnlz went verv far in ;his first stage of the- genesis. He thought of the constitution of the individual as CCtlt('r an envelopment, as enveloping singularities inside a world and on its own bodv /"



The lirst le;'cl of actualization produces corrclativclv individuated worlds and individual selves which populate each of' these worlds Indi\'iduals are constituted in the vicinity of singularities 'v\'hieh they l'Il\'('lop; th<:\' cxprcs- worlds as circles of cOIl\'l'rging series which depend upon these singularities. To the extent that what is expressed





does not e-xist ()ut.~idt, of its cxpres~ion~, that is, outside of theindividuals which express it, the world is really tilt' "appurtenance" of the SUbjit'ct and the event has really become the analvtic predicate of a subject. ""1"0 ween" indicates a singularity.event in the \·icinit;· of which tlw tree is constituted. "To sin" indicates a singularity-c,-ent in the vicinitv of which Adam is constituted. Bur "ro be oreen" or "10 be a ~'illl!cr':arc now the analytic predicates of constituted subjects-namely, th« tree and Adam Since all the individual monads express the totality of their world-although they express clearly only a select parttheir bodies form mixtures and aggregates, variable associations with zones of rlaritv and obscurity. This is why even here relations arc analytic p redi~'a res of m ixtul:es (Ada rn at('~f the fru it of the tree). Morco~T r, can tra ry to certa in aspects of the l.eibniz ian theory, it is necessa I"y to assert that the analytic order of predicares is an order of coexistence or succession, with neither logical hierarchy nor the character of generality. When a predicate is attributed to an individual subject, it does not elll'ov anv dr-oree of b crt'nerality; havino a color is no mort" ..... general than ~ t:;.
,iI ,/~,

them possible inside the mixture of tilt' hod". This is whv we iclentifv, in the last analysis, the domain of intl!ition~ as immediate represenrat ions, t he ana lytic predicates of ex istcncc, and the descti P! ions 0 f 111ix tu res or aggregatC's. Now, on the terrain of the hrxt actualization, a second 1('1"(,1is established and developed. We face again the Husserlian problem of the Fifth Cartesian Meditation: what is it in the Ego that transcends the monad, its appurtenances and pITtiil"att's? Or more precisely, what is it that gilTS the monad the "sense-be-stowal pl'rtailling to transcendcncv proper, to constitutionally secondar." Onlec/il"/! uanscendencv, "as distinct from the "immane n t transcendence " of the fist Ieve]? 2 The solution hert' cannot be the phenomenological one, since till' Ego is no less constituted than the individual monad This monad, this living individual, was defined within a world as a comirlUlIm or circle of com~ergences; hut the Ego as a knowing subject appears when something is idem!fted inside worlds which are nevertheless incornpossible, and across series which are nev(''l"theless divergent. In this case, the subject is vis-a-vis trw world, in a new sense of the word "world" (Weir). whereas the li"ing individual was in the world and the world within him or her (Umwcli}. We cannot therefore 1'01101'1" Husser! when he puts into play the highest synthesis of identification inside a continuum, all the lines of which converge or concord. J This is not the wav to transcend the first
It'ITL Only when somethi'ng i identified bet\'I'~('n divergent series or lxtwcen incorn pass ible worlds, an object = x a ppC<ls tra nscerre]]ng r indil"iJuated worlds, and the Ego which thinks it transcends ,vorldly individuals, giving thereby to the worid a new value in view of the new value of the subject \I'h.ich is being established.

being green, being an animal is no more general than bt'ing reasonable. The mcreasine b or decreaSing . b cerieralities al)pt'ar only when a predicate ;

is determined in a proposition to function as the subject of another pred ica te, As long as predica res are brought to bear upon indi I' id ua Is, we must l"('cO<1I1IZe in them equal immediacy • which blends with their b . analytic character, To han' a color is no more general than to be green" since it is only this color that is green, and this green that has this shade, that are related to the individual subject. Thi~ rose is not red without having the red color of this rose. Thb n'd is not a color without having the color of this red. We may leave the predicate undetermi nr-u , withou tits al'gu iring any cha racter of !!enrralitv. J n . b • other words, there is not vet an order of concepts and mediations, but rather an order of mixtures onlv arcording to coexistence and succes" sion. Animal and reasonable, green and color are two equally immediate predicates which translate a mixtu re in the body of the individual SUhjCL·t,without one predicate being attributed to it any less immediatclv than the other. Reason as the Stoics sav, is a body which enters, spreads itself over, an an;mal. body. ColO/is a IUl11in~us body which ahsorbs or !"c!lc-cts another body. Analvtic predicates do not yet imply logical considerations of genus and spccies or of propertk>s and classes; thev iml)I\' onlv the actual phvsical structure and diversity which make







To understand this operation, we must always return to the theater Leibniz-and not to the cumbersome machmerv of Husser!' On the one hand, we know that a singu.larity is inseparable from a zone of )It'rfi.·t"tly objective indetermination which is the open ~pace of its nomad il" d istrihu tion.1 n fact, it behooves the problem to refer to cond it io IlS II" h ich canst j tu tc this superior and ]los it ive j ndctrrm ination; it






l1l"hool"f'~the el'em to be subd ivkled undlcsslv, and also to be rcasscmhied in one and the same Event, it b('hool"~s the sirwdar pain/.\ to be di:~tribllt('d according to mobile and communicating l-igures which make ol l'I"t'ry din' throw om' and the same cast (an aleatorv point), and of !hi.~ cast a multiplicitv of throws. Although Lcibniz did not attain the
S I X T H, NT I I ;, j. HIE :-; OF 0 N T





L 0 C !C ... 1 (; I· N LSI S

I Ii

free char<Ktn of this play, since he neither wanted nor knew how to. breathe enough chance into it, or to make of divergence an obi ct of affirn ati n a; such, 11(' nevertheless assembled all conseqUl'1 LTS at the Ie,el of the a -runlization which preoccupi s 1I. at this point. problem, ~a'I(1 has conditions - which ne .essarilv " include "ambigTllolis signs," or IlC s.: , <_. aleatory points, that is, diverse distributions of singularities to which instanc'l's of different solutions correspond. Thus, for example, the eguation of conic sections expresses one and the same event that its ambiguous sign subdivides into diverse events-circle, ellipse, hyperhola, parabola, straight line. These diverse events fonn so many Instance corresponding to the problem and determining the genesis of the solutions. 'liVemust therefore understand that incompos, ihlc worlds, despite their in ornpossibility, have sam thing in common-something objectively in ammon-which represents the ambiguous sign of the genetic element in relation to which sev -ral worlds appt'ar as instances of solution for one and the same problem (every throw, the result of a single cast). Within these worlds, there is, for ('xam,ple, an objectively indeterminate Adam, that is, an Adam positively defined so/ely through
a few Singularities

to all worlds. All objc -ts = x are "persons" anel are defined But these predi arcs are no longer the analyti predicates of individual detennined within a world which carry out th ~ description or these individuals. On the contrary, they arc predicates whi h dplle persons synthetically, and open dilTerl'nt world and individualities to them as so many variables or possibilities: "to be the first man and to live in a garden" in the case of Adam; "to hold a secret and to be disturbed by an intruder]" in the case of Fang. As far as the absolutely common object in gem'ral is concerned, with respect to which all worlds are variables, its predicates are the primary possibilities or the categories. Instead of each world being the analytic predicate of individuals des .ribed in series, it is rather the incompossible worlds which arc common

by predicates.

the synthetic predi ates of persons defined in relation syntheses. As for th variables which realize the possibiliri

to disjunctive s of a p rson,

we must treat them as one pts whi h necessarily signify lasses and properties, and therefore as essentially affected by an increasing or decreasing generality in a continuous specification against a categorial background. Indeed, the garden may contain a red rose, but there are in other worlds or in other gardens roses which are not red and flowers which are not roses. The variabl s being properties and classes are quite distinct from the individual a&,crregate. of the first level. Properties and class s are grounded in th order of the pel'son. This is be ause p'rsons themselves are primarily classes haVing one sillgle member, and their pr dicates ar properties hGl'illg one consronr. Each person is the sole member of h is or her class, a class which is, nevertheless, constituted by the worlds, and individuals which pertain to it, Classes as multiples, and properties as variables, derive from these classes with oue Single member and these properties with one constant We believe therefore that the entire dedu tion is as follows: I) persons; 2) classes with one Single member that the), onstitute and propcrti s with one constant which belong to them; 3) extensive .lasses and variable propertiesthat is, the gmeral concepts which d rive from them. It is in this sense that we interpret the' fundamental link between the oncept and the

which can be;' cornhi ned and can complem:nt each other in a very different fashion in different worlds (to be the first man, to [ivc in a garden, to give birth to a woman from himself, etc.)." The in .ornpossible v orlds be orne the variants of the same story: Sextus, for example, h ars the oracle. , , ; or, inde· d, a Borges says, "Fang, let us say, has a secret. A stranocr knocks at his door. I~ang makes up his mind to kill him. Naturally there arc various possible outcomes. Fang can kill the intruder, the intruder can kill rang, both Can be saved, both can die and so on and so on. In Ts'ui Pen s work, all possible solutions occur, each one being the point of departure for other bifurcations." 5 We are no longer faced with an individuated world onstituted by means of already "'fixed singularities, organized into convergent seri 5, nor are we faced with determined individuals whi 'h express this world. We arc now faced with the alcatorv point of singuJar points, with the ambiguous sign of singularities, or' rather with that which represents

this sign, and which holds good for many of these worlds, or,. in :~e last for all worlds, despite their divergences and the individuals \\'hi~h inhabit them, There is thus a "vague Adam," that is, a vagabond, a nomad, an Adam = x common to several worlds, just as ther£' is , Sextus = x or a Fang = x, In the end, there is something =x

I:go. The universal Ego is, precisely, the person corrE'spon ling to ~olll('thing = x common to all worlds, just as the other egos are the I)t'rsom corresponding to a particular thing = x common to several worlds. We cannot

101101\' this entire deduction
TJ-! ~I:HII::~ OF 0

in detail. What


is II {


II SI: R I L: S 0 F () N T 0 L ()


It' A L (; EN f: SIS



onl; that w« ~'stahJish the two st. gcs of the p, ssive gcm'sis. First, hcgilln in!.!: ith till' ~il1gIlIMitks-C'\'cnts which constitute it, sense cngl'nw dl';~ c Ii~s! lield {romplex«} wherein it is actualized: the Llmwc]; which )rganiy.cs thl' singularities in cir .ics of cOIH'C'rgcnce; individuals which l'X]HTSS tlws(' worlds; states or bodies; mixtures or aggregatcs ul' these indh'idllals; analytic predicates which describe these states. Then, a sl'('()nd, vcrv different ficld ( omplexe ) appears, built upon the hrst: the IVch cornrnon to several or to all worirls: the persons who clelinl' this "something in common"; synthetic predicates which dcfim' till'sl' persons; and the classes < nd properties which derive from them, Just as the hrst stage of the gen esis is the work of sense, the second is the wor]; of n()I~SCnSe,\\'hich is always co-present to sense (aleatory point or arnhiguous sign); it is for this reason that the two stagt'c', and their distinction, are neccssarilv founded. In accordance with the first we find the prill .iplc of a "good ~!;'nse" taking shape, the principle of an already lixed and sedentary mg. nlzarion of differcflc('s. In accordance with the second, we lind the formation or the principle of a "common sense" as the function of identification. Rut it would be an error to conceive of these produ red principles as if they were transcendcntals. That i" it would be an error to conceive, in [hen ima8e, the sense and nonsense from whi h they are derived. Thi • however, explains why Leibniz, no matter how far' he may have progressed in a theory of singular points and the play, did not truly POS(' the distributive rules or the ideal gam(' and did at best conceive of the pre-individual \'t'ry much on the basis of .onstirutcd individuals, in regions already formed bv good sense (see l.eibnix's shameful declaration: he a. ~ign, to philosophy the creation of new concepts, provided that they dn not overthrow the "established sentiments"), This 31. 0 explain. how Husserl, in his theory of .onxtitution, provides himself with a rcadv-rnadc f()I't11 or common sense, conceives of tlu- transcendental as the Person or ego, and fails to distinguish between x as the form of produ 'f'J identification and the quite different x, that is, the productive nonsense which animates the ideal game and the impersonal transcendental hekl6 In truth, th" person is l.llvsses, no one (die Il'C51 pcrsollnc) properly speaking, but 3 produced lorm, dcri\'l'd from this impersonal transcendental f·idd. And the indi\ idual is alwavs an individual in general, horn, like h'e, from Adam's side, from a :~ingtllarit\' which extends itself over c line of ordinarv points and start~~ rr(l~l the prc= individual transcendental fil,hl. The
SIXT1'I'NTll ~I'RII::-'

individual and the person, good St'J1:-'<' and l'0Il1n10n sense < rc produced hv the passive genesis, on the basis of ~('ml' a nd nonsense wh ich do not resemble them, and whose pre-individual ,111d impersonal transcendental play we hav seen, Good sense and -omrnon sense • re therefore undermined by the prlnicp]« of the-ir production, and are overthrown Irorn within by paradox. In Lcwis Carroll's work, Alice would be rather like the individual, or the monad which discover; sense and has already a foreboding of nonsense, while climbing back LIp to the surfa 'C' [rom a world into which :h(' fell, but whkh is also enveloped in her and imposes on her the diflicult IL \\' ( mixtures, Svlvic and Bruno would be rather like "\'ague" persom, \\'ho d iscover nonsense and its pre. cnce to sense in "something" COl11mOI1 to several worlds: a world of men and a world of fairi ,'-'







of signification defined by the 10rl11 of' possibility, We are thus better able to lI11d:rstand the complex ity of the question: what is primary in the order 01 the lOgical proposition? For, if ignilication is primary as the condition or fonn of po .sibi] itv, it never helcss rclcrs to manifcsta-


Series of the

Static Logical Genesis

tiOl~, to the ~xtent that the multiple classes and variable properties dchning signihcation are grounded, in the ontological order, upon the person; as for the rnanifestanon, it refers to denotation to the extent that the person is grounded upon the individual. FlIrthennore, bet we n the logical genesis and the ontological gem'sis tI~t're is no parall Iisrn. Th re is rath r a relay which permits \'I;'ry sort of shifting and jamming, It is therefore too simple to argue for the correspondence between the individual and denotation, the person and manifestation, rnultipl la scs or variable properties and ionification. It is true that the relation of denotation may only be e tablished in a world which is sub] ct to the various aspects of individuation, but thi is not suffi .ient. Besides continuity, denotation requires that an identity be posited and made dependent upon the manifest order of the person, This is what we previously indicated when we said that denotation presupposes manifestation, "am' 'rsel y, wh n th person is manifested or expressed in the proposition, this does not occur independently of individuals, states of affairs, or states of bodies, ..vhich, not content with heing denoted, form so many ases and possibilities in relation to th person's desires, beliefs, or constitutive projects, Finally, signification presupposes the formation of a good sense which comes about with individuation, just as the formation of a common sen e find it ource in the person, It implicates an entire play of denotation and manifestation both in the power to affirm premises and in the power to state the conclusion, Th re is therefore, as we have seen, a very complex structure in view of which each of the three relations of the logical proposition in general is, in tUI11, primary. This structure as a whole forms the tl'rtiary arrangement of language. Precisely because it is produced by the ontological and logical genesis, it is ~ontingent upon sense, that is, Upon that which constitutes by itself a secondary _ orsanization which is {;, I"ny different and also distributed in an cntirelv different manner. (Notice, for example, the distinction between the two .\'s: th x of the llnfor'med paradoxical element which, in the cast' of pure sense, misses Its own identity; and the x of the object in general which characterizes only thr- form idcnti y produced in common sense), If we consider

art' infinite analytic propositions. But while they are infinite with respect to what they express, they are finite with respect to their dear expression, with respect to their corporeal zone of expression. Persons are hnit synthetic propositions: Ilnit with respect to their definition, indefinite with respect to their application. individuals and persons arc, in themselves, ontological propositions-persons being grounded on individuals (and convers ly, individuals being grounded by the person), The third element of the ontological genesis however, namely the multiple classes and variable properties which in turn cit-pend on persons, is not embodied in a third proposition which would again be ontological. Rather, this element sends LIS over to another order of the proposition, and constitutes the condition or the form of possibility of the logical proposition in general. In relation to this condition and simultaneously with it, individuals and persons no longer play the role of ontological propositions, They act now as material instances which realize the possibility and determine within the logi al proposition the relations necessary to the existence of the conditioned {conditumne ): the relation of denotation as the relation to the individual (the world, the state of affairs, the aggregate, individuated bodies); the relation of manifestation as the relation to the personal; and the relation
! 18





:'1:: fU I::S (H



r 19

therefore this compk' structure or the tertiary arrangcmcnt, where evvrv n-lation of th« I reposition must be based upon the others in a circular \\'<1\', wc S(,I.' that the whole or each one of its parts can .ollapse H' it los('s this complementarity. This is the case, not only bl'cau~e the cirellit of the lugical proposition can always be undone, the \\'ay that a rirur might be snapped, and reveal the otherwise organized sense, but als(~ above aLI because with sense, being fragile the point of possible toppling over into nonsense, the relations of the logiC. I proposition run the risk of lOSing all measure Similarly, signincation, manilesration , and denotation run the risk of sinking '-' into the unJilferentiated abyss of a ~ eroundlessness which only permits the pulsation of a rnon. strous bock This is whv beyond the tertiary order of the proposition



relatioll. between the problem and its conditions defines sense as the truth _01 the probkm as such. It I1lJ~' happen that the conditions roms in II1suffi{'icntly determined or, Oil the other hand, that thev are ovcrdetermined, in suc,h a manner that th.- problem may turn our to be a false problem. As for .the determination of conditions, it implies, on the one hand, a space 01 nomad distribution in which singularities are distriblit -d (ropos~; on the other hand, if implies a tin~e of dccon position whereby th IS spa e is SlI hd ivick«] into sub-spaces. r.ach one of these sub-spares is sllccessi\'ely ddilll'd hy the adjunction of new points ensuring the progr ssive a nc I· Lomp I(( d c t crmmatlon a 1- t IlC uomain -tc .. I .
L L •• .


under on 'ideration (Aion). There is alwavs a space which COll(I nses and precipitates Singularities, just as there is always a time which progrcs',il'e1y completes the event tbrough fragments ~f futllrc and past events. rhus, there is a spa io-tcmporal self-determination of the problell~, .111tI.H'sequcn e of which the problem advances, making tip for the dehClen 1(' and thwarting th excess of its own ·onclitions. It is at this point that tJ"~lth becomes sense and productivity. Solu tions are engen-

and even the secondary


of sen;e, we anticipate

a terrible

primary order wherein the entire language be rome: enfolded.
It ,ppears that sense, in its organization of aleatory and singular points, problems and question , series and displacement, i: doubly gencrath'e: not only does it engender the logical propo ition with its determinate dimensions (denotation, manifestation, and signil1cation); it envcnders also the obje tire correlates of this proposition which were themselves first produced as ontological propositions (the denoted, the manifest d, and the sicrnitied). The lack of svnchroni itv and the blur~ ring between the two aspects of the gent'sis explains a phenomenon like error, sin - something de noted, for example, may be given in an ontological proposition which does not orrespond with he logical proposition und r consideration. Error however is a \'cry artificial notion, an


~Jerl'd at precisely the ~ame time that the problem determines icse!I This IS why people qUite often believe that the solution Joe. not allow the problem to subsist, and that it assign. to it rerrospcctivelv th statu. of a subjective moment which is J1('CC'. s, rily transcended' as soon as a solution is found. The opposite though is the;' case .. By means of an apl~r(~priate process, the problem as It IS determined, it determines is determined in span': ;:"inciime and, t he solutions in which it persists. The engender' pr positions,

abstract philosophical oncep{, because it. affects only the truth of propositions which are assumed to be ready-made and isolated. The genetic clement is discovered only when the notions of true and false art' transferred from propositions to the problem these propositions are supposed to resolve, and they therefore alter completely their meaning in this transfer. Or rather, it is the category of sense which replaces the category of truth, when "true" and "false" qualify the problem instead of the propositions which .orrcspond to it. From this point of view, we know that the problem, far from indicating a subjective and provisional state of empirical knowledge, refers on the contrary to an ideational objectivity or to a structure constitutive of sense which grounds both knowledg(, and the known, the proposition and its correlates: The
I 0

j;YIl.thl'~ISof. the problem with its conditions tlll'1r dirncn Ions, and their correlates.

