dimanche 19 décembre 2010

The Truth About "The Coming Insurrection"

Or the Misadventures of a 'Pataphysical Hoax
A member of the College of 'Pataphysics, at which I have a seat on the Commission of Liceites and Harmonies (Usury Sub-Commission), I have judged the moment favorable, notably with respect to the most recent developments in the "Tarnac Affair," to make several clarifications concerning both the activities of the aforementioned College and the true motivations behind my text, The Coming Insurrection.
What could be further from 'Pataphysics than this book? This is what one might think at first and then again after the recuperations that the book has unavoidably been subjected to, having been written to elicit scorn and, ideally, to loan itself to the ideological abduction of which it was the victim. And yet: "'Pataphysics is precisely ignorant of its own 'Pataphysical nature and it is this ignorance that is its pugnacity, its power, its plenitude and the root of its being" (Her Magnificance, the Vice Curator/Founder of the College of 'Pataphysics, Inaugural Harrange, 1st De-braining LXXVI of the 'Pataphysical Era). One couldn't describe this Quesneau-esque theology-fiction any better, even if it had been entitled Loin de Rueil.[1] Or rather, to speak quite immodestly, if it had been an unpublished work of the great de-brainer [himself, e.g., Alfred Jarry]: Ubu ideologue. Whatever the case, I would never have thought that things would go as far as they have. Should I not be content with duplicating a 'Pataphysics that is unaware of itself, convinced of its own purity and beauty, and far more inspiring than the timid productions of our conscious 'Pataphysicians (that is to say, the members of the College)? This was only a question of finding grace in, through mime of, the "'Pataphysical Harmony" that Her Magnificence, the Vice Curator-Founder of the College of 'Patapphysics, evokes so superbly: "This mass of priceless seriousness, all of this inexorable puffery, the Colosseum of Blah-Blah-Blah seems to have been executed with an admirable application, so that no false note spoiled this universal and impeccable 'Pataphysical Harmony."
Obviously, the other great design that I pursued against the blandness of contemporary 'Pataphysicians was to renew a less reserved conception of Operational 'Pataphysics . . . which otherwise seems to want to retreat into the innocent games of a confidential journal (Viridis Candela),[2] which is only read by slipper-wearing 'Pataphysicians. To my mind, it is quite regrettable that we have lost the gesture of Jarry, who never hesitated to breathe the life of 'Pataphysical wind into more visible journals and revues . . . . Thus, a little wearied by our current group of fake trolls (who actually only know how to troll each other), I have undertaken to revive the flame of La Chandelle verte,[3] to revivify this audacious, "situological"[4] vein of the College, [which is] that of the false Rimbaud in which Baudrillard participated; that of the forms of the pseudo-Torma, the pseudo-Lubin. . . .[5]
A sign of the times, my book's power of grotesque fire has, finally, not been revealed by a few sagacious minds. My little opus, with its salutary apocalyptic buffoonery, its tightrope-number upon the wire of parodic turnarounds, was certainly more than a revolutionary fire ship, but also something other than a simple farce: a parody that carefully mimed the tics, tics and tics of militant [mobilisateur] discourse by distilling in it a powerful intraveinous satire, there is of course [some] edification in its aims. I have in fact conceived of this text as a vaccine that resorts to aesthetics -- Grade-Z kitsch, as it turns out: the rather suspect "Invisible Committee," the latent content of which my signature will reveal to all the adepts of crypto-Lacanism, had to arouse suspicion, it seems to me -- so as to prevent any fascination with small-group armed struggle, modern-day Robin Hoods, or Blanquis in the robes of Rael. You can see the height of the irony. Some people, rather uneducated, have gone as far as comparing me to Breton and Debord, which constitutes the best validation of the Marxist axiom that history only repeats itself as farce. And they say that I aspired to this form of superior realism, which itself authorizes laughter ('Pataphysical research as scientific explication of the world), by writing the following:
"The persistant aura of Mesrine derives less from his straightfowardness and audacity than from the fact that he tried to take revenge against what all of us must take revenge."
"When the State is in the gutter, it is enough to trample upon it."[6]
"One will not manage to make getting paid a vile wage to wipe the asses of abandoned old men who have nothing to say an enchanting prospect."[7]
"He cannot stop himself from envying the "relegated" neighborhoods where a modicum of communal life, a few links between beings, non-Statist solidarity, an informal economy, and an organization that still isn't detached from those who organize themselves still persist." (regarding the banlieus!)
"There is impertinence in existing in a country where a child, whom one encourages to sing as he wishes, is inevitably snubbed with 'Stop, you'll make it rain!' "[8]
or even "A rocket rips open the prison at Clairvaux" (in the final programmatic scenario, which I failed to suppress at the last moment, thinking that it was excessively stupid and would immediately undermine the deception).
There you have it. But wasn't all this obvious?
Is it necessary to deplore the fact that certain people have used my work as their breviary, and have endorsed the habits of the probable author a little too hastily by refusing to clearly accept paternity? It will not be said that the surely excessive virtuosity of the hoax will serve as a pretext for relentless prosecution by the police. The "audacious" of all stripes who would still like the text to be responsible [lui faire porter le chapeau] should pay attention.
I take this raising of the curtain as the occasion to thank all those who have given their involuntary assistance to the full success of this project, but especially the scrupulous publishers, the great Foucaultian theoretician-thinkers, the zealous journalists, etc. And I hope that the incantations of someone as frighteningly serious as the putative author(s) of The Coming Insurrection will finally be a huge hit at the schools of laughter and around Correzian campfires.

