Archive for May, 2009

火的詩學 01

May 21, 2009



Fragments of A Poetics of Fire by Gaston Bachelard 巴舍拉

Translated by Springhero 雄伯譯


Empedocles 恩匹德克利斯


To meditate upon 沉思 Empedocles’ death atop Mount Etna is to promote a Poetics of Fire. The Image goes beyond the Act, and is itself a permanent poetic act of transcendence 超驗.


   The death of Empedocles should not be seen as merely another incident in the history of philosophy. What, we may ask, makes the image of Empedocls so central to the spiritual life of anyone who dreams of life and death and fire? It is assuredly 的確not the balance sheet 收支表of the man’s social life; nor is it the philosophy scattered 散開through the fragments 碎片of his thought which has wrongly been described as fundamental. No indeed! The image of Empedocles is one of the great images of the Poetics of annihilation 毀滅詩學. In the Empedoclean act the individual looms 隱約出現large as fire and becomes the principal actor in a veritable 可驗證的cosmic宇宙的 drama..


   The outcome 結果of the drama of Empedocles is not decided in a dialectics 辯證法 of acceptance and denial 背棄 . Denial is possible where ideas are concerned, never images. The interpretive 解釋的dialectics which suggest themselves here are many in number. To dedicate oneself to致力於 fire is to become fire!  Or perhaps to dedicate oneself to fire is to succeed in achieving a state 狀態 of Nothingness. It is a long way from the majesty輝煌 of flame 火焰 to that of Nothingness. Or again, perhaps such grand 輝煌的 and totalizing 整體化fire is one’s guarantee 保證of total purification 淨化. But is purification a guarantee of rebirth! In the Philosopher’s heart phoenixical 鳳凰鳥的 hope springs eternal.


Here possibilities for interpretation begin to emerge出現; and if the drama of Empedocles’ life is interpreted 解釋 in terms of his philosophy, one turned to time and time again down through the ages, any transposition 調換 becomes possible, everyone a fit 適當的 object of philosophic reverie 幻想 .Those of us capable of accepting all possibilities ( for all must be accepted!) enter thereby the realm 領域of the Poetics of Fire. Here ideas themselves have dreams, and everyone might well be termed 稱為Empedoclean. Each is an unconsummated 未實現的 pre-act , a delicate synthesis 綜合of tension and terror—a phenomenon 現象familiar to every serious dreamer of flames.


A number of testimonials 證明書will follow. Although we are not carried away by temptation誘惑 ourselves as the philosopher once freely chose to be, the fact that once he was is known to us. We dream endlessly that individuals are free still to confront 面對this possibility. Empedocles, the hero of a freely chosen death by fire, triggers 觸發 and perpetuates 使不朽these dreams in us. The human destiny he represents is one of fatal imagery 意象. There are times we are obliged 強迫by fire to imagine death. It was by such a fatal 致命的image that Empedocles was overcome.


In contrast to the myriad 無數的philosophies which claim that we are cast into existence, we confront here a Philosopher whose casts into the arms of death. While both birth and death are glorious Instants 瞬間, birth is not a matter of one’s choosing. Empedocles experiences freedom for the first time when he casts himself to death. Moments of decision like these are worthy objects of study for a Poetics of Time.


Empedocles’ Act takes place in an Instant upon a Summit 山頂. These four capitals 大寫字母work together here, and a Poetics of Fire must undertake to elevate 提升 their tone 語調. Psychological explanation will not suffice 足夠; poetic explication 解釋written in poetic capitals is called for. The dilemma 困境is a clear one: is the Act of Supreme 崇高Will on the Summit of the Mountain of Fire human circumstance or cosmic 宇宙的event?


If it is to be read as human drama, more psychological background a focus more on the action at center stage will be necessary. Distant 距離causality因果關係 will be seen to play as great a role as factors 因素 nearer the drama at hand. This eloquent psychology, despite its limited means 方法, serves to distance us from the munificence 寬宏 of the drama’s denouement 【de’numAH】結局.


