Old Old Words

drops from an archaeological ocean — to be reworked

Month: November, 2011




absolute emptiness


is it even worth writing it?


If I continue like this

I will end up miserable and ugly…

Bitter, etc.


Bitter or better, you have to choose.

I choose better, of course, as everyone.

I just don’t feel I have a choice, and that I will become bitter whatever I do.

But I choose better, yes.

I want this transformation of myself.

What does it mean?

I guess I need to go through the consequences.


Pull down thy vanity, pull down…


Probably, it means

Stop worrying about greatness…?





About her…

Maybe it is transformation, right now…

The moment I get to be more ‘active’…

She does not contact me any more.

She does not give me any attention any more.

There is space for me…

I could text her, call her.

Try to convince her to see me.

And she will reject me.

I will fail.

It is quite clear: she does not want me any more.

Does it mean I should not do all those moves?

Does it mean I should not become active again?

Thinking about it, the conclusion seems inevitable: I have to go through that.

I have to learn to propose.

I have to learn to desire.




But, of course,

Desire is only one face of the coin.

I have to learn to achieve as well.

Desire and realize…

Each of them alone is vain, both is reality.




a new line (hope not too much of a bother):
greatness seems indeed to be the only possible object of desire,
and yet strangely I feel to be good at nothing…
Confirmation today again: I’m very bad at reading, for instance, (lack of attention, of interest, difficulty to get in trance while at it) which, honestly, is not the best start for literature…
It has always been the case..
(the only moments when I would be able to improve it were those moments with absolutely no pressure, no stress, no competition…)

(which confirms the idea that you feel good only if you are strong enough, i.e. good enough)


There is of course the idea that you can become better…

If you work and work and work…

But the only place where you can truly work is the one where

You are stimulated and good enough.

If you are not good enough, it’s not productive.

If you are not stimulated, it isn’t either.


(It might be best if I did not come up systematically with the conclusion that I was, well, in utter failure…)

(Find something else…)






Deep despair.


Feeling of inability.

Feeling of being a shit.


A waste.


Yes, a waste.

A disposable object.



I am completely disconnected from this world.

I am not adapted to it.

Adapt or die.






That is because, simply, well…

I am not integrated… anywhere…

Not socially integrated.

This is the ugly thing.






What I need to do is,

Keep doing this.


For the next forty years.


Something like an exploration.


Something like

Both the possibility to get out of depression

And an unlimited flowering…


The possibility to write, truly.

Until it gets profound, big, refined, etc.


Maybe get some humour inside it?

Some liveliness…?


It is true that I am, maybe, too ‘serious’… in the bad sense…

Too… interior…

Too… closed on myself…


Everything is closed, yes…


I feel dead.


And I am now obsessed with her…

I want to contact her constantly…

Maybe I should…

Probably I shouldn’t?


I have this fear.

I know that every move I do …

Lowers her interest.

I am paralysed.


Maybe, well, I should do wrong

On purpose…

Either to break the vicious circle…?

So that she would reject me…

Worse of all she would reject me.

Worse of all I would feel pain in rejection.

Isn’t that what I need to learn?


I am not sure that writing about it would make any difference.

I seem to be bound to break…

Since, well, she has a better life than you have right now, and since you, in this emptiness, in this disorientation, are especially fragile.


No friends… No friends…


No one to rely upon…


And oddly enough, this is clearly something, well, that was the case already before.

Those friends, back in the days, are great, but not very supportive, it seems…

(Some of them are… not many…)


I feel this hole here in my chest…

The hole of lack.




All this lack, actually, comes from the radical effondrement

Of my values…

Nothing is possible…

Music, philosophy, literature…

Why is it not possible?

Because the practice is not sound.

When I read literature, it is not sound.

When I listen(ed) to music, it is not sound.


Sound, that is grounded.

Balanced, true, easy, natural, profound, etc.


I am fragile because suddenly I have no activity (except maybe the notebook, yes – it is indeed a true thing for me – but with the caveat that this one is rather open to the outside… it requires an object, it requires something else… this something else that seems to be absent) to build my existence upon.


This is probably the most difficult thing.

Not having any foundation.

Not knowing where I go, etc.




I should try to see more clearly the situation…




Sad… I read, (Pound),

And I find no pleasure…

In music, when I listen to it,

I find pleasure.

Or rather: I know how to find it.

I just need, well, to spend a lot of time on things.

To repeat them. To let them sink.

I used to listen to classical music for so long, and enjoy it so much…

It was such a freedom…

With contemporary music, it was immensely more difficult.

But I still managed to do it.

Always: through repetition.

Just like Mallarmé, by the way…

Or the ‘end’ of reading Proust and Joyce: after reading them for so long, it did not really matter if I read ‘new’ pages, the style of it was easier and easier to assimilate.

And yet…

Music was always more powerful.

(Really? Not a construction afterwards?)


In any case, it seems impossible… to write music.

Is it really?

Sad, sad, sad….


Everything seems impossible…


At least, I have to say, it is clear that I am a bit better now…

A bit better.

I managed to read a few pages, at least…


Two days? Three?

I don’t know how long…

But far too long, for sure…


Far, far too long…


I suppose one of the main problems I face is, well…

The fucking absence of good social circles.

One sure thing.

The idea that here it is just a monastery.

With frustrated students…


I should know more undergrads, maybe…

At least the undergrads seem to have more fun.

Fun. Always this.

This that I lack.


No wonder I came to be with those undergrads when back there…

And her… Her, her…

Who is in my head now…

Now that I start loving her, she goes away…

What can I do?

I miss her so much…

Or maybe, some would say, it is just some weird psychological thing?

E.g.: my own insecurity, etc.

Don’t forget you have not solved the G problem.

Not at all.

This was your dream.


Your dream.

Did you forget that?


Are you completely blind?

Is it your predicament that makes you … think like this??




The question of the activity.

What am I to do, now?


I don’t see how I could be satisfied with academic life…?

I don’t see how I could find a raison d’être to criticism…?


(The closest I get is:

  • criticism as understanding/rationality-based creation, in the same vein as philosophy, theology)




Oh dear, how I would love to be in her arms right now.







And I can’t seem to find any way out.


The only thing I can do is this…


Read is impossible: it does not lead to creation.

Leisure either, etc.


I am blocked.

My mind is closed, etc.


There is really nothing, nothing, nothing for me to do…




Interesting, my death ideas have a bit reduced…

I might be a bit more into life now than I was before?

I guess I need to be more, and more inside it!!






She seems to me like an animal.

In relative discrepancy between her thoughts and her acts.

I can only judge her acts.

They are clear: she is less interested in me.


Not a single tear, not a single supplication will do.

She will be implacable.

Without any pity.


Hence, I might, well… just forget her…

Consider her lost, (for now?), and try to rebuild myself?




Walk, in the night.

It is quite healthy.

It helps.




Rebuild myself.

I feel more destroyed than ever.

Weaker, weaker, weaker,

My mind sillier and more closed than it ever was.

How can I think it is the right way to go?

(Lucky me: there is none other…)


I still have those vague desires for knowledge…

But no energy at all, AT ALL, to realize them.



Have I ever been so low?




It is my low status

Which prevents me

From acting properly…


When I was better,

I used to have ‘higher standards’

In all areas of my life, it seems.


And if I don’t find a way

To regain energy,

To regain hope, and life,

I will end up miserable and bitter.


I have to find a way.

Otherwise there is only death…


Maybe, if I leave it here,

Maybe, if I work from 8 till 5,

Maybe then I will find a way?


But maybe not.


I feel, actually, that there is more, more to this situation than I want to admit to myself.

I don’t understand it properly.

I have to change my perspective.

First of all, for instance,

It is true that I could consider myself being extremely lucky.

I am, indeed.

I might be in one of the great centres of the world…

(Although, I have to say, I does not really… feel like anything…)

(Exactly the same when I was in Germany, for this massive new music event… It simply did not feel like the centre… A lesson that the centre is something more in me than I would think…)


Centre of the world.

True life.


I am on the verge of something.

Either death,

Or a complete re-foundation.



I might be in the best place possible, and I can’t do anything with it.

Is it not an absolute shame??

This is truly something which I should not allow.


I should start writing.

Writing for the journal,

Writing for the institution.

Fit in…

And start from there?

Knowing that this is not the end?

Knowing that this is only a first step?


I need to do something.

I do not know what.

This could be a solution…?

Write pages and pages and pages on new music, on criticism, etc.?





I remain immensely sad.

I wish I had a lighter life…

With fun, with social connections…

Something less solitary, less … grey…


I am probably becoming grey myself…

I don’t want that.

I fear, I fear so much to become like those ones, back there, in the home country…

Those ones, so frustrated and mediocre…

(I cannot say I am not both, now, honestly…)




The very, very strange thing

Is this repulsion for any real artistic activity.

And, since this ‘centre’ is impossible, or absent, or forbidden, or simply wrong (the wrong one),

All other activities (like secondary writing, other minor projects, the things a free mind would like to undertake) are also forbidden!!!

A global paralysis, dreadful, dreadful!


Exactly the same situation as when I could not write,

But could study, and make plans, notes, etc., and be very creative and active in that part,

And when this ‘impossible ending’ would gradually conquer what came before

And gradually, because it would lead to this impossible wall, this dead end,

Even the first creative moments would also be drowned in absurdity, and ‘die’…


And all work, then, would be eradicated,

Even if this is my central value in life,

The thing I want to do most of all…



It might be, and I think this was confirmed

In those rare occasions when I could create a little

(A poem, a short text, even a composition, back in the days),

That the core thing was criticism…

Difficulty in writing came when I did not see any end in criticism…

In high school, I could still think that it was just an ‘exercise’, some unimportant thing…

That it led to literature…

Now it isn’t the case any more…


At least I write a little.

But what for?

I write.

With some shaping…

I write,

and some rhythm comes in my mind…

but it is still nothing.

Nothing, compared to what should be done.


Nothing, compared to the real project of an undepressed person.

A person who feels (and is) able to do things, and who undertakes them.


Both things are difficult now.

The ability,

The undertaking.


(At least the hands are better…. I can write again without this care… It might come back, though… I wonder if it might become better with time… i.e. if my hands will be more ‘resistant’, or just more used to typing, if I do that very often (every day)…)


The question, then, is, of course,

“Does it lead somewhere?”


Is it a valid thing?

Or rather: how do I transform this disshaped mud into

Alive gold…





Oh dear…

This despair…


The thing is the following:

I seem to be able to understand,

But not do.

(And of course when this absence of doing becomes too threatening, i.e. now, where my whole life could be completely ruined, or so I think, because of my non-doing, my non-writing, and ergo my non-fitting into my context, then I can see how my understanding becomes more and more difficult to maintain…)

(Mad!! Again, an absolutely incredible thing!! The proof, under my eyes, that understanding is doing based! … hem… maybe not… They are two separable yet related poles… It is obvious that many times new directions of understanding allow for a fresh start in writing, just as formulating problems is often the sparkle that illuminates new spaces of knowledge, etc.)


Reassuring that I am able to formulate little paragraphs…

Dreadful to have to be happy with this… Dreadful to see how low I am, how very miserable my abilities have become.



I need to keep writing…




Obsessed by her.


Why? How?


How come?

What’s the matter?

Am I not going mad?


Should I not… stop this?




It’s good to write…

It helps forgetting a bit.


I wish I could find more … elusive… paths…

I wish I could get out of myself a bit more…

Invent things…





I love Dali’s way, for instance…


I feel to have put myself under so much constraint…

Constraints so deep,

A discipline so heavy,

That it almost broke myself.


Rha! Buddha! The eightfold path!


The application of this idea there is incredible.

And yet…

So evident…


I have to reshape my relationship with myself.

Not be harsh and brutal, as well as absurd and irrational, with myself.

I have to make more sense.


This is my way.

This could be the great thing of my life.

Find this new way.

Find this better way.


An interaction with myself.

Find a way to live.

Find an ethical line.

As well as a creative one.


Find a place in this world,



And maybe, somewhere,





I don’t know who I am.


I know I want to be great.

I know I want a grand, amazing life.

A spiritual life, even if in a lay sense of the word.

A meaningful life.

Or maybe better: a true life.