Sense is thus expressed as the problem to which propositions correspond 1I1.0far as they indicate par i 'ular responses, signiJy instances of a general solution, and manifest subje 'the acts of resolution This i. why, rather than expressing sense in an infinitive or participial formto he-snow white, the Ill'ing-v,hite of snow - it scorns desirable to l:xpress it in the interrogative form. It is true that the illterrogatin' form. is conceived on the basis of a gi\'en (or capable of being ~j\'('I1) ~olLitlon and that it i only the n utralizcd Ioublc or a response supposedly he-ld by someone (what is the color or the snow? what time
IS It?).

It does have, at least, the advantagt' of setting LIS 011 the track \\ hat 1·1 (' arc looking for, namelv, the true problem.~The latter bars no
:J,VI:NTI:I: 'I'll !>1:i{II-:S Of. L()~IC:\l Gf.NI-oSIS


~ L v I- NTH· NT II S~ Itl l- S () 1- l {) c: 1C A I (a· N I: ~ I.

resemblance to till' propositions it SUbSUllWS under it; it rather cngenck-rs them as it determines its own conditions and assigns the individual order of permutation of the engendered propositions within the fran~ework of gem·ral significations and personal manife rations. Intcrrogatlon is the shadovv only of the problem projected, or rather reconstructed on the basis of empirical propositions. But the problem in itself is the rc litv of the geneti element, the complex theme whi h doc' not allow itsclr'to Ill' reduced to any propositional thesis. I lt is one and the same illusion which, from an empirical point of view, formulates the problem from the propositions which function as its "answers," and whi .h, from a philosophical or scientific point of view, defines the problem thr~~g~l the (arm of the possibility of the "corresponding" propositions. I his form of possibility rna_ be logical, or it may b geometrical, algebraic, physical, transcendental, moral, etc. It does not matter. As long as ~~e define the problem by its "resolvability," we confuse sense with si~llIfication, and we can ive of the condition only in the image of the conditioned. In fact, the domains of rcsolvabilitv are relative to the process of the self-determination of the problem. The synthesis of the problem with irs own conditions onstitutes something ideational or unconditioned, determining at once the condition and the onditioned, that is the domain of resolvabilitv and the solutions present in this domain, the form of the propositions and their determination in this form signification as the condition of truth and proposition as the conditional truth. The problem bears resemblance neither to the propositions which it subsumes under it, nor to the relation. which it engenders in the proposition: it is nor propositional, although it do· s ~ot exist outside of the propositions which express it. We cannot therefore follow Husser! when he claims that the expression is a mere double and necessarily has the same "thesis' as that which receives it. For, in this case, the problematic is no more than one propositional thesis among others, and "neutrality" falls to the other side, being opposed to all theses in general, but only in order to represent yet another mann r of conceiving of that which is expressed as the double of the correspondine proposition. nee again we nnd the altcmativ of consciousn ~SS, a(~ording to Husser], the "model" and the "shadow" constituting the two modes of the double." But it seems, on the contrary, that the I -hich pro. hi ('111, as tn me or expresscc lb' sense, poss sse .~ neutra] I' tv \~.
u ~

helongs to it ssennally, althoueh it is ncv r a model or a shadow, never t> the double of the propositions which express it. is neutral with respect to every mode of the proposition. Animal wntum .... A ircle qua circle is neith r a parti ular circle, nor a concept represented in an equation the general terms of which must take on a particular value in each instance; it is rather a differential . ),stCITI to which an 'mission of singularities corresponds." That the problem does not exist outside of the propositions I- hich, in their senses, express it means, properly speaking, that the problem i. nor: it inher 5, subsists, or persist. in propositions and blends with this e ctrabeing that we had previouslv encountered. This nonbeing, however, is not the being of the negative; it is rather the being of the problematic, that we should perhaps write as (non)-being or ?-being. The problem is independent of both the negative and the allirmative; it nevertheless docs have a positivity which corresponds to its position as a problem. ln the sam manner, th pure event gains access to this positivity which transcends affirmation and negation. treating both as instan es of a solution to a problem which the event now defines by means of what and by means of singularities which it "poses" or "depo es." " ' rtain propositions are depositive (abdicauvae}: th y deprive of, or refuse it, something. Thus, when we say that pleasure good something, we deprive it of the qualit of goodness. the Stoics thought that even this proposition is positive (dedicouva), since they argued that for a pleasure to not be good, amounts to stating what has happened to this pJeasur ' .... "-l We must, th refore, dissociate the notions of the double and of neutrality. Sense is neutral, but it is never the double of the propositions which expres. it, nor of the states of affairs in whi h it 0 curs and which are denoted by the proposition .. This is why, as long as we remain within the circuit of the proposition, sense can be only indirectly inferred. As w have seen, sense may be directly apprehended only happens, Event: ... an object is not a However,

The problem


breaking the cir .uit, in an operation analogous to that of breaking open and unfolding the Mobius strip. We cannot think of the condition in the image of the .onditioned. Th task of a philosophy which doe' not wish to fall into the traps of consciousness and the cogito is to purge the transcendental field of all resemblance. In order to remain faithful to this ('xigen y, however, we must have something un onditioned

I 22

S 10V 1: NT I: E NTH

S I:;I{ I L S 0



I .A l G E

F. S j S

which \youkl he the heterogeneous svnthesis of the condition in an autonomous figun' l,inding to itself neutral-tv and genetic power, But when wc ~p()k:' l'arlier of the neurralitv of sense and we p~l'~\'nl('d tI:is noutralitv as a double, it was not from the point of view of the genesIs, to the c:xtent that sense has at its disposal a genetic powcr inlll'ritl'u [rom till' quasi-couse: it was from an entirely diff{'rent point of view, whcrchv sense was considered first as the effect causes: -an impassible and sterile surface t,ffcct. both that sense produces even the states of embodied, and that it is itself produced by these produced How can affairs in states of by corporeal we maintain wbich it is affairs or the

actions and passions of bodies (an immaculate conception)? The idea itself of a static genesis dissipates the contradiction. When we say that bodies and their' mixtures produce sense, it is not b:r virtue of an 'imhvilluation which would presuppose it. Individuation in bodies, the measure in their mixtures, the play of persons and concepts in their \"ariations-thisentirc order presupposes sense and the pre-individual and impersonal neutral field within \\'hich it unfolds. It is therefore in a different way that sense is produced by bodies. The question is now about bodies' taken in their undifferentiated depth and in their measureless pulsation. This depth acts in an original \\'a)" by mealls ?f irs pOlrer 10 orqanize su~foces and 10 em-elopi/se!{wilhin surfaces. 'This pulsation s,omt't_imes acts through the formation of a minimum amount of surface for a maxirnum amount of matter (thus the spherical form), and sometirnes throuoh the ~ orowth of surfaces and their multiplication in accordance b with diverse pro esses (stn·tching, Fragmenting, crushing, drying and. moistening, absorbing, foaming, emulsifYing, etc.). All the adventures ofAlice mus~ ill' ren:acl from this pcrspectivv++hcr shrinking and growing, Iwralimentar;.' and enurctic obscssionsvand her encounters with spheres. The surface is neither active nor passive, it is the produ~·t of the actions and passions of mixl,d bodies. It is rharacteristk' of the surface that it skims over its own hdd,impassibl(' and indivisible, much Iikl' the thin strips of vvhich Plotinus speaks, which "when the:' are of line continuous texture. moisture is observed wetting them right through, and .it flows through to the other side." <; Being a receptacle of monomolecular lavers, i~ guarantC'l's the internal' and external continuity 01" lateral cohesion of the two lavers without thickness. Being a pure effect, ilis neve-rtheless the locus -of a cllHlsi-cause since a surface L'llergy: w i thou t even bci ng '!f the surfalT, is d u(' !O l'\·ery su rface forma t ion; and
I 24

from it . fictitious surfaCt' tr-nsion arises as a force l'xertingitself a on the I pane ol the surface. Attribuh,d to this j()IT(' is the labor spent in order to increase this surface. Bein!! a theater for sudden condensations. tusions, changes in the states ;)1' l'xtcnded layers and for distributions and reshuf'flings of singul'arities, the surface rnav indehnitely increase, as in the case of two liquids dissoking into each other. Then' is then'fon' an ell tire phys ics of su rlaccs as t hl' l'ffi.'ct (J r del'p III ix turcs - a p h ~·sics which endlessly assembles the variations and the pulsations of the entire universe, enveloping them !Il.'iid(' these mobile limits. And, to the physics of surfaces a rnc-taphvsica] surface necessarily corresponds. Meraphvsica] surface (lfomccndenl,rI.!ield) is the name that will be gin'n to the frontier established, on 011(' band, between bodies taken together as a whoie and inside the limits which envelop them,and 0/1 the orh '1', propositions in general. This frontier implies, as we shal] sec, certain properties of sound in relation to the surface, making possible thereby a distinct distribution of language and bodies, or of the corporeal. depth and the sonorous continuum. In al] these respects, the surface is the transcendental I-ield itself, and the IOCLlS of sense and expression. Sense is that which is formed and deploycc] at the surface. 1:\"(:'11 the fwntier

is not a separation, but rather the element of an articulation .. so that sense is presented both as that which happens to bodies and that which insists in propositions. We must therefore maintain that sense is a daub/ino lip. and that / he neutra/i!J ?f sellse Is inseparable from 1/5 S[(JlUS as a double. The fact is that the doubling up does not at all signify an evanescent and disembodied rcsemblance,animagt' without H(>sh-like a smile without a cat .. I t is rather defincd by the production of surfaces, their multiplication and consolidation. This doubling lip is the continuity of reverse and right sides, the art of establishing this continuity in a \\,;\~' which permits sense, at the surface, to be Jjst~ibtlt{'d to bot!; ~id('s at once, as the expressed which subsists in propositions and as the event which occurs in states of bodies. When this production rollapses, or when the surface is n nt by explosions and by snag~, bodies fall hack '\g<lin into their depth; (,\'C'rything falls back again into the anonvmous pul~ation wherein words arc no longer an;·thing but affections -of the hody-eyerything falh back into the primary order which grumbles heneath the secondary organization of sense. On the other hand, so
IO.!_lg as the SUrlaCT holds, not only will sense he unfolded lJponit as an v] tell, but it will also partake of the quasi-cause attached to it. It, in

S I. \' I· NT I· 1-. T I I SI- It! !. S () F I () G I C A I G I·.N I, ~ I S N








b . .1'.' Illation and all that ensues in a process of turn brings a out mcnv It c .' I, .1 . b I" and their measured mixtures; It a so PIOC LI es determination 0 0<- res ". . f . .". I all that ensues in a process 01 determination or proposlgn"l atloll nt • . h I. tl • .~. I 1 . r assigned rela hans. ,1t prod uces, In . at cr . wore s, 11" sitions ano 1('1 ., '-' . . entire tCIrtiarv al"rangcment or the object of the static genes!.. tlar) u
' . U. ,.

Eighte nth Seri s of th Three Imag s of Philo .ophers

1ile popular and the technical images of the philosopher seem to have been set by Platonism: the philosopher is a being of ascents; he is the one who leaves the cave and rises up. The more he rises the more he is purified. Around this "ascen: ional psy hism," morality and philo ophy, the ascetic ideal and the idea of thought, have tablished close links. The popular imaoe of the philosopher with his head in the clouds depends upon it, as W(,lI as the scientific image according to which the philosopher's heaven is an intelligible 0113, which non etheless does 110t uistract us from the earth since it includes its law. In both cases, however, everything happens in the heights (even if this is the height of the person in the heaven of the moral law). As we ask, "what is it to I)' oriented in thought?", it appears that thought itself pre 'upposes axes < nd orientations according to which it dey lops, that it has a geography bdore hal'ing a history, and that it tra .es dimensions before COil. rructing systems. I-Ieight is the properly Platonic Orient. The philosopher's work is always determined as an ascent and a cnnverxinn, that is, as the movement of tu rning toward the high principle (principe d'en hout) from which the movement proce ·,ds, and also of heing determined, fulfilled, and known in the guise of such a motion. We art' not going to compare philosophies and diseases, but there are properly philosophi al disease .

Idealism ix the illness congt·nital to the Platonic philosophy and, with its litany of ascents and downfalls, it is even philosophy's manicdepressive 1()m1. Mania inspires and guides Plato. Diah-ctics is the lhoht of ideas, tlw Ideclljlllchr As plato says of the Idea. "it llees or it b ~ pr-rishcs. , ' ." And even in the death of Socrates there ix a trace of a det rc-ssivc suicide.

Nietzsche distrusted the orientation by height and asked whether, far from representing the fulfilment of philosophy, it marked rather, from Socrates onward, its degeneration and wandering. In this manner, Nietzsche reopened till' whole problem of the orientation of thouohr: is it not rather in line with other dimensions that the act of thinkino is b cngendered in thought and the thinker engendered in life? ictzsche has at his disposal a method of his own invention, We should not be satisfied witl: either biograph)· or bibl iography; we must reach a secret point wh rc the anecdote of life and the aphorism of thought amount to one and the same thinQ'. It is like sense which, on one of its sides , is ~ attributed to states of life and, on the other, inheres in propositions of thought. There arc dimensions here, times and pl. ccs, glaCial or torrid zones never moderated, the entire exotic geography which characterizes
~ I;,.,l ....,.

bca ing of' the Platonic wings there corresponds the pre-Socratic hammer-blow; to the Platonit~ ('(lI1lTrsion there corresponds the preSocratic subversion. The e-ncased dq ths strike ictzschc as the real orie n ta rio n 0 I' ph ilosoph y, t h c P rc- Socra ti (_'d iscoverv t ha t III ust be revived in a philosophy of tilt' future, with all the forces of a We which is also a thought, and of a lanvu gc which is also a bod". "Behind cvcrv cave' there is another, even dccpvr ; and beyond that another still. There is a vaster, stranger, richer world IWIlt'ath the surface, an abyss underlying t;'1·ery foundation." 1 In th(' heginning was schizophrenia; prc0, ~ .... •


Socratic: philosophy is the philosophical schizophrenia par excellence, the absolute depth dug out in bodies. nd in thought which brings Hoklcrlin to dis 'over Empedocles before Nietzsche. In the famous EmpedoclC'an alternation, in the cmplementarity of hate and love, we encounter, on the one hand, the body of hatred, the parcelled-out body sieve: "heads without a neck, arms without shoulders, eyes without a face"; but on the other hand, we encounter the glOl'ious body without organs: "formed in (lile piece," without limbs, with neither voice nor sex. Likewise, Dionysus holds out to us his r,1'0 faces, his open and lacerated body, and his impassible organless head: Dionysus dismembered but also Dionysus the impenetrable. Nietzsche was able to rediscover depth only after conquering the surfaces, But he did not remain at the surface, for the surface struck him as that which had to be a. sessed from the ren wed perspe tiv of In eye peering out from the depths. Nietzsche takes little interest in what happened after Plato, maintaining that it was necessarily the continuation of a long Ie aden e. We have th impression, however, that there arises, in conformity to this III thad, a third image of philosopher .. ln relation to them, ietzsche's pronouncement is partielIb!'l)' apt: how profoui d these Greeks w rc as a on 'cquence of their heing superficial! 2 These third Greeks are no longcl' entirely Greek. Th('~' no longer e peet salvation from the depths of the earth or from 'lilochthony, any more than thcv expect it from heaven or from the Idea. Rather, they expect it laterally, from the event, from the Eastwhere, as Carroll says, "all that i. good. , , , ris(es) with the dawn of Ih\'!" \t\ ith the Mc{)'arians, 'vnics, and 'toies, we have the beginning (}f ~ nl'lI' philo~opht;'~ and a n~\\' kind of' anecdote, Rereading Diogen('~ l.acrtius' most hcautlfu] chapters, those on Diogenl"s the 'yni' and on l'hrysippus the Stoic, IW witncs the development of a curious system
1-:1t;IITI-I". Til :;"H.lf-S 01' TilE TI-IREI: IMAt;!':S 129

a mode of thought as well as a style of life. Diogencs aertius, perhaps, in his best rag's, had a foreboding of this method: to find vits I Aphorisms which would also be Anecdotes of thoughtthe gestu 'f of philosophers, The stor" of Empedoclcs and ttna, for example, is SLI "h a philosophical anecdote. It is as l700d as the death of '0 Tates but the point is pre isely that it operates in another dimension. The preSocratic philosopher does not leave the 'ave; on the contrary, he thinks that we arc not invol ved en ugh or sufncientlv engulfed' therein. In Theseus' story, he rejects the thread: "What Jot's your ascending path matter to us, your thread lea(_fjng outside, leading to happiness and virtue ... ? Do you wish 0 s" ve LIS with this thread? As lor us, we ask you in earnest to hang vourselvcs with this thread!" The pre-Socratics placed thought inside the ca vcrns and life, in the deep, Thev~ s urht the ~ b secret of water and lire. And, as in the case of Empedoclcs' smashing tht' statues, they philosoph ized with a hammer, the hammer of the geologbt and the spekologist. In a deluge of water and firc, the volcano spits up only a Single reminder of Empedocleshis 1 ad sandal. To the wings the Platonic soul the sandal of Empedocles is opposed, pro"ing that he was of the earth, under the earth, and autochthonous, To the
'" ,