Psychologically explained in this way, the Philosopher becomes just one more down-trodden 被踐踏的individual, a disappointed citizen or abandoned 被捨棄 political leader, caught in the web 網絡of social drama as any ordinary specimen 樣本of human psychology might be. The fervor 熱情of poetic sincerity 誠懇will be missing from any such work of minor psychological fiction in which the fantasies of psychologists of social drama are given free rein 免除駕馭 .


To move from psychology to theater the tone must be heightened 強調. Psychologists who fail to see theatricality 戲劇性 as vital to poetry will find themselves unable to account for 解釋this change in register 登記. How many vain attempts have playwrights made to lay the groundwork 奠下基礎for Empedocles’ final scene, undergirding 強化 Legend with a storyline!


As the number of quaint 古怪的and puerile 未成熟的 secondary characters, kings and women, is increased, the central character, Mount Etna, is forgotten. How is one then to study the psychology of the Volcano, bellowing 吼叫and groaning 呻吟 forth temptations 誘惑, sleeping so long as the philosopher sleeps and awakening as his cosmic intelligence awakens?


While the playwright is busy complicating 複雜化 the psychological drama of Empedocles further and further, his cosmic drama boils 沸騰to a head; the Philosopher answers the Volcano’s call, stirred 鼓動by merely human unhappiness no longer. The Volcano has in mind more than just a victim 受害者, more than simply any human sacrifice whatever. The Volcano wants Empedocles. And in this cosmic drama’s aftermath 餘波 the names Empedocles and Etna are forever joined.


No longer is it to recollect 回憶the one without remembering the other. Poets will have little use for 不喜歡those who would establish 證明the date of the philosopher’s death by charting 標明the volcano’s eruptions 爆發. Legends need not be dated 確定日期for they are eternal, revitalized 復活each time a poet dresses them in imagery anew.


Legends concerning 關於the summit are immovable 不動. Prometheus nailed upon the Caucsus, Empedocles scattered散開 to the four winds by mountain fire: in legends such as these the Summit becomes a character in its own right 本身. And the Etna of Empedocles is truly both the summit 山頂of a man and summit of a world.


The summit isolates. It overlooks 俯瞰 the sea, the true and the only sea, the sea great dreamers dream of gazing over 凝視as have so many of the culture’s heroes. Edgar Allan Poe, as an inhabitant 居民of the New World, is one poet who looks to the Mediterranean 地中海to lend his cosmic reveries 幻想the nobility of ancient thought. In proclaiming 宣稱his eureka 我發現, Poe goes so far as to imagine himself upon the mountain of Fire’s Summit! From here the human, more than human has the power to see all, to take his bearings 舉止in all directions and so embrace 擁抱 in a single primal vision 以原始的洞察力east and west, north and south, all that rises and all that sets:


He who from the top of Aetna casts his eyes leisurely 悠閒地around, is affected chiefly by the extent 程度and diversity 多樣化of the scene. Only by a rapid whirling 旋轉 on his heel could he hope to comprehend the panorama 全景in the sublimity 崇高of its oneness. But as, on the summit of Aetna, no man has thought of whirling on his heel, so no man has ever taken into his brain the full uniqueness 獨特性of the prospect 景象; and so, again, whatever considerations lies involved in this uniqueness, have as yet no practical existence for mankind.


Thus the ideality of Etna is forever glorified推崇!


While the name Empedocles is not pronounced 宣稱in Poe’s Eureka 我發現了, the Philosopher’s memory is palpable 可明瞭的 nonetheless throughout the meditation 沉思. In order to dream his philosophical dreams of a Unified World and to contemplate 沉思Existence, Poe travels to the very site where for Empedocles Being and None-Being were proximate 近似. Here the essence of the world is present in all its fullness 充實and splendor 輝煌. Here the infinities 無限of space find their center. Ye annihilating 毀滅的fire is to be found here too in all of its enormity 巨大. The Nothing is enormous here, the sea immense 廣漠的.


I hope to demonstrate 證明the importance of this concrete dialectic 辯正法of being and non-being to both the Empedoclean site and the Empedoclean act. We will begin with a look at the many poetic echoes 回響 of this dialectic in the tragedies and odes 頌歌 of the great poets, attempting through their works to come to terms with 達成協議the attraction of this symbol of annihilation 毀滅. It is a symbol which remains unresolved 未解決in the glory of the Poetics of Fire. Travelers today who climb to the top of Mt. Etna are reminded of Empedocles. It would prove a disappointment, though, were one to fall into the crater火山口—a poetic gesture manqué 假面劇. Indeed, the only way for one to live out he Empedoclean Act is through one’s poetry.


