“Was not their mistake once more bred of the life of slavery that they had been living?—a life which was always looking upon everything, except mankind, animate and inanimate—‘nature,’ as people used to call it—as one thing, and mankind as another, it was natural to people thinking in this way, that they should try to make ‘nature’ their slave, since they thought ‘nature’ was something outside them” — William Morris

Monday, February 28, 2011


One of my best grad students just sent me this from Jean-Luc Nancy's Corpus:

there's no “ego” in general, only the one time, the occurrence and occasion for a tone: a tension, vibration, modulation, color, cry, or song. Always, in any case, a voice, and not a vox significativa, not a signifying order, but the timbre of the place where a body exposes and proffers itself...Ego forever articulating itself—hoc, et hoc, et hic, et illic...—the coming-and-going of bodies: voice, food, excrement, sex, child, air, water, sound, color, hardness, odor, heat, weight, sting, caress, consciousness, memory, swoon, look, appearing—all touches infinitely multiplied, all tones finally proliferating. (Kindle locations 679–94)

The way Nancy writes reminds me of Levi on non-signifying differences.

I've made enough posts on timbre but perhaps not enough on its hyperobjective cousin, tone. I like how entities are unique in this quotation. I also like how tones are events that emanate from these entities.

These tones are aspects of what OOO calls the sensual ether.

1 comment:

Christian Evensen said...

This reminds me of Deleuze's talk about music in Practical Philosophy:

"There is no longer a form, but only relations of velocity between infinitesimal particles of an unformed material. There is no longer a subject, but only individuating affective states of an anonymous force. Here the plan is concerned only with motions and rests, with dynamic affective charges. It will be perceived with that which it makes perceptible to us, as we proceed. We do not live or think or write in the same way on both plans. For example. Goethe, and even Hegel in certain respects, have been considered Spinozists, but they are not really Spinozists, because they never ceased to link the plan to the organization of a Form and to the formation of a Subject. The Spinozists are rather Hölderlin, Kleist, and Nietzsche, because they think in terms of speeds and slownesses, of frozen catatonias and accelerated movements, unformed elements, nonsubjectified affects." (pp. 128-129)