The Indigestible
(alias "The Invisible Committee")

Postface by Jean-Francois Bailleux
Who said that fiction was a vacuum?
With the Indigestible, we have entered a rough-and-tumble game with an aesthetic of ambiguity, which aims to reinvent the real as fiction and to not invalidate the reciprocal. A subtle dialectic, operating according to rules known to the author alone, laconically diffusing his emanations, which dissolve matter. Faced with this text, how can one not think of those earthenware pigs that let escape from their gaping orifices an anti-mosquito spray produced by the combustion of a green spiral? The intestinal creativity of Pere Ubu was certainly unlimited, and his spiral was sufficiently large enough to welcome the greatest world, including that which seemed a priori to be the least integrable: our dissident 'Pataphysician (?) has remembered the magic, just like Hassan-i-Sabbah's "Nothing is true, everything is permitted."
Francois Mitterand, the Florentine of shoddy goods, used to love to say that there is nothing to gain from leaving ambiguity behind. It is obviously not the Indigestible who contradicts this line of conduct, and who pushes its refinement as far as letting people think that what he claims is true: that he is indeed the author of The Coming Insurrection, a political essay that has so agitated the media, which lacked monsters. To temporarily suspend credulity, one comes to wonder if the fictional jelly wasn't the only solution that the author reached to make his singularly spicy confession pass muster. Whatever it is, his gesture [sa demarche] makes appear in broad daylight a key to reading that is as workable as it is unexpected: satire, salutary grotesqueness as vaccine against all fascination with nostalgia for the epic, armed struggle and the barricades on which one dies, as in the past (read Eric Hazan, L'Invention de Paris, Editions du Seuil, "Paris rouge," p. 303). Without consenting to the softening produced by the equivalence of signs supposed to be indifferent, we must note that our epoch is no longer one of sacrifices or martyrs. The Indigestible reminds us that this situation also authorizes new, more poetic, more ludic desertions (resistances, for the fanatics). Philosophy students will perhaps remember the German Hans Vaihinger and his philosophy of the als ob: he taught that we construct our own systems of thought and values, and that we thus live as if reality is in conformity with them. See for yourself, if you do not believe the Indigestible, but do so as if his remarks are real: (truth) effect guaranteed.

(Translated from the French by NOT BORED! on 6 November 2009.)

[1] Loin de Rueil is the title of a novel by Raymond Queneau, who was a member of the College of 'Pataphysics.
[2] Published by The College of 'Pataphysics between 1950 and 1975. Reestablished in 2000.
[3] "By my green candle!" is one of the exclamations made by Pere Ubu, a famous character created by Alfred Jarry.
[4] See Asger Jorn, "La pataphysique, une religion en formation," Internationale Situationniste #6, August 1961.
[5] Both Julien Torma and Armen Lubin were Dadaists in the 1920s.
[6] In the translation published by Semiotext(e), this line is rendered as follows: "When power is in the gutter, it's enough to walk over it."
[7] In the translation published by Semiotext(e), this line is rendered as follows: "Nothing can make it an attractive prospect to wipe the asses of pensioners for minimum wage."
[8] In the translation published by Semiotext(e), this line is rendered as follows: "There is something impertinent about existing in a country where a child singing as she pleases is inevitably silenced with a 'stop, you're going to stir things up.'"


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