After taking a look at the great plays, I will, in the second part of my discussion, present a number of less striking 顯著的images which evidence only partially developed or barely 免強perceptible 感覺到temptations. Even images only hinted at 暗示, such as these, incontestably 無可置疑bear the sign of the workings 操作 of Empedoclean imagination. This should signal our arrival in a poetic realm 領域where the images of a psychological complex play themselves out in small imagistic意象的 cruelties, a realm of extremes where masochistic 受虐 and sadistic 虐待tendencies go hand in hand.


The butterfly plunging 投擲into the flame of a candle is undoubtedly the victim of phototropism 趨光性—this is the conclusion immediately drawn by any student of animal psychology. But what about the dreamer ? What about the poet who has no need to see in order to dream? It will be ours to discover whether a sufficient number of Empedoclean images may be collected without danger.


But why not begin grandly!

榮格論未發現的自我 031

May 19, 2009


The Undiscovered Self by C.G. Jung

Translated by Springhero 雄伯譯


To this question there is a positive answer only when the individual is willing to fulfill the demands of rigorous self-examination and self-knowledge.  If he follows through his intention, he will not only discover some important truths about himself, but will also have gained a psychological advantage: he will have succeeded in deeming himself worthy of serious attention and sympathetic interest.  He will have set his hand, as it were, to a declaration of his own human dignity and taken the first step towards the foundations of his consciousness—that is, towards the unconscious, the only accessible source of religious experience. This is certainly not to say that what we call the unconscious is identical with God or is set up in his place.  It is the medium from which the religious experience seems to flow.  As to what the further cause of such an experience may be, the answer to this lies beyond the range of human knowledge.  Knowledge of God is a transcendental problem.




     The religious person enjoys a great advantage when it comes to answering the crucial question that hangs over our time like a threat: he has a clear idea of the way his subjective existence is grounded in his relation to “God”.  I put the word “God”

in quotes in order to indicate that we are dealing with an anthropomorphic idea whose dynamism and symbolism are filtered through the medium of the unconscious  psyche. Anyone who wants to can at least draw near to the source of such experiences, no matter whether he believes in God or not. Without this approach it is only in rare cases that we witness those miraculous conversions of which Paul’s Damascus experience is the prototype. 




That religious experiences exist no longer needs proof.  But it will always remain doubtful whether what metaphysics and theology call God and the gods is the real ground of these experiences. The question is idle, actually, and answers itself by reason of the subjectively overwhelming numinosity of the experience.  Anyone who has had it is seized by it and therefore not in a position to indulge in fruitless metaphysical or epistemological speculations.  Absolute certainty brings its own evidence and has no need of anthropomorphic proofs.




     In view of the general ignorance of and bias against psychology it must be accounted a misfortune that the one experience which makes sense of individual existence should seem to have its origin in a medium that is certain to catch everybody’s prejudices.  Once more the doubt is heard: “What good can come out of Nazareth?”  The unconscious, if not regarded outright as a sort of refuse bin underneath the conscious mind, is at any rate supposed to be of merely animal nature.”  In reality, however, and by definition it is of uncertain extent and constitution, so that overvaluation or undervaluation of it is groundless and can be dismissed as mere prejudice.  At all events, such judgments sound very queer in the mouths of Christians, whose lord was himself born on the straw of a stable, among the domestic animals.  It would have been more to the taste of the taste of the multitude if he had got himself born in a temple.  In the same way, the worldly- minded mass meeting, which provides an infinitely more imposing background the an individual soul.  Even Church Christians share this pernicious delusion.




     Psychology’s insistence on the importance of unconscious processes for religious experience is extremely unpopular, no less with the political Right than with the Left.  For the former the deciding factor is the historical revelation that came to man from outside; to the latter this is sheer nonsense, and man has no religious function at all, except belief in the party doctrine, when suddenly the most intense faith is called for. On top of this, the various creeds assert quite different things, and each of them claims to possess the absolute truth. Yet today we live in a unitary world where distances are reckoned by hours and no longer by weeks and months.  Exotic races have ceased to be peepshows in ethnological museums.  They have become our neighbors, and what was yesterday the prerogative of the ethnology is today a political, social and psychological problem.




