sixty-third part, called “on movement LXIII,” of a series of ‘letters’ written to you, the reader, towards a book called, theatre | writing

on movement

The complete entity is complete in time. It has come to pass that it is; it has come to time: it comes to pass. It doesn’t pass but it remains a fact of the present, so that having passed away, its passing away is also complete.

If we think of the passing of events on the stage we are not dealing with a representation of time and if a representation is given, such that we say, Once upon a time it was the middle ages…, it enters into time. As Bergson writes, this is a subjective time; and here it seems equated with dream. The whole dream passes and we can recall its events in memory, or the events have not been substantial enough that we do recall them. Or we are not one of those people who can recall dreams.

Perhaps this is why Badiou wants us to chat in the interval, wants the interval for us to chat in, so that we replay the events shown, each hearing in the other’s interpretation a subjective take on the events of the play. Another play is going on right there. We might ask the other to describe the events she saw if our own interpretation radically diverges: If you think it means that, what happened, in fact? … Oh, I didn’t see that!

Yes, yes: it was clear. He took her hand and grimaced. Disgusted.

Are we awakening from the dream or extending it into lived reality? And wouldn’t a discussion like this, a small contretemps, have a political dimension we might want to encourage? Surely the reason Badiou’s an advocate for the interval.

We are not yet ready to concede to the other’s opinion, however, and should we, does it matter much? Should we become ardent, it’s enough to go on an online forum to have our views dissed. In other words, minds already made up or minds changed, there is simply the mobility of opinion, in a swathe of subjective positions through which it might not be impossible but is hardly worth it to cut.

And we might ask, where is the cut, since that has been out theme; and where the movement? since the movement is its contraction, before it is its issue. But we can’t really relate it to a birth contraction, or to a birth. Nothing is yet alive. Well, not in the ordinary sense.

For the issue, for what matters, what we think matters over political chitchat, a difference is synthesised into a divergence. And the subject object is the issue. Or the theatre writing. So its not, a bit from here, a bit from there; your view against mine: nah, mate, you’re dreaming! This is how it was. Let’s then agree not to.

Neither is it like this in material synthesis, where there is complementarity without agreement. Complementarity is not supplemented in the completion of a kind of prosthesis to the argument, of a kind of a waving dick, as it were. This isn’t the time we enter into; and it’s not because we’re in the thick of it that we don’t see it, that it’s in process.

Progress has no truck with dreams. Neither, really, does becoming an other. So are we witnessing movement? or the birth of movement? Or the movement of a differential?

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