Cosmopolis Reading Group Day 2: Now with 75% less bloodshed

Get in the limo with Packinson

First off, THANK YOU for joining us in the limo yesterday, what an amazing start to the Cosmopolis reading group! You guys blew us away with your insightful comments and we’re looking forward to another round today. The whole book is open to discussion today and, as we discovered yesterday, spoilers shall abound. One small business announcement: by poll and general consensus it has been determined that Eric Packer cannot share his limo with any other powerful billionaires. It makes him uncomfortable and then we all get twitchy and Chauffeur Tink apparently has an itchy trigger finger. (Note to self: Do not apply to be Tink’s bodyguard.)

Just like yesterday, you are welcome to share your general thoughts on the novel, the characters etc. Here are a few additional questions;

What are your thoughts on the female characters? I’m fascinated with Eric’s two colleagues, his Chief of Finance, Jane Melman and his Chief of Theory, Vija Kinski.

I loved that you guys were pulling out favourite lines – let’s keep doing that with the second half of the book. 🙂 “The rats were good. The rats were fine and right, thematically sound.”

I believe virtually everyone here is reading Cosmopolis because it’s being made into a film. Let’s talk favourite scene that you’d like to see in the movie. What could you live without?

Finally, let’s talk about the actual limo. Erm, is it a bus? It sounds like people are walking around and… I can’t picture it.

Okay, finally finally, can we group hug and figure out the ending. Whenever books mess with the space/time continuum I get confuzzled. 😉

And because we love polls…

  • Nancy Babich…POW POW POW! lol….

    this is a sleep comment. im gonna wait to read other people’s comments first this round.

    *goes over to limo bar to pour a mimosa*

    • Marina H.

      Damn, three shots?

      You’re ruthless. Maybe you’re more shades of fucked up than you think 😉

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  • rpattzgirl

    Quick comment…they HAVE to have the prostrate exam in the movie…
    Although I’ll be embarrased & giggle like a 12 yr old…it’s gotta be there!

    • i have a feeling it will be there. the prostrate is asymmetrical thing is mentioned throughout and is symbolic.

      • The prostate is really the key organ here, more even than Eric’s dick! And he “should have listened to his prostate.”

        Because it’s the organ that sends out his seed toward his objectives. It sends out liquid data (we gonna talk about sperm too?!). It’s the key to propagation, and Eric wants to live on eternally. He wants to become immortal, step out of time, but his damn prostate is unbalanced! (like his mind, his values, his goals…)

        • I like that element of flux you got in there. You just did Deleuze proud. Assymetry. Prostate, hair, wound in his left hand for starters. He does not want to be immortal through real children. Only digitally, a simulation, maybe a clone? At least in the beginning. Ulysses goes through a complete metamorphosis in one day. And Molly Bloom is there for him saying yes, oh yes.

        • The prostate exam and the “sly” probing by the doctor’s assistant is his getting fucked in the ass. And he experiences it as pain but still erotic. These are “floating signs” of femininity in gender ambiguity as Jane’s “floating signs” are masculine. Sex as Baudrillard says involves the “symbolic exchange” of “floating signs”. Remember his touching the crack in the “scorched blonds” ass and his fist between her thighs? He is indicating desire. Active or passive?

      • O.o don’t get me started on the prostate cuz I’m gonna write a novel 😛 …but yeah, they HAVE to have it…the visual portray of it could be taken into many different directions though…

  • I tend to take things too literally, a problem with a book like this. This is part of a great comment left late yesterday by Loisada and it really helped pull together a huge theme I was missing. 🙂

    “And everyone around him is symbol, and they only interact on symbolic levels. There is a total disconnect between them… even in sex. That’s why the screens (monitors, stock trons, windows, sunglasses, etc.) are so important, in that they separate people throughout the story.