SI::RII::S 01, 'I'HI-. TIIHld:


On one hand, the he stuffs himself; Iw masturbates cannot be so easily relieved; he mother, the sister, or the daughter; pophag~'-bllt, in fact, he is Iso other band, he keeps quiet when them a 1.1()w with his stal]. If )'ou of provocations,

philosopher eats with grcJt gluttony, in publi , regretting that hunger doe. not condemn incest with the he tolerates cannibalism and anthrosupremely sober and chaste. On the people ask him questions or gives pose abstract and difli ult gu -stions,

these mixtures and combinatiom of Idea. which would allov us to define good and bad rnixtures. Or again, contrary to what the preSocratics thought, there i 110 immanent m asure .ither, capable of and the progression of a rnixtu re in the depths of is as good as the bodies which pervade one another and the parts which coexist. How could the world of mixtures not be that of a black depth wherein everything is permitted? Chrysippus llS d to distinguish two kinds of mixtures: imperfect mixtures which alter bodies; and perfect mixtures which leave bodies intact and make them coexist in all their parts. Undoubtedly, the unity of corporeal causes defines a perfect and liquid mixture wherein everything is exact in the cosmic present. But bodies aught in the particularity of their limited presents do not meet directly in lin \ ith the fixing the order


(Pbysis}; every mixture

he will respond by designating some bit of food, or will girt' yOll a whole box of food which he will then break over you-always with a blow of his staff. Yet he also holds a new discourse , a new logos ~ animated with paradox and philosophical values and signif1cation. which are new. Indeed, we f el that these anecdotes are no longer Platonic or pre-Socratic. This is a reorientation of all thought and of what it III ans to think: {.her~o IOllser d;Pth or heiahl. The Cynical and Stoic sneers against Plato are many. It is always a matter of unseating the ld as, of showing that the incorporeal is not high above (en hauteur], but is rather at the surface, that it is not the highest cause but the superficial effect par ex ellence, and that it is not Essence but event. On the other front it will be argued that depth is a digestive illusion which complements the ideal optical illusion. What, in fact, is signified by this gluttony, this apology for incest and cannibalism? While this latter theme is common to both Chrysippus and Diogenes the 'ynic, Laertius offers no xpl ..nation of Chrysippus' views. But h does propose a particularly convincing xplanation in the case of Diogenes: ... 11l' saw no impropriety. . in es ting the flesh of any animal; nor even anything impious in touching human Hesh, this, he said, being dear from the custom of some foreign nations. Moreover, according to right reason, as he put it, all clements arc contained in all thing. and pervade everything: sin e not only is meat a constituent of bread, but bread of '"('getablc~; and al! other bodies also, by means or certain invisible passages and particles, lind their way in and unite with all substances in the form of vapor. This he 1 akes plain in the "f11yesr.es. if the tragedieS are really his. .. This thesis, which holds for incest as well stablishes that in the depth of bodies everything is mixture. There are no rules, however, according to which one mixture rather than another might be considered bad. Contrary to what Plato believed, then' is no measure high above for

order of their causality, which is goo I only for the whole, taking into consideration all combinations at once. This is wh ' any mixture can be I called good or bad: good in the order of the whole, but impede t, bad, or even execrable, in th ord r of partial encounters. How can we condemn incest and cannibalism in this domain, where passions are themselves bodies p en trating other bodies, and where the parti ular will is a radical evil? Taking our example from Seneca's extraordinary tragedie , we ask: what is the unity berwe n Stoic thought and this tragic thought which stages for the first time beings devoted to evil, prefiguring thereby with such precision Elizabethan theater? A few Stoicizing choirs (cbceur: uoicisants] will not suff e to bring about this unity. What is really Stoic here is the discovery of passions-bodies and of the infernal mixtures which they organize or submit to: burning poisons and paedopbagous banquets. The tragic supper of Thyestes is not only the lost manus ript of Diogenes. It is Seneca's subje t a. w II, which has happily been conserved. The poisoned tunics begin their deadly work by buming into the skin and by d ,"ouring the surface. The dc·adlywork then reaches more deeply, in a trajectory which goes from the pierced body to the fragmented body, membra dl cerplo. Evervwh re poisonous mixtures seethe in the depth of the body; abominable' necromancics, incests, and feedjngs are elaborated. Let us look now for the antidote or the counter-proof: the hero of Sencca's tragedies and of the entire Stoic thought is Hercules. Hercules is alwavs situated relative to the three realms of the infernal abyss, the celestial height and the surface of the earth. Inside the depths, he comes
I- I {j I I T ~:I: Til ~ E R I 10S 0 f- T H 10 T H R I: ElM







A <.i 10S

13 1

across only I'rightl'ni Ilg combinations and mixtures; in the sky he linds only emptiness and cl"il'stial monsters dupli ating those the inferno. As 'for the earth, he is its I acifier and surveyor: and even treads over the surface of its waters. lie always ascends or descends to the surface in cvcrv conceivable manner. He brings back the hell-hound and the ~ Ct·k.~tial hound, the serpent of hell and the serpent of the heavens. It is no longc'r a question of Dionysu: down below, or of Apollo up above, bu t of Hercules or the surface, in his dual battle against both depth and height: reorientation of the entire thought and a n w ~geogralJhy. 'r..:: ~ Stoicism is sometimes presented as enacting a sort of return to the pre-Socratics, beyond Plato-to the Heraclitean world, for example. Hut it is rather a gu estion of a total reevaluation of the pre- ·oeratic


proposition. (Substan 'C is no more than a sccondarv determination the thing, and the llni\·ers.al no more than a secondarv determination thl' exp,~cssed.) ,

or of

world. By interpreting this world through a physics of mixtures in d .prh, the Cvni s ami the Stoi. abandon it partly to all the local disorders which can be reconciled only in the Great mixture, that is, in the unity of cause among themselves. This is a world of terror and em lty, of incest and anthropophagy. Hut there is of course another story, namely, the. tory of that which, from till:' Hcraclitean world, is able to climb t the surface and receive an entirely new st tus This is the event in its difference in nature from causes-bodies, the Aion in its differenc in nature from the devouring Chronos. In a parallel manner, Platonism undergoes a similar total reorientation. It had aspired to bury the pre-Socratic world even d .eper, to repress it even more and 50 crush it under the full weight of the heights; but now we see it deprived of its own height, and the Idea again falls to th surf. cc as a simple incorporeal effect. lb.e autonomy of the sur ace, independent of, and against depth and height; the disco" 'ry of incorporeal events, meanings, or effects, which are irreducible to "deep" bodies and to "loft)," Idea -these are the important Stoic discoveries against the pre-Sacra tics and Plato. Eve'Jthing that happens and C\"erything that is said happens or is said at the surface. The surface is no less explorable and unknown than depth and hcioht which arc nonsense. for the princiJ?al frontier i displaced. I t no lonvcr passes, in terms of height, between 'he universal and the particular; 110r, in terms of depth, does it pass between substance and accident. It is perhaps to Anristhenes that credit must be gi\"('n for the new demarcation: between things and propositions themselves. It is a rr ntier drawn between the thing such as it is, dcnot d by the proposition, and the expressed, which does not exist outside of the

The Cynics and the Stoics establish themselves and wrap themselves lip with the surface, the curtain, the car-pel, and the mantle. The double sense of the surface, the continuitv 1)1' the reverse and right sides, replace hcight and depth. There i~ ;lOthing behind the curtain ex 'cpt unnameable mixtures, nothi.ng above the carpct ('xcept the C'mpty sky. Sense appears and is played ~ut at the surface (at least if one kno\~'s how to mix it properly) in such a way ths t it form letters of dust. It is like a fogged-up Windowpane on which one can write with one's tinger. The staff-blow philosoph)' (philosophic d coup de bston) of the Cynics and the Stoics replaces the hammer-blow philosophy. The philosopher is no longl r the Icing of the cave " nor Plato's, oul or bird, but rather the animal which is on a level with the surface--c-a tick or louse. The philosophical symbol is no longer the Platonic wing or Empedocles' ) ~ b lead sandal, but the reversible loak of ntisthenes and I)iogenes: the stair and the mantle, as in the cast' or Hercules with his club and lion skin. What are we to call this new philo ophical operation, in ofar as it opposes at once Platonic conversion and pre-Socratic subversion? Perhaps we can call it "perversion," which at least bents the s),st m of provocations of this new t)1)(' of philosopher-. if it is true that perversion implies an extraordinary art of surfaces.


E I c: I I T I: I·.N T II S I: It I I, S


I· T I I 1-.TIl R 1-I" 1MAG 1":-'

1-I ;t I 1 1 J,



() 1- T I I 1- Til

H I: I· 1M

c: E·



Nineteenth of Humor

S nes

Justice, Man?" we will respond by dl"si<mating a bod" bv indicatine b an object which can be imitated or even consumed, and by delivcr'ing, if , b necessary, a blow of the staff (the staff being the instrument of evcry possible designation). Diogenes th.' CYnic answers Plato's definition of man as a biped and featherless animal hv bringing forth a plucked [owl. And to the person who asks "what is philosophy?" Diogenes responds by carrying about a cod at the end of a tring. The fish is indeed the most oral of animals; it poses the problem of mutenes s. of consumabilit)', and of the consonant in the wet/palatalized element-in short, the
... ""'" L ....,. I

t appears at first as though language were incapable of finding a suffi ienr foundation in th states of the one who expresses herself, or in the denoted sensible things and that uch a foundation were to be located only in the Ideas which offer language a possibility of truth or falsity. It is not dear, however, by what miracle propositions woi .. d parti .ipate in the Ideas in a more assured manner than bodies whi h speak or bodies of which we speak, unless the Ideas wer "names-inthemselves.' And are bodies, at the other extreme, better able to ground language? When sounds fall back on (se rabauent sur) bodies and become the actions and passions of mixed bodies, they arc no more than the bearers of agonizino non en .1". One after the other, the


problem of language. Plato laughcd at those who were satisfi d with giving examples, pointing or deSignating, rather than attaining the Essences: I am not asking you (he used to say) who is just, but what is justice. It is therefore easy to ask Plato to follow down the path which he claimed to have made us climb. Each time we are asked about a signification, we respond with a desienation and a pure "monstration." And, in order to persuade the spectator that it is not a question of a simple "example," and that Plato's problem was poorly posed, \'\'C are going to imitate what is designated, we are going to eat what is mimicked, we will shatter what is shown. The important thing is to do it quickly: to find quickly something to designate, to at, or to break, which would repla e the signification (the Idea) that you have been invited to look for. All the faster and better since there is no resemblance (nor should there be one) between what one points out and what on' has been asked. There is a difhcult relation, vvhich reje t the false Platonic duality of the essen e and the xample, This xer ise, which consists in substituting designations, rnonstrarions, consumptions, and pure destructions for significations, requires an odd inspirationthat one know bow to "descend." What is required is humor, as opposed to the Socratic irony or to the te hniqu of the as ent. But where does such a descent throw u ? It burl 1I into the around of bodies and the groundlcs sness of their mixtures, Evcrv denotation is prolonged in consumption pulverization, and destrtlctiol1: without there IX'ing any chance of arresting this movement, as if the staff shattered t",·("r\"thing it singled out. Precisely be ause of this, it is I-ar that lang~age ~an no ~norc be based o~ denotation than on signifi arion. When significations hurl us into pure denotations, which replace and !legate" them, we are faced with the absurd as that which is without signill 'arion. But wh n denotations in tum precipitate us into the

impossibility of a Platonic language and a pre-Socratic language, of an idealistic language and a physical language, of a manic language and a schizophrenic languagt" are exposed. The alternative is im] osed with no way out: either to say nothing, or to incorporate what one says-that i., to eat one's words. s .hrysippus says, "if you say 'chariot,' a chariot passes through your lips" and it is neither better nor more convenient if this is the Idea of a chariot. The idealist language is made up of hypostatized significations. But e'-ery time we will be asked about signifieds such as "what is Beauty,

and digcstil'l' ground, lIT an: faced with the non-sense of depths as suh-s.'ns .. (sous-seas} or Untersinn. Is there an.I' way our? Bv the same rnuvernent with which l:mbruage falls from the heights and tI;.'n plunges hl·lolI', w(' must be led back to the surface where there is nil longer anything to denote or even to signify, but where purl' sense is produced. -It is "'produced in its essential relation to a third element, this time the nonsense of the surface, Once again, \' hat matters here is to act quickly, what matters is speed, What docs the wise man find at the surface? Pure events considered from the perspective of their eternal truth, that is from the point of view or the substan e which sub-tends them, independent of their spatia-temporal actualization in a state of "ff.:lirs. Or, what amounts to the same thing one finds pure singularities, an emi .. ion of singularities considered fr;l~ the perspecti\T of their aleatory element, independent of the individuals and persons whi h embody th m or actualize them. This adventure of humor, this two-told dismissal of height and depth to the advantage of the surface is, in the first instance, the adventure of the Stoic sag, But later on, and in another cont xt, it will also be the adventure of en-<lgainst the Brahman depths and tl e Buddhist heights. The [amous problems-tests, the questions-answers, the koans, demonstrate the absurdity of significations and show the nonsense of denotations. The staff is the universal instrument, the master of questions; mimicry and consumption are the respon.c, Returned to th'l surface, the sage discovers objects-events, all of them communi 'ating in the void which constitutes their substance; he d i. covers the Aion in which they are sketched out and d velopcd without ever tilling it up. I
destructive the

excess (word = x for a thillo = x). We can set' this clcarlv in the Zen arts: not only in the art of t~a\\"ing, where the brush contr~lled by an unsupported wrist balances form and emptiness and distributes rl e sinoularirics of a IJure event in [ortuitous strokes and "[urrv lin s"; ~ but also in the art of gar<i(,l1ing and flower arranging, in the tea ('('r('mol1:'. and in the rts of archery and fencing, where the "r'lollrishing of iron" arises from a marvelous vacuitv Across the abolished Significations and the lost denotations, the mid is the site of s -nse or of the event which harmonizes with its 011'11 nonsense, in the palce where the place only takes place (/0 Oll n '0 pl« s licv que le lieu), The voic] is itself the

or its

paradoxical element, the sudan' nonsense, or the always displaced aleatory point whence the event bursts forth as sense. "There is no circle of birth and death to escape from, nor any suprl"me knowledge The empty sky rejects both the highest thoughts of the spirit nd the profound c_des of nature The {Iue ·tion is less that of attaining the fmruechate than of determining the site where the immediate is "immediately" as not-to-be-attained (comtne non-o-aueindre]: the surfa e where the void and ever event along with it are made; the frontier as the 'litting edge of a sword or the stretched string of the bow. To paint without painting, non-thought shooting which becomes non-shooting, to speak without speaking: this is not at all the ineffable lip above or down below, but rathe r til frontier and th surface where language becomes possible and, by becoming possible, inspires only a silent and immediate communi .ation, since it could only be spoken in the resuscitation of all the mediate and abolished ~igl1ifications or denotations. We ask "who peaks?" as much as we ask what makes language possible. Many different answers have been given to this question, We call .. .las, ic" respons c the one whi ch deter;Une' the individual as the speaker. That of v hich the individual speaks is determined rather as a parn .ulantv, and the means, that is, I nguage itself, is d tcrmined as a vonvcntional generalitv. It is therefore matter of di: entangling, from a combined thr~eto!d operation, a universal form of the individual (reality) and, at the same time, of extracting a pure kk a of what 11'(' speak about (necessity), and of assumed to be primitive, precisclv th is conception and .... gin'S it at on c the confronting language with an ideal model natural, or purely rational (possibility). It is which animates Socratic irony as an ascent, following~ tasks; to tear the individual away ~ sensible particularity

to attain.'

