Or, the history of a story

“There’s something to having had a poor and short childhood, something to that lost happiness that one never does find again; but there’s also something to today’s active life, to its little, incomprehensible, yet always present vivaciousness, which one would never be able to kill.”

F. Kafka

“Lay roses in the abyss and say: ‘here is my thanks to the monster that didn’t manage to swallow me.’”

F. Nietzsche, Posthumous Fragments


“Whatever has for a time been understood has also for a time been forgotten.  To where no one perceives anymore that history has no eras.  In fact, nothing happens.  There are no more events.  There’s only news.  Look at the characters that sit at the summits of empires.  And turn around Spinoza’s words.  There’s nothing to understand.  Only to laugh and to cry.” (Mario Tronti, Politics at Twilight)

1 bis.

The time of heroes is over.  The epic space of pronouncements that we love to say and hear, which speak to us of what we could be but are not, has disappeared.  

The irreparable is now our being-thus, our being-nobody.  Our Bloom-being.

And it is from the irreparable that we must depart, now that the most ferocious nihilism holds sway even in the ranks of the rulers.

We must depart, because “Nobody” is Ulysses’ other name, and because no one should care to go back to Ithaca or to be shipwrecked.


It is no longer time to dream of what we will be, what we will make, now that we can be everything, now that we can do everything, now that all our power is granted us, with the certainty that our forgetting of joy will prevent us from making any use of it.

This is where we must get free or let ourselves die.  Humanity is indeed something to be transcended, but to do so we must first listen to what is most exposed and most rare about humanity, so that its remains are not lost in passing.  Bloom, that pathetic residue of a world that never ceases to betray and exile him, demands to go out armed; Bloom demands exodus.

But most often he who departs never rediscovers his own, and his exodus becomes exile once again.

2 bis.

All voices come out from the depths of this exile, and in this exile all voices are lost.  The Other does not welcome us, it sends us back to the Other inside of us.  We abandon this world in ruins with no regrets and no pain, pressed on by a vague feeling of urgency.  We abandon it like rats abandoning a ship, but without necessarily knowing whether it’s moored to the pier.  Nothing “noble” about this flight, nothing grand that can bond us to one another.  In the end, we are alone with ourselves, because we haven’t made the decision to fight but merely to preserve ourselves.  And that’s still not an action; it is but a reaction.  


A crowd of people fleeing is a crowd of solitary people.


Not to find oneself is impossible; fates have their clinamen.  Even at the threshold of death, even in absence from ourselves, others never cease to come up against us on the liminal terrain of flight.

We and the others: we separate ourselves out of disgust, but we do not manage to reunite ourselves by choice.  And still, we find ourselves united.  United and outside of love, uncovered and with no mutual protection.  We were such before our flight, and such have we always been.


We don’t just want to escape, even if we have indeed left this world because it appeared so intolerable to us.  No cowardice here: we have gone out armed.  What we wanted was to not fight against someone anymore, but to fight with someone.  And now that we are no longer alone, we will quiet this voice from inside us; we will become companions to someone, and we will no longer be the undesirables.  

We will have to force ourselves, we will have to hold our tongues, because though no one has wanted us up to now, things have now changed.  No longer to ask questions, but to learn silence, to learn to learn.  Because freedom is a kind of discipline.


Speech advances, prudently; it fills in the spaces between singular solitudes, it swells human aggregates into groups, pushes them together against the wind; effort reunites them.  It’s almost an exodus.  Almost.  But no pact holds them together, except the spontaneity of smiles, inevitable cruelty, the accidents of passion.


This passage, similar to that of migrating birds, to the murmur of wandering pains, little by little gives form to the terrible communities.  

changed May 23, 2010