Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Derrida On L'mour

Since I find myself incapable of writing anything lately, I am thinking of returning to the basics-to do what I was good at. Quoting people, questioning everything and talking about books and movies. That is to say, I am thinking of starting a movie/book review blog. An ode to the pieces that i adored over the years.

Well, for now, I have seen Derrida talking for the first time. Ifinally got my hands on Derrida The Movie, and yes it only fuels my fascination with the grey haired dead jew.
Here is what he says when asked about l'mour. (Reminds me of my long diatribe I had once. Someone somewhere must remember that :) )

Love is a question of who and what. Is love the love of someone or the love of some thing?

Supposing I loved someone; Do I love someone for the absolute singularity of who they are? i.e. I love you because you are you. Or do I love your qualities, your beauty, your intelligence?

Does one love someone, or does one love something about someone? The difference between the who and the what at the heart of love, seperates the heart. It is often said that love is the movement of the heart. Does my heart move because I love someone who is an absolute singularity, or because I love the way that someone is?

Often love begins with a type of seduction. One is attracted because the other is like this or like that. Inversely, love is disappointed and dies when one comes to realise the other person doesn't merit our love. The other person isn't like this or that. So at the death of love, it appears that one stops loving another not because of who they are but because they are such and such .

That is to say, the history of love, the heart of love, is divided between the who and the what. The question of Being, to return to philosophy- because the first question of philosophy is: what is it 'to Be'? What is 'Being'? The question of 'Being' is itself always already divided between who and what. Is 'Being' someone or some thing? I speak of it abstractly, but I think that whoever starts to love, is in love, or stops loving, is caught between this division of the who and the what. One wants to be true to someone - singularly, irreplaceably - and one perceives that this someone isn't x or y. They didn't have the qualities, properties, the images, that I thought I'd loved. So fidelity is threatened by the difference between the who and the what.

1 comment:

Majaz said...


The man has finally begun to make sense to me.

Derrida, that is... ;)