It is always difficult to discern the difference between meaning and truth in Badiou.

He would be ‘against’ meaning (in connection with his rejection of analytic philosophy), and ‘for’ truth (seen as something beyond the subject, something eternal, formal, the hole in knowledge… something insensé)…





great, great pain

thinking of her


no solution, again

my usual pattern


absolute fear



I should do something

to clear things out?




Funny, I am now thinking,

that this ‘indifference’ of hers

seems slightly similar

to the one this best friend of mine has,

I feel…

this feeling he would, say, constantly invite other people,

i.e. switch from a one-to-one drink or lunch into a more social one…

I seem always, well, a bit neglected…

As if he always had the upper hand,

As if he were always free, and me bound…


Maybe I am exaggerating?

Maybe not…


If even friendship has to be reinvented,

If even there I need to be alone,

Without any image…

It will be very hard…


Or will it?


Is it loneliness

Which is hard,

Or rather, well,

The perpetuation of old schemes…?

Is it loneliness

Which I suffer from

Or those imperfect, desiccating

-Ships (relation/friend)?


Same question for my ‘career’…

Is it the emptiness

Of not knowing where to go, what to do,

How to earn money (short term survival),

How to realize myself (long term),

Which eats my liver,

Or on the contrary

The remnants of old structures,

My current institutional affiliation,

This constant necessity to adapt to it,

To care for this future,

To plan ahead an endless adaptation?


Shouldn’t I do like those friends of mine,

Who ‘failed’, or at least

Did not really do so well

In their first ‘official’ formation,

And had a moment of wandering,

Maybe a year or two, or three,

And who now enjoy a new, reconfigured, energized life?





Still those dreams of knowledge…

Knowing, for instance, about:

  • contemporary developments in logic
  • set theory, category theory, topos theory
  • other mathematical subjects
  • physics



Fascinating, and horrifying,

How it seems that now knowledge has succumbed to market and career

It was so not the case in the time of Descartes, for instance.

Everything he did was… free, disinterested

He would never have even considered that it would be in any sense…

Profitable, or strategic…

He would not have thought it could be possible to earn money with it, or to get a job in an university…?

Or maybe my vision is ‘romantic’?


In any case, I do not know how it would be possible to find a place in this world…

A place where I fit…

A place where it is good to live, where there is meaning, where I feel truth.




The main problem is truly

That I am disconnected,


I do not fit anywhere.

I am alone – without mentor, without colleagues, probably soon without friends either…

There is no context I see where I could…


I see meaningless, ‘false’ contexts…

Places where I cannot involve myself into,

Places where I don’t see shared beliefs, attitudes, etc.

Places where I don’t feel at home.


Very, very difficult.

I have to survive.

I have to create the context.


I cannot rely on others – at least until I find them…

For now, it seems, I am alone.




Maybe the best thing to do

Is stop doing…?

That is

Allow for an emptiness to appear… ?


Instead of being fully and constantly

In the obsession of doing…

Thinking that only activity

Is possible…


Just stop


And think, or dream…?

And let work come to me?




Still this thing that…

It is work itself

Which is broken in me.

The impossibility to work.

This might be, well,

The cause of my despair?


i.e. if I were able to work,

I would not be in this state of absolute impossibility?


And now, what do I do?

I write en automate…

I write without thinking…

I write without working.

I write as a madman in a madhouse…

Without hope,

Without recipient,

Without goal,

Without effort or structure.


I write what comes,

What is dictated.


What is dictated is dictated.

There is no way


To come back to it.

To correct, improve or work on.

What is dictated is dictated.

And unless dictation comes for those three noble re-processes,

There will be this only one.

This plain writing.

Hollow, sincere, probably dark.






More and more difficult to contain.

Anguish in my whole body…


This should be controlled.

This should be mastered.

This is the real work.


One big problem:

I have no restraint.

I speak too much to others

Of those worries of mine.

I have not learnt to fucking control myself.

To bear the pain,

And start afresh.

I have not learnt to be serious

In managing myself.

In being autonomous

And adult.


This is the true work.

Maybe the only one,

(Hidden under those various guises

All those jobs and callings and activities…).




She, she is all over my head.

But I am really really not sure

It is a good thing.

The desire I have is elsewhere,

It is still the same.

Transform myself,

Become a man.

Get over my fears,

So that I can know myself,

So that I can truly love,

So that I can know compassion

While be in control,

Know my limits, etc.

Not just remain the weak coward I am…



I need that.

It is necessary.

It is a true purpose in life.

It is the only way.




Desire to learn,

Yet so broken, so interfered…

Desire to know maths and physics (and maybe other empirical sciences)

Desire to know more and more philosophy

(Remarkable chapters in Hobbes’ Leviathan on philosophical schools!

I wish I could have the energy to read them…

Why haven’t the philosophers learnt from it?

But of course since it is a philosophical assessment of philosophical schools,

Just like any other philosophical view

It is not unanimously accepted…)

(Funny: even if you say: “any philosophical statement you can think of will not be unanimously accepted.”, this will not be unanimously accepted (and this one, too…)… It leads to endless paradoxes (this one, of course, as well))

Desire to know literatures, and languages…

Desire to know the art of love – the art of being with the other…

Desire to know money and its flat world, fame, and politics (a little)…



Such an anguish.

Anguish that I might fail everything,

This anguish, old now, of dying miserably…

Maybe it is precisely the opposite…


What is waking in my belly…

It is challenge.

Stress, the same one as when I tried to open girls, when I tried to get past this fear of my own desire…

Because it is clearly this: fear of my own desire.

This is what I need to realize (and I bloody haven’t!!!).

I don’t fear them.

I fear myself.

There is this connection of fear and shame.

This inner tabooing of desire.

This is what I truly fear.

This is why, by the way, I have this fear only with girls that I truly desire,

Even if they are not obvious vulgar ones, or, say, ‘supermodels’.

It is far more than that.

Much deeper.

It is something of my definition of myself,

My being in front of the other.





This could actually be… good?

(Impossible… or, maybe, unthinkable… for now?

That is before some realization, some inner revolution?)


Anguish as this moment that precedes action.

Anguish which allows for things to be meaningful,

Simply because there is something at stake. Emotionally (and rationally?)





nothing in mind

no direction


everything stopped



there are more pressing issues


always this idea that the real has to be handled with

before getting to the ‘intellectual/artistic’…





And this strange, strange writing…

always, always…


the only one…


incapacity to do anything else…


maybe poetry?




Was it a good idea…?

To leave?


Shall I… come back, like a fool?

I would be really silly…

No: I would have lost all pride…




Was it a good idea?

Where to go, then?

Go elsewhere?

Where could I find, well, anything?




And this bloody ‘relationship’,

always on my mind,

like a big spider eating me…

there is no solution…

I don’t see any nice way of managing things.


Incredible, how limited I am.

Shouldn’t that be the area where you can distinguish some form of ‘intelligence’?

The ability to solve those kinds of situations?


Why am I so… impotent?

Or, rather: how could I become … wiser, or more… cunning?

How can I make the right decisions?




The force of a cultural canon

(Within which lie the forces of the individual figures belonging to it)

Is that it does not allow you

To have a choice in liking or disliking

Those canonical figures it contains.

The result, psychologically, is simple:

Either you leave the field, (i.e. you ‘remain far away’ from the canonical effect)

Or, in order to repress the part of you that does not like the canonic figure,

You become a fanatic.

Fanaticism, the mirror of grandeur and admiration,

Is then found around all those ‘unavoidable’ figures,

Shakespeare, Dante, Joyce,

And more even in philosophy.


There are rare places where you can be inside the canon,

I.e. knowing the central figures well,

Without feeling the oppression, without having to choose between staying outside

Or falling into obsessive folly:

The centres.

Those places where it is socially accepted, normal, even expected of people

To become the next generation.

Those places who see themselves as having inherited the achievements of the past.












Marc Aurèle



And then Middle Ages,

until Descartes,

and so many other things…



Is this desire for immensity just a weakening of the mind?

Just the sign that now I am old… ? Too old to maintain a proper discipline?

Or is it on the contrary, well, a just desire, a revolt against petty academic routine and silly boundaries?


Very, very difficult…

I wish I could hold the second one with no real doubt…

I wish I could be more … stable, more affirmed

Less dark and doubtful,

Less weak and insecure…


Always, always

This desire

To be consoled.

This is the real thing I should get rid of.

(Yes, you are now in my head, with your beautiful hair, your sweet eyes, your warm body to hold me…)

This is probably the moment when I need to become, well, an adult?

A beast, a wild beast, knowing the wilderness, the ways of the world…?

A prudent creature, knowing limits, knowing how to dissimulate oneself, knowing when to avoid danger, knowing also when to attack. Knowing to mistrust as well as to trust…




Completely obsessed by her, now…


Hope it won’t last too long,

Hope it won’t end up badly…




And what about my future?







You need to learn

How to control yourself.


You need to learn

How to get your mind under the command of your will.







Now music seems to have gone away

Simply… well… impossible, for some weird sort of way…

Or, maybe, a bit differently: composition being actually very practical, very technical…

Something that I fear I will never ever be able to acquire…



For philosophy, what I would need is

Willpower, hope, energy…

The ability to focus on certain texts,

The ability to write essays


I guess

The problem could just be generalized

As the ability to integrate a community

This might be the hardest part…

This might be the most difficult thing…




Maybe I simply need help?

Maybe I can’t solve my problems myself?


Yet it seems to be the only way…

I really don’t feel I can trust anyone…

Or rather: I feel I cannot find any convincing mentor





I feel very slightly better…

And suddenly I think:

Yes, this hardship is the right path,

It is where I want to be,

It is what makes me who I want to become, etc.

(Especially concerning her, and the torture of her indifference, and the doubt concerning… the continuation or stopping of our relationship…)


But this is probably an illusion.

The illusion arising from… ‘being well’…

The illusion that darkness and pain will not come back, etc.


I still need concrete solutions.

It is the only way.

The only, only way.




I am waiting for her

To make a move


Because I feel

Every move I might do

Will worsen the situation…


But waiting like this just turns me mad…








An unproductive one.

I don’t even work.

I don’t even read.

Constantly anguished.

Constantly threatened.

Constantly hopeless.


Until when shall I survive?


It hurts.

It hurts a lot.

I don’t know how to escape.


Leisure, maybe?

It does not seem to be allowed


This is probably it.

Allowing myself things

This is the thing I don’t do.


I am a mountain of forbiddenness.

A rock of it.


So ugly.

I hate that.

But it’s no use, of course, to hate oneself.

No use.

No use.


No use to ask questions.

No use, no use…


I am alone, like in prison.

I should be happy.

I am in a beautiful situation…

And everything, well, is forbidden.


Maybe it’s just…

a moment?

Maybe if I am patient, well…

Maybe life could be better?


At least, well,

I don’t feel this horrible pain in my belly.

At least that.

It seems I have to choose:

either having the head destroyed by depression and despair

or the body crushed by forcing and self-betrayal…




I might try, well, to change the situation?

Shit, shit, shit.







I should write about those things that are important to me.

Important in the concrete world.

Not only create an abstract bubble to pour my despair into…


Talk about

  • opus: this work only that gives meaning to existence (L’Œuvre)
  • the Other: how to meet her/them, how to be with them, how to find love and sex

  • money: how to sustain one’s existence in this particular societal context…


Funny, how, for instance,

Concerning the Game,

I still feel to have all possible tools in hand…

All the necessary tools.

And that what is lacking is rather this


Forever impossible.

And the same, almost,

For literature…

Or for philosophy, maybe…

This idea that it is only the doing

That might free me…

And yet I don’t see really how.


I am fragile

When thinking about her.

She is indifferent now, more and more.

And I am, therefore, more and more fragile…

But the Game goal,

To transcend myself,

Have a better life,

Be courageous,

Live outrageously,

Live superhumanly

This goal still exists.

Although darkened, or softened…

Lost in some mist…

So on the one hand it might be that…

If I were to find a solution to the Game problem,

She would really become a friend,

And the questions of attraction, of relationship, etc.,

Would be solved by that only…

Or on the contrary it is towards her that I need to turn my soul…

And the Game is really an illusion.


Feeling lost,

Feeling empty.

Of course.

Ezra Pound,


Yet the desire for science, for philosophy.

