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STUPID UNDERGROUNDS - MANN
Kulture Krit - Page 56

the historical agent, the creative genius, for a new plague of critical autobiographies--the methodical repetition that characterizes the plagiarist is also a trace of the death-drive. Plagiarism implies progress, which is also progress toward a death already immanent in every repetition. Everything doubled is dead. As we have noted, if plagiarism destroys the integrity of the authorial and textual body, it also destroys itself in the process. Moralists like Thomas Mallon frequently refer to the plagiarist's secret desire to be caught, and diagnose it as a "death wish" (34-37). Behind the Robin Hood mask is a suicide in the making. Plagiarism is the perverse cancellation of oneself as author, a pathological emptying of authorship in the very act of trying to mimic it. One gains an identity by having none, by taking up a persona that is soon exposed as false, as already dead. One must therefore imagine a plagiarism that pursues this double evacuation as it were purposely, assiduously, that steals not in order to gain but precisely in order to lose, and to make any further repossession impossible. The fiercest plagiarism would laugh off the whole critical melodrama of the Death of the Author and pursue a death without heroism, with nothing authentic to take the place of the one who died. I desire the body of another in order to live as a corpse. I desire the corpse of my writing to be exposed. I desire to expose the carrion feeding frenzy of all writing. I desire to embody and illuminate, in a kind of fire or language, the death of all discourse.

Kulture Krit

[42] Is this what "Adorno" had in mind? All this armchair "ressentiment," other-envy, hyperactive "nostalgie de la boue" lapped up by university presses and colloquia? All these literary critics and social scientists demonstrating their irrelevance in the very process of asserting their political engagement, extending their great critical powers to prove, at enormous length, what everyone already pretends to know about ideology, about power, about resistance; projecting their imaginary agency into a cultural field already rendered a pure space of surrogation by the agency, the economy, of cultural discourse itself? And does this essay offer anything different? Does one presume here to reinvent cultural

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