    I see you ladies started right in on the bottle fuck!! Well it’s another screen! Plastic between bodies, in the form of the ultimate symbol of a consumer society. And he wants to put on his sunglasses to do it… another screen. Everything is a show, an appearance. Or everything is words. Because talking is doing. That’s one of my favorite lines right now, what he says to Jane before the infamous bottle fuck: “Say the words.””

    • spot on in my opinion. the whole story seems to be symbolic. every moment, every conversation, had a meaning in defining Packer and this day.

    • Loisada

      Thanks Deb! I do think everyone will get a lot more out of this book by not trying to read it in the first degree. Because in many ways we’re in the theater of the ABSURD here. All the characters have realistic traits, and all events could have happened, but having them all converge in just one day is implausible. This novel doesn’t fall into the realism category. Unless we call it hyperrealism, which it certainly is!

      Because first off, the space time continuum is out of sync. Eric sees things happen on his monitor before they occur. He’s constantly trying to catch up to events. He’s cruising through the city (through his life) on a quest. Ostensibly he’s trying to get his damn hair cut. Symbolically, he’s trying to master that time warp, trying to get back in his own body (sexing, eating, etc.) and at the same time trying to immortalize himself and go beyond his body. Because tho he’s very physically aware, he’s also completely detached. He can’t shut off his reeling brain. And his musings are more important than the plot, which is over the top (presidents, rap stars, funerals, demonstrations, myriad sexual encounters, eating, eating, eating…)

      You know this will end badly from the very start. You know he’s doomed, it’s permeated with a fatalistic feeling. Eric is “out of time” (out of sync between his virtual and physical world, seeing things before they happen, etc.), and who has run “out of time” (doomed). The signs are clearly there: “What did he want,” he asks himself, “that was not posthumous?” (And I can just hear Jim Morrison singing: This is the end, beautiful friend.)

      If he represents the ultimate young, self-absorbed, hungry capitalist with unbridled ambition, he epitomizes the peak and brutal fall of cybercapitalism: “This was the day, was it not, for influential men to come to sudden messy ends.” But even if Eric is a vehicle for showing the downfall of a hero who reflects a generation, this isn’t The Bonfire of the Vanities. I think it’s closer to Paul Auster’s “In the Country of Last Things,” but with a completely different tone and register.

      In mere structure, many some literary critics have said Cosmopolis is a modern retelling of James Joyce’s Ulysses, transposed to New York. The (anti)hero makes his way through the city over the course of one day. But even though NYC is perfectly captured, it’s impersonal, like a big Gotham City that has no real sense of life.

      There is so much to be said about Eric, but for today, to zero in on two things you brought up, the limo and female characters.

      First the limo:
      Cosmopolis is a very horizontal tale, as symbolized by the limo gliding through the city, and the data streams constantly pouring out. It’s also highly vertical, like the ever-present skyscrapers and phalluses! (Great unf banner images for Marina!)

      The limo (especially a Packard) is the ultimate symbol of ostentation, of lustrous machines and art works that Eric so desperately needs to carve out (fuck out) his niche in the world and say fuck you to life. “He wanted the car because it was not only oversized but aggressively and contemptuously so, metastizingly so, a tremendous mutant thing that stood astride every argument against it.”

      As for the female characters, here’s some food for thought: while Elise is the ethereal muse, wife and poet (wordsmith) who represents a mystery to Eric, Jane is the smart but very physical (sweating, smelly, panting, wet) sexually frustrated woman, characterized socially by being a mother! And she is the one who leaves Eric “more excited than I’ve been since the first burning nights of adolescent frenzy.” He calls her his “sweetheart and lover and slut undying.”

      I love the limo scene with Jane, and I’m dying to know who will play this role. And this scene contains the all-important line: “Say the words!” The importance of language and especially the spoken word will be a great thing to discuss later, because as De Lillo says:

      “A person rises on a word and falls on a syllable…the phenomenon of reputation is a delicate thing” (Rob sure as hell must identify with that!)