  Already the ideological spheres begin to touch, to interpenetrate, and the time may not be so far off when the question of mutual understanding in this field will become acute.  To make oneself understood is certainly impossible without far-reaching comprehension of the other’s standpoint. The insight needed for this will have repercussion on both sides. History will undoubtedly pass over those who feel it is their vocation to resist this inevitable development, however desirable and psychologically necessary it may be to cling to what is essential and good in our own tradition..  Despite all the differences, the unity of mankind will assert itself irresistibly.  On this card Marxist doctrine has staked its life, while the West hopes to get by with technology and economic aid.  Communism has not overlooked the enormous importance of the ideological element and the universality of basic principles.  The nations of the Far East share our ideological weakness and are just as vulnerable as we are.  




榮格論未發現的自我 01

May 18, 2009

榮格論未發現的自我 01

The Undiscovered Self by C.G. Jung

Translated by Springhero 雄伯譯


The plight of the individual in modern society



What will the future bring? From time immemorial this question has occupied men’s minds, though not always to the same degree. Historically, it is chiefly in times of physical, political, economic and spiritual distress that men’s eyes turn with anxious hope to the future, and when anticipations, utopias and apocalyptic visions multiply. One thinks, for instance, of the chiliastic expectations of the Augustan age at the beginning of the Christian Era, or of the changes in the spirit of the West which accompanied the end of the first millennium Today, as the end of the second millennium draws near, we are again living in an age filled with apocalyptic images of universal destruction. What is the significance of that split, symbolized by the “ Iron Curtain,” which divides humanity into two halves? What will become of our civilization, and of man himself, if the hydrogen bombs begin to go off, or if the spiritual and moral darkness of State absolutism should spread over Europe?




We have no reason to take this threat lightly. Everywhere in the West there are subversive minorities who, sheltered by our humanitarianism and our sense of justice, hold the incendiary torches ready, with nothing to stop the spread of their ideas except the critical reason of a single, fairly intelligent, mentally stable stratum of the population. One should not, however, overestimate the thickness of this stratum. It varies from country to country in accordance with national temperament. Also, it is regionally dependent on public education and is subject to the influence of acutely disturbing factors of a political and economic nature. Taking plebiscites as a criterion, one could on a optimistic estimate puts its upper limit at about 40 per cent of the electorate. A rather more pessimistic view would not be unjustified either, since the gift of reason and critical reflection is not one of man’s outstanding peculiarities, and even where it exists it proves to be wavering and inconstant, the more so, as a rule, the bigger the political groups are. The mass crushes out the insight and reflection that are still possible with the individual, and this necessarily leads to doctrinaire and authoritarian tyranny if ever the constitutional State should succumb to a fit of weakness.




Rational argument can be conducted with some prospect of success only so lng as the emotionality of a given situation does not exceed a certain critical degree. If the affective temperature rises above this level, the possibility of reason’s having any effect ceases and its place is taken by slogans and chimerical wish-fantasies. This is to say, a sort of collective possession results which rapidly develops into a psychic epidemic. In this state all those elements who existence is merely tolerated as asocial under the rule of reason come to the top. Such individuals are by no means rare curiosities to be met with only in prisons and lunatic asylums. For every manifest case of insanity there are, in my estimation, at least ten latent cases who seldom get to the point of breaking out openly but whose views and behavior, for all their appearance of normality, are influenced by unconsciously morbid and perverse factors. There are, of course, no medical statistics on the frequency of latent psychoses—for understandable reasons. But even if their number should amount to less than ten times that of the manifest psychoses and of manifest criminality, the relatively small percentage of the population figures they represent is more than compensated for by the peculiar dangerousness of these people. Their mental state is that of a collectively excited group ruled by affective judgments and wish-fantasies. In a state of “ collective possessive” they are the adapted ones and consequently they feel quite at home in it. They know from their own experience the language of these conditions and they know how to handle them. Their chimerical ideas, up-

borne by fanatical resentment, appeal to the collective irrationality and find fruitful soil there, for they expr4ess all those motives and resentments which lurk in more normal people under the cloak of reason and insight. They are, therefore, despite their small number in comparison with the population as whole, dangerous as sources of infection precisely because the so-called normal person possesses only a limited degree of self-knowledge.