Be a poet only might be,


Too restrictive.

Everything is too restrictive.

Everywhere is too small.


Now I should try to work.

Or try to read.

Or try to analyse.

Or try to make notes.

Or try to organise myself.

Or try to think of solutions…

And write them down.

Or try to tackle concrete problems,

Instead of this very abstract recirculation/perlaboration.

Maybe, maybe not.

No answer,


Ever, ever, ever.

Something still dictates,

If I listen.

Something that might stress my hands,

Tend them till -initis.

Hopefully not.

I still love being there.

In front of the screen.

People hate that.

People hate the soft click of keys.

People are nostalgic of pens.

But pens are beautiful,

And keys.

And one is young, and the other old.

And both might grow until their difference shall not be remembered.

One is painting,

One is photography,

(Of course).


What shall I read?

Plato, Parmenides,

Badiou, Conditions, Petit traité d’ontologie transitoire,

Lewis, On the Plurality of worlds,

Descartes, Règles pour la direction de l’esprit


That is what I might read now.

And then, later in the night,

Homer, Virgil, Milton, Joyce, Pound,


I see two youngsters coming and going.

Smart, dressed up.

Fine, fine legs,

That you may never fuck.

Is it legitimate to read,

If you are a loser?

Is it legitimate to scholarize yourself,

If your cock is weak and weeded out?

Is it good to perpetuate this everlasting cliché,

The loser reads and thinks, because he cannot tread the winner’s path, fuck the hotties,

Reach superficiality?

L’important, c’est la surface, says Deleuze.

Surface, that would be: fuck, spend, win.

Have fun.

Now I am rather torn in anguish…

About her.

About an artistic or intellectual realization.

About financial possibilities.

About growing old.



Am deeper into despair

Than before

Or less?

Difficult to even know that..

It seems that life recompenses

Ambition and


Don’t I lack that to the highest degree?

Don’t I lack that more and more?

Or maybe not…

There are other signs.

I read more,

I am more aware of my interests…

I feel globally freer inside…

But my surroundings might become more difficult to accommodate.


superbe incapacité à lire…

l’esprit est bloqué…

angoissé et déprimé…

aucun élan, aucun étincelle…

une fatigue classique:

celle de l’inactivité…

celle de l’insécurité…

elle, elle, elle, elle: qui me tourmente,

par qui je me laisse tourmenter?

elle: lui fais-je seulement confiance?

aucune certitude…

je la crois plus inconstante, plus inconsciente qu’elle ne le dit.

je la crois possible de profondes contradictions…

non pas d’un mal voulu, d’un désir de mal (même si en fantasme bien évidemment),

mais d’une sorte de glissement… de quelque chose où elle se laisse aller, et se retrouve dans la situation…

ce que moi j’aurais vécu, en fait, de mon côté, si j’en avais eu l’occasion…

ce que moi j’aurais sûrement fait…

je suis puni pour les choses précisément dont je suis coupable…

peut-être…? …

aucune certitude…

juste une mollesse…

une ignoble mollesse…

quel ennui, quel dégoût d’être ainsi…


a few pages, and the attention falls again…

I feel rusted,

But rather … a-rusted, anti-rusted…

So slimy, so soft…

How on earth could I change, and get into some other frame?

Change my body?

Change my schedule…

Do something!

But, as usual, it is only words…

Words, words, words…

My thought is like a citadel…

Besiege by an endless bodily/material swamp.

I cannot get out of my mind.

I cannot make my dreams get outside.

If they do, they drown, they get killed.

That is my feeling, or my belief?

That is my experience…


Fantasy on this Zürich golden boy,

So full of absolute chicks,

Fucking supermodels,

Juggling with millions.

I can’t be disgusted.

Not now, in this night of impossible study,

Of constant mediocrity,

Of self-contempt.

It is not possible not to dream about it.

Is it because I am totally weak?

Is it because I am rotten, some silly male monster?


I wish I could find either some ‘cure’ against that,

Which would make the desire vanish,

Or some power within me

That would allow me to materialize this dream.

Let it out, so that I can think about something else…

Evolve, be more, be after it.

In other words, become, and not stagnate.


Obviously the main problem

Being bereft from any community

Being alone

Or nearly so: having only superficial, unimportant relationships…

That is when you need your strength.

Psychological strength.

That is when you need to be really determined.

That is when the attacks of Despair and Anguish will be the most



Where Night shall be at its darkest.

This is now the moment – or maybe… this is just before the moment, if (probably) worse times come –

To see if I am able.

If I am strong enough.

I have spent my life abandoning.

Dreary fate.

I need to change that.


Not being able to force myself properly:

Force myself until the goal is reached.

This is the only way to do great things.

The only way.


If you are not capable,

Then there is

Mediocrity, or


Simple, simple.

(As usual,

In the detail,




I write a little.

Not much.

Compared to that period,

A week ago.

But more than those past days.

Not bad.

Maybe a little hope.



For sure.

That can only be that.


No energy,

No hope,

No future,

(no present almost no past),

No engagement,

No strength/power,

And probably just growing silliness.


Instead of flying all the time.

I should be trying.

And how, and how?

Failing is such a stupid fear.

Stupid because illusory, small, futile.

Funnily enough,

At least,

Fear of failure,

Seems far away,

Here in this brute page brushing…

Too high a view of literature

Followed by …

la fange


At least now I feel a bit of anxiety…

The stress before the open.

If she is not the solution, if she does not want me, if our relationship was too imperfect, and should not be continued…

Then I should try going to meet other girls…

Try stop fearing them.

Try with this cute shy one that I see from time to time…

Who is here now, close.


Bad literature is always sincere, wrote the great dandy (a doubt).

It is indeed out of literature that I am now.

Every time I try to get inside some field,

It fails. Miserably.

Maybe, if I kept writing there, on those lost pages,

Maybe, in ten or twenty years,

I would, well, reach this insincerity?

Or simply: a sincerity which is not seen by others,

Because it is … refined, worked through…

Because it has become a voice itself, not just the showing act of a part of the world…

Maybe, maybe, maybe.


Fantasy, still, always,

On absolute excellence.

Fantasy on supermodels, for instance.

The sublime apex of the body.

The ‘most’ sexual.

But just as for everything of the top,

Like shoes,

Like geniuses in the canon,

It being excellent does not mean

That you love it.

Most ones in the canon, for instance,

Are probably without real interest for one’s specific sensitivity.

And some non canonized might be more directly ‘close’ to us.

Just like one might prefer hanging out with ‘less intelligent’ people,

Because the emotional contact is better…


Maybe not.

In music it was never the case.

In music, when I listened to it with love, with freedom,

In music I really appreciated the geniuses.

The canon was (and still is) true, authentic.

Without any obligation in it.

My assimilation process was easy, slow but unstressed.


Maybe that is the thing.

I am constantly stressed.

This is the death of all creativity,

Of all personal project, of all personality.

Stress… (bad stress… if you are well, good stress is what you crave…)


A little bit…

Again: without any constraint,

without any idea.

Write: but be a bit sad,

Write: and see how hollow it is.

The world, its anguish

(go talk to the cute girl,

confront my very imbalanced/dying relationship,

manage my material security, my future,

find an intellectual/artistic way),

Are a bit further away…

The world disappears a little…

A know in the belly remains,

Not the dire pain of this past year…

Just a bit of anguish.

Anguish… that something of my desire might actually …

Get realized…

In going to this cute creature, engage in a dialogue…

Do something,

Do this thing I never dare to do…

Do the real work

Confront your desire.

Be brave for once…

Stop being weak?

Maybe not even…

Just do the thing, while weak…

Don’t try to change yourself…

Just do it…



I lost myself in knowledge…

Knowledge isn’t nothing,

It is not-enoughness…

Knowledge is necessary not-enoughness…


One more occasion lost.

We went outside for a small pause,

With this friend,

And she went home at that time,

And I did nothing

(“I am with this friend, I can’t do a thing, etc.”).

Clearly, clearly wrong.

I should have done something.

(Now the only work is get rid of guilt

and try to find something which might get me to do something else next time… i.e. not nothing…)


Subtle pleasure of writing…

Subtle activity,

Subtle light in the mind.

Or maybe just… well…

Night advancing…



La question du faire…



There is always something getting me out of it.


This is remarkable.


A key, maybe.


There is a subjective feeling of unworthiness.

i.e. “It leads nowhere”, or “It does not give any results” or “It really is a waste of time”, etc.


Strangely enough, it is wholly possible for me to do this, the notebook,

Without any real problem with it (i.e. I can keep on doing it for a long time)

Despite my dissatisfaction (it is not really giving any result)…


The question, then, is the following:

is it only a question of ‘how’? Of method?

(Psycho-physical method, that is… : a feeling of freedom, a regular pace, probably many other parameters I do not master…)

That is, if I were ‘able’ to transpose the method to, say, my Dphil, I would be able to work on it without all those impossibilities, etc.



It might be that the problem is actually more ‘profound’…

For instance, because of the mode of the activity…

There something very loose about this one…

Something you cannot get in academic writing…

Something you probably cannot get in literature or poetry either.


In this sense, it is rather because I need an activity of this kind that I do this, and not other ones.

It would be what I can do now, instead of what I would ‘want’ to do.


But one sure thing: I have never really wanted to do academic stuff (at least in what I have known of the humanities)…


My problem is rather: what would be life now?


It might be that actually I am just a coward.

The only answer should be: just go out there, leave, with the knowledge that there isn’t any prefabricated way.


If you wait for the way to appear, it is not going to happen.

You need to be in the real, forced to make your way

Forced to create your world.


But of course this would be very, very harsh.


Fantasies on painters:

Pierre Soulages,

Gerhard Richter,

Francis Bacon,


And of course Rothko, Klein, etc.


I really don’t know art so well…


Again this idea of freedom.

Being able to be universal, in some way.

Do what you want, even if in a disciplined and strong frame, but do things with freedom




Just a thought.

Meillassoux really constructs an argument.

More than Badiou does, it seems.

Very often, in this ‘classical’ manner, Badiou does readings (of math, of philosophers). Readings which have an amazing richness, etc.

But usually the affirmed points are not argued. The opposite positions are presented, and after that there is only a choice. The choice of your philosophical orientation.


This choice seems to be supposed irreducible… Or is it?


There is truly this ‘non-argued’ way of exposing ideas.

It might be the object of a relatively large study.

(Since obviously there are arguments in Badiou… it might be a matter of how they are used, and when)


Quoi qu’il en soit, it is one more way of acknowledging that Meillassoux, without saying it, never, is going in the direction of analytic philosophy.

The line Badiou-Meillassoux is going back towards what the analytic philosophers never ‘left’.

It might be that in ‘rejoining’ the more ‘analytical’ ethos of argumentative methods, this trend of philosophy will have much to contribute, and might even change the course of Anglo-American philosophy.

It might be, it might not. It is actually not very probable.




Armstrong, Lewis, etc.

Always slightly depressive to try approaching them.

I don’t really know why…

It just is that way…


And the question of what you do in your life is always present…

Always, always…


The combination of absolute ambition and ‘bereftness’ (not being fully central/integrated in any field) results in this obsessive notebooking.

Where nothing lies (but shadowy wandering, etc.)

Shall I become absolutely Amiellian?

Shall I find a way out?


The question of women, in Amiel, is also abominable. Absolutely frustrated, incapable of getting to any… And closing himself into rejecting them (through the construction of an absolute ideal) rather than doing anything

That is not what I do, at least.

I am just above that in terms of sickness…

Just a bit sounder…

But it might be only because I am young, still… (vaguely young, almost not young anymore)

I can see myself drowning into this horrible future…

An Amiellian future…

Or a Leirissian one (as horrible… such a waste, such a loser, this man… dreadful. So depressed all the time, so clumsy and wrong with women, so dissatisfied with his work… dreadful, dreadful…)


Should I try to work on ‘positive’ models?

Models of non-depressive, i.e. healthy, happy and yet grand people?

Or at least, I don’t know, action-oriented people, or … simply ‘not wasted’ people?

Who would that be…?

In literature there are clearly examples.

From the Greeks and Romans onwards, there are plenty.

