Friday, 1 January 2010

Thought to Kick the Year Off

The 'fool' is an innocent, a simpleton, but truths issue from his mouth that are not simply tolerated but adopted, by virtue of the fact that this 'fool' is sometimes clothed in the insignia of the jester. And in my view it is a similar happy shadow, a similar fundamental 'foolery', that accounts for the importance of the left-wing intellectual.
And I contrast with this designation for that which the same tradfition furnishes a strictly contemporary term, a term that is used in conjunction with the former, namely 'knave'...He's not a cynic with the element of heroism implied by that attitude. He is, to be precise, what Stendhal called an 'unmitigated scoundrel'. That is to say, no more than your Mr. Everyman, but your Mr. Everyman with a greater strength of character.
Everyone knows that a certain way of presenting himself, which constitutes part of the ideology of the right-wing intellectual, is precisely to play the role of what he is in fact, namely, a 'knave'. In other words, he doesn't retreat from the consequences of what is called realism; that is, when required, he admits he's a crook.

Jacques Lacan, Seminar on the Ethics of Psychoanalysis

2009 was...

Le bruit des cabarets, la fange des trottoirs,
Les platanes déchus s'effeuillant dans l'air noir,
L'omnibus, ouragan de ferraille et de boues,
Qui grince, mal assis entre ses quatres roues,
Et roule ses yeux verts et rouges lentement,
Les ouvriers allant au club, tout en fumant,
brûle-gueule au nex des agents de police,
Toits qui dégouttent, murs suintants, pavé qui glisse,
Bitume défoncé, ruisseaux comblant l'égout,
Voilá ma route - avec le paradis au bout.

That's how Paul Verlaine would have described it, anyway.