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Thursday, 31 January 2013

Disaster, desire and the future

Nice small group to discuss Blanchot's L'Écriture du Désastre. Blanchot thinks of disaster in connection with whereabouts of thought and with death and passivity. He also talks about desire. We were talking about sidus and astrum, latin words for star. Desire leads to the first - desideratum, desiderio - while disaster point at the second. If the future is the repeated (as Deleuze considers in the third synthesis in D&R), desire and disasters occupy the future while never really lodging there. They are, in a sense, like messianity in Derrida, an opening for a future that doesn't go through. It is also like a drift, a deviation, a clinamen in the orbit of the stars who set up the calendar - always an astrography. Something that disturbs the course, there is something in a disaster and in a desire that is not in the astrography, not in the stars, not in the future, not in the calendar. (Think of the connection between the empty future and the idea of destiny in contrast with determination - a destiny always leaves blank pages.)

The future is constituted by what is there to be repeated. Forecast is always dealing in habituation - always dealing in what is expected. In that sense, the Messiah - or a disaster, or a desire - is not astrographed, not predicted. Surely, one could have the impression that a singular event is being predicted - something unique and unrepeated. But the emergence of something different is only possible within repetitions and therefore unique events could also be predicted from the rhythm of things. This can be understood in terms of the pupil in Wittgenstein's Investigations 185. The Mayan calendar is a product of an entrainement that takes no 2013 to follow 2012. The sequence of years coincided up till 2012, but then they diverge. Rhythms diverge like that. There is nothing in the past (in the répétition), that is in the passing of the years up till 2012, that forces the Mayan not to believe in the end of the calendar. Any rhythm that seems entrained could seem to have run amok while following the same underlying pattern that is different from the entrained one. Habits can therefore differ like that - both calendars are astrographies but they could diverge as to what is to be repeated - as to what repetitions fill up the future.

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