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The Apotheosis of Nullity

A Transhistorical Genealogy of Human Subjectivity

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Bartosz Łubczonok

This massive book is an intensive inquest into the fate of the human subject as it passes through the primitive, despotic, passional and capitalist regimes found in Deleuze and Guattari. Emphatic, acerbic, loquacious, impassioned, and marshaling a considerable array of theoretical and literary frameworks—from Schelling, Kantorowicz, Agamben, Hegel, Nietzsche, Badiou, Rosenzweig, Lévinas, Derrida, Blanchot, Kierkegaard, Marx, Lazzarato, Berardi, Žižek and Plotinus to Solzhenitsyn, Pessoa, Fuentes, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Beckett, Mann, Schreber, Dante, Milton, Shakespeare, Sade, the Midrash and Kabbalah—and cavorting through vast expanses of world history, Bartosz Łubczonok scrutinizes the maladies of pain, resentment, bad conscience, ideology, immiseration, torture, death, depression and suicide that have and continue to afflict humanity, and the possibilities of its vertiginous liberation. All is here: the auto-genesis of God, the Crucifixion, the Holocaust, September 11. The Apotheosis of Nullity is a searing indictment of all forms of oppression and despotism, inclusive of neoliberal capitalism, and far surpasses any usage of Deleuze and Guattari to date. It is relentless.

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Chapter 16: From the Violence of Divine Love to the Redemption of the World: Rosenzweig, Lévinas, Derrida, Blanchot, Kierkegaard

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1. The quandary of Character

We have seen in Rosenzweig how Character, emerging as it had from the traumatic event of Revelation, represented a considerable advance in comparison with the utterly facile third-person existence (that of the personality) from under whose mendacious—though now rent—veils it had extruded itself. The resultant tautly involuted meta-ethical Self was, however, also observed to be highly inadequate in its own right. For in spite of acceding to and assuming the kernel of its authenticity, its unique ipseity, the Self at the very same time found itself coldly abandoned to the arid wasteland of its own insurmountable solitude. Moreover, being itself a bizarre ramshackle of unconditional free will and its own vastly more limited mortal finitude, the meta-ethical Self showed itself to be a roiling cauldron of anxiety inwardly riven by the absurd marriage of incompossibles. Reduced by the trauma of divine solicitation to the authentic though entirely barren kernel of its inner-most quiddity, the Self dwells within a bewildering and bewildered darkness entirely its own. It knows not the world nor even itself. ← 731 | 732 →

In this sense, the Self—in the most raw nakedness of Character—bears a somewhat shocking resemblance to what Schelling described as the second divine will that blindly and vainly searches for eternity (the pure willing that is the Godhead). In this regard, is not the well-nigh psychotic roiling cauldron of the conflicted and angst-ridden meta-ethical Self as bare Character akin...

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