The event is the identity of fonn and void. It is not the object as denoted, but the object as express d or expressible, never present, but always already in the past and ),et to .ornc. As in Mallarmc's works, it has the value of its own absence or abol ition, since this abolition (obdicatio) is pre isd), its position in the void as the pure Event (dedicQI/o). "If ),Oll have, cane," says the Zen master, "I am gil'ing you one; if you do not have one I am taking it awav." (Or, as Chrvsippus said, 'If you never lost something, you have it still; but you never lost horns, er,qo you han' horns. ") 2 The negation no long _r expresses anything Ilcgatil'e, but rather releases the purely expressible with its two uneven halves. Om' the halves is always lacking from the other, sir etc' it exceeds by virtue of its own Jd;cien~J > even ~'this means to be deficient by virtue


lrorn his or her irnmed iate ex istcnce; to transcend
NI I·TI_,I· Til



toward the Idea; and to establish laws of language corresponding to the model. Such is the "dialectical" whole of a remembering and speaking sul jectivitv. For the operation to be complete, how ver, the individual must be not only a point of departu rc and a springboard, but to be- also rCC()\·l'ITd , t the end of the operation, with the univcrsalitv of the Idea being like a means of exchange between the two. This closure or perfect circl~ of irony is still absent from Plato, or it appears only unde-r the guise of the comic and of derision, as in the exchange ~ep.\'('el1 Socrates and Akibiadcs. .lassical irony, on the contrary, reaches this perfect state wh 'n it finally determines not only the whole reality, but also the . ; whole of the possible as a supreme orig1nary individuality. Kant, we haw' seen, anxious to submit th classical world of representation to his critique, begins by describing it with exactitude: "we yet find, on closer scrutiny, that this idea (the id a of the tim total oj all possibility), as a primordial concept, excludes a number of predicates which as derivative


worlds corresponding to inclividuals. These possibilities continue to be distributed into origina!"y and dcrin:,d possibilities; but "originary" now designates only those predicates of the person whi .h arc constant in all possible worlds (categories); and "derived" now deSignates only the individual variables in accordance with which the p rson i embodied in different worlds. From this, a profound transformation comes about -of the universality of tb Ide, of the 1(-)1"111 of subjectivity, and of the model of language as function of the possible. The position of the person as an unlimited class, which nevertheless has onlv one member (I)-sllch is the Romantic irony. Undoubtedly, there sre already pre-cursive elements in the Cartesian cogito and, above all, in the Leibnizian person, But these elements remain subordinate to the demands of individuation, whereas in the Romanticism which follows Kant, they liberate and express themselves for their own sake, overthrowing the su bordi na rion. Rut this infinit' poetic freedom, already suggested by the fact that to become (bfi'·e (if) nothing at all is itself included, is expressed in a still more positive way, for the ir mic individual has most often traversed a multitude of determinations in the form of possibility, poetically lived through them, before he ends in nothingness, For irony, as for the Pythagorean doctrine, the soul is .onstantly on a pilgrimage, cxc pt irony does not reqllire su h a long time to complete it. . , . (The ironisr) therefore counts on his fingers like a child: rich man, poor man, beggar man, etc. A~ all these determinations merely have the validity possibility, he can even run through the whole lot almost as quickly as a child. What costs the ironist time, however, is the care he lavishes on selecting the proper costume fOI- the poetic personage he has poetized himself to be. , , . When the ghTn actuality loses its \·alidity for the ironist, therefore, this is not becau: c it is outlived actuality which shall be displaced bv a truer hut becausr the ironist is the eternal eg~ f~)r whom no actualitv is adequate ..' '

are air ad)' given through other predi ates or which arc incompatible with others; and that it docs, indeed, define itself as a concept that is completely determinate a priori. It thus becomes the concept of an individual object." 3 'lassical irony acts as the instance whi h assures the coextensiveness of being and of the individual within the world of representation, Thus, not only the universality of the Idea, but also the model of a pure rational language in relation to the first possible ones, become the means of natural communication b tween a supreme individuated God and the derived individuals which he created. This God renders possible the ascent of the individual to the universal form. After the Kantian critique, however, a third figure of iron' appears, Romantic irony determines th one who speaks as the person and no longer as the individual. lt grounds itself on the rintte synthetic unity of th person and IlO longer on the analytic identity of the individual, It is defined by the cocxtensivencss of the I ami representation. There i much more to this than a mere shifting of t rms, To determin its full import, it would be necessary to evaluate, for example, the differe ce between Montaignc's Essays. already inscribed in the classical world insofar as the), explore the most diverse figures of individuation, and Rousseau's OI!fessioIlS, announcing Romanti ism insofar as they 'onstitute the first manifestation of a person, or an I. at only the universal Idea and the sensible particularity become now the characteristic- possibil iries of the person but also the two extremes of individual ity and the


What all the figures of irony have in common is that the), confine the signularit}' within the limits of the individual or the person. Thus, irony only in app arance assumes the role of a \'agabond. But this is why all these figures are threatened by an intimate enernv who works on them from within: the undifferentiated grollnd, the gra'undless abvss of which we previously spoke, that represents tragi thought and ~he tragi<: tone with which irony maintains the most ambivalent relations. It i_ Dionysus, present ben"~th iocrates, but it is also the demon who holds up to God and to his creatures the mirror wherein universal
N! ETloENTil

s e n n,s




dis~ol\Ts. It


the ("h os which brines

about th« undoing

of the: person. Cla~sil"al discourse was held

by the



discourse ill' the person. But beneath these two d iscourscs, overturning rln-rn in I,ll:ious \\"ays, the faceless (; round speaks now wh ill' rumbl ing v l' havv seen that this language of the ground, UK' language which is c(lnfused with the depth of the body, h. J a two-fold power-that of shattered phonetic elern nts and that of non-articulated tonic values. The lirst of these threatens and overturns classical d iscoursc from II ithin; the second threatens and overturns Romantic discourse. In each -asc and for each type of discourse, hrec languages must he distinguished, first, a real language corresponding to the quite ordinary assignation of the speaker (the individual, or rather the person ... ). Second, an ideal languagl;' repres('I1ting the model of discourse relative to the form of the one who holds it (the divine model of Craiyh» in relation
I1IZlan model

when one undoes th indlvidual : nd the person. The impcrson I and prc-ir clivi lual arc the free nomadic sin~LlI, rities I ('('per than anv other ~round is the surface and the skin ... \ ~l('I\' type of esoteric language is lormcd here which is its own lllOdd and rcalitv, Becoming-mad chances shape in its climb to the surface, aJ()n~ t he- st~aight line the Aion bin


eternity; and the same thing happl'lls'to the dis~olvl'd self, the er, eked I, tile' lost identity, when thcv Ct'ase heine buried and bco in ) on the • .. t'" ;,;. contrary, to Iiberate the singlilaritic~ (If the surface'. Nonsense and sense han' done a way with their relation of dynamic opposition in order to enter into the co-presence of a stati . genesis-as the nonsense of the sudan' and the sense which hUITI"S over it. The tragic and the ironic give way to a new value, that of humor, For i(irony is the 1.'0cxtensi vcncss of being vvith the individual, or of the 1 \Viti) representation, humor is the co-extensiveness of sense with nonsense Humor is the art of the surfaces and of til" doubles, of nomad. ingularitics and of the < lwavs d ispla .ed .11atory point; it is the art of the. tati . genesis, the savoir-fairc of the pure event, and the "fourth pcr~on singu~r"with ('\"er~ sign iIi ca ti 0 n, denotation, a I1d rna 11i Festa t ion S uspcnd eel, a U he ig h t and depth abolished.

to the Socratic subjectivity, for example; in relation to lassical individuality;

or the ratio: .11L ibor the evolutionist

model in r lation to the Romantic person). And finally, esoteric language, which in each case represents the subversion, From the ground UI), of the ideal Ian ruaoc and the dissolution of th« one who holds the C> real language. In each case, moreover, there are intern, I relations between th ideal model and its esoteric IT\TrSal, as between irony and the tragic ground to the point that it isirnpossible to know on which side the maximum imny lies. It i: for this reason that it is vain to seek 1 a uniglll' [ormula, a unique concept, which would be applicabl to ('n'ry esoteric languagt': for the grand literal, syllabic, and phonetic svnthcsis of Court de Gcbelin, for example, with which the classica] world comes to a Close, as well as for the cvolutive tonic synthesis of' [can-Pierre Brissct, with which Romanti ism came to an end (11",' saIl also that tlu rc is no uniformity in the cas' of portmanteau \\ ords). To the question "Who is spe, king?", we answer sometimes with the individual, sometimes with the person, and sometimes with the ground which dissolves both. "The self of th J;'r1C poet raises its voice fro the bottom of the abyss of being; its subjectivitv is pure imagination." 5 Hut a final response yet remains, one which challenges the undiflercntiatcd primitive ground and the forms of the individual and the person, and which rejects their ronrradiction as well as their complementarity. No, Singularities are not imprisoned within individuals and persons; and one dues not fall into an undifferentiated ground into groundless depth,
140 N I N 1-T Ie I' N Til S I, R I J.:-. (l)' 11LI M () It

N [ N 1·'1 1:1. NT"

:-'1-I( I ...~ 0 I' ) I II M o



T w n tieth Series on the Moral



Stoic Philosophy

sa!d ... "); an ethics of foodstu fr or an ethics of I,mguage, of eating or of speaking, of the yoke or of the shell, of states of affairs or of sense. We must go back to what we said a little while ago, at least in order to be able to introduce some variants. 'vVe moved too quickly as we presented the Stoi 'S challenging depth, and finding there only infernal mixtures corresponding to passions-bodies and to evil intentions. The Stoic system contains an entire phvsics, along with an thies of this physics. If it is true that passions and evil intentions are bodies, it is true that good will, virtuous actions, true representations, and just consents arc also bodies. If it is true that certain bodies form abom inable, annibalistic, and incestuous mixtures, the aggrecr3te of bodies taken as a whole necessarily forms a perfect mixture, which is nothing other than th unity of causes among themselves or the cosmi present, in relation to whi h evil itself can only be an evil of "consequ n ." If ther are bodies-passions, there are also bodies-actions. unified bodies of the great Cosmos, Stoic ethics is concerned with the event; it consists of willing the event as such, that is, of willing that which occurs insofar as it dues occur. We cannot yet evaluate the import of these formulations. But in any case, how could the event be grasped and willed without its being referred to the corporeal cause from which it r suits and, through this cause, to the unity of cause as Physics? Here. divination grounds ethics. In fact, the divinatory interpretation onsists of th relation betwc n the pure event (not yet a .tualized) and the d pth of bodies, the corporeal actions and passion, whence it results. We an state precisely how this interpretation proceeds: it is alwa -s a que tion of cutting into the thickness, of car\"ing out surfaces, of orienting them, of increasing and multiplying them in order to follow out the tracing of lines and of in isions inscribed on them. Thus, the ky is divided into sections and a bird's line of flight is distributed accordine b'to them: we u f()lluw on the ground the letter traced b, a pig's snout; he liver is drawn up to the surfa e wher it lines and fissure are observed, Didnation is, in the mo t general sense', the art of surfaces, lines, and .~ingular I oints appearing on the surface. Thi. is why two fortune-tellers cannot regard one another without laughing. a laughter which is hu1~10rous, (It would, of course, be necessary to distinguish two operations, namely, the production of a physical surface for lines which an' still corporeal, For images, imprints, or representations; and the translaTWI-.NTII·TII ::'I-RII-_::' ON STOIC 1'1111 O..,OPIIY

Diogenes Laertius relates that the Stoics compared philosophy to an egg: "The shell is Logic, next comes the white, Ethics, and the yak in the center is Physi s." We . ense that Diogenes rationalizes. We must recover the aphorism-anecdote, that is, the koan. We must imao ine a b ituation in which a disciple is raising a 'luestion of signilication: J master, what is ethics? The Stoic sage takes then a hard-boiled egg from his reversible cloak and designates the egg with his staff. (Or, having taken out the egg, he strikes the disciple with his staff, giving him to understand that he himself must provide the answer. The disciple, in turn, takes the staff and breaks the gg in such a mariner that a little of the white remains attached to the , voke and a little to the sh II. Either the mast r has to do all of this himself, or the disciple will have come to have an understanding only after many vcars.) At anv rate, the nlace J ----.=;..: of ethics is clearly displayed between the two pole' of the superficial,
J ~ J

logical shell and the deep physi al yoke. Is not Humpty Dumpty hims -If the Stoic master? Is not the disciple's adventure Alice's adventure? For her adventure consists of climbing back from the depth of bodies to the surface of words, of ha ving the troubling experience of ethical ambiguitv: the ethics of bodies or the rnoralitv of words ("the moral of what is





tion of t h ('~c on to a "mctaph llsiea I" su rface, where only incorporeal lim';; or til{' purl' event arc played out, which represents rhe interpreted scns« or these images,) But it is not accidental that Stoic ethics was unable (and had no trust in physical methods of divination, thatir oriented itself an entirely different pole, and that it developed itself in accordnnn'lvi.th an entirely differt'nt method-e- nam I." logic, Victor Goldsch mid t has cl earl y shown these two poles between \\"h icll t he Stoic ethics oscillate«. One one hand, it would be a question of participating to the greatest possible .xtent in a divine vision which gathns in depth


all the physical causes in the unity of a cosmic present, in order to <'licit th(' <.Ii vination of events whicl: ensue. On the other hand, hC)\\"l'wl",it is a (llH:stiun of willing the event whatever it mal' be, without am' interpretation, thanks to a "usage of representations'; 'which accornpanies the event ever



since its first actualization, assigning to it the most possibl .1 In the one case, we move from the cosmic

present to the not-yet actualized event; in the other, we go from the pure event to its most limited presellt actualization. Moreover, in the one case, I,IT link the event to its corporeal causes and to their physical unity; in the other, we link it to its incorporeal quasi-cause, the kind of causality whi h it gathers and makes resonate in the production of its own actualization. This bipolarity was already comprised in the paradox of douhle causality and in the two characterbti's of the static genesis -impassibility and productivity, indi!Terence and cflicacy-the immaculate conception which now characterizes the Stoic sage. The insufficiency of the I-ir~t pole derives from the fact that events, being incorporeal dTects, differ in nature from the corporeal causes from which they result; that they have other laws than thev do, and are determined only by their relation with the incorporeal quasi-cause. Cicero put it ver), wel] when he said that the passage of time is similar to th(' unraveling of a thread [explicoiio]. 2 But events, to be precis do not exist on the straight line of the unraveled thread (Aion), just as causes do not exist in thecircumfl"renc(' of the wound-up thread (l'hrollos ). What is the" logical usage of representations narnelvJ of this art wluch c rva.ehed its peak in the works of Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius' The obscurity of the Stoic theory of reprrsentation, such as it has b!"en handed down to LIS, is well known: the role and nature of assent in the
'i...... 1

sensible corporeal representation, as something borrowed; the manner by which rational representations, which are still corporeal, derive from sensible representations; above al], that which constitutes the character or representation, such that it mayor may not be "comprehensible"; and final! y, the scope of the c!i ffe rc nee bet ween represen rations- bodies, or imprints, and incorporeal (,vents-effects (between represemolions and expressions), J These last two difficulttes concern us here essentially, since sensible representations are denotations and rational representations are significations,while only incorporeal events constitute expressed sense. We have encountered this difTer·erlce of nature between the expression and the representation at every turn, each time we noted the specifiCity of sense or of the event, its irreducibility , to the denotatum and to the signified, its neutrality in relation to the particular and to the general, or its impersonal and pre-individual Singularity. This lilference culminates in the opposition betw en the object = x as the identitarian instance' of the representation in common sense, and the thing = x as the nonidentifiable element of expression in the paradox. But, if sense is never an object of possible representation, it does not for this reason intervene any less in representation as that which confers a very special value to the relation that it maintains with its object,

By itself, representation is given up to an extrinsic relation of resemblance or similitude only. But its internal character, by which it is intrinsically "distinct," "adequate," or "comprehensive," comes from
the manner in which it encompasses, or envelops an expression, much as it may not be able to represent it. The expression, which differs in nature from he representation, acts no less as that which is enveloped (or not) inside the representation_ For example, the perception of death as a state of affairs and as a quality, or the concept "mortal" as a predica te of significa t ion, remain extri nsic (deprived of sense) as long as they do not encompass the event of dying as that which is actualized in the one and expressed in the other Representation must encompass an expression which it does not represent, but Without which it itself would not be "comprehensive," and would have truth only by chance or from outside. To know that we are mortal is an apodeictic knowledge, albeit empty and abstract; effective and successive deaths do not suffice of course in fulfilling this knowledge adequately, so long as one docs not come to know death as an impersonal event provided with an always opt'n problematic structure (where and when?). In fact, two








types of knowk'dge (savotr} have often been distinguished,. one lndifferent, remaining external to its object, and the other concrete, seeking its obj~>ct wherever it is, Representation attains this topical ideal only by means of the hidden expression which it encompasses, that is, by means of the event it envelops, There is thus a "use" of representation, \'\'ithout which representation would remain lifeless and senseless. Wittge!1stein and his disciples are right to define meaning by means of use. But such use is not defined through a function of representation in relation to the represented, nor even through representativeness as the form of possibility, Here, as elsewhere, the functional is transcended in the direction of a topology, and use is in the relation between representation and something extra-representative, a nonrepresentcd and merely expressed entity, Representation envelops the event in another nature, it envelops it at its borders, it stretches until this point, and it brings about this lining or hem, This is the operation which defines living usage, to the extent that representation, when it does not reach this point, remains only a dead letter confronting that which it represents, and stupid in its representiveness, The Stoic sage "identifies" with the quasi-cause, sets up shop at the surface, on the straight line which traverses it, or at the aleatory point 'which traces or travels this line, The sage is like the archer. However, this connection with the archer should not be understood as a moral metaphor of intention, as Plutarch suggests, by saying that the Stoic sage is supposed to do everything, for the sake of attaining the end. One rather acts in order to have done all that which depended on one in order to attain the end, Such a rationalization implies a late interpretation, one which is hostile to Stoicism, The relation to the archer is closer to Zen: the bowman must reach the point where the aim is also not the aim, that is to say, the bowman himself; where the arrow Hies over its straight line while creating its 0\"'1) target; where the surface of the targ{'t is also the line and the point, the bowman, the shooting_ of the arrow and what is shot at, This is the oriental Stoic will as pr~ airesis. The sage waits for the event, that is to say, understands the pure el'ent in its eternal truth, independently of its spatia-temporal actualization, as something eternallv yet-to-come and always already passed <lccording to the line of the Aion. But, at the same time, the sage also Irills the embodiment and the actualization of the purt' incorporeal event in a state of affairs and in his or her own bodv and flesh, Identifying with

the CJuasi-cause, the sage wishes to "give a body" to the incorporeal l'fit-ct, since th effect inherits the came (Goldschmidt puts it \'el)' well, \\'jth respect to an event such as going for a walk: "The walk, incorpoI"l'Jlinsofar as it is a way of being, acquires a body (prelld corps) under the effect of th - hegemonic principle II'hieh is manifested in it.,,4 And this applies to the wound and to archery just as much as it applies to the stroll), But how could the sage he the quasi-cause of the incorporeal ("vcnt, and thereby will its embodiment, if the event were not already in the process of being produced by and in the depth of corporeal causes, or if illness were not prepared at the innermost depth of bodies? The quasi-cause does not create, it "operates," and wills only what comes to pass. Representation and its usage therefore intervene at this point. Corporeal causes act and suffer through a cosmic mixture and a universal present which produces the incorporeal event, But the quasicause operates by doubling this physic<l1 causality-it embodies the event in the most limited possible present which is the most precise and the most instantaneous, the pure instant grasped at the point at which it divides itself into future and past, and no longer the present of the world which would gather into itself the past and the future .. The actor occupies the instant, while the character portrayed hopes or fears in the future and remembers or repents in the past: it is in this sense that the actor "represents," To bring about the correspondence of the minimum time which can occur in the instant with the maximum time which can be thought in accordance with the Aion. To limit the actualization of the ;vent in a present without mixture, to make the ins ant all the more intense, taut, and instantaneous since it expresses an unlimited future and an unlimited past, This is the use of representation: the mime, and no longer the fortune-teller, One stops going from the greatest present toward a future and past which are said only 0[" a smaller prt'sent; on the contrary, one goes from the future and past M. unlimited, all the way to the smallest present of a pure instant which is endlessly subdivided, This is how the Stoic sage not only comprehends and wills the vent, but also reprcsencs it and. ~~. .rillS, selects n. and that an ethics of the Beginning with a pure zarion, measures the mixture, and prevcnts mime necessarily prolongs the logic of sense, event, the mime directs and doubles the actualimixtures with the aid of all instant without them from overllowing,

