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Mpls, MN, United States

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Thursday, March 22, 2007


"Beyond need, the object of desire is, humanly, the miracle; it is sovereign life, beyond the necessary that suffering defines. This miraculous element which delights us may be simply the brilliance of the sun, which on a spring morning transfigures a desolate street....

"What is the meaning of art, architecture, music, painting or poetry if not the anticipation of a suspended, wonder-struck moment, a miraculous moment?...

"To know is always to strive, to work; it is always a servile operation, indefinitely resumed, indefinitely repeated. Knowledge is never sovereign: to be sovereign it would have to occur in a moment. But the moment remains outside, short of or beyond, all knowledge. We know regular sequences in time, constants; we know nothing, absolutely, of what is not in the image of an operation, a servile modality of being, subordinate to the future, to its concatenation in time....

"But these moments, like the deeply rhythmed movements of poetry, of music, of love, of dance, have the power to capture and endlessly recapture the moment that counts, the moment of rupture, of fissure. As if we were trying to arrest the moment and freeze it in the constantly renewed gasps of our laughter or our sobs. The miraculous moment when anticipation dissolves into NOTHING, detaching us from the ground on which we were groveling, in the concatenation of useful activity."

--Georges Bataille, The Accursed Share (Robert Hurley, Trans., Zone, 1993), 201-203

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