The Soundtrack of Writing

It’s dangerous to reflect once it’s finally going the way you hope. Writing seems like a delicate balance of happiness, frustration and a sense of urgency. Is it me, did something change, or I am I just (finally!) ready to write my PhD, after two-and-a-half years of reading and preparing?

Building momentum, struggling through meters of books, reading complete oeuvres and random books that happen to exist. Reading systematically and hap-snap, but most importantly: taking notes. My notebooks don’t only provide the background that help me now, but will also be the most valuable archive of my own thinking, my development. Future-me will laugh at them, recognising turns in my thinking due to Agamben, Wittgenstein, Badiou, Blanchot.

Working at the library, early, the first to arrive...
Working at the library, Staatsbibliothek Berlin, early, the first to arrive…

An interesting aspect of writing is rhythm. Everything is music (sorry, Jim, not sound). The importance of a rhythm to propel one’s writing forward, music without words, music that is more than background, more than closing off the world around. It’s a beat that moves, the lets the words flow. It keeps out the superego, that would refuse every single word as none reflect the truth that is to be said. That cannot be said. Which is precisely why one needs to go on, either in first person singular, or in the formal we/they.

The present-me is happy. Is only concerned with this moment, one word at the time. Reaching the end of this project, already thinking and constructing the next. Always continuing, faithful only to the illusion of the philosopher-me.

Language. Always language. Something that I don’t understand, which is always beyond understanding, always framing us. Which makes me want to re-read Benjamin. Again. Always already again. While I spend my days here, speaking German and English, writing in English, thinking in Dutch/English/German, reading French/Dutch/German/English.

But always dreaming of the beyond.

Back to the essence of things

Interesting when you read a neat description of what you’ve been thinking about for such a long time now, and to see how it is related to the noumenal…

From Zizek’s “Ideology I: No Man is an Island” (http://www.lacan.com/zizwhiteriot.html)

“In his review of Badiou’s Ethics, Terry Eagleton wrote:

There is a paradox in the idea of transformation. If a transformation is deep-seated enough, it might also transform the very criteria by which we could identify it, thus making it unintelligible to us. But if it is intelligible, it might be because the transformation was not radical enough. If we can talk about the change then it is not full-blooded enough; but if it is full-blooded enough, it threatens to fall outside our comprehension. Change must presuppose continuity – a subject to whom the alteration occurs – if we are not to be left merely with two incommensurable states; but how can such continuity be compatible with revolutionary upheaval?

The properly Hegelian solution to this dilemma is that a truly radical change is self-relating: it changes the very coordinates by means of which we measure change. In other words, a true change sets its own standards: it can only be measured by criteria that result from it.”