Ktismatics

19 June 2009

Erdman, Pilgrimage, My Novel

Filed under: Ktismata — ktismatics @ 3:25 pm

Erdman has been posting about pilgrimage. He’s doing a nice job linking his own observations on the contemporary scene with my novel The Stations, films, and works of philosophy and theology. I wrote the novel while I was also writing notebook entries about portals, so it’s not surprising that there’s a close connection. A pilgrimage is a type of portal: a space-time vector linking the present with some past sanctified reality.

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19 Comments »

  1. hey john! good to see you back in the business.

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 19 June 2009 @ 9:14 pm

  2. this discussion is very interesting and relevant to everything we discussed before (it also relates to ”portalic cinema”)

    http://books.google.com/books?id=3aygAAAAIAAJ&printsec=frontcover&dq=Becoming+visionary:+Brian+De+Palma%E2%80%99s+Cinematic+Education+of+the+Senses

    in case you haven’t seen The Fury, clips are available on youtube

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 19 June 2009 @ 10:28 pm

  3. I’ll try to veer more toward praxis this time around on the blog, at least for awhile. This doesn’t mean the praxes will be practical in the real world: they might be imaginary, experimental, relevant only in some alternate reality. My Stations novel was premised on a thought experiment about how a psychological praxis might play out with certain kinds of clients. I’ve ordered this book on DePalma you linked to, VOPR, and will try to read it pragmatically: how might I see differently? how might I provoke others to see differently?

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    Comment by john doyle — 20 June 2009 @ 9:41 am

  4. John I am bringing this text closer to your theme, portality, not weering off in my own direction, excuse me if it sounded like that. I communicate through the icons or messages that capture my mind, because I find that the most productive source of creativity, just tapping into whatever comes into your head. And Brian De Palma’s Fury has captured my mind for decades.

    The text basically follows Deleuze in his theories of the frame as a portal, hauntologically composed of what it shows, what it REFERS to in the unseen dimension, and a crucial interruption, which the author explains on a visual level as for example the exploding of the frame (defragmentation) in De Palma’s film. If you look at this ending scene, in which feeling betrayed, the telekinetic Gillian explodes John Cassavettes by letting her fury erupt and literally defragment the frame, you can get a glimpse at what the article is aiming at.

    But most importantly I feel something CRUCIAL here, relevant to your research as well as mine.

    You don’t have to wait for the book to come because the snippets on the internet already give you a taste of the kind of a discussion we could have on this one.

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 20 June 2009 @ 1:10 pm

  5. Another very interesting facet to it that as the author says, the explosion of the frame is also the Death of the Father that is to say the defragmentation of the social order by parapsychological forces that bear resemblance to the concept of the Affect. In the film’s majestic fair scene, one of the telekinetics explodes a merry-go-round, killing many innocent people in the process. His rage is caused by the loss of the father, but the film doesn’t reestablish the patriarchal order in its finale – to the contrary, it implodes this order, opening space up for something NEW.

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 20 June 2009 @ 1:13 pm

  6. Like

    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 20 June 2009 @ 1:18 pm

  7. I skimmed parts of the introduction to the book, and it sounds good. The author is making a case for the image not being merely a reflection of a real object in its own right, participating in a different kind of reality. Here’s the other book I’ve requested from interlibrary loan, which is assigned reading for a philosophy course at the local university: Fiction and Metaphysics. Granting non-material objects their rightful status as real, as well as regarding entire realities as objects, is a theme linking these books, our respective “projects,” and Harman’s metaphysics. It’s a robust paradigm even without the spec realists’ insistence on de- or post-humanization of these realities.

    I’ve not seen The Fury, but from his latest post it appears that Kvond is interested in the father-daughter psychodynamic in a Deleuzian register.

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    Comment by john doyle — 20 June 2009 @ 2:51 pm

  8. The author is making a case for the image not being merely a reflection of a real object in its own right,

    I think he was saying more (though the stupid electronic google cut it just when he was getting ready to explain) in that the image simultaneously represents ”reality” and infers an absent reality, in this way functioning as a portal. But the crucial part is this interruption, which causes defragmentation, which betrays the vision, but in this betrayal, he argues, the defragmented frame opens a new reality (he calls it whiteness).

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 20 June 2009 @ 5:22 pm

  9. so he starts with this Derridean ”paranoid frame” (which is double, split, in which there is mirroring) that however gets blown apart, defragmented, by the energy or jouissance or the spectral that comes out of the cracks in the mirror, symbolized by the Fury’s energy in the end which literally blows up the father figure. The Fury transforms from Antigone to as he says the agent of defragmentation, and this way opens a third eye. but I have long suspected that unlike Hitchcock, De Palma is not ABOUT the splitting. His pasticheuring of Hitchcock is meant to sort of detonate, and you can see in the over-the-top style of the scene how he invests in the excess, in the explosion, this is what takes the material beyond the pomo territory of doubleness.

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 20 June 2009 @ 5:37 pm

  10. I’ll look forward to exploring the book when it arrives from the library. Not being well-versed in the history of philosophy, I don’t always make connections that to the initiated might seem obvious. So, e.g., on p. 3 of the book intro Peretz talks about the difference Plato made between the inferior reality of the image and the true reality of that toward which the image points. The image comprises only the sensory-perceptual qualities of the object, whereas the object being imaged contains those sensory qualities plus something beyond or deeper. For Plato that “something beyond” is the non-sensory ideal reality, which points away from the object itself and into an unseen transcendent reality.