    • Oops… after checking, it’s actually Jane who says this to Eric. Because she knows exactly what he’s thinking, and she knows that giving it voice will unleash it. And it does, majestically, in a “soundless little simian howl!” Oh how I love how DeLillo writes…

    • No. Symbolic is over and done in post modern French theory. Sorry to rain on your parade. In Cosmopolis we are in a universe of simulation with no original and no real, the requirements for a symbol. If you want this blog to be credible then you must get it right. Yes I know I am pedantic.

      Connect the dots. Cronenberg, Crash, Ballard, Baudrillard, De Lillo.

      Foucault and Lacan.

      If you want me to shut up just say so and I’ll continue elsewhere.

      • We don’t want you to go anywhere because we enjoy the various opinions. But if the reader is perceiving the novel in certain way (and that’s not to say that perception won’t/can’t change) who’s to say that is incorrect? DeLillo? Even if it is from the author, when you share your story with the masses, you leave it open to interpretation.

        You can’t control how your story is perceived.

        • That is a fine defense of reader response theory. Which I fully advocate, thank you! The mere Pleasure of the Text will always be valid, in my mind.

          (And yes Abbey, I’m not willing to give up Barthes that easily… DeLillo can be enjoyed even by those who haven’t made the leap. Especially within the confines of a blog like this, where, let’s be honest, many readers have come merely as a prelude to the movie.)

      • I love being schooled Abbey, but if you are brave enough to do it you will need patience. In bucketloads. And while we try to make some sense of all this, I don’t think the blog is searching for the type of credibility you seek. Between work, school and families, few of us have the time to explore it to the extent you do. But I for one greatly appreciate following along. Will do my best to connect the dots…. Cronenberg, Crash, Ballard, Baudrillard, De Lillo.

        I’m not a great fan of the movie The Matrix, but I do know it also refers to Baudrillard’s “Simulacra and SImulations.” How we go from representing the “real” to simulating it. Disneyfication.

        And right now, in thinking of simulacra and Eric’s journe, I am stuck on this line:

        “..how a person becomes the reflection he sees in a dusty window where he walks by.”

        • great line. we need to have a post or tab or something of the great lines in the novel. have people contribute in the comments. after more people have read…im just brainstorming.

          and thanks 😉

        • Interesting you mentioned Disneyland. Baudrillard has an essay on it. Disneyland is the real America. Then you go out into the parking lot.

  • Here’s another thread I’d like to discuss. The subject is a little sensitive and I’d like to start by saying I mean no disrespect and in no way mean to be facetious – I’m genuinely curious about this. I’ve had cause to research autism fairly extensively and I wonder if Eric is maybe a man with Asperger’s syndrome. He doesn’t like looking at people’s faces, has difficulty even recognizing his wife. He tells Benno/Richard, “I’m better with names than faces.” The fact that Elise didn’t know his eye colour; he can’t have worn his sunglasses all the time. Might it be he hasn’t really met her eye? His obsession with mastering things. The lack of empathy. All markers of Asperger’s syndrome.
    I’m c/p this in as a reference.
    Essentially, Asperger’s syndrome causes behavior that can best be described as “quirky.” Bill Gates, Woody Allen, Bob Dylan, Keanu Reeves, Al Gore, and Garrison Keillor are some of the many notable public figures who experts believe show symptoms of Asperger’s syndrome. There is also some evidence to suggest that Albert Einstein and Isaac Newton suffered from the condition as well.

    Impaired social reactions are a key component of Asperger’s syndrome. People who suffer from this condition find it difficult to develop meaningful relationships with their peers. They struggle to understand the subtleties of communicating through eye contact, body language, or facial expressions and seldom show affection towards others. They are often accused of being disrespectful and rude, since they find they can’t comprehend expectations of appropriate social behavior and are often unable to determine the feelings of those around them. People suffering from Asperger’s syndrome can be said to lack both social and emotional reciprocity.