Virgil, say, of course, and Horace…

Dante, Shakespeare…

Actually it might be that it is really only through an immense ‘success’ – i.e. activity instead of meditation, social integration instead of seclusion, etc. – that the really fabulous masterpieces get produced…


This would actually be the true revolution.

Being able to find a model of a true fulfilled, successful life with canonicity.

That might be the whole question, the whole problem.


But for that I need what? I need a reconfiguration of role models.

Meaning, really, an overthrow of my inner romanticism (of which the latest form is modernism, with postmodernism being a yet relatively failed attempt to get out of it).

Cf. Taruskin, cf. Badiou.


It seems, once again, that it is towards the States that I should direct my gaze.

Although Houellebecq is probably one very clear example of this phenomenon in France.




Maus comic.

Radical ‘dichotomy’ between the evil ones and the victims (despite the lousy end with the jew uncle… racist against Afro-Americans…).


The whole question, the importance of the question only arises if you consider the mixture of sameness and difference.

Nazis and Jews are different, (although the difference is slippery, ergo the endless ‘chasing’ for absolute purity, etc.), hence the possibility of massacre. It seems difficult to envisage that people might attempt to organise a ‘genocide’ ideology if they cannot find any ‘criteria’ of distinction. ‘Jew’ was this criteria, although, again, the thing was slippery (Gypsies as well, and everything that was ‘unter’… It might be that if Nazi regime had continued, there would have been more and more ‘unter’ sub-populations, a bit like the question of the ‘party enemies’ in Soviet Russia?).

Yet Nazi and Jews are the same, both human. If it was not the case, e.g. in the case of a ‘human vs. alien’ scenario, it is no big problem to eradicate evil: the oppressors, the aliens, are entirely evil, and a ‘legitimate’ genocidal gesture can be envisaged (cf. lousy Independence Day, where the end triumph is actually the eradication of the eradicators).


The horror lies in those two aspects: the irruption of vague distinctions (‘jew’, but of course many other criteria would do) within a globally same community (humans). Meaning that the possibility of this evil is intrinsically human. It can occur in human societies, and we don’t know in which ones, or how exactly it starts, etc.


The presence of evil is here, within.




Total blockage.

Impossibility to do.

Absolutely lost.

I don’t know what to do.

Where to invest my energy…



Every path is shut.


Or maybe this is the kind of thinking that shuts everything?





Encore, encore.

Marre « d’avancer ».

De faire et faire encore ces lectures qui ne mènent à rien.

Mènent à rien : qui ne changent rien, malheureusement, à la réalité présente…

C’est cette réalité qu’il faut changer.

C’est ça le centre de toute l’affaire.

Il n’y a pas d’autre moyen.

C’est là que se trouve l’énergie, c’est là que se trouve le renouveau du soi, le changement.

Tant que les conditions matérielles de vie sont toujours là, je ne vois aucune possibilité effective de changement.

Et qu’est-ce que ça serait, alors, cet autre contexte… ?

Qu’est-ce que ça pourrait bien être ?

Difficile, difficile à dire.

Impossible, même, je dirais, à le dire.

Du moins je ne vois rien.

Je vois les quelques détails de la vie de Schubert que je connais me sauter à l’esprit.

Pauvre, errant d’ami en ami pour un logement, etc.

Une vie difficile…

Je n’aurais pas tellement envie de ça.

Peut-être est-ce vers cela que je me dirigerais si je quittais cet endroit ?

Mais en même temps, diable…

Je ne vois rien. Mon temps ici est compté.

Je ne sais vraiment pas ce que je pourrais faire…

Il me manque peut-être juste…

Cet optimisme… ?

Ce courage ?

Cette insouciance ?

Comment en suis-je arrivé à ce puits… de peur??

Tout à fait étrange.

Je suis maintenant à peu près incapable de travailler (au sens vrai du terme)…

Incapable de faire.

Incapable d’aucune action réellement marquante

Incapable d’aucun élan, d’aucun focus

Incapable d’avoir un rêve et de tenter activement, intensément de le réaliser…

Le rêve est toujours là…

Rêve évident, rêve de grandeur, de gloire, d’aventure, d’un certain bonheur (dans une version… sublime, sans doute)…

Mais à part le rêve, qu’y a-t-il ?

Quelle possibilité de réalisation ?

Une vie bibliothécaire…

De solitude…

Une vie où il est presque impossible de nouer contact avec l’autre…

Une vie où il n’est pas non plus possible de survivre…

Une vie rongée par la peur de la compétition, par la faiblesse, etc.

Quelle idiotie, tout cela…

Profonde idiotie.

Y a-t-il une solution ? Une solution, une vie meilleure ?

Qui serait riche, forte, belle, glorieuse ?

Pourquoi, dans des conditions matérielles telles que celles-ci, sans ‘problème’ apparent,

Pourquoi dans ces conditions tout est tellement vide, tellement impossible, etc. ?

Peut-être que le seul problème serait… le fait que je ne ‘résous’ pas la question de l’intégration matérielle à mon contexte ?

I.e. Que je n’écris pas, et donc que je suis constamment en porte-à-faux avec l’institution, etc.

C’est sans doute cela qui pose problème…

Quelle pourriture…

Quelle situation idiote…

Impossible, je crois de se sentir plus dans un cul-de-sac.


C’est vraiment complètement absurde…

Lire de la philosophie ? Je ne suis pas assez bien… ce pourrait venir, bien sûr…


Mais dans quel but, dans tous les cas ?

Il faudrait changer de branche… ?

La morsure de la solitude.

Le temps qui passe, sans que la vie soit vécue…

La vieillesse qui sera bientôt là…

Et moi qui ne fais rien pour changer cela…

Misère de misère…

Quel rêve ce serait, profondément,

Que d’être dans ce flux, dans cette mouvance irrésistible du succès,

Où l’authentique travail porte ses fruits,

Ou fleurit, comme on voudra – s’épanouit, éclot, rayonne…

Une vie qui va de l’avant, une vie où le présent n’est pas partagé entre vague espoir ou dépression réelle.

Et dire que la vie peut être cruelle, en plus de cela. Cruelle au sens de chaotique, avec les accidents, les malheurs, etc. Et dire que cela pourrait être, en fait, les derniers jours de la meilleure partie de ma vie… Juste avant un accident qui me réduirait carrément à un invalide, sans aucun espoir social ou affectif… Avec un futur immobilisé, où il ne me resterait que la nostalgie de ces deux dernières années, ce qu’elles ont pu avoir de si beau, même dans la demi-vie que j’ai vécu.

La pensée est terrible. Frémissement.

Je suis toujours, toujours porté par le rêve.

Le rêve de quelque chose de meilleur.

De vraiment meilleur.

Le rêve d’un décrochage, d’une ouverture fondamentale.

Qui rendrait ma vie présente, et ces dernières années,

Une fin de nuit, et aujourd’hui une aube.

Je vis toujours dans ce rêve.

Il se peut que bientôt j’aie à y renoncer.


Impossible de lire (pour l’instant).

Une chose est sûre, ça a commencé à changer.

Je parviens à lire, beaucoup beaucoup plus qu’avant.

Je parviens à lire, je pourrais parvenir à relire, et, bien plus,

Sans doute aussi à travailler, une nouvelle fois, sur le matériel textuel.

Mais ce n’est évidemment qu’une misère…

Je ne vois pas cela autrement.

Misère de lire et relire ces textes, en n’ayant aucun espoir de futur, aucun respect de soi, aucune voie vers un accomplissement, un résultat, etc. Tristesse.


Mais si je ne lis pas…

Et si je ne crois pas vraiment, maintenant, dans cet écrire si las, si faible,

(Comment ces maigres lignes aujourd’hui pourraient-elles changer quoi que ce soit ?

Comment ne pourrais-je rien que sentir le froissement d’un infime progrès, là, en moi?)

Et si je suis seul, sans l’envie de rentrer dans cette chambre atone,

Que faire ?

J’écris, et les mains recommencent à chauffer…

Bientôt il faudra que j’arrête…

Pour ne pas aggraver la situation.

(Je lis en sentant un rythme : mais je n’ai que mépris pour cette concrétude, cette simplicité baveuse, grise…)


Badiou, qui me fait cet effet profond.

Qui dit ce que j’aimerais être, et comment j’aimerais agir.

Puis, étonnement toujours, je ré-ouvre Mystery.

Cet éblouissement.

Il y a avec indubitable clarté la Chose de vie que je veux.

Cette méthode. Cette force, cette ténacité, et ce triomphe.

Bien sûr, c’est tout dans l’intention.

Tout doit être découvert par soi-même, tout doit être expérimenté.

C’est là tout le problème des méthodes.

Dès le nœud originel présenté,

À nouveau les tricks, les résultats singuliers de son élan

Ce n’est pas cela qui intéresse directement (même si ça peut être utile).

Il y a une intelligence.

Peut-être pas la meilleure, mais une intelligence toutefois.

Il y a le souvenir de ce rêve, si fort alors…

Ce rêve d’une autre vie, d’une réinvention de moi-même.

Il me semble que c’est toujours possible.

Temporellement, du moins.

Ce qui est beaucoup plus difficile, bien sûr, c’est de mettre cela effectivement en acte.

Tellement difficile.

Parvenir à travailler à nouveau.

Voilà la chose quasi impossible.

Me sortir de cette torpeur.

Il se pourrait que cette écriture soit un pas.

Mais n’est-ce pas un pas trop lent, trop faible ?

(Ou alors au contraire c’est le seul pas, le seul vrai pas que je peux faire…)


Toujours, toujours

Cet écart…

Entre un « sérieux » et une « profondeur » véritable

Chez Badiou

Et ce soupçon, constamment, que ce soit presque tout faux, intenable, etc.

Cette idée que l’analytique est en fait la seule voie (i.e. une grande voie multiple, pleine de différents gestes, etc.), et le continental juste quelques uns…

Mais ce tout ou rien doit être impérativement abandonné.

Il faut parvenir à une vision nuancée des choses.

Où les faiblesses peuvent être comprises et relevées,

Où les richesses sont extraites, assimilées, et respectées.


Le travail de la solitude…

Je désire la solitude sans cesse,

Comme seul lieu de réalisation effective,

Comme lieu de la possibilité même de l’acte fondateur de toute vie

(Création, Travail, Recherche, Découverte, etc.).

Mais dès que j’y suis,

Ne suis-je pas constamment en souffrance ?

En rejet, en fuite, en capitulation ?

Il faudra, (Rimbaud, cité par Badiou),

Que je sache surmonter

Toute consolation.


Le rêve,

Je dois l’avouer,

D’un être ensemble plus plein, plus multicolore…

Le manque d’amis se fait sentir…

Ou la relative insatisfaction de l’activité journalière,

L’absence de futur, etc.


Bloody depression…


bloody “being lost”…

shit, shit, shit…


lost, i.e. no good at anything…

that might be the thing I hide…

this ancient discovery of certain limits in myself…

the horror of it…

the absolute despise of myself if that were to be confirmed…



attempt to read, but nothing really works…


probably simply because…

I don’t produce.

Rather: I did not produce, those past few days…

Bloody hands…

I have to be more careful… More subtle…




What do I want?

The impossible question…

I know things that I want…

Adventurous, glorious life,

Success, excitement, joy, discovery, etc.

I want modes of living, more than the things themselves…

I want to be outrageously good…

Because it is only that way that you manage to live properly…






Some less convincing things. Because those texts are conferences?

Because I see more and more through him?

He definitely has a reductive view of analytic philosophy.

I do as well. I should read more of it.

Get to it…


Badiou, donc.

The absolute central idea that mathematics, through Plato, is recognized as what is not opinion, the doxa. What gets outside it. A supreme achievement.




What do I want?

How do I get… out…? Out of this state, out of… this shit life?



The impossibility to become.

Blocked… in passivity?




writing… a little…?

(always the threat on the hands, hell!)


no way anywhere…

that is the main problem…


All positive ways are shut.

Or so they are in my mind.




(obviously science)


Everything is shut.

Nowhere any excellence is to be reached.

What is to be done?

How on earth could I exist?

Even start to exist?


And I don’t believe, as some describe thinking of Nietzsche,

That it is enough to utter to make it happen

(the breaking of History, enunciated alone and half-mad)…

You need some sort of foundation.