May 15, 2009


     冒著電腦被當機的危險,從網路上下載到大陸導演婁燁的「頤和園」 Summer Palace。上下集觀看到深夜就寢時,心頭依舊縈繞著惆悵與迷惘。









May 14, 2009



人有旦夕禍福,電腦也是一樣。由於下載及增加的檔案日多,電腦的速度越來越慢,解決的方法就是清理冗贅無用的執行檔。這時螢幕上突然蹦跳出一個名為系統安全整理的軟體System Security,由於正有渴望的迫切需求,就不疑有他地開啟。不料那是一個惡意軟體,幾分鐘就蹦跳出來一次, 要求用信用卡購買它的正版軟體。然後word及 outlook 等常用檔也跟著死當,到系統檔去刪除已經來不及了。僅剩的唯一方法就是將整台電腦的系統還原到剛出廠的狀態,也就是說,這一年多來所累積的來不及備份的資料,全都蕩然無存了。





布希亞論誘拐 08

May 9, 2009

布希亞論誘拐 08 Baudrillard on Seduction

Translated by Springhero 雄伯譯



This femininity, the eternal irony
of the community.






Femininity as a principle of uncertainty.


It causes the sexual poles to waver. It is not the pole opposed to masculinity, but what abolishes the differential opposition, and thus sexuality itself, as incarnated historically in the masculine phallocracy, as it might be incarnated in the future in a female phallocracy. If femininity is a principle of uncertainty, it is where it is itself uncertain that this uncertainty will be greatest: in the play of femininity.




Neither homosexuals nor transexuals, transvestites like to play with the indistinctness of the sexes. The spell they cast, over themselves as well as others, is born of sexual vacillation and not, as is customary, the attraction of one sex for the other. They do not really like male men or female women, nor those who define themselves, redundantly, as distinct sexual beings. In order for sex to exist, signs must reduplicate biological being. Here the signs are separated from biology, and consequently the sexes no longer exist properly speaking. What transvestites love is this game of signs, what excites them is to seduce the signs themselves. With them everything is makeup, theater, and seduction. They appear obsessed with games of sex, but they are obsessed, first of all, with play itself; and if their lives appear more sexually endowed than our own, it is because they make sex into a total, gestural, sensual, and ritual game, an exalted but ironic invocation.


Nico seemed so beautiful only because her femininity appeared so completely put on. She emanated something more than beauty, something more sublime, a different seduction. And there was deception: she was a false drag queen, a real woman, in fact, playing the queen. It is easier for a non-female/female than for a real woman, already legitimated by her sex, to move amongst the signs and take seduction to the limit. Only the non-female/female can exercise an untainted fascination, because s/he is more seductive than sexual. The fascination is lost when the real sex shows through; to be sure,
some other desire may find something here, but precisely no longer in that perfection that belongs to artifice alone.




Seduction is always more singular and sublime than sex, and it commands the higher price. One must not seek to ground transvestism in bisexuality. For the sexes and sexual dispositions, whether mixed or ambivalent, indefinite or inverted, are still real, and still bear witness to the psychic reality of sex. Here, however, it is this very definition of the sexual that is eclipsed. Not that this game is perverse. What is perverse is what perverts the order of the terms; but here there are no longer any terms to pervert, only signs to seduce.



榮格釋夢 10

May 7, 2009

榮格釋夢 10

The Psychology and Alchemy by C. G. Jung 心理學與煉金術

Translated by Springhero 雄伯


16. Dream:

  An ace of clubs lies before the dreamer. A seven appears beside it.





   The ace, as “ 1,” is the lowest card but the highest in value. The ace of clubs, being in the form of a cross, points to the Christian symbol. Hence in Swiss-German the club is often called cross. At the same time the three leaves contain an allusion to the threefold nature of the one God. Lowest and highest are beginning and end, alpha and omega.




