G. Agamben language and death
G.Agamben- G. Deleuze on Agamben dictionary
J.Derrida the animal that therefore i am
F.Fortini A test of powers
We have tried to explain (first of all to ourselves) the Market as a characterizing and univocal characteristic of our time. How it permeates us in its monologue and the pleasure of navigating its uninterrupted flow. Then we tried to read the changes of our body, its happily turning called by the Market’s sudden and very frequent questions.
But, in our opinion, we have to say a few words about what derives from the first and surrounds the second, even before our birth: the language. We skip, so to speak, the basic level. We do not intend to describe how messages or Twitterreduce the number of words we use, we withdraw with suspicion from the mystical theories about multiple ego and the Great Mother Network that are based on role-playing games.
Also because we think they they stink a little bit of nostalgia, while we remain on the market without complaints.
Here there are just a few notes, which we will deepen or lighten. They are fragments, so they can be read in a non-consequential manner, thus embracing, already from the text, the pleasant diktat of the Market.
In the first day we will discuss Italian translations of words from German and English, which entails a little problem and the need for a great patience.
Dasein, the beautiful Heidegger keyword. We could all find it spread everywhere and translated with Being (ore existence), Being in the world. But here comes Agamben and explains that we can also give him a different reading: Dasein = Being-the-Da, Being-the-us, which is not trivial, because there they discuss about Language and Death and inserted in the text reports to the subject a negativity of its own, that otherwise would not have been understood.
If you don’t accept this formulation you can change the paradigm and stay on other texts. Agamben does not sleep at night and writes it before the second day of his seminar. (Agamben, Language and Death).
I would prefer not to, says several times Bartleby, the scribe of Melville, who, in our italian translation is, as in almost all the other, a polite “I had rather not”. So we were pacified until Deleuze wondered why the the expression used in the original language was so mannerist. Why did this solemn expression was used, after all, by a copyist in a lawyer’s office?
Why he didn’t not use “I had rather not” which is the most common? And does the use of the archaic, even agrammatic formula, play a role in the mad reactant of the to the lawyer who asks for more things than his job to bartleby? (Deleuze, Agamben: Bartleby: the formula of creation, Quodlibet). Indeed, this notion also leaves linguistically suspended neither saying nor neither nor yes, which is not however suspension without consequences. As Deleuze says, Melville digs a kind of foreign language into the language and forces language to come to terms with silence.
Both Dasein and I Would prefer not to find other further interpretations, which we will perhaps say, but to get to each of them we must recognize that “Being” and I “had rather not” are always correct, if we want, poor translations.
In 2006 was published “The animal that therefore I am” by Derrida . It is not necessary to enter too much on the merits, although we certainly recommend to reading it. What interests us here is that at a certain point his reasoning stops and starts again from a poem by Paul Valery “Sketch of a serpent”. He quotes parts and writes about it. What interests him?
That the snake gives itself a name, at the beginning pronounces an I that will remain in capital letters until the end. Then the disguise of this complex being, a liar, who covers himself with the skin of the snake to make himself simple. Finally the animal abyss “the vertigo of the beast that says I am beast”. Abyss that, while referring to a lack, is not in itself a void, but an excess of being. Everything will be clearer with the text in front.
Why are we interested? Because there is no Italian translation of the complete text online. If someone intrigued by the reflections of Derrida would like to read the poem should fall into the ancient writing on paper.
And then here is the original and some translations of the incriminated fragments:
Ébauche d’un serpent
Bête je suis, mais bête aiguë,
De qui le venin quoique vil
Laisse loin la sage ciguë !
La splendeur de l’azur aiguise
Cette guivre qui me déguise
D’animale simplicité ;
Cieux, son erreur ! Temps, sa ruine !
Et l’abîme animal, béant !…
Quelle chute dans l’origine
Étincelle au lieu de néant !…
Et de mes pièges le plus haut,
Tu gardes le cœur de connaître
Que l’univers n’est qu’un défaut
Dans la pureté du Non-être !
Sketch of a serpent (The Hudson review)
A beast, yes-but acute,
Whose venom, although vile,
Leaves the wise hemlock dumb
The azure splendors stir The reptile hiding me In brute simplicity
Heaven his error, time His ruin.
Brute abyss Gapes!
What primal fall gleams
In place of nothing
And highest of my snares,
You by opaque delights
See that men shall not see
That all creation blights
Draft of a snake (google translate)
Beast I am, but stupid,
Leave away the wise hemlock!
The splendor of the azure sharpens
This disguise that disguise me
Heaven, his mistake! Time, its ruin!
And the animal abyss, gaping!
What a fall in the origin
Spark instead of nothingness …
And from my traps the highest,
You keep the heart to know
That the universe is only a defect
In the purity of Non-being!
