Sunday, May 24, 2015
Deleuze on Robbe-Grillet's pluralist cosmology.
In his work there is never a succession of passing presents, but a simultaneity of a present of past, a present of present and a present of future, which make time frightening and inexplicable. The encounter in Last Year in Marienbad, the accident in L'immortelle, the key in Trans-Europe Express, the betrayal in The Man Who Lies: the three implicated presents are constantly revived, contradicted, obliterated, substituted, re-created, fork and return. This is a powerful time-image. This does not mean to say, however, that it suppresses all narration. But, much more importantly, it gives narration a new value, because it abstracts it from all successive action, as far as it replaces the movement-image with a genuine time-image. Thus narration will consist of the distribution of different presents to different characters, so that each forms a combination that is plausible and possible in itself, but where all of them together are 'incompossible', and where the inexplicable is thereby maintained and created. In Last Year . . ., it is X who knew A (so A does not remember or is lying), and it is"A who does not know X (so X is mistaken or playing a trick on her). Ultimately, the three characters correspond to the three different presents, but in such a way as to 'complicate' the inexplicable instead of throwing light on it; in such a way as to bring about its existence instead of suppressing it: what X lives in a present of past, A lives in a present of future, so that the difference exudes or assumes a present of present (the third, the husband), all implicated in each other. The repetition distributes its variations on the three presents. In The Man Who Lies, the two characters are not simply the same: their difference arises only in making the betrayal inexplicable, because this is attributed differently, but simultaneously, to each of them as identical to the other. In Le jeu avec le feu the kidnapping of the girl has to be the means of warding it off but equally the means of warding it off must be the kidnapping itself, so that she has never been kidnapped at the moment when she is and will be, and kidnaps herself at the moment when she has not been. However, this new mode of narration still remains human, even though it constitutes a lofty form of non-sense. It does not yet tell us the essential point. The essential point rather appears if we think of an earthly event which is assumed to be transmitted to different planets, one of which would receive it at the same time (at the speed of light), but the second more quickly, and the third less quickly, hence before it happened and after. The latter would not yet have received it, the second would already have received it, the first would be receiving it, in three simultaneous presents bound into the same universe. This would be a sidereal time, a system of relativity, where the characters would be not so much human as planetary, and the accents not so much subjective as astronomical, in a plurality of worlds constituting the universe. It would be a pluralist cosmology, where there are not only different worlds (as in Minnelli), but where one and the same event is played out in these different worlds, in incompatible versions.
Pp. 101-2
Special Relativity is a consequence of dasein's own time.
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