    • wow….well he certainly fits the bill with what you’ve referenced. i obviously saw him as severely detached. he does something to himself towards the end that solidified a thought that fed into my head through the whole reading…that he wanted to feel, but didnt know how or didnt think capable.

      its a thought that played around lightly since i’ve only done one reading. i feel like my 2nd go ’round will clarify more to me. i didn’t think of him as having a condition because the author didn’t introduce one but that doesn’t mean its not there.

    • I think almost as a rule De Lillo writes in disjointed prose that seems disconnected to many readers. It can feel disturbed and disoriented (lots of DIS there!). And his heros are typically inward-looking men living in disconnect with those around them. My inclination is to think it is De Lillo himself who has a thought process akin to an Asberger’s sufferer (alongside Oscar Wilde, Beethoven, Carrol, Einstein?). Or perhaps he views this “impaired” mind frame as emblematic of highly intelligent modern men, and thus saddles so many of his “heroes” with it?

      • De Lillo is an extremely erudite and sensitive man. If you read his Libra he shows unbelievable empathy for Oswald as no other writer has about him. When you psychologize, oh never mind, no one wants to hear.

    • I don’t mean to criticize your analysis but it won’t get anywhere when you are dealing with post modern theory. All the psychological stuff has been eliminated from it along with Freudian theory. Lacan is the odnldydone left standing with his linguistic analysis.

      Follow your perceptions as they are correct. For Eric he is a simulacrum as everyone else in his life is also. No one is real. Nothing is real. There is no real. But he is desperately trying to find a referent, a real, somewhere, somehow. and he is Joyce’s Ulysses searching for it all day long.

      • Yes, I know this. And you are right, and I am lazy. But also trying to speak in laymen’s terms to incite others to dig past the first degree. Shouldn’t have thrown out the word symbol either, but it doesn’t die an easy death. As your own comments have shown! Will go back and rethink this then address what I think can be done here on this blog.

        • In Norton’s Leaves of Grass-brilliant film-he does Foucault and interpretation in a few sentences. Interpretation-personal and academic-goes on into infinity or back into origins until the threads are so ancient and shredded they disappear. This is the prevalent Discourse of Western Civilization and has led us to where we are. Sort of “anything goes” approach. Yes, any reader can interpret anything they choose. But it is error prone thinking. All of our western Discourse is error prone, all the human sciences. Gulp! So I threw out a lifetime’s way of thinking as I read Foucault. Take all that knowledge you have crammed in your head like honey in a beehive-Nietzsche’s phrase for it-and turn it to genealogy and the meaning comes shining through. Instead of all this cloudy and muddled interpretive thinking, endless discussion and argument about another’s interpretation, then re-interpretation of that interpretation and so it goes as Vonnegut would say. It is all based on Hegellian dialectical philosophy which is lying in the trash heap at the side of the road along with much of Freud, psychology, Marxism, political science, the idea of progress and all the rest of it. Now I have no objection if anyone wants to stay there with all that stuff in the structure it is in. But if anyone wishes to learn to think and imagine then they must change the erroneous way they are doing it. Sorry. But many of you do have children and so it is important to understand that the interpretation of behavior, the terrible clinical labeling of it so it can be medicated and fill the pockets of big pharma, is insidious. The power/knowledge relation Foucault so patiently explains with endless detail and archival digging exposes power and our entrapment in it. Think Black Swan and Nina.

          No everyone’s feelings about Cosmopolis are just simply feelings. The philosophical basis of the book is there. Damn I see I am going to have to do this more professionally. Eric’s out of synch time screen of images, is this not like Alice’s visions? And Alice’s visions are Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass as explained by Deleuze in his The Logic of Sense. Stephenie is right there on the cutting edge. The fact that she doesn’t know it doesn’t matter. But that’s the basic reason for her phenomenal success. Because we all know it in our bones.