Descartes’ doubt seems more and more tangible…

More and more ‘to the point’…

Something close, intimate.

Not about reality.

About the possibility to produce anything tangible, strong, stable, true.

Everything seems to be… sand, foam…

ça glisse entre les doigts… impossible à attraper…


I feel no strength in me.

No energy…

Everything is dead…

I read a bit…

I try to go further…

But nothing really … exist


I am always empty, always still in this state of failure…

It is never enough, etc.

There is never a hint of success…

A hint of progress, that could be made effective, by the beam of light of recognition and triumph (even small)…

Everything I do, everything I study…

Is for nothing

Everything is always abandoned,

Everything is gradually forgotten…

And no summit is ever reached…


And this is only, I am sure, because I am not disciplined enough.

I do not work.

At least do not work properly.


And I am not well situated either (with the right people around me, especially above me)…

I would need to be much, much better connected…




Supposedly, all doors might not be shut…

Hard to believe.

No ‘doors’ = despair = depression = inability to work.


Maybe, of course, I only read from left to right, instead of going the other way around…

Start doing

Doing anything…


Doing this….

The only thing I can do now, it seems…


Yet this will not help me survive…

Bloody hell.


How to use one’s brain.

That is, where to focus.

What you think about,

What parts of the world you ‘select’.


Descartes, in his Regulae, clearly states it.

Stop focussing on vague, uncertain things.

Focus on simple, clear things.

Start from there, and expand this area

Using specific, well defined rules (deduction).

(I suppose that deduction rules must be as obvious, simple and clear as the first principles/intuition?)


But that almost necessarily imply

The renunciation to arts

And many other areas of life.

The social domains are not covered either.

All those things that make people live together, love each other, etc.

It is one, albeit immense, varied, crucial, area of human activity.


Analytic philosophy: is it only one path in philosophy

(Contrary to what many in those ranks who say that it is the only way…),

or indeed this true path, the ‘other one’, ‘Continental’, only being a mistake…?

It would be beautiful, in a way…

If there was one true path, like in the sciences…


It is certain, for instance, that neglecting the advances of logic is a mistake, since logic, like mathematics, advances. Yet it is not clear at all that the interpretation(s) of it that is(are) given is(are) the only one(s) possible. It might be that analytic philosophy is indeed imbued with Aristotelism, as Badiou says, and could see its figure change with the introduction of other ways of approaching problems, etc. It seems difficult to believe, though, considering the number of platonists, skeptics, kantians, etc., that are to be found in so called ‘analytic’ departments, that Badiou’s picture of it is ‘fair’… I fear he is simply scornful, as they are in those milieux in Paris, and does not pay much interest to those Anglo-American thinkers. (Or on the contrary he knows about them, being an editor for Seuil, and is yet fiercely against this way of doing philosophy, and reacts by scorn, dismissal or simply silence, another possible attitude towards one’s ‘enemies’…)




Again a relatively ‘low’ phase.

After the reading of philosophy and literature.

I suppose it would be nice to be able to read science now…


I feel my back/belly problem emerging again.

A little.


The thing is, I am lost.

I am lost and really not in the right ‘place’.

I am, somehow, yet not really.


I might be lucky…

And something could present itself…

I might not be… and live in misery for the next ten years or more…

It could all be possible.


(bloody hands, with a beginning of tendinitis… Just because I started to write a bit ‘more’…

and it does not really go away… shit…)

(this writing is too easy… that is why I write so much… that is why I get tendinitis…)



The question of the management of my life is still completely, well, vague.

I cannot survive within Academia with my present state.

I cannot go back to Switzerland…

I cannot prostitute my mind, my writing. It is far too precious. (Memory of Hugo, Les Misérables,

where this young mother ends up dying in the streets, having sold her teeth to feed her child, etc.)

I have not yet found a way to work truly and profoundly.

I have not found a real… place.

I might want to read more analytic philosophy?

Or contemporary literature?

Or nothing at all…? That is, nothing specialized…?

Nothing… academic?

One of the problems, of course, lies in the absence of stability…

This impression that if you want to stay in Academia, you need to fight…

Fight, fight, fight constantly, without any moment of respite, etc.

It might be that this is what I truly need.


That is, some kind of schedule

With moments with, moments without, academic work.

It would be nice to be able to reach that.

This dream schedule, 9-13,14-19-2030-…

And maybe a day off per week…

Something structured.


Writing, again…

It is yet wholly without form

And I know I cannot reach anything without a long, long exercise…

My hands will not allow it.

Maybe in manuscript?




What am I to do?

Where could I find a place for myself?

Analytic philosophy is a place for geeks and mechanistic intellectual rats, continental philosophy a den of megalomaniacs and self-indulgent pompous brats, literature the land of success, vanity or absolute poverty, music a super elite crowd of ‘born into it’-s, with also vanity, pomposity or mechanistic tendencies…

Loneliness, I suppose… Loneliness…

Where could hope be?


I suppose it is only because of my current low state…






Probably the clearest reproach that might be done to him is that he actually concentrates too little material in his books? That there is not enough ‘thought’, and too much literary flowering, too much of this ‘turning around things’…

But therein might lie the Continental/Analytic divide… The Continental would argue that this movement of ‘turning around things’ is actually the only true way of doing philosophy, because it is only thus that you can really approach something non-trivial, and that the very ‘clear’ formulations of the Analytic trend are usually either trivial or not enough thought upon – and most of all, they are trusted by them. They think that those formulations are actually reflecting reality in an accurate way, although they are not, etc.

Not sure, not sure.

Of course, I am far, far too ignorant in both traditions to be able to judge. Yet this really something I would be interested in knowing more. It seems to be something of our time. Something crucial.




What do I want?

It was indeed the right question to ask.

What do I want…


A whole, immense gap opens…

I might know, actually…

A relatively unspeakable thing…

Is it really the case?

Do I really want… that?

Or is this… the veil under which the repressed crouches…?


Despair, despair, yes…


I don’t know what I could do…


I know what I want…

But I don’t know how to reach it…

Because it is too great, too bright, too immense…

And I know it is a folly…

A dream…




I wanted a pause from Badiou.

And I start again, Conditions, and I find, again, such fascinating considerations touching philosophy, its history, the links with mathematics…

It might be I would have liked to become a mathematician?

I feel so… deprived of identity…

Nothing seems really home…

In the realm of thought itself





read according to a topic (i.e. all articles on ‘poetry and this composer’, or ‘death in this author’, or ‘tropes metaphysics’, etc.)

or read according to authors, figures: people you think have insights… And consider that the ‘what’ on which they write is less relevant than their ‘personality’…

Criticism as a low genre…

Big, big questions again…

What to do, etc.?

Change for something else?


Difficult to know…


Composer as a subject.

The importance of the aural sense.

The arts are not necessary all linked in the same fashion to the senses.

Painter, sculptor, but also architect, use their eyes as their primary work channel.

But it is difficult to say that a poet does not.

And poets arguably use their ears maybe as much composers, although in different ways…

If we are to think about the composer as a creative subject, in a global theory of creation, it is necessary to consider the differences to other forms of art.

What of the performers?

Musicians, of course, but also comedians, dancers, and all those new forms of live arts now…?

What about cinema?


Keep on reading philosophy…


OUP paperbacks to be bought:

  • Mesopotamian Myths

  • Virgil/Homer (if the editions are better than Penguin)

  • Plato – dialogues

  • Aristotle – Physics

  • Lucretius

  • Seneca

  • Bible King James

  • Boethius

  • Aquinas

  • Anselm

  • Tasso

  • Ariosto

  • Locke

  • Kant?


It seems… I am excluded from everything.

There is nowhere I can really engage

Everywhere it seems to be some form of abasement…

Some form of torsion of myself… a betrayal…

But if I am nowhere…

How can I become anyone?

How can I become something else than…

A paid surviving pawn?

Literature, Music, Arts,

Philosophy, Science… even History, a bit…

I wish I could eat them all..!

And money, fashion, the Grand Affairs of the world…





A danger in there…


Badiou, Le nombre et les nombres

la coupure de coupure désigne les nombres transcendants…

Le procédé de symétrie permet de penser un ‘négatif’ aux ensembles des ordinaux.

Même procédé, en gros, que pour les nombres naturels négatifs.

Cela impliquerait peut-être une pensée qui va vers les réels…?

Dans tous les cas, la question demeure de la minimalité dans l’espace ‘symétrique’ (négatif)…

(Chapitre sur les rationnels dyadiques)

note sur les nombres complexes et quaternions: un livre là-dessus?

Peut-être le concept de topos dans les livres suivants permet d’approcher la chose?

Les couples, et les n-uplets finis d’ordinaux, rédupliquent la chaîne des ordinaux.

Y a-t-il un ‘passage à la limite’ pour des w-uplets d’ordinaux (infinis)?

La question des nombres premiers…





Badiou – Le nombre et les nombres

Plato – Parmenides

Williamson – The Philosophy of Philosophy

Hopefully Dante, Homer, Virgil.


What are my options?


It seems I am always, always dreadfully undetermined…


without identity, focus, or direction…


Either I change that,

Or I advocate that (of course)…


Both ways are extremely hard.



There is a ‘choice’ to be made… I can’t do it…


Bloody hell.

I should choose… and just … go.



  • go back to literature, and write poetry
  • or remain here, and try to write music
  • or switch for philosophy…


Always this idea that I hate the discrepancy between my desire and my life…

I don’t accept the idea that I could be doing something without passion… just because I have to.

A feeling of slavery…


Slavery: of the mind.

Either you are the best, and people follow you…

Or you are disrespected, considered as mediocre.

Or you are alone, and you shun people’s contact.




Never, ever give up your integrity.

Your conviction, you idea of yourself.

Never again.

This is actually the hardest part.

Because in many cases it is irrational not to give it up.

In many cases you don’t see how it could be otherwise.

You are the weakling in front of giants.

You see no way of be respected, of being a ‘peer’, and, maybe, an inspirational figure.

But even then, you have to keep it, as a faith, as something that matters more than anything else.

This is the true path.

The only path that allows for some … self respect…

(oh dear, fanaticism not far ahead…)


I suppose this is simply the result of my severing of the ties that linked me to a social circle, in the humanities back there, where I had a good position… Sad, sad…

Nothing, nothing remains of this.

All dead, all in ashes.


The only way is forward.


But forward where?


The head aches already… I could go to sleep again, shit…

Such a lousy thing…

And it’s clear: I feel lousy just because I am, well, in an unrecognized, unconnected position.

Not integrated in any circle, not doing anything constructive, etc.

I am just… lost.


And without energy, that’s the worst…

My dreams are weak, almost gone…

I feel so close to death already.


Silence… difficult to keep on.

This bloody activity is already so lousy, and can’t even go further…

Self-indulgence, oh, yes… It cannot be anything else…


And I am surely overconfident… I make silly mistakes all the times, and do not care… I am not eaten by fear, not checking my every moves… but I should, probably… I should… If I were to really enhance the quality of what I do.

(Although of course there is also the view defending a certain freedom of action, an intuitive and more savage way… where a constant verification is not so desirable, since it might interfere with the flow of things…)


What is to be done..?

Dreadful. No clue, no clue at all.

Where to go, what to do?

Is it here the right place? It does not seem to be so bad… It seems to be one of the possible places.

Everything seems lost anyway…

Endless depression?

Or, maybe, the tough, hardcore discipline that would allow me to get back on track?

It might be, by the way, that this idea of the hardcore thing, the black and white change, is exactly what should be done… Just like alcoholics rather stop from one day to the next, instead of going gradually.


A decision should occur.

That is the difficult thing.

A decision.

And after that, well, there should be no turning back.


It is really, really dreadful. This idea of decision… makes me so, so sad…

Absolutely sad…

As if all happiness in life was about to be taken away… eradicated.








Several options…

I could, well…

Try to write a project…

Buy more time…


I see how it is badly engaged…

It will not do.

I have to find another place.



It is very, very strange how my idea of ‘getting out’ of academia…

suddenly seems foolish…



I realize, in heavy dismay, how so much depends on human relationships…

You find somebody who likes you, respects you, and is willing to support you.

You grow and get better through this contact…

Student-Professor relationship.

Of course.

