Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Jean-Luc Nancy, the real outside is inside

At bottom, the body is has never been diminished, repressed, or denied in philosophy except to the very degree of the account [exposition] that it has seemed to be ever since the gods ceased to inhabit the world. The body is the outside itself: the “inside” as outside. I said “a house that opens onto concrete,” I could say: the body, soul that opens onto matter, which is to say on the outside-of-what. Soul beside itself, and thus soul, yes! “Body” is the weight [pesée] of the soul upon us, today.

That is why I would say that the body is not so foreign [étranger] to philosophy as one would think: “body” is the strangeness that philosophy names because she discovers it, and philosophy discovers the body because the world effectively becomes a stranger to itself. That is what we call the “Occident”…That opens just as much upon the diminution and the rejection of the body as on the exaltation of the body’s power. In one way or in the other, it introduces a fundamental strangeness to ourselves, a strangeness of the world to itself. We have called it body/mind, matter/idea, exteriority/interiority…in reality, it is a matter of the distance between the same and the same, and thus sometimes rejection of one by the other, sometimes a burst [élan], escstatic from one towards the other…Strangeness is none other than this strangenes to ourselves, in ourselves. It is our torment, as tragic as it is erotic.

From an interview here.

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