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Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Composing ontographies

Coetzee is good at pointing out the price of writting. It is the price of inspiration but it is also the price of possession and it points at the ethics of inspection. The last pages of The Master of Petersburg bring the point home explicitly: Dostoyevski had to turn the habitat of his stepson upside down to be able to see through (of course in the process, all his corners were tried by Nechaev). If inspecting the world cannot be an act of inconspicuous voyerism - but at least more like going to a peep show where the world undresses in a job shift and being compensated for it - it is not clear that contemplation could provide any sort of landscape ontography nor that it is open for us to investigate things without instigate them. Ontographies, in this sense at least, come out from plots we get involved.

Speculation affects the world by its products - this is why the stakes are high for a text like Meillassoux´s L´inexistence divine - but also by the means employed to produce it. The ontographer is like a reporter and not like a being-spotter. She cannot see anything from above, the world is not open to a landscape view, it has to be harmed, inflicted and even tortured - as Jelinek says the words ought to be - to reveal something. What is the political price of an ontography? In fact, torturing the world and torturing words amount to something similar, a certain disposition to deal with blood, to sell one´s soul (as Coetzee has Dostoievski saying), to disrupt whatever flows.

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