Becoming-Bloomer Becoming-Deleuze Becoming-Cixous and back again…
INSTITUTING A ZONE OF PROXIMITY
Occasion: Sitting in an instituted interstitial zone, inside, but also outside, in a passage between eating and ablution, in a corridor that is also a detour, neither in one institution nor another (between Arkitekturmuseet and Moderna museet, Skeppsholmen, Stockholm)…voices, postures, gestures, passers-by, and in the meantime, by simply sitting amidst the flow, I have two encounters…what is the relationship between spatiality and knowledge, is it only ever how we best describe our situated point of view on the world? Or can we inventively, fictively extrapolate and invent a world beyond our immediate apprehension? (In any case, this is something that we do habitually…project the existence of a world we assume to be reliable).
As Stephen Mueke, or Monsieur Mouche asks: “Faced with the masses of ways of knowing things coming from all angles of the compass the contemporary writer asks what now can legitimate his or her own point of view…” Mueke explains that a ‘path’ will be traced, and an explanation made to the reader of how the writer arrived where he or she did…then he goes onto perform a delicate balancing act of falling into fiction, while maintaining some critical foothold on the brim of the world…
BLOOMER: All conventional scholarly work (‘original research’) is written in the implied first person. Under the mask of objectivity, “I am interested in” becomes “the focus of this study is.” (3)
It is this mask we will pull away today…to reveal the residue of passion, my situated self…spatially located…
DELEUZE: To write is certainly not to impose a form (of expression) on the matter of lived experience. Literature rather moves in the direction of the ill-formed or the incomplete, as Gombrowicz said as well as practiced. Writing is a question of becoming, always incomplete, always in the midst of being formed, and goes beyond the matter of any livable or lived experience. It is a process, that is, a passage of Life that traverses both the livable and the lived. Writing is inseparable from becoming: in writing, one becomes-woman, becomes-animal or vegetable, becomes- molecule to the point of becoming-imperceptible. These becomings may be linked to each orher by a particular line, as in Le Clezio’s novels; or they may coexist at every level, following the doorways, thresholds, and zones that make up the entire universe, as in Lovecratt’s powerful oeuvre. Becoming does not move in the other direction, and one does not become Man, insofar as man presents himself as a dominant form of expression that claims to impose itself on all matter, whereas woman, animal, or molecule always has a component of flight that escapes its own formalization. The shame of being a man-is there any better reason to write? Even when it is a woman who is be- coming, she has to become-woman, and this becoming has nothing to do with a state she could claim as her own. To become is not to attain a form (identification, imitation, Mimesis) but to find the zone of proximity, indiscernibility, or indifferentiation where one can no longer be distinguished from a woman, an animal, or a molecule-neither imprecise nor general, but unforeseen and nonpreexistent, singularized out of a population rather than determined in a form. One can institute a zone of proximity with anything, on the condition that one creates the literary means for doing so. (1, 2).
CIXOUS: Other love. –In the beginning are our differences. The new love dares for the other, wants the other, makes dizzying, precipitous flights between knowledge and invention. The woman arriving over and over again does not stand still; she’s everywhere, she exchanges, she is the desire-that-gives. (Not enclosed in the paradox of the gift that takes nor under the illusion of unitary fusion. We’re past that.) She comes in, comes-in-between herself me and you, between the other me where one is always infinitely more than one and more than me, without the fear of ever reaching a limit; she thrills in our becoming. And we’ll keep on becoming! She cuts through defensive loves, motherages, and devourations: beyond selfish narcissism, in the moving, open, transitional space, she runs her risks. Beyond the struggle-to-the-death that’s been removed to the bed, beyond the love-battle that claims to represent exchange, she scorns at an Eros dynamic that would be fed by hatred. Hatred: a heritage, again, a remainder, a duping subservience to the phallus. To love, to watch-think-seek the other in the other, to despecularize, to unhoard. Does this seem difficult? It’s not impossible, and this is what nourishes life-a love that has no commerce with the apprehensive desire that provides against the lack and stultifies the strange; a love that rejoices in the exchange that multiplies. Wherever history still unfolds as the history of death, she does not tread. Opposition, hierarchizing exchange, the struggle for mastery which can end only in at least one death (one master-one slave, or two nonmasters # two dead)–all that comes from a period in time governed by phallocentric values. The fact that this period extends into the present doesn’t prevent woman from starting the history of life somewhere else. Elsewhere, she gives. She doesn’t “know” what she’s giving, she doesn’t measure it; she gives, though, neither a counterfeit impression nor something she hasn’t got. She gives more, with no assurance that she’ll get back even some unexpected profit from what she puts out. She gives that there may be life, thought, transformation. This is an “economy” that can no longer be put in economic terms. Wherever she loves, all the old concepts of management are left behind. At the end of a more or less conscious computation, she finds not her sum but her differences. I am for you what you want me to be at the moment you look at me in a way you’ve never seen me before: at every instant. When I write, it’s everything that we don’t know we can be that is written out of me, without exclusions, without stipulation, and everything we will be calls us to the unflagging, intoxicating, unappeasable search for love. In one another we will never be lacking. (893)
I like to image that I was 6 years old, a child, when Cixous was writing these words…that is to say, she could be my mother, training me for a future of feminist love amidst perpetual and strange becomings?
BLOOMER: The temporal boundaries of the book [the project] are the emergences of my two daughters [two sons] into the world of language. Two offspring two mirror encounters. A familiar motif. (x).
Instructions to self: take the introductory passage from Deleuze, and add the concluding passage from Cixous, watch out for the risk of an Oedipal triangle. Add Bloomer.