T W l-;N T.I I Til

-'i J-, R I l: SON

ST () I C J> H I LOS 0 PII Y


Twenty-First of the Event


Either ethics makes no sense at all, or this is what it means and has nothing else to say: not to be unworthy of what happens to us. T~ grasp whatever happens as unjust and unwarranted (it is always some(JIll' else's fault) is, on the contrarv, what renders OUt sores repugnant -veritable resseruiment, resentment of th event. There is no other ill


will. What is really immoral is the Lise of moral notions like just or unjust, merit or fault. What docs it mean then to will the e vent? Is it
to accept war, wounds, and death when they occur' !tis highly probable that resignation is only one more figure of resseniimetn, since resscnutnent has many ligures If willing the event is, primarily, to release its eternal truth, like the fire on \\·hieh it is fed, this wil] would reach the point at which war is waged against war, the wound would be the li\·ing trace and the scar of all wounds, and death turned on itself 'would be willed against all deaths. We are faced with a volitional intuition and a transm u ta tion. "To Illy inclina tion for death," sa id Bousquet, "which was a failure of the will, J will substitute a longing for death which would be the apotheosis of the will." From this inclination to this longing there is,in a certain respect, no change except a change of the will, a sort of leaping in place (sou: 5!1r place) of the whole body which excha nges its orga nic will for a spi ritua I will. lt wills now not exact! y what occurs, but something in that which occurs, something yet to come which would be consistent with what occurs, in accordance with thl' laws of an obscure, humorous confonnity: the Event. It is in this Sl'[1Sl;' that the Amor lali is one with the struggle of free men. My misfortune is present in all events, but aha a splendor and brightnl"ss which dry up misfortune and 'which bring about that the event, once willed, is actualized on its most contracted point, on the cutting edge of an operation. All this is the effect of the static genesiS and of the immaculate conception. The splendor and the magnificence of the event i.~ sense. The event is not what occurs (an accident), it is rather inside what occurs, the purely expressed. lt Signals and awaits us, In accordanct' with the three preceding determinations, it is what must be understood, willed, and represented in that ,·vhich occurs. Bousquet to sa)': "Become the man of your misfortunes; learn to embody their perfection and brilliance." Nothing more can be said, and no more has {,ITr been said: to become worthy of what happens to us, and thus to will and release the event, to become the offspring of one's own events, and therebv to be reborn, to have one more birth, and to break
gOl'~ 0[1


arc sometimes

life, as if the name of a doctrine

designate doctrines

to call Stoic a concrete or poetic way of were too bookish or abstract to the most personal relation with a wound. But where do. come from, if not from wounds and vital aphorisms which, provocation, are so many speculative be called Stoic. He apprehends the his body in its eternal truth as a pure are actualized in us, they wait for liS


with their charge of exemplary anecdotes? Joe Bousquet must wound that he bears deep within event, To the extent that events

and invite us in, They Signal us: "My wound existed before me, J was born to embody it." I It is a Cjuestion of attain ing this will that tlw event creates in us; of becoming the quasi-cause of what is produced within us, the Operator; of producing surfaces and linings in which the event is reflected, finds itself again as incorporeal and manifests in us the splendor which it possesses in itself in its impersonal and ~ nature, beyond the general and the particular, the collective and the private. It .is a question of becoming a citizen of the world, "Ever\'thing was in order with the events of my life before I made them


~~in('; to live them is to fi.nd myself tempted to, become their equal, as II they had to get from me only that which they have that i. b .st -and most perfect."


T W I: N T Y - )' T Il.~ T S]: R j ESOl'

T H [- E V F, NT


with one's carnal birth-to become the offspring of one's events and not of one's actions, for the action is itself produced by the offspring of
the event.


The actor is not like a god, but is rather like ·an "anti-god" (comredicu}. God and actor are opposed in their readings of time. What men grasp as past and Future, God lives it in its eternal pre~('nt. The God is Chronos: the di ine present is the ircle in its entirety, wher as past and Future are dimensions relative to a particular segment of the circle which leaves the r st outside .. The actor's present, on the contrary, is the most narrow, the most onrracted, the most instantaneous, and the most punctual. It is the point on a strajght lin which divides th· line endlessly, and is itself divided into past-future. The actor belongs to the Aion: instead of the most profound, the most fully present, th pro nt

The physical mixture is cxa t only at the level of the whole, in the full circle of the divine present. But with respect to each part, there are many inj ustices and ignominies, many parasiti and cannibalistic processes which inspire our terror at what happens to us, and our resentment at what 0 Curs. Humor is inseparable from a selective force: in that which occurs (an accident), it selects the pure . vent. In eating, it ·de ts speaking. Bousquet listed the chara teristics of the humor-actor (Jc l'hutnour-octeur}: to annihilate his or her tracks whenever necessary;
"to hold up among men and works [heir bein8 b:Jore biuerness, " "to assign

which preads out and comprehends the Future and the past, an unlimited past-future rises up here reflected in an empty present which has no more thi kness than the mirror. The actor or a tress repres nts, but what he or she represents is always still in the future and air ady in the past, whereas his or her representation is impassible and divided, unfolded without being ruptured, neither acting nor being acted upon. It is in this sens that there is an actor's paradox; the a tor maintains himself in the instant in order to act out something perpetually antici/ pated and delayed, hoped for and re ailed. The role played is n ver that of a character; it is a theme (the omplex theme or sense) constitute' I by the components of the event, that is, by the communi 'ating singularities effective! liberated from the limits of individuals and p'rsons. The actor strains his ntire p ersonality in a moment whi~h is always Furth r divisible in order to open himself up to the impersonal and preindividual role. The actor is always acting out other roles when acting one role. The role has the sam relation to the actor as the future and past ha e to the instantaneous present which corresponds to them on the line of the Aion. The actor thus actualizes the event, but in a way \ hich is ntirelv different from the actualization of the event in the

to plagues. tyrannies, and the most frightful wars th comic possibilit of haVing reigned for nothing"; in short, to liberate for ea h thing "its immaculate portion," language and will, Amor Fati.2 Why is every event a kind of plague, war, wound, or death? Is this simply to say that there are more unfortunate than fortunate events? No, this is not the case since the question here is about the double structure of every event. With every event, th r is indeed the pres nt moment of its actualization, the moment in which the event is embodied in a state of affairs, an individual, or a person, the moment we deSignate b saying "here, the moment has come." The future and th past of the event are evaluated only with respe t to this definitive pre. ent, and from the point of view of that which embodies it. But on the other hand, there is the future and the past of the event considered in its If, sidestepping each present, being free of the limitations of a state of affairs, impersonal and pre-individual, neutral, neither general nor particular, evenlum wnwm .... It has no other present than that of the mobile instant which represents it, always divided into past-Iutur , and fom1ing v hat must be called the counter-actualization. In one case, it is my life, which eems too weak for me and slips away at a point which, in a d t rmined relation to me, has become present. In the other case, it is I who am too weak for life, it is life which overwh Ims me, s ·attering its singularities all about, in no r lation to me, nor to a moment determinable as the present, except an imper onal instant which is divided into still-future and already-past. 0 one has shown IWtll'r than Maurice Blanchot that this ambiguity is essentially that of the wound and of death, of th mortal wound. Death has an extreme and deiinite relation to me and my body and is grounded in me, but it also has no relation to me at all-it is in .orporeal and infinitive, imp 'rxonal , grollnded only ill itself. On one side, there is the part of

depth of things. Or rather, the actor redoubles this cosmic, 01" physical a tualization, in his 0\ n way, which is Singularly superficial-but because of it more distinct, trenchant and pure. Thus the actor delimit the original, disengages from it an abstract line, and keeps from ('l1e event only its contour and its splendor, becoming thereby the a tor of one' s own events-a counter-aaualizciion.



Y - I' IRS T S E R I ES () F THE


the event which is r('ali~ecl and a cornpli: hed; on the other, there is that "part or till" event which cannot realize its accomplishment." There are thus two accomplishments, which are like actualization and ounteractualization. is in this way that death a'"d its wound arc not simply events among other events. Every event is like death, double and impersonal in its doubl;j "It is the abyss or the present, the time without present with which I have 110 relation, toward which I am unable to project myself. For in it / do not die. I forfeit the power of dying. ln this abyss they (on) die-they never 'ease to die, and they d IJ1 dvi l ,,3 never succee }'lI1g. How different this "they" is from that which we encounter in evervda banality. It is the "they" of impersonal and pre-individual Singularities, the "they" of the pure event wherein it dies in the same w'ay that ir rains. The splendor of the "they" is the splendor of the event itself or of the fourth person. This is why there are no private or collective events, no more than ther are individuals and univ rsals, particularities and generalities. Everything is Singular, and thus both collective and private, particular and general, neither individual nor universal. Which war, for xample, is not a private affair? Conversely, which wound is not inflicted by war and derived from society as a whole? Which private event does not have all its coordinates, that is, all its impersonal so ial singularities? There is, nev rtheless, a good deal of ignominy in saying that war concerns everybody, for this i not true. [lt does not concern those who use it or those who serve it-creatures of ressentiment . And there is as mu ·h ignominy in saying that everyone has his or her O'Nn war or particular wound, for this i. not true of those who scratch at th eir soresthe creatures of bitterness and ressentiment .. It is true only of th free man, who grasps the event, and does not allow it to be actualized as such without enacting. the actor, its counteractualization. Only the free man, therefore, can comprehend all violence in a single act of violence and very mortal event in a sinaJe Evem which no longer makes room for the accident, and which denounces and removes the power of ressentimeni within the individual as well as the


out mi ture, inst ad of mix.ing l'\Trything tog th r, All forms of violence and oppression gather together in this Single event which denounces all by denouncing one (the nearest or hila! state of the question).
The psychopathology accident the milkman's ancestors truck whi h the poet which makes his own is not a sinister little

of persona! destiny,

or an indi\'iciual,

unfortunate accident.

It is not

has run over' him and left him disabled. It is the

horsemen of the Hundred Blacks I:arrying out their logroms against their in the ghettos of Vilna .... The blows received to th head did not happen during a street brawl, but when the police charged the demonstrators. ... If he cries out [ike a deaf genius, it is be .ausc the bombs of Gucrni a and llanoi have deafened him .. , .4 It is at this mobile and precise point, where all events gather together in one that tran mutation happens: this is the point at which death turns against death; where dying is the negation of death, and the impersonality of dying no longer indicates onlv the moment when I disapp ar outside of myself, but rather the moment when death loses itself in itself, and also the figure which the most Singular life takes on in order to substitute itself for me.5

power of oppression within so ·i!:'t)'. Only by spreading ressentimeru the tyrant forrns allies, namely slaves and servants. The revolutionary alone is free From the ressentiment. by means of which one always participates in, and profits by, an oppressive order. One and the -ame hem? Mixture which extracts and purih s, or measures C\'(T)'thing at an instant withlP TWENTY-I-IRST SERIES OF THE I,VI': T TWI', TY-FrRST SERrES OF TIlE EVENT


Twenty-Second SeriesPorcelain and Volcano

the 1111< ncial crash, a certain grQ\dng older, the del ression, illnes , the flight of talent. But all these noisv accidents already have their outright ('freet;;; and they would not be sufficient in themselves had they not dug their \ovay down to something of a \\'holly different nature whi .h, on the contrary, they r veal only at a distance and when it is too latethe silent crack. "Why have' ,\'1." lost peace, lo\'e, and health one after Th -re was a silent, irnpcrc 'ptible crack, at the surfa c, a Event. It is as if it were suspended or ho\-ering over itself flying over its own field. The real difTerence is not between the inside and th outside , for the era k is neither internal nor external ,
unique surface

the other?"


ourse all lif is a pro'ess of breaking down ... ." I Few phrases in our heads with su h a hammer blow, few texts possess this

but is rather at the frontier. It is imperceptible, incorporeal, and ideational. With what happens inside and outside, it has complex relations of int rferen and intedacilw, of syn opated [un 'tions-a pattern of corresponding beats over two different rhythms, Everything nois), happens at the dge of the crack and would be nothing without it. Convers Iy, the crack pursues its silent curse, changes direction follOWing th lines of least resistance, and extends its web onlv und r the immediate influence of what happens, until sound and silence wed each other intimately and ontinuouslv in the shattering and bursting of the end. What this means is that the entire play of the rack has become incarnated in the depth of the body, at the same time that the labor of the inside and the outside has widened the edge . ("By God, if I ev r cracked, I'd try to make the world era ·k with Listen! The world only exists through your appr hension of it, and so it's much b tter to sa)' that it's not you that's ra ked-it' the

final character of a masterpiece, or are able to impose silence or force such terrified acqui s ence as Fitzgerald's The Crack Up. The entir work of Fitzgerald is the unique development of this proposition-in partie ular of the "of course." Here is a man and a woman, there is a couple (and why ouples, if not because it is alr ad a question of movement, and of a process defined on the basis of the dyad?) who have: as we S3Y, everything it takes to be happy: looks, charm, riches, superficiality, and lots of tal nt. And then something happens that shatters them like an old plate or glass. There is a terrible tete-a-tete of the schizophrenic and the alcoholic, unless death takes them both. Is this the notorious self-destruction? What has happened exactly? They have not H-ied anything special beyond their po\·\,er, and yet they wake up as if from .a barrie which has been too much for them, their bodies broken, their muscles strained, their souls dead: "a feeling that I was standing at tWilight on a deserted range, with an empty ritle in my hands and the targets down. 0 problem set-simpl a silence with only the sound of my own br athing .... My self-immolation was something sodd 11dark." In fact, ' lot has happened, outside as well as imide: the war,

Grand Canyon." What would we say to a friend who consoled us with these words? This kind of consolation, cl l'americaine, t1u-ough projection, doesn't wash for those who know that the crack is no more int mal than external, and that its projection to th outside marks no less the end's approach than does the purest introjection. Even if it becomes the crack of the Grand .anyon or of a rock in the Sierra Madre, even if the cosmic images of ravine, mountain and volcano replace the intimate and familiar porcelain, has anything changed? HoI\' can we

I~dp hut experience

an unbearable pity for stones, a petrifying identition? As M. lcolrn Lowry had a member of another couple say:

But granted it had been split, W,15 there no way, before total disintegration -houlrl set in, of at least saving the severed halves? Oh, but why-by
TV,,'I-: TY-S[·(_'() I) '>IoR1ES-i'ORL'E1 AI AND VOL 'AND


rancirul geologic



the pieces be wcklcd


againl SI1C'(Y\'~nnc) longed to heal the cleft ro~k. She was om of the rocks an I she yearned to save the other, that both might be saved. Hy a supcrlapi-

darv cllort, she moved herself nearer it, poured out her pleas, her passionate tC',,:.s, told "II her forgivcness: the rock stood unmoved, "That' "II 'Try well," it said, "hut it happens to be 10llr fault, and as for mvscl F, I propose to disintegrate as I p I case: I" 1 Though the association may be close, we have here two elements or two processes which differ in nature, There is the crack which extends its straight, incorporeal, and silent line at the surface; and there are external blows or noisy internal pres, ures which make it deviate, deepen it, and inscribe or actualize it in the thickness of the body Are these not the two aspects of death that Blan hot distinguished earlier? Death as event, inseparable from the past and future' into which it is divided, never present, an impersonal death, the "ungraspable, that whi h I can not grasp, for it is not bound to me by any sort of relation, which never comes and toward which I do not go." nd then personal death, which occurs and is a tualized in the most harsh present whose "extreme horizon (is) the freedom to die and to be able to risk oneself mortally." We could mention various ways in which the association of the two may be brought about: suicide or madness, the use of drugs 01' alcohol. Perhaps the last two are the most perfect, because, rather than bringing the t... lines together in a fatal point, they take time, vo ever- / theless, there is, in all cases, something illusory, When Blanchet thinks of suicide as the wish to bring about the roincidence of the two fac s of deaUl-of prolonging im"'per onal death by means of the most personal act-he clearly shows the inevitability of this coupling or of this attempt at coupling. But he tries also to define the illusion,3 In fact, an entire cliflercnc of nature subsists between what is joined together this how The that or what is narrowly extended, Hut this i: not where the problem resides. For whom does clifferen in nature subsist if not for the abstract thinker? And could this thinker with respect to this problem, not be ridiculous? two processes differ in nature; so 1e it, But what can be done so one pro-ess does could the silent "deepen" in the fail to become a
I )t.

