8.26.2010

The line of flight marks: the reality of a finite number of
dimensions that the multiplicity effectively fills; the impossibility of a supplementary
dimension, unless the multiplicity is transformed by the line of
flight; the possibility and necessity of flattening all of the multiplicities on
a single plane of consistency or exteriority, regardless of their number of
dimensions. The ideal for a book would
be to lay everything out on a plane

 


of exteriority of this kind, on a single page, the same sheet: lived events, historicaldeterminations, concepts, individuals, groups, social formations .


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 1874: THREE NOVELLAS, OR "WHAT HAPPENED?"

The
"presence" of the tale writer is completely different from that of the novella
writer (and both are different from that of the novelist). Let us not dwell too
much on the dimensions of time: the novella has little to do with a memory
of the past or an act of reflection; quite to the contrary, it plays upon a fundamental
forgetting. 






It evolves in the element of "what happened" because
it places us in a relation with something unknowable and imperceptible
(and not the other way around: it is not because it speaks of a past about
which it can no longer provide us knowledge). 




It may even be that nothing
has happened, but it is precisely that nothing that makes us say, Whatever
could have happened to make me forget where I put my keys, or whether I
mailed that letter, etc.? 




What little blood vessel in my brain could have ruptured?
 


What is this nothing that makes something happen? The novella has
a fundamental relation to secrecy (not with a secret matter or object to be
discovered, but with the form of the secret, which remains impenetrable),
whereas the tale has a relation to discovery (the form of discovery, independent
of what can be discovered). The novella also enacts postures of the
body and mind that are like folds or envelopments, whereas the tale puts

into play attitudes or positions that are like unfoldings and developments,
however unexpected. 


Barbey has an evident fondness for body posture, in
other words, states of the body when it is surprised by something that just
happened. 

In the preface to the Diaboliques, Barbey even 






suggests that
there is a diabolism of body postures, a sexuality, pornography, and scatology
of postures quite different from those that also, and simultaneously,
mark body attitudes or positions.


Posture is like inverse suspense. 

Thus it
is not a question of saying that the novella relates to the past and the tale to
the future; what we should say instead is that the novella 




relates, in the present
itself, to the formal dimension of something that has happened, even if
that something is nothing or remains unknowable. Similarly, one should
not try to make the distinction between the novella and 



the tale coincide
with categories such as the fantastic, the fabulous, etc.; that is another
 


problem, there is no reason why it should overlap. The links of the novella
are: What happened? (the modality or expression), Secrecy (the form),
Body Posture (the content).

Take Fitzgerald.