And in other milieux, well, it probably works like that as well…


Oh dear, oh dear…

In what impossible situation have I put myself?


Massive regret, although it is of no avail.


My strategy was wrong.

Why? Because it implied doing things in indirect manner.

Or so I think.

It also implied doing things with no attention paid to people.

That is the worst thing, I think.

People are central, not things.

This is something you should fucking learn.


And the work they produce.

The two may be separate,

Yet the effect on you could be the same: vaguely said, a profoundly positive effect.

That is what you should look for.

Or is it?

Yes, yes, it seems only reasonable.


Such a fear…

Such an impossibility.



Or works…



I feel now profoundly, profoundly silly…

Utterly devoid of intellectual qualities, etc.

And it is true that in depression there is not much I understand or remember…


A memory: when I was in mathematics, I managed to understand, or had this feeling, yet I did not do the exercises… Somehow this was not what I ‘liked’, or it did not come easy at all…


And now I am again driven towards ‘reason’, towards philosophy (and especially analytic philosophy)… and I feel less and less ‘strong’ as I come closer and closer to it…

As if I was not made for that, despite all my efforts…

It is a bit the same for modernist music, it seems to me… I almost destroyed myself listening to this… And for what?

Is this not a profound lack of self-confidence that generates those behaviours?


If that was the case, then I guess I could eliminate both philosophy, modernist music and a good deal of literature… (literature that defends the same kinds of postulates as modernist music…)




The most important things are:

  • maintain health
  • maintain a relative state of happiness (? really? I am totally failing that one)


I am now adrift.

I should just stop this situation.


Do something.




Saunders had told me to stop assimilating everything and anything.

To let yourself be ‘alone’ for a time…

I guess this is what I do now…

This exactly what I do now.

The notebook is this loneliness…

This wall that I finally know how to build for myself.

Before something new can emerge.

Before I can start afresh…


I am now close to absolute failure, that is for sure.

Close to catastrophe.

Maybe I just lack courage…

Courage to step into an unknown land.

This space where there is no Academia…

Where there is only me, the people I encounter…

The great city, and its money god…



Maybe I should not be so disconfident, say, regarding philosophy?

Maybe it is just a matter of progress…? I should just work in a stable manner for a few years and it would be all natural?


→ absolutely crucial… This idea that in order to be able to work a lot, you need an adequation between your feeling of aptitude (you can be anguished of not being good enough, but not too much) and your desire to do the thing (it mustn’t be against your values, it must be valid somehow…)





I am so scared of this emptiness..

Of this solitude…?

But maybe it would not be so terrible?

Maybe it will be, well… ok?

It would probably not be so much harder than this summer…?

Loneliness is bearable, at least for a time…

The scary thing I see is the necessity to work…

And work all day…

I feel so weak now, I would probably not have the energy to do anything outside the job…

(The thought of it is completely depressing)


I have to go see a counsellor, somebody like this…

And/or I have to stop being depressed.

Just get out.

Go somewhere.

Do not stay here.




Ok… managed to escape.

I have to be able to do that more regularly…

I suppose it is something I can learn

Probably one of the deepest changes I can dream of.

Learn to be disciplined

Learn to work.

The hardest, hardest thing…

You have to resist easy sloppiness and laziness…

Resist superficial sociality – not very satisfactory anyway…



How am I to do that?




Analytic philosophy.


Would that be a proper goal?


The proper mad upheaval would be, of course, to hold, to maintain that this bloody notebook


the proper goal…


Not to have hesitation any more.

And work, work, work.


Until it gets really powerful.


Until it gets autonomous, subtle, profound, powerful, etc.

Always the same adjectives, the same concepts, etc.


For now, yes, it is crap.

Crap, crap, crap.

And I don’t see any way of doing better.

Not yet.

I might require years, many years, before that.


There is one way, of course: the formal way…

Where I would come back on my text

And try … adding ‘structures’ to it…

But is it really satisfactory?

Something is lacking.

Some content is lacking.

This is what I need.

Get away from European formalism and its sterility.

Go somewhere…

To the States?



What survival is there anyway?


Survival in a music faculty?


Survival in a philosophy faculty?


Survival… outside??


I feel I reach my limits. Limits of hope, limits of energy, limits of capabilities…

I am worn out and weak.

And I will get no help.

This is no world where you can get help.

You have to fight.

Until you die.

And all weaklings are put aside and left rotting.

Ugly, yes, and immensely sad.

The very fact that I think like this seems to me to show that I am among the weaklings…

The strong ones, on the contrary, think about the world in terms of opportunities, gracious help provided to them, luck, meritocracy (it is of course not coherent, not even among philosophers)…


My darkened mind is directly correlative to my situation…


How am I to change this?




How am I to get rid of all this darkness and hatred?



In working…

The only solution…

In integrating myself into a circle of people, where I get recognition, interaction, etc.

If I remain in loneliness, I will only end up a monster, or dead… (probably both)


Is this true? Doubtful, doubtful…

I don’t find any solution…


The people I know who survived in Academia always had a contact.

Somebody who was integrated in the system with whom they could share their views, who would encourage them, ‘protect’ them.

I don’t see how this could not be the case.

Shit, shit, shit.


What am I to do, then, now?

What on fucking earth?


The main thing, the ideal thing (not reachable of course)

Would be to be strong in the mind.

To be strong to the point that those difficulties ahead will not affect me.

Strong to resist, strong to take action, etc.


Such a shitty ideology…


Yet in any case I am in a rut…

I would hope that this could lead to something, well, positive…

Not to death, not to misery…


Rectification: misery is now.

I doubt it could get really worse…


Well I suppose it could…?

I am ‘working’, now, … vaguely operational.

There are times when I manage to read…
I keep writing…

At least that…


I toss ideas in my head…

Nothing comes out of it.


It has been the case for years…


The waste life, it should have been, not land.


Yet I guess it is slightly better to mourn on a waste life in writing…

Than remain in bed, waiting for death…


I can feel the desire to sleep…

The desire to switch off…

Not to face this bloody difficulty.


The desire to disappear, not confront difficulty…

The desire for something else…

The desire for the nightmare to stop (even though it is a pathetic, silly nightmare)…

The desire to be someone, to do great things, etc., but without doing them…

Just like for books… Desire to have read them, not to read them…

(At least that is what I had in the past… It is changing, thankfully…)


So, bloody hell… What is to be done?

Maybe this writing is indeed the solution?

Maybe if I stay and work until 1 o’clock tonight…

I will have changed somewhat…

I will have… produced something…?

I will have confronted myself, and succeeded in this challenge, as petty, small and ridiculous as it is?


Maybe, maybe, maybe…




Page getting fuller and fuller…

Pages adding up…

Vague transformation…


I wish this could lead up to something…

I wish it would be possible to … progress, somehow…

I don’t see how this could be of any use…

I guess, if I am not so depressed, later, I might start thinking about things…

Thinking about the article on composers,

Thinking about … the project I am supposed to submit…

Or some strategy to change… to find a better place… etc.?


If there was really no better place… what would be the consequences?

Would I feel… relieved?

Would I start to work at last, and be less depressed?

I wonder…

It is already very strange that I have been accepted here…

Very, very strange…


What would happen, if I were to change my mind?

What would happen in my brain, and in my life… ?


No clue at all…

No. Clue.


And now, what am I doing…?

Bringing everything down…

For a dream…

An absolute dream.

A truly mad dream…


And yet, although I am closer now to ‘act it out’, to embody the dream fully…

I feel empty and miserable…


Les puissances du faux…


It is true… I am so amazingly attracted by falseness, superficiality…

By all those things in the arts, in society, in thinking, which seem to be completely hollow, but so free, so fiery, so feisty!

Popular culture, outraging wealth, megalomaniac (or super-bourgeois: there is in this respect something a bit similar between American analytic philosophers and German idealism…) philosophical systems…


I am so weak, or I feel so weak now…

And yet I feel a necessity… a lethal one, I fear…

An imperative in me never to be a pawn

To clutch with iron fingers this desire: be central, or die.

And die soon, die in beauty, honour, etc.


This sounds so irrational, so silly…

It does not even soothe the pain I feel.

Such an ugly ideology, I feel…

How on earth could I reverse the thing…?

Could I?




Continental philosophy and this strange feeling that it breaks understanding in you…

It attacks it.

Yet when yours is broken, suddenly you realize that you are able to do the same to others: you are able, at last, to write the same way as those that you read…


Subjective feeling, though…


Lacan, for instance, … It felt like…

A dark illumination…

The power and hypnosis of illumination, but in darkness, where understanding is completely obscured…


Badiou, for sure, is far clearer.

A great relief…


But I wonder about analytic philosophy, still…


Maybe I should think twice about going too close to it…

Maybe I should be more patient, and not try to change everything so fast…?


Yet even so, even if I tell myself “no need to change for philosophy, just read some and have a dialogue with it, and you will see how it turns out in ten years”,

The major problem remain:

I wanted to compose.

I wanted to build art works.

Because it was in art works that I grew up, it was them that I worshipped, more than philosophical ones, more than scientific discoveries… much, much more than historical or critical works…




And now, what should be done?


What could be done?


How am I to find this seriousness again, this drive, this intensity…

This thing that allows for something really original, really strong to emerge?


And how am I to find a place in this world?

I might just work, I suppose…

Just … work, work, work…

In a library, maybe, where it is all quiet?

Somewhere I could read and write during job time ?

(A job where you wait, basically…)


What a sad life, in truth…


A life without any excitement…

A life of monkish monotony…


I guess even being an academic is more exciting…

You can make small scandals in conferences…

You can engage in controversies, etc.

The usual fuck.


Maybe I should … change for literature?

And try to integrate the American system?

And write poetry, when I have the chance?

I suppose if you are a professor somewhere in an American city, it is not so difficult to get published, etc. etc.


Well, well, well…


Such a lost life…

Amiel’s shadow…

At least I did not stay in Switzerland…

I hope I will be strong enough not to come back…


Confidence, devil… Confidence…

Such a fucking thing…

It seems that I configured my life so as to place myself in the exact position where I feel my wounds as much as possible…

Where I am at my weakest, silliest, most pathetic…


Maybe the idea that if I do that I might become stronger and stronger?

Maybe the idea that if I get to go beyond that, to succeed in this ordeal, the ‘rest’ would be easy…?


Sadness, sadness…


Maybe I have to invent solutions?

Maybe I have to be more patient, and wait for them?


I feel now that every day here is among the last ones…

I feel how fragile my life is, those things that appear to be very stable, taken for granted…


And I always have those fears about “the world outside”…

It is so silly… So irrational…

It is so obvious, for instance, that it is more a brat’s nightmares than a reality…

Although, although, of course, I have doubts, and can easily get back to those fearful representations (misery, extreme difficulty regarding money making, accomodation, etc.), and think that they are, well, reasonable… Think that it is appropriate to have them…




Always this slight headache, this slightly bad feeling in the body.

That would be something I should manage to erase.

I guess I would be able to do that…

But it is clear that I should renounce my intellectual and artistic ambitions.


Because they have emerged as a pain, as an attack upon myself.

That is the main reason.

There seems to be a contradiction between my well being and intellect/art from the start!!!

The great ‘incarceration’ during my teenage years… When I stopped playing video games and started doing Greek and Latin translations, and read ‘literature’…

Clear, very, very clear…


This seems to be a relief inside…

It is extremely problematic, though…

I have the idea that if I were to ‘cure’ this, I would have to take as long a time as I need without any obligation of any intellectual or artistic kind in order to

  • regain mental and physical health
  • maybe rebuild a new relationship with them… On a sounder basis…


Madness how this looks like ‘singers’ destinies: those who did not have a right handling of their voices, and who had to stop everything, and start from scratch after a recovery time, at thirty or so…

Difficult thought…

Yet it rings somewhat true…




Can I think of a configuration where I could somehow…

Feel at ease, happy, as well as somewhat in control, empowered?


I suppose… there is this combination of

one/several person/s that I admire/respect,

and them, in turn, respecting/admiring me.

I guess that is as simple as that.


This is the whole difficulty.

Find people that you really admire.

And become their students, their peers…


But if there is not, maybe it is because …

there are none?

Or none in sight?

In this case, it might be a good strategy to make yourself visible…?