the d pths? If to will is to will the event, how could we not al. 0 will its full actualization in a orporcal mixture, subject to this tragic will which presides over all ingestions? If the order of the, urtace is itself cracked how could it not itself break up, how is it to be prevented from precipitating destruction, even if this meant lOSing all accompanying benefits-the organization of langu<ge and even life itself? How' could we not reach the point at which ~\'e Lean only spell letter b, letter and

cry out in a sort of schizophrenic
there is a crack at the surface,

depth, but no longer speak at all? If how can we prevent deep life- from

becoming a demolition job and pr 'Tnt it from be .ominc it as a matt r "of course"? Is it possible to maintain the inherence of the incorporeal crack while taking care not to brine it into existence, and not to incarnate it in the depth of the body? More precis Iy, is it possible to limit ourselves to the counter-actualization of an t'vent-to the actor's or dancer's simple, flat representation-while taking care to prevent the full actualization whi h .haracterixe the victim or the true patient? point out the ridiculousness of the thinker: yes, there are always two aspects, and the two processes differ in nature, But when Bousquet'l aks of the wound's name of a personal and abominable wound, eternal hich truth, it is in the

lJ these questions

he bears within his

body, When htzgerald or Lowry speak of this incorporeal metaphysical .rack and find in it the 10 LIS as well as th _.obstacle of their thought, its sour e as well as its dryina up, sen sc and nonsense, they sp ak with all the gallons of alcohol they have drunk which have actualized the crack in the body, When Artaud speaks of the erosion of thought as somcthing both essential and accidental, a radical impotence and nevertheless a great power, it is already from the bottom of schizophrenia, I:ach one risked something and went as far as possible in taking this risk; each one drew from it an irrepressibl right, What is left for the abstract thinker once she has given advice of wisdom and distinction? Well then, are we to speak always about Bousquet's wound, about Fitzgerald's and Lowry's al oholism, ietz rhe's and Artaud's madness while remaining on the shore? Arc we to become the professionals who gin' talks on these topics? Are we to wish only that those who have been struck down do not abuse themselves too much? Are "W' to take lip collections and create special journal issues? Or should we go a short I\ay further to see for ourselves, be a little al oholic a little razv a little suicidal, a little of a guerilla Oust cno!g_h to e'xrend the cr~' k,
TW 1-. 'r y -~ I:.CON [) SER J "'":;-1'0 Re EJ A I N A J) VO I.e A 0

not naturally and necessarily prolong the oth r? How trace of the incorporeal crack at the surface fail to thickness of a noisy body? How could the surface gash deep SpahunB' and the surface non, cnsc a nonsense of c: ()
N D S I:.R I I:. SI' (J It eEL A I N f\ N 0

T W I:

T Y - S 1-_

0 LeA


but not enough to deep_:11 _it irr medialJy? Wh rever we turn, ~verything seems dismal. Ind ed, how are we 0 tay at the ..urfac without staying on the shore? How do we save ourselves by savmg the surface and every surface organization, in luding language and lift'? How IS tim politics, this full BueriIJa warfare to be attained? (How much we hay yet to learn from Stoicism .... ) Alcoholism does not seem to be a 5 ar h for pleasure, but a search for an effect which consists mainly in an extraordinary hardening of the present. One lives in two times, at two moments at once, but not at all in the Proustian manner. The other moment may refer to projects as much as to mcmori s of sober life; it nevertheless xists in an ntirel different and profoundly modified way, held fast inside the hardened present which surrounds it like a tender pimple surrounded by indurat.e flesh. In this soft cent r of the other moment, the alcoholic may identify himself with the objects of hi love, or the objects of his "horror and compassion," whereas the lived and willed hardness of the present moment permits him to hold reality at a distance." The alcoholic does not like this rigidity which overtakes him any less than the softness that it surrounds and conceals. One of th moments is inside the other, and the present i. hardened and tetanized, to this extent, only in order to invest this soft point which is ready to burst. The two simultaneous moments ar strangely organized: the alcoholic does not live at all in the imperfect compo i)-alb or the future; the alcoholic has only a pas I perfect (pl)si it a very special one. In drunkenness, the alcoholic put

perfect to be orne an HI have-drunk" (j'ai-bu). The pr sent moment is no longer that of the alcoholic effe .t, but that of th efTe t of the effect. The other moment now indiff("rentiy embraces the near past-the moment when I was drinking- .. the system of imaginal identifications concealed by this near pa t, and the real el rnent of the more or less distanced sober past. In tllis way, the induration of the pr sent has changed its meaning entirely. In its hardness, the present has lost its hold and faded. It no longer encloses anything; it rather distances every aspect of the other moment. We could say that tile near past, as well as the past of identifications whi h is onstitured in it, and finally the sober past whi h supplied the material, have aJI Hed " ith outstret hed Wings. We couJd sa)' that all these are equall far off, maintained at a distance in the generalized expansion of this faded present, and in the new rigidity of this ne vv present in an expanding desert. The past perfe t of the first ffect is replaced by the lone "I have-drunk" of the second, wherein th pres nt auxiljary expresses only the infinite distance of every participle and every participation. The hardening of the present (I have) is now related to an effe t of the night of the past (drunk). Everything culminates in a "has been." This effect of the Aight of the past, this loss of the object in every sense and direction, constitutes the depr ssive aspect of alcoholism~ And it is perhaps this effect of Aight that yields the greatest force in Fitzgerald's work, and that which express s it most deeply. It is curious that Fitzgerald rar Iy, if ver, pr s nts his charact rs in the a t of drinking or looking for a drink. He does not live alcoholism as a lack or a need. Perhaps this is discretion on his part; or he has always been able to have ~ drink; or there are several forms of alcoholism, one of them even turned toward its most re ent past. (The ase of Lowry, though, is the opposite .... But, when alcoholism is experienced as such an acute need, a no less profound deformation of time appears. This time, ever future is experienced as a }inure pe~focl f[uLUr-anrerieuf), with an extraordinary precipitation of this compound future, an effect of the effect which goes on unti] death).s Alcoholism, for Fitzgerald's character, is a pro .ess of demolition even to the extent that it determines the effect of flight of the past: not only the sober past from which they are separated ("My God, drunk for ten years"), but also the tl!:ar past in which they have just be n drinking, and the fantastic pa t of the first dTe t. Ev rything has! ecorne equallv remote and d t rmines

tog ther an imaginary past, as if the softn ss of the past participle cam to be combined with the hardness of the present auxiliary: 1 have-loved, I hav -done, I have-seen. The conjun tion of the two moments is express d here, as much as the manner in which the alcoholi experiences one in th other, as one enjoys a manic omnipoten e. Here th past perfect does not at all express a distance or a completion: The present moment belongs to the verb "10 have." whereas all bemg IS "past" in the other simultaneous moment, the moment of participation and of the identification of the participle. But what a strange, almost unbearable tension there is here ... this embrace, this manner in whi h the present surrounds, invests, and encloses the other moment. The present has be orne a rircle of crystal or of granite, formed about ~.so~t core, a core of lava, of liquid or viscous gla. s. This tension, however, IS unravel ed for the sak of something else, For it behooves the pa t
I ~8 T W I: NT Y - S I: L' 0 I) SE H 1I: SP() It c t r, A I NAN D VOL L' A N 0

the necessity of drinking anew, or rather of having drunk anew, in order to triumph over this hard ned and faded present which alon subsists and signifies death. It is in this regard that alcoholism is exemplary. For other events, in their own way, can bring about this alcohol-effect: loss of money, for example, love, the loss of our native country, or the loss of success. The do so independently of alcohol and in an ext mal way, but they resemble th way of al ohol. FitLgerald, tor example, experiences money as an "I have been rich," which separates him from the moment at which he was not yet ri h, from the moment at which he became rich, and from the identifications with the "true rich" to which he used to apply himself. Take, for instance, Gatsby's great love scene: at the very moment he loves and is loved, Garsby, in his "stup fying sentimentality," behaves as if intoxi ated, H hardens this present with all of his might and wishes to bring it to enclose the most tend r idennfication==namely, that with a past perfect in which we would hav been loved absolutely, exclusively, and without rival by the same woman (five years absence like ten years drunkenness). It is at this summit of identification-Fitzgerald said of it that it was quivalent "to the death of all realization' - that Gatsby br aks like a glass, that h loses vervthing, his recent love, his old love, and his fantastic love. What gives alcoholism an exemplary value, however, among ali these events of the same typ , is that alcohol is at once love and the loss of love, llloney and the loss of money, the nati',e -, land and its loss. It is at on e object, loss C!Iobjecc. and [he 1011' BQ1Unine {his loss within an orchestrated pro ess of d molition ("of course") .. The problem of knowing whether we can prevent the crack from being in arnated and actualized in the body in a certain form is obviously not subject to general rules. " 'rack" remains a word as long as the body is not compromised by it, as long as the liver and brain, the organs, do' not present the lim's in accordance with which the future is told, and which themselves foretell the future. If one asks why health

conquest? It is true that the crack is nothing jf it does not compromise the body. but it does not cease being and haVing a value wh en it i,lltertwines its line with the other line, inside the body. We can not toresec, we must tak risks and endure the longest possible tim , we must not lose Sight of grand health. The eternal truth of the event is grasped only if the event is also inscribed ill the flesh. But each time we must double this painful actualization bv a counter-actualization which 1~lllits, moves, and transfigures it. We' must accompany ourselvesfirst, 111 order to survive, but then ('ITI1 when we die. Count r-actualization is nothing, it belongs to a buffoon when it operates alone and pretends to have the value of what could have happened. But, to be the mime of II"hQ/ ~JJecli1'ely occurs, to double the actualization with a counteractualization, the identification with a distance, like the true actor and dancer, is to give to the truth of the event the only chance of not I confused with its inevitable actualization. It is to give to the crack the chance of flying over its own incorporeal surface area, without stopping at the bursting within each bod ; it is, finally, to give us the chance to go farther than we would have believed possible. To the extent that the pure event is each time imprisoned forever in its actualization, counteractualization liberates it, always for other times. We an not give up the hope that the effects of drugs and alcohol (their "revelations") will be able to be relived and recover d for their own sake at the surface of the world, independently of the lise of those substances, provided that the techniques of so 'ial alienation which determine this use ar reversed into revolutionary means of exploration. Burroughs wrote some strange pages on this point which attest to this quest for the great Healthour 0\\111 manner of bing pious: "Imagine that everything that can be at,tained by chemical means is accessible b, other paths .... " A strafing 01 the surfa e in order to transmute the stabbing of bodies, oh psychcdclia.


does not suffice, 'vhy the crack is desirable, it is perhaps because only bv means of the crack and at its dges thollght 0 urs, that anything that is good and great in humanity enters and exits through it, in people ready to destroy themselves-better death than the health which we are given. Is there some oth r health, like a body survivirJg as long as possible its scar, like Lowry dreaming of rewriting a "Crack Up" which would nd happily, and never giving lip the id a of a new vital
160 T W tTY - S 10


D S b R I E S-

P () R C I~LJ\ I N A


v () LeA








T wen ty - Third Series
of th Aion

in a body. Hut, as it happen, the passion of a body refers to the action of a more powerful body. The greatest present, the divine present, is the gr at mixture, the unit)' of orporeal causes among themselves. It measures the activity of the osmic period in which everything i simultaneous: Zeus is also Dia, the "Through" (I'll-tro~'ers) or that which is mixed, th blender.? The greatest present is not therefore unlimited. It p rtains to the present to delimit, and to be the limit or measure of the a tion of bodies, even if we are confronted by th greatest of bodies or the unit)' of all causes Cosmos). It can, however, be infinite without being unlimit d. For xample, it could be ircular in the sen. e that it encompasses every present, begins anew, and measures off a new cosmic period after the preceding one, which may be identical to the pr ceding one. To the r lative mov ment by means of which ea h present refers to a relatively more vast present, we must add an absolute movement proper to the most ast of presents. This movement contracts and dilates in dep h in order to absorb or r store in th pia of osmic periods the r lative presents which it surrounds (to encompass-to set a flame (embrasser-embraser). 3) 'hronos is the regulated movement of vast and profound presents. But from where exactly does it drax its measure? Do the bodies which flU it possess enough unit)', do their mixtures possess enough justi e and p rfection, in order lor the present to avail a prin iple of an immanent measure? Perhaps it does, at the level of the cosmic Zeus. But is this the case for bodies at random and for ea h partial mixture? I there not a fundamental disturban of the present ' that is , a ground ·whicli overthroZvs and subverts all measure, a b corning-mad of depths

From the start, we have S' n how two readings of time-time as Chronos and time as Aion-· were opposed: I) in accordance with Chronos, only the present exists in time. Past, present, and future are not three dimensions of time; only the present fills tim , whereas past and future are two dimensions relative to the present in time. In other words, whatever is future or past in relation to a certain present (a crtain extension or duration) belongs to a more vast present whi h has a greater extension or duration. There is always a more vast present which absorbs the past and the future. Thus, the relativity of past and future with rl."spe t to the present entails a relativity of present. themselves, in relation to ea h oth r_ God experiences as present that which for me is future or past, since [ live inside more limited presents. Chronos is an encasement, a coiling up of relative presents, with God as the extreme cir Ie or the external nvelope. Inspired by the Stoics, Boethius said that the divine present complicates or comprehends the future and the past. J the present is in some manner corporeal. It is the time of mixtures or blendings, the very process of blending: to tempqf. or to tcrnporalize i. to mix. The pre ent measures out the action of bodies and causes. The future and past are rather what is left of passion
2) Inside Chronos,



whl h slips away from the- present? Is this measureless



10 al and partial. or does it stret h rather little by little to the entire
universe stablishing everywhere its poisonous, monstrous mixture, and the subversion of Zeus and Chronos itself; Is there not already in the Stoi s thi. dual attitude of confidence and mistrust, with n'sp ct to the world, corresponding to the two types of mixtures-the white mixture which conserves as it spreads, and till' bla -k and confused mixture whi 'h alters? In the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, th _ alternative Ircquen Iy resounds: is this the good or the bad mixture? This question finds an answer only when the two terms end up being indifferent, that is, when the status of virtue (or of health) has to be sought elsewher , in another direction, in another element-Aion versus .hronos.:'

The becoming-mad of depth is then a bad Chronos, opposed to the living present of th" good Chronos. Saturn grumbles fl'om dpcp within Zeus. The pun:, and measureless becoming of qualities threatens the order of qualified bodies from within. Bodies have lost their measure and are nOI'1 but simulacra. The past and the future, as unleashed forces, take their revenge, in one and the same abyss which threatens the present and everything that exists .. We have seen that Plato, at the {'nel of the second hypothesis of Poimenides, expressed this becoming as ." the pOI,,·er to Sidestep the pt'csent (for to be present would mean to be and no longer to become). Nevertheless, Plato added that "to Sidestep the present" is preCisely what becoming cannot do (for it is noLI' becoming, and hence cannot leap over this "now"). Both expressions are valid: time has only the present with which to express the internal subversion of the present in time, precisely because it is internal and deep; Chronos must still express the revenge taken by future and past on the present in terms of the pr{'sent, because these are the only terms it comprehends and the only terms that afTect it This is its own way of wanting to die. Thus, it is still a terrifying, measureless present which Sidesteps and su bverts the other, the good presen t. j-Ia v ing be en a

prolonged: they were both opposed to the corporeal and measured present; both wert' capable of ~id('stepping the present; and both developed the same contradictions (of quality, quantity, relation, and modality). At most, there was between them a shift of orientation: in the case of Aion, the becoming-mad of the depths was climbing to the surface, the simulacra in turn were becoming phantasms, the deep break was shOWing as a crack in the surface. But we learned that this change of orientation and this conquest of the surface implied radical differences in every respect This is almost the differen("(> between the second and th ird hypotheses of Parmenide« - tha t 0 f the "now" and tha t of the "instant." I.!_is no longer the Future and past which subvert the ~stil~ I?resent~ it is the instant which perverts the present into inhering 6ture and past .. The essential (]ifferencc is no longer Simply ~n C rronos and Alan, but between the Aion of surfaces and the whole of Chronos together with the becoming-mad of the depths. Between the two becomings, of surface and depth, we can no longer say that they have in common the sidestepping of the present. For if depth evades the present" it is with all the force of a "now" which opposes its panic-stricken present to the wise presellt of measure; and if the su rEace evades the present, it is wi th a II the power of an "instant," which distinguishes its occurrence [rom any aSSignable present subject to division and rcdh·ision,othing ascends to the surface without changing its nature. Aion no longer belongs to Zeus or Saturn" but to Hercules. Whereas Chronos expressed the action of bodies and the creation of corporeal qualities, Aion is the IOCllS of incorporealevents, and of attributes which are distinct from qualities. Whereas Chronos was inseparable from the bodies which filled it out 'ntire1y as causes and matter, Aion is populated by effects which haunt it without ever hlling it up. Whereas Chronos was limited and infinite, Aion is unlimited, the way that future and past are unlimited, and finite like the instant. Whereas Chronos was inseparable from circularity and its accidents -·-such as blockages or Ixt"cipitations, explosions, disconnections, and indurattons-e+Aion stretches out in a straight in either direct! JI1. Alwavs already passed and eternallv

corporeal mixture, Chronos has become a deep break. In this sense the adventures of the present manifest themselves in Chronos, in agreement \vith the two aspects of the chronic present-absolute and relative movement, global and partial present: in relation to itself, in depth,! insofar as it bursts asunder and contracts (the movement of schizophrenia); and in relation to its more or less vast extension, in virtue of a delirious future and a delirious past (the movement of manic depression). Chronos wants to die, but has it not already given way to another reading of time? with Aion, only the past and future inhere or subsist in time. Instead of a present which absorbs the past and future, a future and past divide the present at (,\"("I-y instant and subdivide it ad Infinitu ;} into past and future, in both directions at once. Or rather, it is the instant without thickness and without extension" which subdivides each present into past and future, rather than vast and thick presents which comprehend both future and past in relation to one another. What diffl'H>nce is there between this Aion and the becoming~mad of depths which already overturned Chronos within its own domain' At the outset of this study, wewere abl to proceed as if both were intimately
I) In accordance

time. ~\'hich has fre0Ci itself of its present corporeal content and has thereby unwound its own (·irde, stretching itself out in a straight [ine, It is perhaps all the more dangC'rolls, more labyrinthine, and more tortuous for this reason, It is

