Saturday, February 25, 2012

If infancy is to be something like a "faculty of enthusiasm," it is because it proceeds from a kind of yes. The child gives itself to the other, and indeed this giving takes a fabulous form, but in the fable there is a yes, a yes that echoes even among all the infantile "noes." [...] If it is possible to envision surviving the grounds for despair provided by this century (in sum, a spreading banality of evil in the face of multiple forms of devastation), it is because there survives in the mind an affirmative relation to non-being, and thus the capacity for opening to the event, for projecting upon an "Is it happening?" This is not a childlike optimism; the joy that is known in infancy cohabits with terror, if only the terror of the jouissance it has known. The "yes" is radically dispossessed; it opens, and it opens in, Jean-François says, a "desert" of desolation. (136)

—Christopher Fynsk, "Jean-François's Infancy," in Minima Memoria: In the Wake of Jean-François Lyotard, ed. Claire Nouvet, Zrinka Stahuljak, and Kent Still (Stanford UP, 2007)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


L.B. was so right--your blog is great! I love this excerpt. Plus, I took the better part of an hour last night to browse your posts, and in so doing, discovered a whole lot of our interests in common. We were posting Celeste and Rei's posts at the same time about Occupy UC. And apparently we were both watching the episode with Joe Diaz. I'm curious to know more about where you'll be after Emory? I try to keep my ear close to what's happening in academia. We should stay in touch.


P.S. I lifted a couple quotes from your blog to share them on mine. Here [] if you're interested.