Monday, December 22, 2014

a site of desires, relations, drives, fantasies and projections

Usually at the end of the year I take a few of the books I've read and mush them together. This year I'm going to try out a few days of quotes.

It was as if the unfortunate man's paroxysm of terror had reached such a point that it had broken down some biological barrier between animal sensibility and the sensitiveness of such inorganic planetary substances in the stellar galaxy as can be imagined shrinking at the threat of some atomic explosion that could throw them back into the void of non-existence!

(John Cowper Powys, The Inmates (1952))

This scene captured the predicament of misrecognition: the self is not the naturally bounded organism (a thing within the world), but a site of desires, relations, drives, fantasies and projections that cannot possess the coherence of a body.


It is the body as a bounded organism, centred on a looking face whose gaze can be returned by the mirror, that not only represses the chaotically dispersed and relational manner of our existence; it also operates as a figure of reading. We read other bodies as though they harboured a sense of interior meaning that might be disclosed through communication, and we read texts as though they operated like bodies -- as well-formed wholes possessing a systemic logic, the sense of which might become apparent.

(Claire Colebrook, Death of the Posthuman: Essays on Extinction, Volume 1 (2014))

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