          • And this is where you lose me. Because I do not know it, cannot see it. Cannot even get through reading all three of her books, the writing is so wretched. In what way does she undermine the logic of sense? And yes my thinking is hindered here… perhaps by her LDS tenets. I almost see her as a female Joseph Smith, with her golden plates handed to her in that famous meadow dream. But no meaning comes shining through for me. Nothing but dubious moral preachings that run up against the sexual fantasies of a severely repressed girl. And the limits and labels that made her that way. If she is cutting edge, to my mind, it is in her subconscious revolt against it (cutting at that edge). As a subject, but not as a writer. And certainly not as a “rethinker.”

  • Marina H.

    Good morning!

    I just wanted to make sure that I said how much FUN it was yesterday to talk about the book and share quotes and hear everyone’s opinion. So awesome!!

    Onward! Well it made it no secret yesterday that my two favorite parts of the book occurred at the end and showed 2 of Eric’s most vulnerable moments. The movie set scene with Elise (*fans self*) and the hilarious monologue with the pistol before he busts through the door. (I just remembered I LOVED Eric at Brotha Fez’s funeral too. TRULY vulnerable. I’d almost argue to say he feels more emotionally attached to the musician than anyone else in life. Would you?)

    Anyway, the scene with Elise I felt was one of the true climaxes of the movie. It’s when Eric connects most to her and the most he ever will. They don’t just have sex, the make love [and it’s HOT]. I WANT that to be in the movie…I want. I want. But that may mostly be because I want to see a certain someone naked up against a wall in a dark alley…shut up. I also loved that scene as a whole. Hundreds of naked bodies lying prone on the New York streets, obviously on a movie set, but we have no idea what kind of movie. We don’t know what was supposed to have happened. Were they were still alive? Zombies? Apocalypse? We just know that everyone was stripped down naked. It was beautiful and totally symbolic.

    Eric’s monologue. Now THIS is when he truly goes apeshit, lol. He goes OFF and I love every little thing that comes out of his mouth. “Nancy Babich you f*cking $%^#.” It’s hilarious how he goes off about breaking open a door in the movies and how easy it was and his mother and Nancy Babage without breaking. Then I think it’s hilarious how he kicks open the door and it goes so easily. Oh Eric…I love you (in a sick twisted way). Another one I WANT in the movie, but I can live without merely because it’s a culmination of all of Eric’s thoughts we’ve been privy to hearing all day. In the movie we won’t hear his thoughts so it won’t make as much sense.

    Now, the ending. Hmmm…I must say I’m REALLY unsure why he shot himself in the hand. I’d love to hear why you guys think he did that. It made no sense to me at all. I really liked what “happened” in the end (ie. open ended grim ending. How long did it last? Did he manage to plea for his life? How did he end up dying? What if he didn’t die, what would happen to him?) but I felt like it dragged on a little bit. Since the book was SO about Eric the whole time, I felt like the introduction of Benno into the story was almost an annoyance. I appreciate that Eric didn’t break character when they spoke and that he was able to reach the crazed man without having to put up any sort of act. “That’s a fake name.” Oh Eric, I love it when you’re so sure of yourself… Although, another question I have was the whole “watch” thing. What the hell was going on there? I felt like that got a little science fiction-y.

    So that’s my thoughts on the ending. Chauffeur Deb’s questions? Elise is my favorite female character, and I know that’s cliche but I really like her. I also really loved Jane and that whole scene. I wish we could have explored that relationship more. It gave me blue balls.

    I think the limo is an average limo. I imagine people bending over to walk down the isle. Although picturing the examination inside the confines of a limo was confusing. *pictures the examination again with pleasure….:} *

    Ok, that’s it. That’s a lot. Can’t wait to read what everyone thinks!! <3<3

    • “In the movie we won’t hear his thoughts so it won’t make as much sense.”

      This is what is driving me mad right now: how did Cronenberg transfer this to his script? Eric’s thoughts are key to everything, and he only speaks a minimum of them out loud.

