Monday, July 05, 2010
In the New Republic, Leon Wieseltier reads Badiou.
Being and Event, a rancidly overdeveloped and almost risibly arcane system of ontology according to which “truth procedures” in art, science, politics, and love are melodramatically inaugurated by a rupture in the normal order of things and new possibilities are violently disclosed. Badiou’s “event” is something between a revolution and a revelation, and it expresses his deep contempt for the transcendences that may be had in unclimactic, unecstatic, unapocalyptic experience, in events that are not “events.” The human subject is “nothing other than an active fidelity to the event of truth,” or “a militant of truth.” This is not at all postmodernism (which is all the good that can be said of it); it is a godless theology in which Badiou’s elect, in the radiance of l’événementiel, march to free us from “our ‘democratic’ totalitarianism” and attain “the emancipation of humanity in its entirety.” In sum, a heartless bastard.
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