Queer Angels of History (was RE: Butler....)

rc-am rcollins at netlink.com.au
Fri Feb 12 21:10:57 PST 1999

-----Original Message----- From: Yoshie Furuhashi <furuhashi.1 at osu.edu> .

>Angela wrote:
>>asked some time back whether or not butler might be thought of as
>>mourning marx's death. aren't we all; or perhaps I should say, the
>>only appropriate stance today is to go through a mourning that would
>>allow us to critique and remember.
>Not quite. I wrote: "Isn't Butler mourning 'the death of Marx'?" See,
>sometimes quotation marks make a crucial difference. To me, Marx has
>us a living legacy, and we may still inherit the earth (hopefully in
>decent working order). Nothing is guaranteed, of course, but I say,
>what makes it interesting and worth trying.

well, in some senses yes; but in an important sense i think no - this re: the 'living legacy'. yes, in the sense that marx lives so long as capital lives, but here marx is still a 'trope' (if chaz wants to use those terms). all marxists use marx in quotation marks, whether they admit it or not; as do all anti-marxists. but, the 'or should i say...' in the above was meant to signal the inability to consider this 'legacy' or 'life' as continuous or that it should be defended as such. marxism is not continuous within marx, let alone within marxism. and, the announcement of a death - as derrida for instance knew well - is merely the preparation for the reinstatement of a refiguration. marx is dead. long live marx!

>To Butler, and alas also to Foucault (much as I like his writing,
which he
>called 'an invitation to an experience'), Marx has become 'Marx,'
>transformed through the mourning of '68.

marx is always 'marx', for friends, and foes, and no less for comrades. there are any number of 'small deaths' one could note: '68; '89; the speech at the 20th congress of the CPPP; even in 1917 lenin had to hold a funeral for a certain 'marx'...

(Music: 'Adagietto' from Mahler's Symphony No. 5.
>Ambience: The Vienna of Freud.

mmm... i was thinking more along the lines of bowie's 'golden years' - wop, wop, wop.

Digression: Have you seen Daniel Schmid's
>_La Paloma_ by any chance? The film embodies the Adorno fragment you
>us: "Decadence is the nerve centre at which the dialectic of progress
>becomes ... bodily appropriated by consciousness.")

no. will peruse the vid shelves for it.


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