That is, to become this person you want as your master

Become your own master.


How do you do that?

You have to invent everything.

From A to Z.


You have to reverse the procedure…

Instead of learning from people and their texts…

You have to plunge into yourself, and find the solutions there

And turn to outer texts for other purposes.

Not for answers.

For confirmations maybe?





This ideal life.

I would love to be in a context where I can read only what seems meaningful to me.

Only authors that I deem valuable, interesting. And leave the others out.

Not that this would be a lack in discipline: many interesting authors are utterly difficult to understand, and require a lot of work.

But be able to fly away from meaninglessness.

I think this is actually easier than I think.

Moreover, it is possible to reach that even here, in what I do.

Is it really?

Not absolutely sure.


Start with Taruskin, for instance.

In philosophy, I guess it is possible as well.

More than possible.

The only thing that it requires is this ability to engage in what you are passionate about,

With intensity. Go beyond your limits, etc.

Philosophy: maybe I am simply not yet in presence of people who might be really interesting to me…

I have Badiou, yes. Inaccessible.

I want to know more about analytic philosophy, that is for sure.

And know more about the canon of philosophy. A huge lot more.

It might be that the figures I found in the philosophy faculty right now are simply, well, not the right ones.

This thought: wait and survive…

Now I read philosophy in a very disorganized way.

I should find a way to be more concentrated, more focussed.

Absolutely central. To be more focussed.

What I need to do, for analytic philosophy, is a browsing through publications…

Browse, look at things, until I find people which seem to me to be really interesting, appealing, etc.

And then work on them.

Or, other possibility, (idea!, that I quite like) I might want to work on canonical works, yet without doing only history of philosophy.

Just as writers work on past masterpieces without doing history of literature.

They take past material as inspiration.

Two divergent things, here, it seems.

On the one hand, the analytic ethos, which considers that only contemporary thinkers have the right ideas, or that there is something fundamentally new in how today’s thinkers work, etc. And so they rather look at contemporary books and living philosophers. (The underlying postulate being that a certain technique, or technology of thinking, i.e. contemporary logic and mathematics, is decisive in bringing new insights, etc.)

On the other, the rather ‘continental’ ethos, which attempts to do present philosophy through the confrontation with past masters. (Opposite underlying postulate: although one might agree that it is important to consider new developments in logic, mathematics, etc., past thinkers are not just ‘passés’ because of that, because their insights contain a richness that always exceeds the technical context in which it arose. In other words, that a configuration of thought in a great philosopher – like Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Scotus, Descartes, Kant, etc. – is always relevant for present discussion, even if our technical means are far beyond what they had at hand1.)

Have I become a philosopher?

Rather than a writer?

Have I become a philosopher?

If I have… what then?

How should I act?



I literally don’t work.

I don’t do a step in the direction of something that would integrate me into this system.

That is actually what I wanted.

I reached this point.

A point of ‘freedom’…

Although, of course, it has its cost.

A dreary cost.

Extreme, extreme problem…

And yet for now absolutely no consequence whatsoever…

Maybe if I were to ‘get back in the ranks’ and do a proper thing, very nice, very well done, all those past weeks might have been… just a bad dream… everything forgotten…

and me well fed and warm in the belly of this academic mother…

but I guess this is not possible…

Silly references… Neo out of the Matrix, and this trajectory until he becomes a total saviour, super-Christ-like, etc.

Very, very, very silly.

Yet the structure, in the back of my mind, deep down, is there…

I would not be able to remove it.




Managed to read a bit of his Philosophy of Philosophy.

That is encouraging…

i.e. not the usual boredom or dissolution of the mind.

Pretty sure that the writing work is responsible for it…


Question of mind focus: on ‘abstract’ things (project, ideas, etc.), or on ‘concrete’ ones (people, institutional possibilities, strategies for securing professional future, etc.)?

I have dwelt a lot on the second ones, it seems. Too much.

And yet now that I am not doing that any more (or rather: now that my present stability and/or my futre is not really clear and established, I feel anguished, and have difficulty focussing on truly interesting matters…)

Should I try again to integrate into a new world?

Make the same work of gathering figures, names, articles, systematizing positions, knowing what is at stakes, where wars are fought, where alliances exist, etc.

Difficult, difficult, as always…


Remarkable. If you are too enthusiastic, it is suspect.

You have to be motivated, but calm, because this quietness, this simplicity, is the social mark of confidence.

Somebody too eager to get something is always suspicious: of an ugly lack, of some imbalance (an emotional one, a psychological one), etc.

That is probably why I have this ‘negativity’ reaction so often: it is a tempering of this mad, restless desire… A way of becoming more … acceptable…

I suppose it might be possible to apply this theory, or rather to test it, to see if this works.

What you need, yes, is the following combination:

  • proof of actual work done (even if you did it with an inner feeling of sloppiness, i.e. “I produce shit, but in a way that people outside do not see it…”)

  • yet on the basis of this work, only show yourself as mildly interested or passionate. One has to be able to suppose a passion hidden inside you, although you only show faint signs of it.


I would be extremely anxious if I had to do presentations in philosophy.

I would be radically insecure.

I guess I would have to write down my thoughts, and read them.

Yet this is not something I have ever done.

All my presentations were only… brute thought, organised as well as I could, but not written out.

Now I write. A lot.

I engage in the process of formulating.

In this process I have always wished for.

But it is far, far from over: it is rather only the beginning.

Darmstadt memory: I tried to modify my thoughts from within, by thinking about form. My reasoning was the following: I am not able to write when it comes to (public) essays, but I can write notes, concepts, without any limits in time or in thought (no real limit ever appeared in my natural practice). If I were to write my notes and thoughts in a formulated form, rather than just through fragmentary concepts and emotional blurts I might be able to reach this same ‘freedom’ and ‘limitless state’ that I enjoy while writing for myself but in a more official writing. The underlying thought, here, of course, is that formulation is either independent from subject matter (i.e. that I can train myself to formulate things in writing, and that this training is useful afterwards for any subject I might be interested in writing about) or that fragmentation in writing is actually the sign of depression and mental weakness, which could be ‘cured’ by a progressive training, starting by the first, easier task of formulation only, with no ‘constraint’ on the subject matter (the task being even easier since the subject matter is my own fragility, my own depression, etc.) and then gradually evolving towards more ‘distant’ or ‘alien’ topics like academic subjects.

The two postulates might be closer to one another that one might think at first, although the problem raises very deep questions about the relationship of language and mind, language and thought (subject matter), etc., that I don’t think I could tackle right now.

In any case, it is absolutely clear that a more ‘public’ formulation is the key to an Academic career (I might say, somewhat caustically, that it is probably more important than an ability to think properly, and that there are people writing poetry or aphorisms that are far more clever than many academics…)

In any case, the question now should be raised of what I want to be.

And where.

I feel better now than earlier today. The usual development, the usual heaving of myself out of depression. I hope my own life trajectory will be similar to my days, and that I will be more peaceful, more productive and more awake in my later days.


Fantasy of the blog.

Freedom of content, (at least before fame comes in, then it might become a bit more complicated), no problem of edition.

Direct access, etc.

Homomorph to my diarial practice…


Fantasy of life.

It seems that Henry James was extremely productive, well organised, and extremely sociable.

He knew le beau monde in London.

And his work is incredible. Refined, complex, etc.

A true master.

That could be a dream.

Schedule as mentioned, during the week.

And social evenings as well, where a proper urban life can be enjoyed.

That would be amazing.

More amazing, surely, than academic life.

The thing is, obviously, that I don’t feel inclined to write fiction…

Maybe autofiction

It is so fashionable today anyway…

But something with heavy philosophical ties.

Something above the mundane.

Something, ideally, slightly arcane, or, at least, crafted with care.

Yet something that would be accepted socially.

Something luxurious.

Money, of course, is present. How could it not be?

Raging money,

And fame.


And yet depth, subtlety.

A vast, immense culture.

That would be a fantasy.

A true, authentic, powerful fantasy.

It is encouraging to see that I am still able to dream about certain things, even if just a little bit.

Dream, dream, dream.


It is again remarkable that I managed to read Williamson with a certain ease.

It is not as illuminatory as Badiou, of course, but it seems more and more interesting as it becomes intelligible.

I just hope that I can go in this direction and not lose too much of what I had before…

Although it might be that this is unavoidable…

Just as I am now less ‘literary’ as I was once…

I don’t know…

It seems I care less. Flow is more important. An undisturbed flow of writing.

It is so amazingly important.

This flow of writing.

It bars the road to all my nightmares…

It helps me live.

I might be able to refine it, to make it more beautiful, more elegant…

It is dangerous for me to stop it, or even to interfere with it.


The question of the ‘blog’, and/or the urban life of the well known writer, as opposed to the professor, still remains. I wonder what I would become if I left Academia. It is quite clear that now I am in pain because of this lack of identity, because of the impossibilities I see ahead, because of the sacrifices I would have to make in terms of values (torsion of my writing and my thoughts into small uninteresting boxes, approval and praise of people in power at the moment, constant reshaping of your research according to fashion, to potential posts, etc.).

It is very clear that if I leave all that, if I go free, and I confront myself with total loneliness (and absence of any ‘official path’ for my life), then it will at least be seen – by myself and by those who can know the details of my life – as an act of true courage. Something very highly valued when estimating the integrity and inner worth of a (literary, philosophical, etc.) discourse.

People love art, but who would sacrifice their material lives for it?

People love thought, but who would live in utter loneliness and insecurity for it?

Of course, one opposite argument, which truly potent, would defend that this idea of ‘loneliness’ is actually a wrong one (especially for thought). One would argue, for instance, that there is no philosophical figure working truly in isolation; that on the contrary the constant dialogue and integration into a peer community is absolutely essential when it comes down to expanding your views, refining your methods, etc.

It is very probable that this argument holds, and that it is just idealistic that you can be like Spinoza today (and Spinoza, it has to be said, was not alone, and learnt his philosophy with brilliant Cartesians of his day, etc. etc.).

This choice is very problematic.

I am not sure I know what is best.

It may be that this idea of ‘leaving for London’ is only here for a certain purpose, and that it has no real face value; that it would be a terrible mistake to take this literally, and try to engage in the procedure of my departure.

Yet, it might be that it is this doubt, this ‘caution’, that is the fake thing, and that the first ‘irrational’ idea of departure into loneliness is actually the only true idea, the only true way of really getting to work on things, because it would place me in a situation where my survival lies between

  • a silly uninteresting job

  • an independent work yet to be done

This would probably be a major motivation…

A really strong motivation.

At least stronger than the idea of having to publish a lot of papers in order to secure an academic future, where posts are rare and difficult to get, and most of the time have to be constantly confirmed by new papers, etc. etc.

The whole question, of course, is the question of values…

If you see the academic career just on its material, careerist side, then of course it can only be dissatisfying. It has to be seen from an inner point of view: the intrinsic value of knowledge, for instance, or the respect for thinking as an activity.

And I suppose that if you have other values, you may prefer to go into literature, etc.

The whole question, then, again, boils down to what I want, what my values are, etc.

What I want to spend my life doing, how I see myself when I die, etc.

Those are the real questions. Questions of choice, of decision, of definition of myself.

I guess that it is more than clear that what I do already contains answers…


Invariably, although I start to read, (musicology, that is), I come back to this writing.

The difficult thing, of course, is to face reality.

Face the fact that I have to work, find a place somewhere, etc.

Completely change my bloody life ethos.

And start to do things really seriously…

That is, work (not in a professional, but in a vocational sense).

Try something, at least.

Start to organise my life in order to make that possible.


There has always, always been this problem in me…

The difference between ‘study’ and ‘creation’…

I haven’t found a way to combine the two adequately.

Either it was impossible to approach the studied object in the first place,

Or this study was too constrained by writing imperatives (I had to write a paper on it)

Or my writing was too interior, too weak to start assimilating things from those outer discourses.

I have never felt really free and at ease, for so long…

This is the real problem.

This impossibility to feel free inside.

This is what should be dealt with.

I guess, now, that actually it would be useful to prolong my stay here, just for the time it gives me…

An incredible free time… That possibility should be envisaged.

I do not have much time ahead. Not at all.

Yet this feeling of freedom is very, very enticing.

