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Showing posts from July 16, 2023

The methods of truth are stranger than the methods of fiction - or maybe not

  1. “Truth is stranger than fiction” – such is the truism. About truisms, one never says that they are stranger than fiction – on the contrary, a truism banalizes truth. They are, definitionally, obvious, self-evident. They are even, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, hardly worth stating. The energy used to state them could be used elsewhere – for discovery, for instance. Invention. To bring to light something previously not known. Not known to be true. Truism then exists on the lowest level of organization, as material to use in organization and not itself to be organized. It is not “worth” paying attention to, or at least for too long. In this way, some critics say – Karl Kraus being the chief of this number – the truism can operate as a disguise. Truism, under the pressure of such intelligence, an intelligence that I would suggest is “modern”, reveals itself as unheimlich, uncanny. It brings out, so to speak, the truth’s unconscious lie, in bringing out the system in

Madame Verdurin and the Avenger

  In Uri Eisenzweig’s magisterial Fictions de l’anarchisme, on page 57, mention is made of Clément Duval, who is included among the “mi-révolutionnaires and the illégalistes”. In a footnote, we are told his “affaire” preoccupied anarchist circles in the 1886–1887 period. Eisenzweig’s book is intended to touch on anarchy and the literature of the period, as well as giving us a proto-history of terrorism as a particular discursive device, and Duval was merely a small figure in this theme. A good book. One review remarked: “Complex analyses — always accompanied by a great attention to the sources, the texts — develops the thesis according to which these provocations [of the anarchist movement] translate a crisis as to the capacity of language to transmit a « realistic » perception of social relations ; a crisis that touched, of course, on the confidence in parliamentary rule, but also, more generally, on the status of communication — thus, of literature…” So: a name, Clément Duval. I came