Doubling Down: Doing Deconstruction During Derrida’s Death

I’m doubling down on doing deconstruction, and apparently I’m doubling down on that phrase, “doubling down,” which I already said once (too much) in the title and have now used way too much at this point. I promise not to use it again here, but the excess is part of my point: an exercise in exorbitance, a propensity for verbosity…it’s all part of what draws me to deconstruction. There is something about the double movement, speaking in two directions at the same time, writing in a way that avoids the temptation to resolve ambiguity and paradox into something easily digested by normal opinion (doxa). That is stylistically interesting, like the apophatic rhetoric used in mysticism and negative theology. But it’s not only a matter of style. It’s never merely style for mystics and theologians either. The simultaneously inventive and destructive movement of deconstruction discloses something about wisdom, about the way things really are, about the basic orientation around which philosophy takes place. But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Continue reading

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Joy and laughter, or Why I am So Happy

Nietzsche’s practical teaching is that difference is happy; that multiplicity, becoming and chance are adequate objects of joy by themselves and that only joy returns.  […]  The death of God needs time finally to find its essence and become a joyful event.  Time to expel the negative, to exorcise the reactive—the time of a becoming-active.  This time is the cycle of the eternal return.
The negative expires at the gates of being.  Opposition ceases its labour and difference begins its play.

Gilles Deleuze, Nietzsche and Philosophy (Columbia UP, 2002), p. 190.

 

Drag queens flaunt their perversions and incite our laughter at them. [….] In the moment of laughter, there is transparency among individuals, as if the outburst of laughter gave rise to a single torrent surging within them.
Thus drag queens are the paragons and forgers of public morality.
Laughter freezes when someone who brings death to our friend or to a whole people gets away with it.  Yet Nature does get away with it: the wind sputters through the eyes and jaw of a skeleton.  We understand that we can laugh in the face of death.  We catch sight of the possibility of seeing our death as a joke.  We understand that we can die laughing.
[…]
You see our planet set in the orbit of the Sun, which is burning out as fast as it can.  You see our Sun swirling in the cosmic maelstrom of the Milky Way galaxy.  You see innumerable galaxies exploding toward immensities and distances that telescopes are not yet able to track.  New telescopes and spaceship journeys into outer space will extend your vision of the universe ever further beyond the radius of our managed environment.  It will direct our minds with material entities—stars, novae, and black holes—more alien and more forceful than any gods that we had imagined.

Alphonso Lingis, Body Transformations: Evolutions and Atavisms in Culture (Routledge, 2005), pp. 98, 123.