ἀλήθεια &: or, why Deleuze gave up depths in favour of transversality or a big tablecloth; or once we admit all possible worlds we find compassion for things we’ll never know

and then we had it out. We argued and cried our way through our conflict, which feels resolved for now, thank god.

‘Having it out’ recalls ‘going together,’ a phrase Samuel Weber calls attention to in connection with Heideggerian disuncovering or unconcealing, at random, herewith: “In its constitutive ambivalence, Heidegger’s elaboration of truth as aletheia diverges radically from the traditional notion of truth as adaequatio or correspondence in its constitutive ambivalence. Whereas the notion of truth as adequation presupposes an underlying identity as tertium comparationis, aletheia insists upon an irreducible and generative strife as that which transforms the relationship from an essentially static one, presupposing a self-identical referent as its ground, to an unstable dynamic that participates in the relation it both engenders and undercuts.” [Weber, Theatricality as Medium, p. 56] The emphasis on strife is there in the original. I think you’ll agree, he could be talking about Deleuze’s disjunctive synthesis, or even about the Idea.

The question occurs to me, is the argument with the tears, the conflict with the ‘trouble and strife,’ happening once or all the time? Weber also points to the gerundive form as being the theatrical term, a happening, which theatricalises, puts on a show and decisively makes a showing. Badiou argues for Deleuze’s monism, probably on the basis that the latter protesteth overly. Would Badiou totalise the happening, all-owing it? and thereafter, thanking god?

Levi Bryant takes on this aspect of Badiou’s reading, writing that Badiou is misleading by leading us into a muddle. Badiou criticises Deleuze for giving truth to memory. That for Deleuze truth belongs to memory, says Bryant, does not mean truth cannot commence. It entails commencement. Neither does it mean the truth is not new. As Bryant puts it in another context: “There is no difference that does not make a difference.”

What is at issue here is, however, that Deleuze’s event is never happening but is precisely to happen. To allow memory possession of the truth is neither to defer (to) nor to prefer but to place memory in the time of difference. Difference is that by which the given is given (in diversity). The truth doesn’t show but in the event and the event is exactly that novelty and commencement which Badiou criticises Deleuze for withholding.

The event is also eternal. This brings us back to the question of whether the event contains (means to happen) all of the time or only once, or, in addition, an at once. I suspect that the truth of the event as it happens belongs to memory because it comes to pass at once.

What is missing then from the notion that strife or indeed difference on its own, singlehandedly, generates transformation is the time in which difference has to happen. It has to be at once. And it has to happen both once only and all the time. But: it has to be at once.

In other words, Deleuze’s concept of repetition belongs to the ontological virtuality of the truth and the eternal event in memory. In the repetition of the eternal return what returns but the eternity that comes to pass? It is never a coming-to-pass because in showing itself we would have mere show, its representation, and put its to present behind the looking-glass and out of reach. Until we went through. To rehearse this idea: repetition is the time of difference which gives the being of that time. And when is that?

How do we counter-actualise time if not through memory? Disputes are notorious for returning us to issues we would rather forget in order to move on. But in that in-order-to, in its order, we find the coercion of habit: at once we are back where we started. To make a difference, oughtn’t we to consider the dispute alongside the issues? Because in a dispute we make a scene up to the point of what has been given. The scene is somehow around the issues. The issues act out the coming to pass of events. They issue from memory. But if we take them at their word, they are coercive. They (are) command performance(s) of us and from us. I am suggesting a borderland, a hinterland in which the order of dispute and issues is suspended and both difference and repetition are held in parallel.

This will take many rehearsals to get right. Because the resolution of a conflict generally only deals with the issues, and in having them out, we are predisposed to making up. What is made up is made up on and to order: that it is in conflict and dispute that the issues speak their truth and that the past whence they issue is somehow a mere background, a backdrop. It is in fact a mirror. To pass through conflict: might this mean to preserve the difference-making of that ambivalence, to know and to act, to repeat and to differ?

Clearly and indistinctly. Obscurely and distinctly. … these thoughts … Where they were in fact leading, and unmuddled misleading, was back to the ambivalence of whatever it is that divides the playable from the unplayable.