A ion is the eternal truth ~f time: plue emp~vJorm


line, limitless vet to come

r ur



this other movern ent, of which Marcus Aurelius spoke, which occurs neither up above nor down below, nor in a circular fashion, but only at the surfan:·~·=rhe movement of "virtue" ... If there is also a death ",,,ish (,.'ouloir-moufIf) on the side of the Aion, it would be totally different.
2) It is this new world of incorporeal effects or surface efl(;cts which makes language possible. For, as we shall s e, it is this world which draws the sounds from their simple state of corporeal actions and passions. It is this new world which distinguishes language, pre\,{'nts it from being confused with the sound-effects of bodies, and abstracts it from their oral-anal determinations, Pure events ground language because they wait for it as much as they wait for us, and have a pur, Singular, imp ersona], and pre-individual existence only inside the language which expresses them. It is what is expressed in its independence that grounds language and expression-that is, the metaphysical prop~ erty that sounds acquire in order to have a s nse, and secondarily, to

manner of a pod which releases its spores). Third, the straight line which extends simultaneously in two directions traces the frontier between bodies and language, states of alTairs and propositions. Language, or the system of propositions, would not exist without this frontier which renders it possible. Language therefore is endlessly born, in the future direction of the Aion where it is established and, somehow, anticipated; and although it must also say the past, it says .it as the past of states of alTairs which go on appearing and disappearing in the other direction. In short, the straight line is now related to its two environs; and while it separates thcn~, it also articulates the one and the other as two series which are capable of being developed. lt brings to them both the instantaneous aleatory point which traverses it and the Singular points Which are distributed in it. There are two faces therefore which are always unequal and in disequilibrium: one turned toward states of affairs and the other toward propositions. But they are not allowed to be reduced to states of affairs 01' to propositions. The vent is brought to bear upon states of affairs, but only as the logical attribute of these states, It is entirely different from their physical qualities, despite the fact that it ma}' happen to them, be embodied or actualized in them. Sense and 'vent are the same thing-except that now sense is related to propositions. It is related to propositions as what is expressible or expressed by them, which is entirely dim'rent from what they signify, manifest, or denot '. It is also entirely diflerent from their sonorous qualities, even though theindepende~ce of sonorous qualities from things and bodi s may be exclusively gum'antf>ed by the entire organization of the sense-event, The entire organization, in its three abstract moments, runs from the point to the~traight line, and from the straight line to the surface: the point which traces the line; the line which forms the fronti.{'l'" and the surface which is developed and unfolded from both sides .. 3) Many movements, with a fragile and delicate mechanism, intersect: that bv means of which bodies, states of affairs, and mixtures, considered in their depth, succeed or fail in the production of ideal surfaces; and conversely, that by means of which the events of the surface are actualized in the present of bodies (in accordance with complex rules) hy imprisoning first their Singularities within the limits of worlds, individuals, and persons. There is also the movement wherein the event implies something excessive in relation to its actualization, something

signiry,. manifest, and denote, rather than to belong to bodies as physical qualities. The mQ§l~~ral a oeration of sense is this: it brings that which. expresse~ it i~to existence; and from that Eoint on, as pure inherence, it brin~s itself to exist within that which expresses it. It rests thel'efore with the Aion, as th milieu of surface effects or events, to trace a frontier b erween with its entire straight things and propositions; and the Aion traces it line. Without· it, sounds would fall back on

bodies, and propositions themselves would not be "possible," Language is r("nciered possible_ bv the frontier: which separates it from things and from both s (including those which speak), We can thus take lip again the account of the surfac organization as it is determined by the Aion. First, the t'.Dtire li~ of the Aion is run through by the Instant which is endlessly displaced on this line and is always missing from its own place. Plato rightly said that the instant is atopen, without place. It is the paradoxical instance or the aleatory point, the nonsense of the surface and thequasi-cause. It is the pure moment of abstraction whose role is, primarily, to divide and subdivide every present in both directions at once, into past-future, upon the line of the Aion, Second, the instant extracts singularities from the present, and from individuals and persons which occupy this present. It extracts Singular points twice p.roje.l'tcc.l.-once into the future and once into the .I)ast~· fOImina b by ~ . this double equation the constitutive elements of the pure event (in the;'


that ov<,rthro\o\'s w rids, individual, < nd persons, and leaves them to the depth of the ground whi h works and dissolves them- The notion of the ~.,!Ilt has ther~fore ~e\'eral meanings: .the measu~eless ~r dislocated present as the tim ol ,depth and subversiori; the variable and measul:cd p[~ent~_the tim ofactualiz~tion. But there is perhaps yet another present. How coJJ t ere be a measurable actualization, unless a third present prevented it onstantly from falling into subvert ion and bein<J confused with it? It would seem, no doubt, that the Aion cannot b have an)' present at all, since in it the instant is always dividing into future and past. But this is only an appearance. What is ex essive in the event must be accomplished, even though it may not be realized or actualized without ruin. Between the two presents of Chronos-that of the subversion due to the bottom and that of the actualization in fonns-there is a third, there must b a third, P rtaining to the Aion. ln fact, the instant as the paradoxical element or the quasi-cause which runs through the ntire straight line must itself be represented. It is even in this sense that representation an envelop an expression on its edges, although the expression itself may be of another nature' and that the sage can "id ntify" with the quasi-cause, although the quasi-cause itself is missing from its own identity. This present of the Aion representing the instant is not at aU like the ~'ast and deep present of Chrono : it is the present without thi kness, th r s OJ p' the actor, dancer, or rrrirrre=s=the pur ) rverse "moment. " It is the present of / the pureoperation, not of the incorporation. It IS not the l'!esent of subversion or actualization, but that of the counter-actualization, whic 1 ~keePs the former from overturning the latter, and the latter from being -c6iifl£\:fil with the former, and which comes to duplicate the lining (redoubler

Twenty-Fourth Communication

S nes of the of Events


'0 doublure}.

One of the boldest moments of the Stoic thought involv s the splitting of the causal relation. Causes ar referred in depth to a unity which is proper to them, and effects maintain at the surface specific relations of another sort. Destin, is primarily the unity and the link of phy leal causes among themselves. Incorporeal eff cts are obviously subject to destiny, to the extent that the, are the effect of these causes. But to the xtent that the), differ in natur from these causes, they enter, with one another, into relations of quasi-causalit . Tog,ther, they enter into a relation with a quasi-cause which is itself incorporeal and assures them a very special independen e, not e a tly with respect to destiny, but rather with respe t to necessity, which normally would have had to follow destinv. The Stoic paradox is to affirm destiny and to deny necessity. I The wise p rson is fre - in tv 0 wa s which conform to the two poles of ethics: free in the first instance because one's soul can attain to the interiority of perfect physical causes; and again because one's mind may enjo), verv special relations established betwe n effects in a situation of pure exteriority. It would then seem that in orporeal causes are inseparable from a form of interiority, but that in .orporeal effects are inseparable from a form of exteriority. On one hand, e entseffects maintain a relation of causality with their physical causes, with-


T WEN T Y - T H I R L) SE R I ESOl-'



out this relation being one of ne ssity; it is rather a relation of expression. On the other hand, they have between them, or with their ideational quasi-cause, no longer a relation of causality, but rather, once again and this time exclusively. a relation of expression. The guestion becomes: what are these expressive r lations of events? Between events, there seem to be formed extrinsi relations of silent ompatibility or incompatibility, of conjunction or disjunction, which are very difficult to apprehend. What makes an event compatible or incornpatibl with another? We cannot appeal to causality, sin e it is a question of a relation of effects among themselves. What brings destiny about at the level of events, vvbat brings an event to repeat another in spite of all its difference, what makes it possible that a life is composed of one and the same event, despite the variety of what might happ n, that it be traversed by a Single and same fissure, that it play one and the sam air over all possible tunes and all possible words-all these are not due to relations between ause and effect; it is rather an aggregate of noncausal correspondences which form a system of echoes, of resumptions and resonances, a s stem of signs-in short, an expressive quasi- ausality, and not at all a necessitating causalitv. When .hrysippus insists on th transformation of hypothetical propositions into conjunctives or disjunctives, he shows well th impossibility of events expressing their .onjunctions and disjunctions in terms of brute causality. 2 Is it necessary. then, to invoke id ntit)' and contradiction? Would two event be incompatible because they were .ontradictory? Is this not a case, though, of applying rules to events, \ hich apply only to concepts, predicates, and classes? Even with respect to hypothetical propositions (if it is day. it is light), the Stoi s noted that contradiction must be defined on a singl> level. Rather, contradiction must be defined in the space between the principl itself and the negation of the conse'luence (if it is day, it is not light). This difference of levels in the contradiction, we have seen, assures that contradiction results always from a process of a different nature. Events are not like concepts; it is their alleged contradiction (manifest in the oncept) which results from their incompatibility, and not the converse. It is held, for example, that a species of butterfly cannot be at once gray and vigorous. Either the specimens are gra and weak, or they are vigorous and black,l We can always assign a causal physical mechanism to explain this in omparibil170 T WEN T Y - HHI RTil SE R l ES 0 F C

it)', a hormone, for example, on which the predi 'ate gray would depend, and which would soften or weaken the corresponding class. And we can conclude from this causal condition that there is a logical contradiction b tween gray and rigorous. But if we isolate the pure events, we see that to turn ,qra), is no less positive than to LUm black· it expresses an increas in securirv (to be hidden, to be taken for the bark of a tree), as much as the b(x~Oming bla k is an increase of vigor (to invigorate). Between these two determinations, each one of which has its advantage, there is initially a relation of primary, "e entmental" incompatibility. Physical call. ality inscribes the in ornpatlbilitv only secondarily in the depth of the body, and th logical contradiction translates it only in the content of the concept. In short, the relations of events among themselves, from the point of view of an ideational or noematic quasi-causaliry, first xpresses noncausal con-espondencealogi cal compatibilities or incompatibilities. Th Stoics' str ngth was in committing themselves to this line of thought: ac ording to what are events copulata, co,!faraJia (or incorifalaiia), conjuncta, or disjuncw? Astrology was perhaps the first important attempt to establish a tb ory of alogl al incomp tibilities and non ausal correspondences. criteria

It seems, howev r, if we follow the surviving partial and deceiving




the Stoics may not have been able to resist the double

temptation of returning to the simple physical causality or to th logical contradiction. The first theoretician of alogi cal incompatibilities, and for this r ason the first important theoretician of the e ent, was Leibniz. For what eibniz called "compossible" and "incompossible" cannot be reduced to the identical and the contradictory, which govern only the possible and the impossible. Compossibillty does not even presuppose the inherence of predicate. in an individuaJ subject or monad. It is rather the inverse; inherent predicates aT' those which correspond to events from the b ginning cornpossible (the monad of Adam th sinner includes in predicative form only future and past events which art' compossible with the sin of Adam). Leibniz was thus extrernclv con.cious of the ant riorit}' and originality of the event in relation' to the predicate. 'ompossibilit must be defined in an original manner, at a pre-individual level, by the convergence of series which Singularities of events torm as they stretch themselves out over lines of ordinary points. Incompossibility must be defined by the di\'ergence of SLI h series: if another Sextus than the one w know is incornpossible with our world,
T W Ie T Y - r.: 0 U H TIl SF R I 10 SOl' COM M U I t,' A T ION


I' A T I o



it is because he would correspond to a singularity rhe series of which would diverge from the series of our world, clustered about the Adam, the Judas, the Christ, and the Leibniz that we know. Two events are compossible when the series which are organized around their singular-, itics extend in all directions; they are incornpossible when the series d iwrge in the vicinity or constitutive singularities, Converg('ncc and di\'ergence are entirely original relations which cover the rich domain of alogical compatibilities and incompatibilities, and therefore Form an essential component of the theory of sense, Leibniz though makes use of this rule of incornpossibility in order to exclude events from one another. He made a negative lise of divE"'gence of disjunction-one of exclusion. This is justified, however, only to the extent that events are already who calculates and chooses, actualization in distinct worlds however, if we consider the grasped under the hypothesis of a God and from the point of view of their or individuals. lt is no longer justified, pure events and the ideal play whose

relates one to the other insofar as thcv are "different" The idea of a positive distance as distance (and not as an annulled or on."ITOn1C distance) appears to us essential, since it permits the measuring of c{~ntraries through their finite dinl'rl'nce instead of eguating differ~nce with a me_asureless 'ontrariety, and contrariety with an identity which is itself in/mite. It is not difference which must "go as far as" co;1tradiction, as He~e! .thought in his desire to accommodate the negative; it is the contradiction which must reveal the nature of its diffC'rence as it follows the distance corresponding to it. The idea of positive djstance belol1~s to to.pology and to the surface. J t excludes all depth and all cieva.tlon, which would restore the negative and the identity.. Nietzsche p.rovlcies the example for such a procedure, which must not, under any C1rc~lmstances, be confLlsed with some unknown identity of contraries (as IS commOl~plaee in spiritualist and dolorist philosophy). _Nietzsche exhorts us to hve health and sickness in such a manner that h aid, be a living perspective on sickness and sickness a Jiving perspective on health; to make of sickn S5 an exploration of health, of health an investigation of sickness: "Looking from the perspective of the sick toward healthier concepts and values and, conversely, looking again from the fullness and self-assurance of a rk]: life down into the seer t work of the instinct of deca~lence- ..-in this ] have had the longest training, my truestexpenences; Ifin anything, I became master in tlu«. Now I know how, h~\le the know-ho\~': to rererre perspecuves .. , ." We cannot identify contraries, nor can we afhnn their entire distance, except as that which relates one to the other. Health affirms sickness when it makes its distance from sickness an object of affim1atiotl_ Distance is, at arm's length, the affirrnanon of that which it distances. This procedure which makes of health an evaluation of sickness and sickness an evaluation of health---is this not the Gr at Health (or the Gay Science)? Is it not this which permits ietzsche to experience a superior health at the very moment that he is sick? Conversely, Nietzsche lees not lose his hl'aJth when he is sick, but when he can no longer affirm the distance when he is no longer able, by means of his health, to estahlish sickne~5s as a point of view on health (then, as the Stoics say, the role is over, the rlay has ended). "Point of view" does not Signify a theoretical j udg' menr: as for "procedure," it is life itself. From Leibniz, we had alreadv le~rn('d that there are no points of view on things, but that thing;, belllgs, are themselves points of view, Leibniz, however, subjected the

principle Leibniz was unable to grasp, hindered as he was by theological exigencies, For, from this other point of view, the divergence of series or the disjunction of members (membra disjlHlcla) cease to be negative rules of exclusion according to which events would be incompossible or incompatible Dh-ergence and disjunction are, on the contrary, affirmed as such. But what does it mean to make divergence and disjunction the objects of affinnation? As a general rule, two things are simultaneously affirmed only to the extent that their difference is J!:'nied, suppressed from within, even if the level of this suppression is supposed to regulate the production 0 f d ifferenceas much as its d isappeaJ"anee - To be sure, the identity here is not that of indifference, but it is generally lhrouflh idemiSy that opposites are affirmed at the same time,\vhether we accentuate one of th opposites in order to find the other, or whether we create a svnthesis of the two, We speak, on the contrary, of ~~ operation according to which two things or two ddem1inations are aflirmcd Ihrollgh their difference, that is to say, that they are the objects of simultaneous affimutioll 0111~' insofar as their difference is itself allirmedand is itself affirmative. We are no longer faced with an idcnritv of contraries, which would still be inseparable as such from a movement of the neearive and of exclusion." We art' rather faced with ba positive distance of dirr('rent elements: no longer to identify two contraries with the same, hut to affirm their distance as that which


points of view to exclusive rules such that each opened itself onto the others onlv insofar as the converged: the points of view on the same tO\l'11 Wi;h ictzschc, on the contrary, the point of view is opened onto a dil"f."rgen ·e which it affirms: another town orrcsponds to each point of view, each point of view is another town, the towns are linked only bv their distance and resonate only through the clivergen c of their series: rh eir houses and their streets. There is always ;nother town within the town. Each term becomes the means of going all the II·ay to the end of another, by following the entire distance. ietzsche '5 perspective-his perspectivism-is a much more profound art than Leibniz ' point of view; for divergence is no longer a principle of exclusion, and disjunction no longer a means of separation. lncornpossibility is now a means of communication. It is not that the disjunction has become a simple conjunction. Three SOI-ls of synthesis are distingui h ed: the connective synthesis (if ... , then), which bears upon the construction of a single series; the conjunctive series (and), as a method of constructing con" rgent series; and the disjunctive series (or), which distributes the divergent series: conexa, coniuncia, disiunao. But the whole question, and rightly so, is to know under what onditions the disjunction i. a veritable synthesis, instead of being a procedure of analysis which is satisfied with the exclusion of predicates from one thing in virtue of the identity of its oncept (the negative, limitative, or exclusive lise of disjunction). The answer is given insofar as the div rgen e or the de ent ring det rmined by the disjunction become objects of affirTnation as such. The disjunction is not at all reduced to a conjunction; it is left as a disjunction, since it bears, and to bear, upon a divergence as such. But thi divergence is affirmed in such a way that th either ... or itself becomes a pure affirmation. Instead of a certain number of predicates being excl!:!_ded from a thing in virtue of th identity of its concept, each "thi'!g" opens itself up to the infinit of predicates through which it pas es, as it los S its center, that is, its identity as concept or as self," The communication_ of 'vents repla es th exclusion of predicates. We have air ad)' seen the procedure of this affirmative synthetic disjunction: it consists of the erection of a paradoxical instance, an aleatory point with two unev n faces, which trav rses the divergent series as divergent and causes them to resonate through their distance and in their distance. Thus, the ideation, I cent r of convergence is by nature perpe uallv decenrered, it

serves only to aff"irm divergence. This is whv it seemed that an esoteric ex-ccntri path was opened to us, a path altogether dif(el-ent from th ' or-dina? one. For ordinariJy the disjunction is not properly speaking "i1 vnthesis, but only a regulative analvsis at the service of conjunctive syntheses, since it separates the nonconvergent series f!"Omone another. As for the onjunctive synthesis, it tends also toward being subordinated to the s~ntl~eSis of connection, since it organizes the conv rging series over which It bars as it prolongs them under a condition of continuity. Now, til whole sense of esoteric words was to turn this path around: a disjunction which had become a ~vnthesis introduced its ramificarions so that the conjunction was alr heterogeneous, and disparate the. d .talls, the con.nection already contracted senes 1I1 the successiv appearance of a Single every\~here,

IVa," div~rgent,

ady coordinOlino in a global series, and that, affecting a multitude of divergent one.