      This book could be turned into a thousand and one very different movies. Is it a farce, a sci-fi thriller, a horror flic, a raunchy sex romp, a verbal joust, a showdown between two men (stalker, stalkee)? Is it one man’s mad spiral into madness?

      What is in that damn script… I NEED IT NOW! I’m thinking the best place for us to get some hints is to watch Cronenberg’s movie “Crash”. It is at the top of my Netflix queue! In the meantime, who’s ready to cozy up to Colin and steal his old copy of the script??

    • apotampkin

      I think he shot his hand because he was on a self destructive binge and he was also finally truly feeling and experiencing things for the first time. I think he understood he would be shot by the psycho and wanted to get to it first just to see what it would feel like.

      I agree about the inner monologue stuff… they have to get that into the movie somehow or it won’t make sense. Do you think they’ll do Bella-style narration??

    • He has all day been suspecting a hacker in his system as the screen shows him an event just before it happens. Baudrillard discusses this in one of his meditations on death where the pilot in a plane watches his own death on the screen as he is living it. So he is seeing his death before it happens. He could have escaped and he evens says that he could have shot him first. HIs death is a purposive sacrificial death in terms of Symbolic Exchange. He is choosing his death. This is discussed at length in Pasolini’s Teorema DVD in the comments as his death created an unending tumult of controversy. Eric is leaping out of simulation into death. Sketchy I know. But comments aren’t the best place to go on about this.

  • Whitbysucks

    Finished the book last night and me thinks I will have to reread it! It is really a short novel, but packed with so much. It was work to read, but I really enjoyed it.

    deb24601 thanks for quoting Loisada, I truly appreciated the insight. Also, funny you mentioned Aspergers as a possibility, I just assumed he had the condition. Didn’t think to question it.

    Marina H., the funeral scene was interesting to witness Eric actually being passionate about something.
    The watch thing confused me abit too, but it did tie into him seeing his reactions on screen before they occured.
    Shooting his own hand? Hole in his grip on reality? Hole that he created in the global economy/his world represented in his hand? Ya got me sista! I’m a science major.

    Really enjoying reading all the thoughts and opinions, it is opening up this story to me and I appreciate the miles you chauffeurs have driven!

    • Ah thanks so much. Yes the black hole. Implosion. Baudrillard. Perfect.

  • Well damn, Keira Knightley. As I said at the blog, it’s not bad news. She does come with certain negatives as per the way a certain segment of the audience perceives her. She too has roles to live down, and things to prove. But the girl can act. And she’ll look great alongside Rob. I’m all for it…. but now don’t let Paul go and get pregnant too!

    • I’m quite thrilled with this announcement. Her age is more in line and I adored her in Atonement, no doubt in my mind she can pull this off.

      I’ve been running with the positive thought that all the ‘I Love Canada’ talk in Paul Giamatti’s Golden Globe acceptance speech was code for “I can’t wait to work in Canada with Cronenberg”. 😉

      • apotampkin

        uuuggghhh I can’t stand her and if she is the wife I will puke. She is way too hard and too smug looking for the wife. The wife has to be soft around the edges… kind of dreamy. no no no from me!!!

  • Another question: (hopes Loisada is still around 😉 ) Do you think there is an actual “sci-fi” element to the screens and Eric’s watch? That he’s literally seeing the near future? Or is he projecting his own vision and then making it happen?

    *bangs head against wall*

    • As I recall Eric points this out to someone else in the limo (Shiner, Chin, Vija?) who sees the same thing. The question is, will Cronenberg visualize this as hallucinations/projections? That is going to define the very timbre of the film. What genre will it be? Are we talking Clockwork Orange hyperreality? Something more like Crash? More of a thriller with time out of sync, Momento style? *bangs head* I seriously need to know who I need to do to get that script!

      • No you don’t need the script. You know. He is in the universe of simulation. As we all are. Only Eric knows it and he is trying to get to the real. That is his journey. He is Ulysses. Elise is Molly. Yes oh yes, remember her long monologue. I heard a marvelous unknown actress do it in 1967, just beautiful.

