Saturday, August 22, 2009

“The real outside is 'at the heart' of the inside“ - An interview with Jean-Luc Nancy

from the article,

“Outside-of in the middle of me,” yes: let’s make it clear that the only “outside” that there really is is never the one we see out the window, which is only “outside” due to its difference from the “inside.” The real outside is not another inside than this inside: it is at the heart (you can say that again!) of the inside. My model here would be Wittgenstein’s sentence: “The meaning [sens] of the world is outside the world.” As this sentence is not that of a believer in another world transcending ours, in a “world-behind,” to speak like Nietzsche, it can mean nothing but this: the meaning of the world is an “outside-of” “in” the world. That is, an opening, a gaping hole that can be understood as a wound or as an access route—of entry and exit—or even as mouth, ear, nostril, anus, sex, eye. You can easily imagine how each of these openings can give rise to ample variation on the proper modality of the outside-of it evokes: the outside-of of the breath, of desire, of excrement, of speech, of all kinds of sensations, and in the end in each of these modes a modalization of “sense” [sens], that is of reference from “me,” to other, to “outside” [du renvoi de “moi” à de l’autre, à du “dehors”]. More precisely, I would say: to that of the other which is outside or is done outside, that is, not the presence of another before me (with its own “inside”) but non-closure, non-return to the self, neither of the other, nor of me.


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