the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

quotes: nancy on the wonder of being

Posted by rigorousm on July 12, 2011

 

… let’s not speak too hastily of the “wonder of being.” This “wonder” is a mere trifle: only the thing, almost nothing. … But almost nothing suffices to make a world– which also means that a world is no big thing, that this world here is no big thing…. But “no big thing” doesn’t mean nothing; it is still some thing, and we are there. If, resigned or cynical, we say “no big thing,” it is because we are still measuring things by the monumental, and trying to grasp each thing as a sublime inscription on the Mausoleum of the World.

 

With Sartre, “things” began to nauseate us– and Sartre was the last to try erecting a monument (a “historic” totalization, but one integrating an errancy and a singularity of existence), which is also to say that he was the first to touch the breakup of the monument…. But long ago things had already become problematic or suspect to us: “objects,” “merchandise,” “reifications.” And art is no longer exactly– no longer simply as “art”– an opening to their strangeness. It could be that what is called the world “of technology” proposes to us nothing other than the challenge of things. … in technology the “colossal” is inseparable from diversification, from variation, from fleetingness.

— Nancy, “The Heart of Things”  in The Birth of Presence pp 184-185.

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