Saturday, January 19, 2013

"Follow-Up" #11

It is not a question of defending radical thought. Every idea one defends is presumed guilty, and every idea that cannot defend itself deserves to disappear. On the other hand, one must fight all charges of irresponsibility, nihilism, or despair. Radical thought is never depressive. On this point, there is nearly total misunderstanding. Ideological and moralistic critique, obsessed with meaning and content, obsessed with the political finality of discourse, never takes into account writing—the act of writing: the poetic, ironic, allusive force of language, of the juggling with meaning. It does not see that the resolution of meaning is to be found there—in the form itself, the formal materiality of expression.
         Critics, being unhappy by nature, always choose ideas as their battleground. They do not see that if discourse always tends to produce meaning, language and writing, for their part, always create illusion; they are the living illusion of meaning, the resolution of the infelicity of meaning by the felicity of language. And this is surely the only political—or transpolitical—act that can be accomplished by the person who writes.

again from Jean Baudrillard’s The Perfect Crime.  Trans. Chris Turner. (London: Verso, 1994) 102-103.

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