towards a progressive medieval studies
Today I am a mourner and a celebrant. I mourn all (including the non-human) who have met their end due to war in all its forms. I celebrate the creative spirit that brings us into enamoured community, however temporary. Today I'm reading Judith Butler's "Frames of War: When Is Life Grievable?" (Verso, 2009). I just finished the first chapter "Survivability, Vulnerability, Affect" which I think has resonance with a few of the recent ongoing discussions here.
Thanks JJC.Dispatch from NYC readership, one who came to NY safely 'too-late' and has always been (from the safety of that privilege) bothered with mourning on this day, given how it is relentless and immediately taken up by the state. Rather, I'd like to try to 'do the right thing' and instead of giving up on this past, think how to think it--even it must be done in secret--so as to avoid its co-optation by sovereign force:"In the conditional past, to be sure, which means that the unconditional is truly conditional, it has happ4ened and the conditioning conditionalities are in the past conditional. They have become unconditional. This is what I call absolute unconditionality, whether it be of a gift, hospitality or love worth the name of love. It is too late to make conditions...Even the unconditional could have had other conditions. Once it has happened, it is too late. That's what the unconditional is, beyond all metaphysics of the will. One doesn't decide."Derrida, _Geneses, Genealogies, Genres, & Genius: The Secrets of the Archive_ (Columbia UP, 2003), 86. Mourning and radiant joy seem to partake of the same undecidability. The irreversibility of what always could have been otherwise--the event which has happened which we wish never could have, as well as the same with regards to the one we cherish. One doesn't decide and so the same condition seems to allow us all to meet as allows NATO to bomb the 'hijacker's' so as to kill civilians.
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