Friday, July 23, 2010
From The Symptom 11, Slavoj Zizek on what was done to the pre-Socratics.
Deleuze characterized his reading of philosophers as guided by the tendency “to see the history of philosophy as a sort of buggery” or (it comes to the same thing) immaculate conception. I saw myself as taking an author from behind and giving him a child that would be his own offspring, yet monstrous. It was really important for it to be his own child, because the author had to actually say all I had him saying. But the child was bound to be monstrous too, because it resulted from all sorts of shifting, slipping, dislocations, and hidden emissions that I really enjoyed.” Deleuze is here deeply Lacanian: does Lacan not do the same in his reading of “Kant with Sade”? Jacques-Alain Miller once characterized this reading with the same words as Deleuze: the aim of Lacan is “to take Kant from behind,” to produce the Sadean monster as Kant’s own offspring. (And, incidentally, does the same not go also for Heidegger’s reading of pre-Socratic fragments? Is he also not “taking from behind” Parmenides and Heraclitus? Is his extensive explanation of Parmenides’ “Being and thought are the same” not one of the greatest buggeries in the history of philosophy?)
Hardy har har...yet SZ's Kant-deSade association (in PV, from Lacan) actually offended me. Kant had no need of DeSade's porno.

DeSade was no intellectual nor a hero of the Revolution but an incredibly twisted conservative aristo. His life was spared only at the last by a few of the more tolerant jacobins; some of the sans-cullottes wanted him executed, supposedly. His writing may slightly amuse at times, but the amusing pages follow 20 pages of murder, torture, sodomy, rape, etc. D-S's scrawlings read more like a diary of JW Gacy than literature; interesting perhaps in a pathological sense, but not philosophy whatsoever (except...like, the philosophy of murder and rape at will). Really SZ's little chuckle showed what a crass opportunist he is.
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