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Sunday, October 19, 2008

At the Valve, Joseph Kugelmass is thinking about time.

Eternity is a comfort. It is relaxing to think of narratives repeating themselves across time, to imagine, as Levi-Strauss hungered to do, the structural webs that could make sense of contraries and bring them to peace. But the old homologies, the sparkle of humanistic erudition that unites Derrida with Plato or Shakespeare with Agamben is now a pose, a front for a deeper anxiety that something terrible is coming and that it will take us unawares. Think of all those scenes in the movies where somebody tries to unscramble a coded message, or copy a computer file, or do other kinds of information work while their friend struggles to barricade the door against monsters: that is the real terror underneath these continual re-discoveries of the beautiful fact that time is simultaneous, eternal, unmoving, its truths waiting to be collected, like laundry hanging on the line.