The Trois Fontaines Interviews: The Poïen that Comes

Christophe Samarsky, Serge Valdinoci, Foutre de Dieu, trans. Sylvia

Pictures and original text from: Le poïen qui vient, INgens.

Le poïen qui vient.jpg

C. Samarksy: Earlier, when you spoke of your thesis and of your relationship with Ricœur, you evoked poetry, notably Mallarmé: Is the necessity of the method, of which you just spoke, one of the reasons why you have sort of put poetry aside, although Mallarmé and others appear later in your oeuvre?


S. Valdinoci: Very much but, at the level of words, I speak of the Book… What is needed is to write The Book…

I started with some of Mallarmé’s texts, and without telling Ricœur, I proposed a text or two to him (a commentary that I should’ve torn up, since I don’t conserve my articles…). This texted functioned like this: always the same problem with Mallarmé—one must comprehend. It is important: it was showing that, in the poem, within a commentary internal to the poem, the words think like beings; there is a porosity of words, a porosity of things—a connection… which is perfect: later that would give the idea of the lifeworld of thought. There is no disjunction at all…

There is simply the fact that I wasn’t a poet.

I was already a theoretician when I was working on Mallarmé. The Book, afterwards, I conceived there: how to, after Blanchot, after other persons less considerable than Blanchot, how to ignore that Mallarmé existed? I took it.

In other works, like La Science première, I very much insisted on The Book, and I thought that The Book was the civilization to come, like Mallarmé elsewhere, the “Book-Theater” …


F. de Dieu: It is very interesting that you speak of a civilization to come, since within the ensemble of what europanalysis has attempted to build, it is constantly a question of civilization, which serves you as first matter, as a matrix, and it is constantly a question of preparing something innovant, an invention in terms of civilization; it is notably the program of La Traversée de l’immanence that you write for “all those who are employed in the difficult necessity of inventing within the unknown [which] opens the new civilization within which we already are”. The requisite of rewriting an encyclopedia is also of this order. This necessity of launching towards a new civilization is something that has appeared, for example, in the reading of Nietzsche, which prolongs certain Nietzschean intuitions? It is the result of a diagnostic that you pose on the civilization in which you have taken root? How did the necessity, or the sentiment that a civilization is in emergence, come to light?


S. Valdinoci: Quite simply. Always in the ignorance of the culture in which I found myself. I nonetheless come from a very uncultivated milieu; that explains many things—it is not about privileging oneself. Therefore, I was in me, simply, and the question of europe, and of this other deal, of this other launch of civilization, it appeared to me in uni—when I was 22… And I said to whoever would listen (but nobody did, I was taken for an enlightened one…), I said: we already have modern, post-modern (well, it wasn’t my word at the time, it didn’t exist yet… it was not that word) lives, we are here in something that is commencing to happen and to which we must be vigilant. I was always very attentive to technoscience (the term didn’t exist at the time either…), to medicine, … I told myself: they do something else, these people, they are no longer in the course of thinking like us. I said: technics is not only technics, it is also thought. That, at twenty…

It nonetheless gave me the possibility of proceeding thus. Sure, I liked Nietzsche—yes, who doesn’t like Nietzsche? But I was interested in other things than what he said of the new civilization: there is the negative in Nietzsche, there is a puissance of the Negative with him, that’s what I consider… And it isn’t Nietzsche that put me in the position of waiting for a civilization to come.

The civilization that comes, this civilization that comes, I have formulated it a bit, but rapidly, because I was fatigued at that moment (I lived in Orbais-L’Abbaye), in the book that’s called Le Feu de la pensée sacrée — Les Structures d’une autre vie; I started this book by remarking: the new is lagging behind itself. We are already in a little later than the new. It is crossed, there it is. And now the structures must be declared—no longer of crossing—but of what is already crossed.


F. de Dieu: Bizarrely, except this figure of the encyclopedia (or of the encyclic, at the time of Le Feu de la pensée sacrée), you don’t announce a particular form for this civilization; lest it takes root within something which is of the order that of what you call tact, i.e., of a certain relation of co-nascence to the phenomenon, to the world as it appears, to the appearance of the world, which forms a universe, a profound unity… It is extremely difficult, I think it was for your students, for us, to think a civilization from tact, to choose tact as the point of departure to think the renewal of a civilization; this is a point of high difficulty.


S. Valdinoci: It’s true, it’s a problem of difficulty. It is true that although the work is homogenous, we gain by reading europanalysis progressively; i.e., that one progressively gains by enfuncing or sinking [s’enfoncer] within the tact, which is immense; one gains to think within the tact. That doesn’t happen overnight. It is not possible because there are numerous barriers; all of civilization that was constructed beforehand, and which therefore functions on contact, is a civilization which has forbidden this “logic”, if I am allowed the word, this logic of immediacy, of investment within the tact.

And, indeed, it’s necessary to enter gradually, and I went into it in various books, which allowed to speak on tact a little. The most difficult, on the question of the logic of tact is La Traversée de l’immanence, I think. I understand there that a young student—I am talking about students who make progress, who advance in relation to themselves—, that a young student had a lot of trouble with this book… Nearly, La Traversée de l’immanence (apart from the themes that I have already told you about, which do not appear) is the nucleus, it is truly a very vibratile nucleus—which is to be surpassed moreover, because there are other themes that appear otherwise—but it’s a stake, in the logic of the zigzag, before the zigzag is thought of as zigzag.