The foreclosure of the Real is the starting point of our expedition. An expedition through life, death and words. Don’t panic. It’s a short expedition.
Regarding life and death we could say, bearing in mind the foreclosure of the Real, that our lived experience is prior to life and death (I borrowed this expression from Patrick Jennings out of his post ‘Immanent Beatitude’).
What could this mean? To put it plain and simple, not the slightest of our experiences is ultimately philosophizable. By regarding our experiences as unilaterally determined by the Real, there is no way to capture the Real in our experiences by way of forming words.
There are experiences. There are words. Nothing is wrong with that. What remains is how we relate them, and how the Real is comprised in all of this.
Life, Death and Words. What should we do with them? The unilateral relation between the Real and our experiences shows the futility of our compulsion to determine the Real. There is a radical cut in that direction. Even the agnostic determination of the Real, the concession that we cannot know, forces on us a knowledge about the Real. A knowledge in the form of not-knowing.
So what exactly is cut off by this unilateral determination? It is our liability to constrain our experiences by our attempt to determine the Real. To take two examples, we can see this liability in philosophy and in literary theory. There are philosophers who try to cheat us into believing that they know the Real. There are literary theorists who try to cheat us into believing that they know what a certain text is about.
If those philosophers and theorists act out one potential performance, the performance of producing, is there another way to perform?
There is one. It is the way of creators and inventors. Matthias Steingass made me aware of the distinction between producing and creating/inventing. But what is this distinction?
Well, it is entailed in the words above. Creators and inventors flow within the kaleidoscopic richness of their experiences. Instead of obsessing over how to determine the Real in a sufficient and absolute way, they do not try to cross borders that are insurmountable.
They bring to a halt the clipping of experiences, regardless of whether this clipping emerges in a philosophical or in a theoretical fashion.
We don’t necessarily need philosophers and theorists who preach us their fable about how the Real is determined.
What we have is the possibility to acknowledge the richness of our experiences in a creative and inventive fashion. And we can get inspired by a plethora of creators and inventors.
In my case, those inspirations currently are Thomas Ligotti, Bruno Schulz, Thomas Bernhard and Stefan Grabiński.
The foreclosure of the Real – an artistic stance.