Something I have not experienced for so long, in such a long time

Maybe almost never…

And I suppose it is just the beginning…

If I had a stable job, I could do even more…

Find a way to play again, somehow…

Rediscover playfulness.

Very, very strange… This quantity…

Without end, it seems.

On the contrary, something extremely stable…

Yet something without quality.

Something almost absolutely flat, except for a few references, maybe once or twice a nice formulation.

Difficult, difficult.

I don’t really see how this could turn well.

Especially because of my bloody weakness. This slight bi-polarity, this ‘being depressed’ which attacks me so often.

I feel relatively ok, after a day at the library, and a few moments spent discussing and eating with friends. But the beginning of my days are always so dreadful… A feeling of rot and death in my whole body.


Energy, for once.

Managed to finish the Discours de métaphysique, then read the Monadologie and Principes de la Nature et de la Grâce fondés en Raison in one go.

Not that this is such a feat… But it’s a good start…

Looking forward to reread them, and find new things, understand better, etc.


1It might be that the two underlying postulates can be viewed as two different positions regarding language and content. The first one would be that if you change language, you change the thought; the second that there is something that one can call ‘thought’ and that is beyond language, or independent of it. The result of the second one would be that even in the most most advanced discourses, even if grounded in the latest discoveries in logic, mathematics, etc., the oldest known positions, that we can read in pre-socratic fragments, remain. And that if you are not aware of this it will not be possible to say something truly new. What you will do is rather vest old philosophical orientations in (splendid) new garb.


It might be that anything I might start…

is doomed to fail.

It might be that only this bit of luck (and a better use of myself, had I known, and relationships better handled, etc.) is what transforms the loser into the winner.

It might be that you become the loser if the context destroys you.

Objection: there are people with a crap context who succeed.

It all boils down to: what is a good context? It might be that the feeble descriptions we give of a ‘crappy’ or a ‘good’ context are very, very inaccurate…

Yet obviously context is not the only thing…

Reasoning only in terms of context is eradicating the person within it, which is a context of its own, which has a certain acting power, etc.


At least, even in depression, it is possible to align words…

There is no real problem to access the activity.

No barred doors, etc.

Although I can feel the tiredness, the desire just to lie down and rest…

Wait for another world. Wait rather for my substances in my brain to get in a better order…


Pathetic, I say. Pathetic.


What is to be done?


Another day of dread.

Another day of silliness…

Another day where I will write in emptiness,

Instead of securing this life, now, that will slip away…

This life that I will regret afterwards, because it is so sweet, so easy…

This student life…


Maybe I am just doing some crisis…

Something like a decompensation…

Maybe… I will get up on my feet and start working again… for the Dphil…

Devil… Maybe I will.


Or maybe I will really … go into exile

And write, and write, and write…





Is it really… the way I want to go into?


Badiou. An incredible encounter.

Yet I wish it was not the only one…

I wish I could have this same experience some other time, say, with an analytic philosopher…

So that I would be able to integrate this world.

Know this power from the United States.

I can’t think that they did not produce great men.

They must have.

France has to be something past.

Something I respect, and draw much from,

But something that has to be left behind.

The future is not there.

The future is ‘somewhere’…

Somewhere undifferentiated.

A mixture.

A bit of Europe (probably France, Germany, Italy).

A bit of the United Kingdom,

A bit of the States.

A bit of Asia: Hong Kong, China, Japan. Maybe Corea.


We shall see.


I hope, I hope for something.

And yet, writing this hope,

Asserting this hope,

What am I?

Am I even in the process of setting foot on this ground I intend to explore?

Am I not deluding myself, completely in the dark?

Completely lost, completely wandering…





This depression,

This lack of discipline,

This impossibility to read a lot,

This hatred or disgust which looks more and more like ignorance and silliness,

All those marks of my limitations, of my inability to be.




A few pages from Russell’s Philosophy of Leibniz.

Remarkable, how he pictures Leibniz as someone lost in mundane activities or in punctual events (a refutation, the attempt to convince someone in particular, a defence, etc.)…

“For the sole purposes of exposition he seems to have cared little.”

I guess I might (try to) get the lesson of this.


I am a bit in that dreary process…

I don’t take on projects for myself…

Everything is hidden, interior…

Which makes me particularly fragile: every event from the outside is likely to hit me, to take me away from my trajectory, etc.


The question, then, so central, so crucial…

The question is: how to regain a proper foundation?


I guess my optimism of the other night might only amount to this:

writing here could be a frame for a further foundation.

For something more and more solid.

It might be, by the way, that this work of solidification is really the way of my life. Until I die.

Because it is never finished, because it is something that can be pursued ever and ever further.


It might be.


In any case, it is utterly dreadful.

This depressive feeling.

I really don’t know what is to be done.

I will soon lose my foundation now…

There is clearly no way I could get tenured, with such a sloppy and weak mind…

How am I to be a bit more healthy?


I guess…

The only way would be…

To plunge deeply, deeply into activity…

And a public activity.

That would be the only way.

But what?

What could I do?

It seems extremely difficult…


Russell says he feels at home with great philosophers. They are their friends, he talks with them.

Montaigne said that also. (Bloom also mentions this idea in a video interview… Have friends when you are old and lonely, he says…)

Philosophy? Could that be something? Could that be a way?


Difficult to know.

I feel I lack the primary ingredients for any activity:

hope, energy, inspiration, discipline…


I feel a broken machine, a broken mind, etc., as I wrote so often.

Broken, failed, etc.


And so the only thing I see for myself is a path of shadows

Where nothing can be seen, where everything has to be dissimulated…

Because if seen it will be destroyed.

If seen it will be dead.


Very, very problematic indeed.

I am far from sure that this is the proper strategy…


At least, I would be inclined to say, at least…

I write now…

(And there comes the doubt: “you could still be out of writing, yes, right now, even if there are words that appear, more and more, under you hands. If writing does not mean just the material activity, if writing is ‘sanctified’ in some way, and its meaning reduced to ‘writing amazing, original, profound, non-trivial things’, then you are not writing… maybe a ‘yet’ could be added, I concede… but it is far, far from sure…”)




I wish I had such an energy

I could not only read very easily everything, from literature to science,

But I would read and read again all those interesting books…

I would read them many times, until I know them by hearts…

Or, at least, until they are part of me, until passages of them come to my mind and become intertwined with thoughts of mine, until quotations or ideas pop up into my mind…

Until my mind is truly living culture.




Plato’s Parmenides.

This argument saying the one has to become younger while he becomes older, very paradoxical.

This is exactly what Deleuze takes on for his argument of Alice becoming smaller and bigger at the same time, in Logic of sense!

Bloody hell, again, again, a proof of how it works: those French guys read it all…

They read all the primary texts. They knew them, they were friends with them.

Hopefully I will soon get to this point where I can read this bloody Deleuze fluently…

It took Badiou quite a lot of time, it seems… It is absolutely clear that he started reading Deleuze very late, and Derrida (for his conference) even later..




I am still far too ‘censored’.

I have to be clearer in what I want.

I have to formulate it.

I have to write it down.


I have written already that I would love to have the following timetable:

9-13h, 14h-19h, 2030-1h/2h.

This would be ideal. It is, I think, what Stockhausen mentioned in one rare video interview.

I suppose all people who manage to heave themselves up to this great, unspeakable level of achievement, have a schedule a bit like this one. Some of course take even less time to eat. I would rather play just a little softer, and be assured of a better long run…

Stability and monumentality.


I would love to be more energetic as well, less depressed.

More active, and then more relaxed as well.

I feel very nervous often, I feel my brain could burst.

I should do some sports…

Something that would allow me to be all fury and rage, to let this excessive energy out.

I am far, far too imprisoned…

And my own energy destroys myself…


My feeling, of course, is that I am far too old. I lost time, etc.

Amiel, Amiel…

Let he be damned!


I dream of seduction… Being energetic: be a womaniser. Have this beautiful desire, and have adventures, thrilling encounters. More courage: conquer my fears, and know how to act, know how to be bold. I could be, a bit, in the past. I want to be like that constantly.

I suppose it should be even more concrete…



What about my real self-realization?

It has to be a work. That is what I want.

A work, something that can be objectified.

Books, I guess, it shall be…

The idea of composition almost… left me…

I don’t know how that could be possible…

But so it is.

It left me…


And it is quite clear that narratives (as in ‘novelist’ or ‘short story writer’) will take a long time to come back.

Poetry, poetry, maybe… But I am far too ignorant… And I am an exiled… Out of my native language…





This bloody state.

How could I turn this around?

I am really … weak, and don’t feel well, etc.

I could go back to sleep, although I already did that for so many hours…


Dreadful, dreadful…

This is the cost of emptiness…

The cost of being lost, being alone, etc.

This is the cost of ‘authenticity’… of ‘being independent’…

The cost of modernism

Shit, shit…


This is a real pain.

Pain, despair, loneliness, etc.

There is no freedom in that…

Or is there?

I am playing at the hermit…

Playing at Zarathustra… at Nietzsche, at Joyce, at Proust…

Isn’t that ridiculous?


Again a grim idea of literature: those who fake better win… Those who play longer and with more fanaticism than others… well they make the other believe they are true.

A vision of literature where there is no clear cut difference between the winners and the losers. It is all about competition. There is no ‘genius’ as something separate from the mediocre. Genius is the name of the winners. And in Western society, only the first two or three places are even seen. The rest are forgotten, the rest is fundamentally uninteresting… Devoid of any libidinal attraction.

Hence you read only the “geniuses”… Hence you study only them. Because the others do not attract you…

Put it that way, it really looks like a bloody trap. A dreadful, bloody trap.

But is there any sort of way in which it is possible to escape this?

I don’t even think that is a good idea… Just as it is an illusion to think that we can radically change the canon, making unimportant figures in the centre and letting the grand geniuses whither and be forgotten.

It might be, moreover, that although there is no intrinsic difference between the first and the rest, there might however be an effect of the first place on the one getting there. A thrill, an energy, a confidence, that transforms him or her into the winner he is declared to be.

If so, well.. then the situation is slightly different…

There is a difference, in many cases, although it is a difference that varies over time and that is dependent on the persons’ trajectories…





this feeling…

it seems that something is deflating…

this dream of being able to do things on my own…

just write, just … spend time on that…

I feel so empty.

No energy at all.

Nothing, nothing.

And without more energy, there is really no hope of getting anywhere.


No hope of becoming

Now I can less and less invest in anything.

Scary. Very scary.

I might die.


Just end up in the Thames…

Or dead in a room.


What on earth am I to do?



I cannot see any value in this, in anything I produce in this lousy state.

I don’t see any value: I don’t believe there is any.

And my vague desire that there were some in it will not make any appear.

It won’t.

And if it does not, well…

Everything is lost.


What happens if everything is lost?

What happens?

I just die, I suppose…

I enter in an absolute depression, etc. etc.

That would be problematic…


I would have known this feeling of ‘freedom’ where you are desired, respected, etc.

I would then see myself gradually going down in painful mediocrity…


Is there a way to change this?

I don’t think I would see any…

My brain does not work any more…

Or, I feel, less and less…


And without wits, well… What do you do?

It hurts to think that…

It hurts, in the brain…

Devil, devil…

What have I done?


Where am I right now?




met this student of philosophy…

talking about analytic and continental philosophy…

and obviously he would think continental philosophy is ‘bad’, he said. He mentioned Lacan.

And, well, I could not say I am not of his opinion. I can perfectly see why it is so bad… But I cannot really endorse this opinion myself.

I really don’t know what to do…

Where I should go…

Which way could be… the right path…

Or only a relatively ‘safe’ path…

Maybe there isn’t any ?

I tend to see certain ‘paths’ as being safer than others…

Devil, devil…


I feel sillier and sillier…

Less witty… more … heavy and slow…

Maybe it is just… now?



Sad, sad, this whole situation…


Is it wise to ‘publish’ this?

Isn’t it better to keep it hidden… until it gets better?

Until there is some kind of … ‘opportunity’?

I don’t know…


What I do know however, is that my situation will become harder and harder…

Entering life might be, well…

A disaster…


Such a fear of this bloody life.

I feel so unprepared. Spoilt, lousy.

Maybe the only way, well, is to… get to it…?


Sadness, tiredness…