/…/ Parenthetically, a dead fish is a good example for another, quite different, reason: what renders it uncanny are its eyes, which continue to stare at us, and lead us to a further consequence Hegel draws, which is more daring, almost surrealistic. Even when a painting depicts natural objects, it is always about spirit, the material appearing of spirit. There is, however, a privileged organ of the human body in which spirit reverberates most directly: the eye as the “window into the human soul,” as the object which, when we look into it, confronts us with the abyss of the person’s inner life. The conclusion from these two premises is that, insofar as art creates natural objects which are “ensouled” (beseelt), insofar as, in a painting, all objects become suffused with human meaning, it is as if the artistic treatment transforms every visible surface into an eye, so that, when we look at a painting, we look at a “thousand-eyed Argus.” The artwork thus becomes a monstrosity, a multiplicity of eyes staring at us from all sides―hence one can say that artistic beauty is, as Lacan put it in his Seminar XI, precisely an attempt to cultivate, to tame, this traumatic dimension of the Other’s gaze, to “put the gaze to rest.”



Ma sõin! Toppisin suutäie suutäie järel suhu – sõin!

What looks like politics, and imagines itself to be political, will one day unmask itself as a religious movement.



Wöeh kui pahalt persetatud. Selle perse kannidel on Comrade Artemio ja Punkar Roti lõustad, Shutztaffel-ruunid ja sabakondile on tätoveeritud teine perseauk.

vot tak


When Plato introduces three ontological levels (Ideas, their material copies, and copies of these copies) and dismisses art as the “copy of a copy,” what gets lost is that the Idea can only emerge in the distance that separates our ordinary material reality (the second level) from its copy. When we copy a material object, what we actually copy, what our copy refers to, is never this particular object itself but its Idea. It is similar to a mask which engenders a third reality, a ghost in the mask which is not the face hidden beneath it. In this precise sense, the Idea is the appearance as appearance (as Hegel and Lacan put it): the Idea is something that appears when reality (the first-level copy or imitation of the Idea) is itself copied. It is that which is in the copy more than the original itself. No wonder that Plato reacted in such a panicky way against the threat of art: as Lacan pointed out in his Seminar XI, art (as the copy of a copy) does not compete with material objects as “direct,” first-level copies of the Idea; rather, it competes with the supra-sensible Idea itself. We should take this redoubling of reality in the strongest sense, as a fundamental feature of the ontology of our world: every field of reality contains an enframed, separated, part which is not experienced as fully real, but as fiction.



kas sinu arust peaks siis kuningas metsas oma hirvede väljaheiteid korjama?

The Hegelian tautology “gray on gray” should be linked to the Deleuzian notion of pure repetition as the rise of the New: what emerges in the repetition of the same actual “gray” is its virtual dimension, the lost “alternate histories” of what might have happened but did not. “The French Revolution is the French Revolution” does not add any new positive knowledge, any new positive determinations, but it reminds us of the spectral dimension of the hopes that the Revolution evoked and which were thwarted by its outcome. Such a reading also enables us to see how we can think together Reconciliation as internalizing memory (Er-Innerung) and the retroactive healing of the wounds of the Spirit which undoes (ungeschehenmachen) catastrophes of the past in an act of radical forgetting:

Forgetting is not opposed to the work of remembrance but proves here to be its most radical achievement: oblivion brings memory itself to a point beyond its own beginning. To forget, to undo the past, to make it all “un- happen,” is precisely to remember a moment before it all happened, to undo the inexorability of fate by restaging the beginning, even if only in imagination and in proxy: to act as if we could take it over again, as if we could cast aside the legacy of dead generations, as if we could refuse the mourning work of cultural succession, as if we could cast off our patrimony, rewrite our origins, as if every moment, even those long vanished, could become a radically new beginning―unprecedented, unrehearsed, unremembered. Reconciliation as pure repetition does not bring us back to some mythical beginning, but to the moment just before the beginning, before the flow of events organized itself into a Fate, obliterating other alternative possibilities.

he so clever!


How does a notion emerge out of the confused network of impressions we have of an object? Through the power of “abstraction,” of blinding oneself to most of the features of the object, reducing it to its constitutive key aspects. The greatest power of our mind is not to see more, but to see less in a correct way, to reduce reality to its notional determinations―only such “blindness” generates the insight into what things really are. The same principle of “less is more” holds for reading the body of a book: in his wonderful How to Talk About Books You Haven’t Read, Pierre Bayard demonstrates (taking an ironic line of reasoning which is ultimately meant quite seriously) that, in order to really formulate the fundamental insight or achievement of a book, it is generally better not to read it all―too much data only blurs our clear vision. For example, many essays on Joyce’s Ulysses―and often the best ones―were written by scholars who had not read the whole book; the same goes for books on Kant or Hegel, where a truly detailed knowledge often only gives rise to a boring specialist exegesis, rather than living insights. The best interpretations of Hegel are always partial: they extrapolate the totality from a particular figure of thought or of dialectical movement. As a rule, it is not a reading of a thick book by Hegel himself, but some striking, detailed observation―often wrong or at least one-sided―made by an interpreter that allows us to grasp Hegel’s thought in its living movement.

In 1804, towards the end of his life, Kant wrote that the two hinges on which his entire thought turns are the ideality of space and time and the reality of the concept of freedom. Kant’s opposition to the common-sense attitude is clear here: for common-sense naturalism, space and time are real (real objects and processes “are” in space and time, space and time are not merely the transcendental horizon of our experience of reality), while freedom is ideal (a form of the self-perception of our conscious Self with, perhaps, no foundation in basic reality where only matter really exists). For Kant, on the contrary, space and time are ideal (not properties of things in themselves, but forms of perception imposed on phenomena by the transcendental Self), while freedom is real in the most radical (even Lacanian) sense: freedom is an inexplicable, “irrational,” unaccountable “fact of reason,” a Real which disturbs our notion of (phenomenal) spatio-temporal reality as governed by natural laws. For this reason, our experience of freedom is properly traumatic, even for Kant himself, who mistakes the Real as the impossible which happens (that which “I cannot not do”) for the Real as the impossible-to-happen (that which “I cannot ever fully accomplish”). That is to say, in Kantian ethics, the true tension is not between the subject’s idea that he is acting only for the sake of duty and the hidden fact that there was actually some pathological motivation at work (vulgar psychoanalysis); the true tension is exactly the opposite one: the abyssally free act is unbearable, traumatic, in that when we accomplish an act out of freedom, and in order to sustain it, we experience it as conditioned by some pathological motivation. One is tempted to refer here to the key Kantian concept of schematization: a free act cannot be schematized, integrated into our experience, so, in order to schematize it, we have to “pathologize” it. And Kant himself, as a rule, misreads the true tension (the difficulty in endorsing and assuming a free act) as the standard tension affecting the agent who can never be sure if his act really was free, rather than motivated by hidden pathological impulses. This is why, as Kierkegaard put it, the true trauma lies not in our mortality, but in our immortality: it is easy to accept that we are just a speck of dust in the infinite universe; what is much more difficult to accept is that we effectively are immortal free beings who, as such, cannot escape the terrible responsibility of our freedom.



kadaveerne, skeletaalne ja spektraalne kapitalism.