        Baudrillard discusses watching your own death on screen in simulated reality, virtual reality. The past, present and future are confabulated here on his screens. Because they are not real either.

    • No this is not the future. It is now. Virtual reality is now.

      He is betting on the yen. LIke the Wall streeters were betting on the derivatives and the derivatives of derivatives. Like Soros bet on the British Pound by selling it short (betting on the fall) and almost broke the Bank of England in one day. The day he made one billion dollars. To his credit he has said he should not be allowed to do what he does.

      The yen. We are told right away that he doesn’t know what he wants. Then we are told he wants a haircut. He is borrowing yen. He has a yen. He doesn’t know what his yen is for. His yen is for a haircut, for the real, not the “floating signifier” of money across a screen. A haircut is real. By borrowing yen is huge amounts he is creating demand for the yen. As he creates demand for the yen, the yen goes up. But he needs it to fall so he can pay his debt back cheaply. His debt. A gift demands a debt to be repaid. A Symbolic Exchange. Baudrillard’s symbolic Exchange and Death is a seminal work on this. I haven’t finished it yet. It is very hard going for me. Very dense.

      • At some point he gets it that the system is imploding. Implosion. The black hole swallows it all up. The protest is simply part of it. In protesting the protesters are part of the process of Deterrence. All contradictions are absorbed. Marcuse discusses this-forget which book- and likens capital to Pac-Man that swallows up all contradictions to make it stronger. This is about the implosion of capital, of “floating money” on a screen. Resistance is futile. Only the judo of implosion will work. Join it to destroy it. This is what Eric does. He implodes the system.

        And his killer who “loves the baht”. So wonderful. He loves the bought.

      • Yes… HE HAS A YEN. A craving, a longing, a yearning.

        A symbolic exchange. We just can’t get around the symbolic that easily. And I don’t want to throw the baby out with the bath water. I reserve the right to use seemingly trite metaphors! Especially when they fit, because Eric is indeed searching for immortality. Not in his sperm. Because the human body is “redundant and transferable. It was convertible to wave arrays of information.”

        But neither in his image videostreamed worldwide. Not in melding into the “zero-oneness of the world” in the “digital imperative.”

        And I see all the hyperreal simulacra that abounds here. Yet I’m stuck pondering the signifier and the signified. The referant the and the refere. Where is the threat of representation left for us to cling to? This is not Beckett, but language still brings the world to be. And DeLillo mines that: “Say the words!”

        • Symbol is not the same as Symbolic Exchange. Had Elise given him the money he would have had to return the debt to her with some symbolic exchange. But he stole it to avoid the gift.

          Saussure’s sigifier and signified is gone because it is referential. In hyperreality there is no real. The simulacrum has no original. A long long fight with Plato who made the real the essence, the Idea.

          There is no referent to cling to. That’s the point. That’s why the search for his father’s barber and the half haircut. Eric has been searching for the pure, in the yen, in desire, but desire is coupled with lack. The search for the pure, the Ideal is the Platonic search for Essence. There is none. Only the event/phantasm and assymetry. His killer gives him the gift of assymetry and he sacrifices himself by giving him the gift of his death, the Symbolic Exchange. I think I’ve got it now.

    • It’s the same as Alice’s visions. OK? These are the same as Lewis Carroll in Alice Through the Looking Glass. Yes? in The Logic of Sense Deleuze explains it and the entire book is a meditation on Through the Looking Glass.

      That is, no more progression through the reconciliation of opposites. In fact no more progressive ongoing history at all. It keeps changing with events and choices. Just like Alice says in Twilight. See how cutting edge Stephenie is.

  • apotampkin

    I keep imagining Jane Lynch from Glee as Jane – have you seen her in the 40 year old virgin? She would be perfect!

  • apotampkin

    Oh and do we know who Giametti is playing? It must the “the subject” mustn’t it? I was totally imagining him when reading the final scene.

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