by Lydia Davis
We feel an affinity with a certain thinker because we agree with him; or because he shows us what we were already thinking; or because he shows us in a more articulate form what we were already thinking; or because he shows us what we were on the point of thinking; or what we would sooner or later have thought; or what we would have thought much later if we hadn’t read it now; or what we would have been likely to think but never would have thought if we hadn’t read it now; or what we would have liked to think but never would have thought if we hadn’t read it now.
from: The Collected Stories of Lydia Davis, Picador, 2009
They are lost, but also not lost but somewhere in the world. Most of them are small, though two are larger, one a coat and one a dog. Of the small things, one is a certain ring, one a certain button. They are lost from me and where I am, but they are also not gone. They are somewhere else, and they are there to someone else, it may be. But if not there to someone else, the ring is, still, not lost to itself, but there, only not where I am, and the button, too, there, still, only not where I am.
Maybe it’s because of busy,engaged and outraged politicians and election time: the hyperreality, that I felt like re-reading Baudrillard.
All of this is simultaneously true. It is the secret of a discoursethat is no longer simply ambiguous, as political discourses can be, but that conveys the impossibility of a determined position of power, the impossibility of a determined discursive position. And this logic is neither that of one party nor of another. It traverses all discourses without them wanting it to.
Who will unravel this imbroglio? The Gordian knot can at least be cut. The Möbius strip, if one divides it, results in a supplementary spiral without the reversibility of surfaces being resolved (here the reversible continuity of hypotheses). Hell of simulation, which is no longer one of torture, but of the subtle, maleficent, elusive twisting of meaning*4 -
All the referentials combine their discourses in a circular, Möbian compulsion. Not so long ago, sex and work were fiercely opposed terms; today both are dissolved in the same type of demand. Formerly the discourse on history derived its power from violently opposing itself to that of nature, the discourse of desire to that of power today they exchange their signifiers and their scenarios.
Everything is metamorphosed into its opposite to perpetuate itself in its expurgated form. All the powers, all the institutions speak of themselves through denial, in order to attempt, by simulating death, to escape their real death throes.
In design meaning and purpose,
the tangible and the intangible
come together enacting the One of everything.
They then separate
enacting the parts of everything.
Separate meaning and purpose
and design will not be understood.
Design is something more.
A code book was found on the men [two English agents
parachuted into Nazi-occupied Holland] which German coun
terintelligence used for two years to keep in contact with
English espionage and make them believe that the messages
were being sent by the Dutch partisans. Thanks to these
messages, the Germans were supplied with arms and rations
by the English who parachuted the goods into Holland think
ing that they were being received by the partisans. To keep
up this bluff, it was necessary to make the English think that
the partisans were active. Thus Admiral Walter Wilhelm
Canaris, head of the Abwehr, the Intelligence Bureau of OKW
(German Armed Forces High Command), ordered his men to
blow up four German ships anchored in the port at Rotterdam
without notifying Hitler’s headquarters of the order. In this
way, not only the English but also the German High Command
were made to think that the ships had been sabotaged by
Dutch partisans (who didn’t exist); and this led Hitler to
order Canaris to intensify activity against the resistance groups.
This was just what was needed to make the English think the
partisans were active.
At the end of the war, Allied Intelligence Officers discovered
in captured files of the German Secret Service the text of two
hundred and fifty messages received from agents and other
sources before D-Day. Nearly all mentioned July and the
Calais sector. One message alone gave the exact date and
place of the invasion. It had come from a French colonel in
Algiers. The Allies had discovered this officer was working
for the Abwehr, and he was arrested and subsequently turned
round. He too was used to mislead Berlin—used and abused.
The Germans were so often deceived by him that they ended
by treating all his information as valueless. But they kept in
contact, for it is always useful to know what the enemy wants
you to believe. Allied Intelligence, with great boldness and
truly remarkable perversity, had the colonel announce that the
Invasion would take place on the coast of Normandy on the
5th, 6th or 7th June. For the Germans, his message was
absolute proof that the invasion was to be on any day except
the 5th, 6th or 7th June, and on any part of the coast except