Saturday, January 28, 2012

Kierkegaard and subjective time

In the ethical stage, repetition assumes the form of the universal norms of conduct: instead of chasing the elusive moments of esthetical pleasure, we rely upon the certitude of repetition. Repetition is a sign of maturity when the subject has learned to avoid the twin traps of impatient hope in the New and of nostalgic memory of the Old: we find satisfaction in the return of the Same, like the happy marital couple who has overcome the yearning for exotic adventures, yet is still able to avoid melancholic remembrance of past passions.

The deadlock which pushes Kierkegaard toward the next (religious) stage is of course the experience of how, at this stage too, repetition is impossible: the ideal point at which we overcome the futile yearning for the New without falling into a nostalgic backward-directed attitude, is never present as such. The structure of subjective time is such that, from hopeful expectations, from "too early," we are thrown all of a sudden into melancholic remembrance into "too late." In other words, the self-referential paradox consists in the fact that the ideal point between hope and memory is present precisely and only in the mode of hope or memory: in youthful zeal we hope to find peace in a beloved spouse one never gets tired of; in old age we remember the happy time fulfilled with the reliable rhythm of repetition.

from Zizek's Enjoy Your Symptom

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

a gentleman is

"A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn't."
― Mark Twain

Friday, January 20, 2012