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The Blind Director / The Assault of the Present Upon the Rest of Time

Consider the German title, The assault of the present on all other times, which seems to conjure up the idea of a present moment consuming past and future, growing to satiety. This ties directly to one of Kluges favorite themes, the dual nature of time: For the Greeks, Chronos stood for time that leads to death, time that consumes itself. Chronos is a gigantic god who devours his own children. His antipode in the Greek pantheon is Kairos, the fortunate moment. Kairos is a very small, dwarf-like god with a bald head. But on his forehead he has a tuft (of dense hair). If you catch the tuft, youre lucky. If you are just a moment too late, your grip on his bald head will slip and you wont be able to hold on to him. This character, Kairos, is the happy time that is hidden in the time of peoples lives, in their working time, in everything they might do. He is an object of aesthetic activity. With Chronos on the other hand, you can only become a watchmaker.

t the center, serving perhaps as a metaphor for both his film and cinema itself, is the story of a director who goes blind while working on his latest film. He continues working, his head full of images, trying to create what he cannot see.
Observing that the year 1984 intriguingly represents exactly sixteen years since the height of the May 68 revolution, as well as sixteen years from the end of the twentieth century, the recursive, yet arbitrary reduction of human history as binary multiples of repeating intervals reflects the perpetuated myth of time as a conceptual, yet quantifiable point of convergence - a precise demarcation of an idealized, indefinable present that exists only in relation to another. It is this illusive idea of time as absolute and infinite that the narrator (Kluge) reinforces in an abstract composition that occurs midway through the film:

"Time is what you can measure with a clock. A child, a city, a love, death...these are clocks. One cannot measure that which we consider past, present, future. People, being at fate's mercy, interpret the period of time in which they decide as 'the pres ent'. They want this period to be long. This is the source of illusion."

Jorge Luis Borges: The Secret Miracle The author presents a psychoanalytic reading of Borges's 'The secret miracle' (1943), a short story about the Shoah, for which Freud's concept of negation (Verneinen) and recent psychoanalytic approaches to symbolisation and the functions of fiction form the theoretical background. She argues that the effects of negation, present in literary fiction, become forcefully magnified in the fiction of the Shoah, because of its specific inversion of the relations between life and art. This magnification increases the perplexing effect that is characteristic of Borges's heterotopies. The story is read as a metaphor of transformative processes that closely follow Freud's dual conceptualisation of negation as a defence and as allowing the repressed a way into consciousness. This study illuminates the conservation of the relations between external and internal realities as a basic difference between negation and related concepts such as disavowal (Verleugnung), and repression, in relation to creative imagination. The author relates the story's perplexing effect to its subversion of fundamental axioms such as temporality, questioning the existence of sense itself and suggests that the malaise the story produces may stem from the way in which its narrative structure negates time, the fabric from which narratives--and life--are woven.