[NetBehaviour] the variant

Alan Sondheim sondheim at panix.com
Sat Jul 15 05:56:26 CEST 2006

the variant


from the end of XXV, Legge's Chuang Tzu:

"Birth, before it comes, cannot be prevented; death, when it has happened,
cannot be traced farther. Death and life are not far apart; but why they
have taken place cannot be seen. That some one has caused them, or that
there has been no action in the case are but speculations of doubt. When I
look for their origin, it goes back into infinity; when I look for their
end, it proceeds without termination. Infinite, unceasing, there is no
room for words about (the Tao). To regard it as in the category of things
is the origin of the language that it is caused or that it is the result
noting; but it would end as it began with things. The Tao cannot have a
(real) existence; if it has, it cannot be made to appear as if it had not.
The name Tao is a metaphor, used for the purpose of description. To say
that it causes or does nothing is but to speak of one phase of things, and
has nothing to do with the Great Subject. If words were sufficient for the
purpose, in a day's time we might exhaust it; since they are not suffic-
ient, we may speak all day, and only exhaust (the subject of) things. The
Tao is the extreme to which things conduct us. Neither speech nor silence
is sufficient to convey the notion of it. Neither by speech nor by silence
can our thoughts about it have their highest expression."

The chasm is the variant of the Other, and each of these texts and images
are variants of others; the variant-machine has been set into operation;
one after another are set forth; a set is established; a style, genre, and
canon, are established; there is no original; words are insufficient. We
may create, day and night, the variant, of which everything is such; we
may do nothing; we might have destroyed; we might have been destroyed; we
might have been at variance. But there is no original of original, no
variance of variance.

http://www.asondheim.org/scan27.mp4 There is only a loss of insight, dim-
inution of creative force, defuge, exhaustion, the easy way out, of which
the easiest lies at the bottom and top of the variant; of the heap of
variants; of the contusions of the world; of that imminence of the lost;
of that immanence of the lost; of nothing lost, nothing gained; everything
lost and gained. From the pure, the turbid emerges; from the turbid , the
pure, like a dead disassociated eye come to life; an immobilized eye; the
variant of such; of eyes; of immobilizations. Here is one thing; there is
another; there is one thing, here is another. Language neither separates
nor units; it is a continuous collocation, collocations, of variants;
language itself is a variant; of languages; of others; of insufficiencies;
of sounds, noise, murmurs, cries, rattles, crashes, shrieks, winds, waves,
clouds and oceans. The variant has no limits; the variant-machine does not
exists, the imaginary accounting of the variant; as if to curtail the
limitless; as if to inhere. Of which the Tao has not spoken, already the
exercise, exorcizing, of the historical, hysterical, already writing,
already corrected, emended, erased, obscured, teleology reversed, nothing
of the origin, nothing of the end.

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