The passion of the real

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'La passion du réel'

Badiou


'La passion du réel', the passion of the real. Precisely because the universe in which we live is somehow a universe of dead conventions and artificiality, the only authentic real experience must be some extremely violent, shattering experience.

Slavoj Zizek: I think this may be what defined the twentieth century, which really began with the First World War. We all remember the war reports by Ernst Jnger, in which he praises this eye-to-eye combat experience as the authentic one. There must be extreme violence for that encounter to be authentic.


CUTTER Another emblematic figure in this sense to me is the so-called 'cutter'- a widespread pathological phenomenon in the USA. There are two million of them, mostly women, but also men, who cut themselves with razors. Why? It has nothing to do with masochism or suicide. It's simply that they don't feel real as persons and the idea is: it's only through this pain and when you feel warm blood that you feel reconnected again. So I think that this tension is the background against which one should appreciate the effect of the act.