Arrière-garde

Chronological time might well be linear, but no time is politically or economically homogeneous. 

But when chronological time is invested with a singular historical meaning, represented as the essence of a time (as an era or an epoch), the disjuncture itself can often be illustrative of a problem of representation, in the sense that it does not so much articulate a truth than it displays the conditions of visibility, including who has the power to make things visible, and by implication, to make other things — or even dimensions of the ostensibly same things — less so. Nowhere is this more apparent than in discussions around issues such as changing forms of work, policing and similar. Which is to say, there are always two, simultaneously political and epistemological questions that could be raised, were it to go beyond a simple claim to represent: What are the implications of those changes? And what are the implications of treating these processes, experiences or circumstances as if they were recently discovered continents?

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2 thoughts on “Arrière-garde

  1. Whilst it will readily be admitted that one night in Paris is worth a year in any other place, I have to report a strange and contrary phenomenon. I was in the shower one morning, and looked down and noticed that I had on yesterday’s legs. Don’t patronise or trivialise me, please. The legs I looked down on were identical in every way to the legs I had seen the previous morning. There was nothing to indicate or suggest that they were in any way different. Besides, in that instant of clarity I KNEW they were yesterday’s legs. It was a shattering experience. No longer could I rely on my continued existence through time as the inhabitor or “driver” of a vehicle that was eternally current; I had become episodic. Parts of me could advance at different rates. The “I” of me had taken a tumble. No longer a constant, vigilant, unifying presence, it – and I – had become a collage, an amalgam of temporally disparate parts. It has been suggested that this may explain why I am reliably late for all appointments, but I feel this ignores the gravity of the situation. If I am not the consciousness of a co-temporaneous vehicle, what then am I?

  2. Gosh. Let me see. Since you used the term “co-temporaneous” while drawing an analogy between the arrow of time of corporeal wholes and historical time: a post-Hegelian Geist? A charmingly legless Sartre?

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