We will live in this world, which for us has all the disquieting strangeness of the desert and of the simulacrum, with all the veracity of living phantoms, of wandering and simulating animals that capital, that the death of capital has made of us – because the desert of cities is equal to the desert of sand – the jungle of signs is equal to that of the forest – the vertigo of simulacra is equal to that of nature – only the vertiginous seduction of a dying system remains…1
Still, he should be forgiven what we all want: forgetting within the fuck. Love is a nervous habit. Haven’t many said so? Snacking. Smoking. Talking. Joking. Alike as light bulbs. Drinking. Drugging. Frigging. Fucking.
A flashlight held against the skin might just as well be off. Art, like light, needs distance, and anyone who attempts to render sexual experience directly must face the fact that the writhings which comprise it are ludicrous without their subjective content, that the intensity of that content quickly outruns its apparent cause, that the full experience becomes finally inarticulate, and that there is no major art that works close in. Not an enterprise for amateurs. Even the best are betrayed.
Do you remember this?
HP: No. All these stories about my past—they come back as stories about an interesting fellow I would have liked to know, or the opposite.
All ritual is an attempt, through symbolism, to return to the timeless state. Ritual is a gesture of abstraction from that state, however, a false step that only leads further away. The "timelessness" of number is part of this trajectory, and contributes much to time as a fixed concept. In fact, Blumenberg (1983) seems largely correct in assaying that "time is not measured as something that has been present all along; instead it is produced, for the first time, by measurement." To express time we must, in some way, quantify it; number is therefore essential. Even where time has already appeared, a slowly more divided social existence works toward its progressive reification only by means of number.
Only later did I feel the futility of it all; at that time I did not really understand anything. Later I felt if a man's proposals met with approval, it should encourage him; if they met with opposition, it should make him fight back; but the real tragedy for him was to lift up his voice among the living and meet with no response, neither approval nor opposition, just as if he were left helpless in a boundless desert. So I began to feel lonely.