    So now I’m think about Harman’s splitting of an object between its relational qualities, which in effect split off from the object in order to encounter the other, and its essential qualities, which retreat into the object and away from all encounters. The main difference between Harman’s and Plato’s interpretation is that, for Harman, the object’s essential withdrawn qualities remain in the object, rather than in a transcendent ideal realm accessed portalically through the object. Also, Harman will regard the image, in its encounter with the other, as an object in its own right, having been assembled inside the relation between the original object and the observer. Now this separate image itself possesses an interior essence that evades all external encounters. So what you end up with is a limitless burgeoning of real objects, each of which is split within itself between sensory and internal qualities, but infinitely combinable with other distinct objects into new objects.

    So that’s through page 4 of the intro, and I think Peretz has a lot more foundational ground to cover before he actually starts talking about movies. So we’ll see how long it takes before I get to defragmentation and so on.

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    Comment by john doyle — 21 June 2009 @ 6:25 am

  11. …but this post originated in my own fictional portalic explorations. My novel centers around various praxes intended to provide people with portalic trasport beyond their own egos into a closer connection with a hidden spiritual realm. The narrator remains skeptical throughout, and in the end it’s not clear whether this other realm exists or not. I’d say that’s the sort of fiction-writing praxis toward which I gravitate: a kind of studied ambiguity and ambivalence explored with an only partially successful attempt at demystification. Using paranormal forces as a metaphor for affect and the unconscious, which as you say is DePalma’s strategy, isn’t the sort of thing I’m likely to do in my own writing. Why not? Because doing so intensifies the mystification of affect rather than bringing out of the shadows. I have no interest in groveling in cornball emotion, nor do I intend to make it disappear through observation and reason. But I don’t believe that affect and emotion can appear only by erupting through the gaps and breaks in image and language. There is more direct access, even if it’s incomplete.

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    Comment by john doyle — 21 June 2009 @ 7:58 am

  12. For Plato that “something beyond” is the non-sensory ideal reality, which points away from the object itself and into an unseen transcendent reality.

    The way I understood it Plato (and Deleuze) take the frame to be ”suturing” or stitching together what the frame shows and what the frame infers, its Otherness, but from that point onwards Perez departs from Plato and doesn’t END in splitting, in dualism. But I ordered the book as well so when it arrives in a few days we can proceed (and link this with Antigone)

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 21 June 2009 @ 8:36 pm

  13. Just saw Terminator 4 which apparently fulfills all of Comrade K-punk’s wet revolutionary dreams about the becoming-Machine-Marxist-rebel, and I guess its message is that the revolutionary will pass through the technology test and successfully adapt himself to the robotics. Although in the end the robot has to sacrifice his heart for a real human being, you sense that the robot is more human than the human and they are also each other’s Doppelganger, of course, because no K-punk favorited movie could go without Doppelgangers. And all this is actually much better than any other Halliwud spectacle, although not exciting in the way a David Lynch movie would be.

    I sent my correspondent on unpaid leave due to her aggressive narcissism but you know how it goes with parody employment – you never know when she might be re-hired and twice as vicious as she used to be. In the meantime, we can revert to my more analytic, more upper middle class bourgeois self.

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 22 June 2009 @ 4:44 am

  14. No doubt the idea of accelerating into a posthuman automated demolition derby is worth further exploration at some point. I’d like to engage Planomenology on his ideas about launching a schizoanalysis practice that sounds collective, posthuman, and machinic in his descriptions.

    Regarding your blog, Dejan, I recognize that both you and Patrick definitely pursue “projects,” sometimes with dogged determination, at other times with furious intensity. These projects too are probably worth commenting on at some point, since they relate to recent interblog discussions about trolls, grey vampires, and the importance of pursuing projects.

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    Comment by john doyle — 22 June 2009 @ 5:42 am

  15. Regarding all that, John, I fully intend to pursue my aimless jouissance of putting the Egyptian temptress in ALL the gowns I want her to wear, whenever I want to.

    Posthuman schizoanalysis regardless, I find the idea of a machinic Marxist revolutionary just SICK because apart from metaphor it also involves putting stuff into your body. I guess I am in agreement if it relieves illnesses and extends life, but I’m keeping my brain to myself. They won’t be resurrecting me in robot format any time soon.

    Which by the way ‘s been done before in ALIEN RESURRECTION and ROBOCOP alike, but THE TERMINATOR crew is not really of the finest artistic quality.

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 22 June 2009 @ 7:13 am

  16. Pursuing aimless jouissance is a project, no?

    Generally regarding the posthuman, or prehuman flows of impersonal desire for that matter: just because subjective conscious agency might have been overemphasized in the modern era doesn’t mean it’s either nonexistent or ought to be overcome.

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    Comment by john doyle — 22 June 2009 @ 8:52 am

  17. enerally regarding the posthuman, or prehuman flows of impersonal desire for that matter: just because subjective conscious agency might have been overemphasized in the modern era doesn’t mean it’s either nonexistent or ought to be overcome.

    i’m more concerned about the fact that all this k-punk production has no heart or charm, although there is a lot of TALK about the heart, so no matter how you cut it we end up in this FAKE situation

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    Comment by the voice of parodic reason — 22 June 2009 @ 10:16 am

    • Thanks John.

      The Stations has provided a good deal to interact with, in terms of pilgrimage.

      I’ll see where things go from here. Many possibilities to explore (in blog form).

      Glad to see that you started blogging again. I think looking through your notes might stir some ideas related to pilgrimage.

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      Comment by Erdman — 22 June 2009 @ 12:13 pm

  18. Thanks Erdman. I’m not exactly sure why I’m posting my old notes, to tell you the truth.

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    Comment by john doyle — 22 June 2009 @ 12:40 pm


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