Certainly Derrida read the text in French and we too, if we really wanted to satisfy a whim we could take any of these translations as suitable.
in our article in Italian we have added further translations of the poem, which make it even more evident how, however, with some it would be impossible to understand the book by Derrida. For example, as in the Hudson version, the “I” that has affected the author progressively disappears.
This could however be reduced to one of a thousand and a thousand texts on the problems of translation, which from the Bible onwards certainly have weigh on human thought, if not that there is also the excellent translation of Google. And in fact the new question that arises is that compared to the classical discussion on translation, now comes into play the network, where everyone, perhaps badly, can do the translator. A sector that, unlike science subjects, has never been questioned. So there is no obstacle that the collective Veditu places the first italian translation of the poem on Wikipedia and it becomes, therefore, super authoritative, because we believe that anyone, in the first instance, will search the text online. We could take any of the texts we found, so that perhaps a curious reader of Derrida might find himself questioning his own text. At the bottom of our translation would be guaranteed by the authoritativeness of google and it is certainly the most recent. But if we wanted to do the dirty and put the wonderful translation of google, someone would eventually seriously question it? In the end, his “keep the heart to know …” does not have to envy others.
Franco Fortini was an important Italian intellectual of the 900. At one point, hoping to keep himself and his family, reassured by the authority of the publishing house, he accepted to write 35 entries for a dictionary of letters. He actually stops at 24 because someone else pays him more. At one point they publish them (F. Fortini, twenty-four entries for a dictionary of letters – Il Saggiatore 1968) and he feels the need to justify himself. If you are weighted with the ideology for which intellectual work must be a mission, therefore unpaid, one feels guilty for having yielded to a popular work. What interests us is his experience. In the 1940s he had the illusion of being able to put together mutual acquaintances with other intellectuals of various disciplines, to elaborate a common cultural perspective, to correct mistakes mutually, to confront each other with various knowledge. Attempt failed for the distrust of the Parties and for the unfavorable attitude of the market. But above all because it generated, perhaps involuntarily, a separation between the intellectuals and the great part of the population. This separation had the effect, to say it with Fortini, of making these groups of intellectuals, immediately sectarian. Precisely this talk among a private little group made the operation inaccessible to the Market. Why, on the other hand, is disclosure, including its own text, often made of a “conventional and false” language? Because there is a invisible recipients, it has no idea of its public. Try to have a liberal view of all positions, to fill any risky declarations with extenuating circumstances. So strong is this approach that makes no difference the ideological position of the author.
Let’s skip 50 years and bring us up to today. Disperse the ideological baggage that we have so far prepared. But it is true that the Market and the Internet fluctuate in perpetual motion among these alternatives. After all, the algorithms that govern us lead us to attend, especially on Social, people or non-people like us, with our ideas or our interests. That is, groups, more or less restricted, more or less chosen, often assigned in which we recognize a jargon, our “ideologies”, in which we can find consensus without worrying about others, billions. Even if you do not want to, so you become a little “sectarian” and we have seen it on a thousand occasions. On the other hand, however, there is a range of sites that tend to give themselves a more liberal language, to intercept all. On FB plus the pages that the profiles, on the network, for example, sites of events or travel. The graphics itself tries to be generalist like the 80s TV. There may be macro-groups. Eg young people, lovers of music, travel etc, but they are always large communities, often indefinite or avoiding the most possible obstacles to reading by anyone. They have in themselves a commercial nature, since more than the theme they are dealing with, they are interested in acting as interlocutors of those who search for information on the subject on the web. It is better to be captivating than thorough, liberal with the information
Confidentially, but is it worthwhile to reflect about all these problems? After all, in this flowing universe, where we seem to be pampered by phenomena floating on nothingness and devoid of any consistency it makes sense to ask questions about the language, body, on the subject? (Mario Costa – Media ontology, Postmedia books) We could find, even tonight, a plausible excuse. Let’s throw the blame on Lacan and on his subject as pure emptiness, which moves in the immersion of signifiers, pushed from one to another through symbolic identifications. Think of the excess of symbolic accumulation present on the Net today, where all the human symbolic finds space. Will this excess produce a departure from the symbolic of the subject? Including that of the subject itself?
Therefore, the subject who can no longer leap freely will be fragmented, can no longer stand in equilibrium, perhaps never achieved, between signifiers and symbolic? And it is certainly a condition of happiness in the market, which does not even require the idea of stability, because the flexibility / precariousness is normally our existential figure. If so, then we could order a mojito imagining that between the drink, its image on the menu, the image that I make from the phone to put it on Instagram there is no ontological difference. That is, if the condition of the subject is that said, then it is so much to drown in the flow of the Market, in which there is no difference between a thing and its image: both are phenomena that we will perceive in some strange way. Only there remains a doubt, because the mojito at some point ends while his image on the net does not. A human being photographed can have the same nature as a photo of him, but when he dies, we are not convinced that it is just a set of information that disappears, in the sea of the equivalent ones that represent it.