Nick Land: Mandelbrot and the gibberings of the Lobotomy Ward

Academic prose has the remarkable capacity to plunge one into a sublime dystopian nightmare…

– Nick Land, The Thirst for Annihilation

Nick Land once remarked that just one of Cioran’s casual jokes is of inestimably greater value in making contact with Nietzsche than the full corpus of Heidegger’s ponderously irrelevant Nietzsche.1 In the same light he said the Deleuze’s early work on Nietzsche was saved because he was one of the few academics who could actually think! Even Klossowski’s work was worth reading although as Land remarked it “stinks of transcendental philosophy” (155).  Otherwise, Land tells us, everything else everything else written by academics is nothing but the “mystical vacuity, the gibberings of a lobotomy ward” (155).

Only one book fulfilled this scholar of the night’s vision of an approach to Nietzsche, that was the work of Georges Bataille’s, Sur Nietzsche. Upon encountering this work Land remarked on his mounting excitement:

…no sign of scholarship or servility, prose that burns like an ember in the void, precision, profundity, exprit. The shock is almost lethal. The euphoria blazes painfully for weeks. At last! A book whose aberration is on the scale of Nietzsche’s own; a sick and lonely book. The fact that such a book could be published even dampens one’s enthusiasm for the universal eradication of the species. (156)

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Quote of the Day: Badiou on Plato and Love

Plato is quite precise in what he says about love: a seed of universality resides in the impulse towards love. The experience of love is an impulse towards something that he calls the Idea. Thus, even when I am merely admiring a beautiful body, whether I like it or not, I am in movement towards the idea of Beauty. I think – in quite different terms, naturally – along the same lines, namely that love encompasses the experience of the possible transition from the pure randomness of chance to a state that has universal value. Starting out from something that is simply an encounter, a trifle, you learn that you can experience the world on the basis of difference and not only in terms of identity. And you can even be tested and suffer in the process. In today’s world, it is generally thought that individuals only pursue their own self-interest. Love is an antidote to that. Provided it isn’t conceived only as an exchange of mutual favours, or isn’t calculated way in advance as a profitable investment, love really is a unique trust placed in chance. It takes us into key areas of the experience of what is difference and, essentially, leads to

– Alain Badiou,  In Praise of Love