   The seven appears after the ace of clubs and not before. Presumably the idea is: first the Christian conception of God, and then the seven ( stages). The seven stages symbolize the transformation which begins with the symbolism of Cross and Trinity, and, judging by the earlier archaic allusions in dreams 7 and 13, culminates in the solificatio. But this solution is not hinted at here. Now, we know that the regression to the Helios of antiquity vainly attempted by Julian the Apostate was succeeded in the Middle Ages by another movement that was expressed in the formula “ through the cross to the rose), which was later condensed into the “ Rosie Crosse” of the Rosicrucians. Here the essence of the heavenly Sol descends into the flower—earth’s answer to the sun’s countenance. The solar quality has survived in the symbol of the ‘ golden flower” of Chinese alchemy. The well-known “ blue flower” of the Romantics might well be the last nostalgic perfume of the “ rose”: it looks back in true Romantic fashion to the medievalism of ruined cloisters, yet at the same time modestly proclaims something new in earthly loveliness. But even the golden brilliance of the sun had to submit to a descent, and it found its analogy in the glitter of earthly gold—although, as aurum nostrum, this was far removed from the gross materiality of the metal, at least for subtler minds. One of the most interesting of the alchemical texts is the Rosarium philosophorum. The anonymous author was very definitely a “ philosopher” and was apparently aware that alchemy was not concerned with ordinary gold-making but with a philosophical secret. For these alchemists the gold undoubtedly had a symbolic nature and was therefore distinguished by such attributes as vitreum or philosophicum. It was probably owing to its all too obvious analogy with the sun that gold was denied the highest philosophical honor, which fell instead to the lapis philosophoruium. The transformer is above the transformed, and transformation is one of the magical properties of the marvllous stone. The Rosarium philosophorum says: “ For our stone, namely the living western quicksilver which has placed itself above the gold and vanquished it, is that which kills and quickens.” As to the “ philosophical” significance of the lapis, the following quotation from a treatise ascribed to Hermes is particularly enlightening: “ Understand, ye sons of the wise, what this exceeding precious stone proclaims…’ and my light conquers every light, and my virtues are more excellent than all virtues…I beget the light, but the darkness too is of my nature…




17. Dream:

   The dreamer goes for a long walk, and finds a blue flower on the way.





   To go for a walk is to wander along paths that lead nowhere in particular; it is both a search and a succession of changes. The dreamer finds a blue flower blossoming aimlessly by the wayside, a chance child of nature, evoking friendly memories of a more romantic and lyrical age of the youthful season when it came to bud, when the scientific view of the world had not yet broken away from the world of actual experience—or rather when this break was only just beginning and the eye looked back to what was already the past. The flower is in fact like a friendly sign, a numinous emanation from the unconscious, showing the dreamer, who as a modern man has been robbed of security and of participation in all the things that lead to man’s salvation, the historical place where he can meet friends and brothers of like mind, where he can find the seed that wants to sprout in him too. But the dreamer knows nothing as yet of the old solar gold which connects the innocent flower with the obnoxious black art of alchemy and with the blasphemous pagan idea of the solificatio. For the “ golden flower of alchemy” can sometimes be a blue flower: “ The sapphire blue flower of the hermanphrodite.”



布希亞論誘拐 07

May 3, 2009

布希亞論誘拐 07 Baudrillard on Seduction

Translated by Springhero 雄伯譯


Any movement that believes it can subvert a system by its infrastructure is naive. Seduction is more intelligent, and seemingly spontaneously so. Immediately obvious – seduction need not be demonstrated, nor justified – it is there all at once, in the reversal of all the alleged depth of the real, of all psychology, anatomy, truth, or power. It knows (this is its secret) that there is no anatomy, nor psychology, that all signs are reversible. Nothing belongs to it, except appearances – all powers elude it, but it “reversibilizes” all their signs. How can one oppose seduction? The only thing truly at stake is mastery of the strategy of appearances, against the force of being and reality. There is no need to play being against being, or truth against truth; why become stuck undermining foundations, when a light manipulation of appearances will do?




Now woman is but appearance. And it is the feminine as appearance that thwarts masculine depth. Instead of rising up against such “insulting” counsel, women would do well to let themselves be seduced by its truth, for here lies the secret of their strength, which they are in the process of losing by erecting a contrary, feminine depth.




It is not quite the feminine as surface that is opposed to the masculine as depth, but the feminine as indistinctness of surface and depth. Or as indifference to the authentic and the artificial. Joan Riviere, in “Feminité sans mascarade” (La Psychoanalyse no. 7), makes a fundamental claim – one that contains within it all seduction: “Whether femininity be authentic or superficial, it is fundamentally the same thing.”




This can be said only of the feminine. The masculine, by contrast, possesses unfailing powers of discrimination and absolute criteria for pronouncing the truth. The masculine is certain, the feminine is insoluble. Now, surprisingly, this proposition, that in the feminine the very distinction between authenticity and artifice is without foundation, also defines the space of simulation. Here too one cannot distinguish between reality and its models, there being no other reality than that secreted by the simulative models,
just as there is no other femininity than that of appearances. Simulation too is insoluble.




This strange coincidence points to the ambiguity of the feminine: it simultaneously provides radical evidence of simulation, and the only possibility of its overcoming – in seduction, precisely.



布希亞論誘拐 06

May 1, 2009

布希亞論誘拐 06   Baudrillard on Seduction

Translated by Springhero 雄伯譯


There is a strange, fierce complicity between the feminist movement and the order of truth. For seduction is resisted and rejected as a misappropriation of women’s true being, a truth that in the last instance is to be found inscribed in their bodies and desires. In one stroke the immense privilege of the feminine is effaced: the privilege of having never acceded to truth or meaning, and of having remained absolute master of the realm of appearances. The capacity immanent to seduction to deny things their truth and turn it into a game, the pure play of appearances, and thereby foil all systems of power and meaning with a mere turn of the hand. The ability to turn appearances in on themselves, to play on the body’s appearances, rather than with the depths of desire. Now all appearances are reversible . ..only at the level of appearances are systems fragile and vulnerable . . . meaning is vulnerable only to enchantment. One must be incredibly blind to deny the sole force that is equal and superior to all others, since with a simple play of the strategy of appearances, it turns them upside down.


     Anatomy is destiny, Freud said. One might be surprised that the feminist movement’s rejection of this definition, phallic by definition, and sealed with the stamp of anatomy, opens onto an alternative that remains fundamentally biological and anatomical:


                 Indeed, woman’s pleasure does not have to choose
                between clitoral activity and vaginal passivity, for
               example. The pleasure of the vaginal caress does
                not have to be substituted for that of the clitoral
               caress. They each contribute, irreplaceably, to
              woman’s pleasure. Among other caresses . . .Fon-
              dling the breasts, touching the vulva, spreading the
              lips, stroking the posterior wall of the vagina,
              brushing against the mouth of the uterus, and so
             on. To evoke only a few of the most specifically
             female pleasures.

                                                     Luce Irigaray










     Parole de femme? But it is always an anatomical speech, always that of the body. What is specific to women lies in the diffraction of the erogenous zones, in a decentered eroticism, the diffuse polyvalence of sexual pleasure and the transfiguration of the entire body by desire: this is the theme song that runs through the entire female, sexual revolution, but also through our entire culture of the body, from the Anagrammes of Bellmer to Deleuze’s mechanized connections. It is always a question of the body, if not the anatomical, then the organic, erogenous body, the functional body that, even in fragmented and metaphorical form, would have pleasure as its object and desire as its natural manifestation. But then either the body is here only a metaphor (and if this is the case, what is the sexual revolution, and our entire culture, having become a body culture, talking about?), or else, with this body speech, this woman speech, we have, very definitely, entered into an anatomical destiny, into anatomy as destiny. There is nothing here radically opposed to Freud’s maxim.


        Nowhere is it a question of seduction, the body worked by artifice (and not by desire), the body seduced, the body to be seduced, the body in its passion separated from its truth, from that ethical truth of desire which obsesses us – that serious, profoundly religious truth that the body today incarnates, and for which seduction is just as evil and deceitful as it once was for religion. Nowhere is it a question of the body delivered to appearances. Now, seduction alone is radically opposed to anatomy as destiny. Seduction alone breaks the distinctive sexualization of bodies and the inevitable phallic economy that results.