Thi.S i a new reason for distinguishing the be oming of depths and the Aion of surfaces. For both, at first glance, seemed to dissolve the ~dentity of each thing within infinite identity as the id ntity of conrrarres, And from all points of view, whether of uantit, oualitv relation or mo ali " contraries appeared connected at til surface as much as in depth and to have the sam sense no less than the same infra-sense. But, once again, everything changes nature as it climbs to the surface. And it is n cessary to distin~tJish two way whose personal identity is lost, two ways by means of which the contradiction is developed. In depth, it is through infinite id ntity that ontraries communi ate and that the identity of each finds itself broken and divided. This makes ca h term at One the moment and til hole; til part, the r lation, and the whole; the self, the world, and God; the subject, the copula, and the predicate. But the ituation i altogether different at th urfa e where only infinitive events are deployed; each one communi ates with the oth r through the positive haracters of its distance and b the aflirmati\'e character of the disjunction. The self merges with the very dis~lInctiOI1 v hich it liberates and places outside of itself the diw'rgen't senes as so many impersonal and pre-individual singularities. Counter , actualization is already infinitive distance instead of infinite identitv 1:lerythil~g happens through the resonan e of disparat ,point of \'ie~\: on a POUlt of view, displacement of perspective, differentiation of ~ilTer nee, and not through the identity of contraries. It is true that the form of the self ordinarily guarantees the connection of a series; that





the Conn of the world guarantees the convergence of continuous series which can be extended; and that the [orm of God, as Kant had clearly seen, guarantees disjunction in its exclusive or limitative' sense. But when ~lisjullction accedes to the principle which gives to it a synthetic and affim1ative value, the self, the world, and God share in a common death, to the advantage of divergent series as such, overHowing now every exclusion, every conjunction, and every connection. It is Klossowski's merit to have shown how the three forms had their fortunes linked, not by a dialectical transformation and the identity of contraries, but by a common dissipation at the surface of things. If the self is the principle of manifestation, in relation to the proposition, the world is the principle of denotation, and God the principle of signification. But sense expressed as an 'vent is of an entirely different nature: it emanates from nonsense as from the always displaced paradoxical instance and from the eternally decentered ex-centric center. It is a pure sign whose coherence excludes merely, and yet supremely, the coherence of the self, world, and God.7 This quasi-cause, this surface nonsense which traverses the divergent as such, this aleatory point which circulates throughout singularities, and emits them as pre-individual and impersonal, does not allow God to subsist. It does not tolerate the subsistence of God as an original individuality, nor the self as a Person, nor the world as. an element of the self and as God's product. The divergence of the affirmed series forms a "chaosmos" and no longel" a world; the aleatory point which traverses them fOnTISa counter-self and no longer a self; the disjunction posed as a synthesis exchanges its theological principle for a diabolic principle. It is the decentered centerwhich traces between the series, and for all disjunctions, the mercil ss straight line of the Aion, that is, the distance whereupon the castoffs of the self the world, and God are lined up: the Grand Canyon of the world, the "crack" of the self, and the dismembering of God. Lipan this straight line of the Aion, there is also an eternal return, as the most terri le labyrinth of which Borges spoke-one very different from the circular or monocentered return of Chronos: an eternal return which is no longer that of individuals, persons, and worlds, but only of pure events which the instant, displaced over the line, goes on dividing into already paH and yet to come. Nothing other than the Event subsists, the Event alone, Evenuun IGnlum for all contraries, which communicates with itself through its own distance and resonates across all of its disjuncts.



S nes

of Univocity

seems that our problem, in the course of our investigation, has changed altogether. We were inquiring into the nature of the alogical compatibilities and incompatibilities between events. But, to the extent that divergenc' is affirmed and disjunction becomes a positive synthesis, it seems that all events, even contraries, are compatible-that th yare "inter-expressive" (s'emr' exprunem}. !_ncompatjbility is born of!!y· with individuals, persons,. and worlds in \\d1ich_eveJ:lts are actualized b~t not between events themselves or between their a-cosmic, imperso~al, and preilldil'iduai singuJ ari ties. lncompatibiliry does not exist between two events, but between an event and the world or the individual which, actualizes another event as divergent. At this point, there is something which does not allow itself to be reduced to a 10gicaJ contradiction between predicates and which is nevertheless an incompatibility; but it is an alogical incompatibility, an incompatibility of "humor" to which Leibnix's original criteria must be applied. The p("rson, such as we han" ddlned it in its difference from the individual, pretends to amuse itself ironically with these incompatibilities, precisely because they are alogi~·al. J n another manner, we have see n how portmanteau words express, from the point of view of the lexicon, wholJy compatible meanings,


ramihable and rcsoru ting between therns lves, which nonetheless become incompatible with certain syntactical forms. The problem is therefore one of knowing how the .individual would be abk: to trans 'end his form and his syntactical link with a world, in order to attain to the universal communication of events, that is, to t~. ' affirmation of a disjun rive synthesis beyond logical contradictions, and e\en beyond alogicalil1compatibilities. It would be necessary for the individual to grasp herself as event; and that sh grasp the event actualized within her as another individual grafted onto her. In this .ase, she would not understand, want, or represent this event without also understanding and ""(lnting all other events as individuals, and without representing aU other individuals as events. tach individual would be like a mirror for the .ond nsation of Singularities and each world a distance in the mirror. This is the ultimate sense of counteractualization. This, mor 'over, is the Nietzschean dis overy of the individual as the Ionuil.Ous case, as Klossowski takes it up and restores it, in an essential relation to the eternal return. Witness

event \vhich .ornmunicatcs with all the othe rs and returns to itself through all the others, and with all the others. She make of the djsjun~·tion a synth 'sis whi h affirll1.~ the disjunct as su hand 111, kes each series resonate inside the other. bch series returns to itself as the other series returns to it, and returns outside of itself as the other series retllrns into itself: to explore all distances, but over a single line; to run \W)" last in order to r main in the same place. The gray butterfly understands so well the event "10 be hidden" that, by remaining in the same place, plastered to the trunk of a tree, it covers the whol distance .'wparating it from the "1.0 inri8orale" of the bla k butterfly; it also causes the other event to r senate as individual, within its own individuaiitv as an event, and as a fortuitous case. My love is an exploration of distance, a long journey which affirms my hate for the friend in another world and with another individual. It causes the bifurcating and ramified series to resonate v ithin one anoth r. But this is the solution of humor, quite diffcnmt from the rornanti irony of the person still founded upon th identity of contraries.
You come to this house; but in other possible pasts YOLI are my enemy; in others my friend ... , Time is for ver dividing itself toward innumerable futures and in one of them I am J vour enemy .... The future exists now _ hut I am your friend. For a moment his back was again turned to me. had the revolver ready. I fired with the utmost care."

the vehement oscillations which upset the individual as long as he seeks only his own center and docs not see the circle of which he himself is a part; for if these oscillations upset him, it is be ause ca h corresponds to an individuality other than that which he takes as his own from the point of view of th undiscoverable center. Hence: an identity is essentially fortuitous and a series of individualities must be traversed by each, in order that the fortuirv make them completely necessary." I We do not raise contrary qualities to infinity in ord r to affirm their identity; we raise each event to the lower of the eternal return in order that the individual, born of that which comes to pass, affirm-her distance \' ith respect to every other event. As the individual affirms the distan ,she follows and joins it, pa~sing through all the other individuals implied by the other events, and extracts from it a uniguc tvent which is once again herself, or rather the universal freedom. The eternal return is not a theory of qualities and their ircular transformations, but rather the theory of pure events and their linear and superficial condensation. The eternal return has a sens of selection and remains tied to an incompatil ility-with the form .. which hinder its constitution and its functioning. Counter-actualizing
178 TWE TY-l·l.rTIl

Philosophy merges with ontolog , but ontolog m'rges with th univo 'ity of Bing (analogy has always been a theological vision, not a philosophical one, adapted to the forms of God, the world, and the scif ), The univocit of Being does not mean that there is one and the same Being; on the 'ontrary: beings are multiple and differ nt, they art' always produced by a di jun tive synthesis, and they themselves are <.Ii. jointed and divergent, membra di;juncla. The unil'ocity of Being signifil'~ that Being is· Voic ' that it is said and th t it is said in one and the same "sense" of ever thing about which it is said, That of which it is said is not at all the same, but Being is the same for everything about \\'hieh it is said. It occurs, therefore, as a unique event for e\'er~ thing that happens to the most diverse things, Evenuun lanlum for all events, thl' ultimate form for all of the form which remain disjointed in it, but \I hich bring < bout the resonance and the ramification of their disjunction. Th« urrivocitv of Being mergt's with the positive use of the

ea ·h event,

the actor-dancer

extracts the pure


disjunctive svnthcsis which is the highest affirmation. It is the eternal return itself, or-a. we have s 'en in the cas of the ideal game-the afl1rmation of all chance in a Single moment, the unigul' cast for all throws, one Being and only lor all forms and all times, a single instance for all that exists, a Single phantom for all the living, a single voice for ('''lTV hum of voices and every drop of water in the ea. It would be ./ mistake to confuse the univocit)' of Being to the extent that it is said with the pseudo-univocitv of e"erythino about which it is said. But at the same time, if Being cannot be said without also occurring, if Being is the unique event in which all events communicate with one another, univocitv refers both to what occurs and to what is said. Univociry means that it is the same thing which occurs and is said: the attributable to all bodies or states of affair. and the expressible of C\'('I"Y proposition. Univocity means the identity of the noematic attribute and that which is expressed linguistically-· subsist in the vague state analogy. Univocity raises better from that in which wrests Being from beings event and sense. It does not allow Being to that it used to have in the perspectives of the and extracts Being, in order to distinguish it it occurs and from that of which it is said. It in order to bring it to all of th m at one ,

T \>\ enty-Sixth of Languag


and to make it fall upon them for all time. Bcin« pure saying and pure event univocitv brings in contact the inner surface of language (insistence) with the aliter surfa'e of Being (extra-Being). Univocal Being inheres in language and happens to things; it measures the internal relation of languag with the external relation of Being. Neither activ nor passive, univocal Being is neutral. It is extra-Beinq, that is, the minimum of Being om man to the real, the po sible, and the impossible. A position in the void of all events in one, an expression in the nonsense of all enses in one, univocal Being is the pure [orrn of the Aion, th form of exteriority which relates things and propositions. I ln short, th univocitv of Being has three determinations: one single event for all events; one and the same aliquid for that which happens and that whi h is said; and one and the same- Being for the impossible, the possible, and the real.

E'Tnts make language possible. But making possible does not mean call 'ing to begin. We always begin in the order of peech, but not in the order of language, i.n which everything must be given Simultaneously and in a . ingle blow. There is always someone who l egins to 'peak. The one who begins to speak is the one who manifests; what one talks about is the denotatum; what one says art" the signin ·ations. Th ev nt is not any of these things: it speaks 110 more than it is spoken of or said. Nevertheless, the vent does belong to language, and haunts it so much that it does not exist outside of the propositions which express it. But he event is not the. arne as the proposition; what is express d i. not the- same as he expression. It docs not preexist it, but pre-inheres in it, hus gi\'ing it a foundation and a condition. To render language possible thus. ignilles assuring that sounds are not confused with the sonorous clualitics of things, with the sound effects of bodies, or with their anions and ]J< ssions. What render" language I ossihlc is that which Sl"parates sounds from bodies and organizes them into propositions, frceing them for the expressive function. It is alwavs a moutl whi h spl'ak.~; but the sound is no longer the noise of a bodv which eats-· a pure orality--in order to become the manifestation of a subject ('Xpn"ssing itself One speaks [wavs of bodies and their mixtures, but



si.u u.s Or'


sounds have ccased being qualities atta h cl to these hodies in order that thev, mav enter into a new relation ~ ith them , that denotation,


and that the), may express this po""er of speaking and of Iwing spoken. Denotation and manifestation do not found langllao(', thcv ar nlv made possihle with it. They presuppose the xpre~sjo~. The 'cxpressio;, is t()llnd("d on the event as an entity of the expressible or the expressed, What r nders language possible is the event insofar as the event is confused neither with the proposition which expn:'sses it, nor with the state of the one who pronounces it, nor with the state of "n;,irs denoted by the proposition. And in truth, without the e ent all of this would be only noise-and an indistin t noise. For not only does the event make p ssibl and separate that which it renders possible, it also makes distinctions vvithin wh t it renders possible (see, for example, the triple distin tion in the proposition of denotation, manifestation, and signification). I-Iow does the event make language possible? We have seen that its essence is that of the pure surface effect, or the impassible incorporeal entjty. The event results from bodies, their mixtures, their actions, and their passions. But it differs in nature from that of which it is the result. It is, for example, attributed to bodies, to states of affairs, but not at all as a physical quality; rath er, it is ascrib d to them only as a very special auribute, dialectical or, rather, noernati and in orporeal, This attribute does not exist outside of the proposition whi h express s it. But it differs in nature from it expression. It exists in the proposition, but not at all as a name of bodies or qualities, and not at all as a subject or predicate. It exists rather only as that which is expressible or expr ssed by the proposition, enveloped in a verb. The event occurring in a state of affairs and the sense inhering in the proposition are the same e~; Consequently, to the extent that the incorporeal event is constitut d and onstitutes th surface, it raises to this, urfa e the terms of its double r zfer n e: the bodies to whi h it refers as a noemati attribute. and the propositions to which it refers as an e pressible ntity. It organizes these terms as two series which it separate's, since it is band in this s· paration that it distinguishe itself from the bodies from which it ensues and from the propositions it renders possible. This separation, this line-frontier between things and propositions (to eat/to speak), enters as well into the "made possible," that is, into the propositions themselves, between nouns and verbs, or, rather, between denotations
T WET Y - S I X Til S E R I ESOl' LA

and expressions. D notations refer always to bodies and, in principle, to .onsumablc objects' expressions refer to expressible meanings. But this line-frontier would not enact the separation of series at the surface it if did not finally articulate that whi h it separates. It operates on both sides by means of one and the same in .orporeal power, which, on one hand, is d ,fined as that which occurs in a state of affairs and, on the other, as that which insists in propositions. (This is why language has only one power, though it may have several dimensions.) The line-frontier brings about the convergence of clivergent series; hut it neither abolishes nor carr cts their divergence. For it makes them converge not in themselves (which would be impossible) but around a paradoxical element, a point traversing the line and irculating throughout the s rie . Thi i an always displaced 'enter which onstitutes a circle of conv rgence onl: for that v hich djverges as such (the power of affirming the disjunction). This I ment or point is the quasi-cause to which the surface effects are attached, precisely insofar as they differ in nature from their corporeal causes. It is this point which is expressed in language by means of esoteric words of djfferent kinds, guaranteeing I e separation, the coordination, and the ramifications of series at once. Thus the entire organization of language presents three figures: the metaphysical or transcendental surface. th incorporeal abstract line. and the dccentered poim. These figures correspond to surface effects or events; at the surface, the line of s ense immanent to the event; and on the line, the point of nonsense, surfac nonsense, being co-present with

The two great ancient systems, tpicureanism and Stoicism attempted to locate in things that which renders language possible, But they did so in \"ery different ways. For in order to found not onJy fr cd 111 but also language and its lise, the Epicureans rea ted a model based on the declension of the atom; th 'toics, on the ontrary. creat d a model based on the conjuBation of ev nts. It i not surprising th refore that the Epicurean model privileg s nouns and ad]e .tives: nouns are like atoms or linguistic bodies will hare .oordinatcd through their declenc sion, and adjl' tivcslike the qualities of these composites. But the Stoic model 'omprchends language on the basis of "prouder" terms: verbs MId their con jugatiol1, in relation to the links between incorporeal vvvnts, The question of knowing whether nouns or verbs are primary in language cannot be resolved according to the general maxim "in the

c: U .'\ t; E



T Y - ..,I X Til

S I:: It I k SOl-

LAN G U A t; E



beginning, there is the action," however much one makes of the verb the representative of primary action and of the foot the prima? state of the verb, For it is not true that the verb r presents ~ action; It expresses an vent, whi h is totally djfTerent. Moreo\'· r, language is not developed from primary roots; it is organized around formative elements which determine it in its entirety. But if languaoe is not formed progressively follmving the succession of an external time, we should not believe, for this reason, that its totality is homogeneous. I t IS true that "phonemes" euarantce every linguistic distinction possible within "morphemes" and "sernantemes"; but conversely, the signifying and morphological units determine, in the phonematic distinctions, those which are pertinent in a language under examination. The whole cannot be describ d by a simple movement, but by a two-way movement of Iinguistic action and reaction which represents the circle of the proposltion.' And jf phonic action fOnTISan open space for language, semantic reaction forms an internal time without which this space; ould not be determin d in conformity with a specific language. Independently, therefore, of elements and only from the pOint of view of movement, nouns and their de I nsion incarnate action, whereas verbs and their conjugation incarnate reaction. The verb is not an image of external action, but a process of reaction internal to language. This is why, in its most general notion, it envelops the internal temporality of language. It is the verb which constitutes the ring of the proposition, bringing Signification to bear upon denotation and the sem~nteme lIpon ~he phonern . But it is from the verb as well that '... infer what the nng 'e conceals or coils up, or what it reveals once it is split, unrolled, and deployed over a straight line: sense or the event as the expres~d of the proposition. . The verb has two poles: the present, which indicates its relation to a denotahle state of affairs in view of a physical time characterized by su cession; and the infinitive, which indicates its relation to sense or the event in view of the internal time which it envelops, The entire verb oscillates between the infinitive "mood," which represents the circle once unwound from the entire proposition, and the present , time," which, on the contrary, closes the circle 0" r the denotatum of the proposition. Between the two, the verb curves its conjugation i.n contormir-, with the relations of denotation, manifestation, and signification-;hc aggregate of times, persons, and modes. The pur> infinitive
r 84 T WEN T Y - S I XT II S E R IE S 0 F LAN

is the Aion, the straight line, the empty form, and the distan e; it pennits no distinction moments, but goes on being divided fonnally in the double and simultaneous direction of the past and the future. The infinitive does not implicate time internal to language without expressing the sense or the event, that is to say, the set of problems raised by language. It connects the interiority of language. to the cxteriority of being. It inherits therefore the communication of events Jl110ng themselves. As for univocitv, it is transmitted from Being to



language, from the exteriority of Being to interiori.ty of language. Equivocity is alv ays the equivocit of nouns. I ~e Verb IS the 1Il11VOClty of language, in th fOnTI of an undetermined infinitive, without person without present, without any diversity of voice. lt is poetry itself. As It expresses in languag all e ents in one, the infinitive verb expresses the event of language-Ianguag being a unique event which merges now with that which renders it possible.


c 11AGE







Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful