City Requiem, outwitting paralysis to find ways to write anyway

Am pretty sure this page below is a kind of compliment, though it is an uneasy one. As I have said directly, never meant for there not to be many more inscriptions – how could I be the one to hold back the delude (apres moi?). Of course there should never be no reason to stop writing, just sometimes we could stop anthropologising (a moratorium on fieldwork!) and I always hope to write better, a forlorn task. Stereotypes-stereohypes, they keep getting back up again:

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From the book by Ananya Roy 2003 “City Requiem, Calcutta: Gender and the Politics of Poverty” Uni of Minnesota Press, which, despite my being cast as the paralyser, also ends with some beautiful lines that capture what I to was trying to do: ‘ my narrative of the city … can only be one of multiple and irreconcilable iterations’ Ananya Roy. As I think was expressed already in Ashis Nandy’s comment on the back cover of ‘The Rumour’.

both are worse – so both should be destroyed.

Follow the old mole.

Immediately after the collapse of the Documents project, after being expelled by Breton from surrealism, and in the wake of 1929 fiscal crisis, and after meeting Souveraine, Bataille has joined Contre Attack and writes his first major essays for Critique Sociale.

In a first application of a kind of Psychoanalysis to the State, Bataille discusses Homogeneity and Heterogeneity, order and formlessness

A discussion of the state – in terms of authority and adaptation – reduction of difference through compromise OR a strict authority.

Force for cohesion, compromises and adaptation/assimilation

Over against

counter forces that must be controlled, subject to violence (until the latter grouping is marshalled or congeals in an affiliation where anti-homogenous forces adopt the Lumpen – they cannot represent themselves until along comes Bonepart to represent them)

The heterogeneous is impossible to assimilate. The homogenous is useful – all that belongs – democracy, the heterogeneous is useless – sacred, waste, what cannot be assimilated

Regulated exchange versus psycho-social and political excess

[though his essay displays the influence of a somewhat exoticist abstract digestion of French anthropology and its seamles unseemly seizure upon a political project of an almost theoretically openended Marxism, or at least something reducible, later, to the anarchist project against the State/taking a distanced disregard of the block that is the state]

Mana – sacred power (Mauss)

Unproductive expenditure (Marx)

Trash, vermin, violence – affect, repulsion madmen, leaders, poets, mobs – the Lumpen – incommensurate

Fascist leaders are part of heterogeneous existence for various reasons – they will not compromise, they come from the place of the Lumpen (in the sense that they had been previously banished)

But with a force analogous to hypnosis, a charisma, they initiate an affective, seductive effervescence that – through a sort of transcendence of the befouled, senile, rank world, through a sadistic, militaristic, transcendent exclusion (of what could not be assimilated – what Bataille likes, the formless) restores formlessness into a unity of diverse elements that makes much of inversion, of the identity of opposites between glory and dejection, by always being the opposed and marginalised they claim the centre and the place of the sacer – their nature as ‘other’ permits them to represent all

Power here of mana, of the king, the sovereign – yes Agamben plagiarises from this, steals the crown – a divine supremacy (the fuehrer, a prophet – able to remain pure in the midst of an orgy of violence)

So some principles must be considered – Bonapartism is like fascism – paramilitary groups, surface similarities – the soldier then each equates his leader’s glory with his own – in uniformity, and in uniform, standing erect – the formless, lower orders are taught to march in neat lines and feel their power as his power

Infamy and slaughter are transmuted into honour and duty as the glory of a divine nature from the bottom up but religious and militarist, the chief leads the impoverished proletariat – what Mussolini calls a multitude (comment a propos Negri and Hardt??)

When these classes become aware of themselves as a revolutionary proletariat, when this proletariat becomes a point of identification for every banished element, then subversive forms are latched onto by those fallen and banished elements – who can only find these lumpen allies. Of course it’s the socialists that Bataille would like to have succeed here – too many fucking Trotskyites, he is reputed to have said – but he also recognises that it’s the fascists that can triumph too. Thankfully only the ‘very nearly indifferent attitude of the proletariat that has permitted some countries to avoid fascist formations’ – not the proposed strategic anti-fascist alliance of the bourgeoisie and the proletariat – such would both improve fascisms chances of taking hold just as it weakens/dilutes the proletarian struggle

Bataille does not want to save bourgeois society from fascism, but rather to see both destroyed. As if quoting Lenin.

Taussig on Kobane-Ocalan-feminism-anarchism-ISIS-Turkey-non-hierarchy-Mauss

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 12.09.10a incandescent reflective comment by Michael Taussig on his visit to Kobane, with images:

“Walking through the dust of the wind-blown ruins, I was greeted enthusiastically like the Pied Piper by well-dressed, well-fed, happy kids attached to a women in her forties in a long yellow gown who spoke effusively about resistance to the siege without once pausing for breath. It seemed like she really wanted to — had to – talk, and the kids hung on every word as well as teased us a little. One ten year old had a toy camera with which, held upside down and back to front, he would photograph us photographing Kobane.”

and on Ocalan

“The legend is all here: solitary confinement on a prison island for seventeen years since his 1998 capture in Kenya by the CIA and Turkey (with rumored Mossad support); an imprisonment that seems to have greatly boosted his charisma and power and, be it noted, given him the time to write and read widely; his quasi-religious conversion in prison from the Stalinist model of the hierarchical party to the anarchist idea of horizontal structures of democratic governance; the underlying, all-encompassing effulgence of feminism as not simply gender equality but as a cultural revolution in the meaning of maleness; plus a pronounced emphasis on care for the environment with all the heebie-jeebies of nationalism and ethnicity cast to the winds along with the hocus-pocus of the nation-state.”

You have to read the whole thing to get the context.

Also reports on the Suruc Cultural Centre bombing.

Thanks Ulker for the link

snippet of presentation advice for #dissertation

queneauon dissertation formats:

This is a stylistic question that I think depends on the overall shape/effect of the piece and what you want to achieve. It raises interesting issues in terms of overall impression you give a reader. The language, the layout, the kinds of typology, fonts, subheadings, the tone or way you may or may not echo different kinds of writing – range can be vast, from essay, chapter, article, breezy reflexive summary or policy report, government regulation documentation, legal opinion, scientific prospectus, conventions of the dissertation (several formulaic kinds including lit review chapter or not etc) and all through the varieties of literary expression or models – diary, letters, mix of all of these. It is even important in publishing – not for you just yet obviously, but maybe of interest soon – to consider the type of binding, cover endorsements, size of name/title on spine etc – all these things are factors when someone picks up a book in a shop. Then there is the whole other question of how it looks online, on kindle etc. queneau
But on this, the decision is totally yours – which option looks best to you. Usually go with gut instinct on this. I have no personal preference. Sometimes I write to numbers, sometimes as stream of consciousness… as above. Thing is to leave time to indulge such considerations, and kill all typos.

another social site, another way to download, circumventing actual time in a library (and downloading circumvents reading in the way the photocopying used to do – another triumph for the simulacra of productivity).

you need an account for this, but excluding economy of contribution eyeball tax, they are ‘free’:Screen Shot 2015-02-23 at 22.01.45

Museum of Innocence on smoking

For curio’s sake – and for its [mild] critique of anthropology – there is this short chapter from Orhan Pamuk’s ‘Museum of Innocence’. You only need to know that the ‘author’ of the text has been deliriously in love with Fusan for years. What is impressive however is the way empirical evidence gets into the novel, a documentation of this obsession. It is even possible to visit the museum and see the butts lovingly displayed.

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