Sunday, December 13, 2009

QOTD: Parmenides Wasn't Stupid

(((Quote of the Day; the poetic and the mathematical; being and non-being; Parmenides; Lacan and the Pre-Socratics; Badiou on Lacan on etc.)))

Lacan sez in Encore (Badiou quoting Seminar XX page 22):
Fortunately, Parmenides actually wrote poems. Doesn't he use linguistic devices - the linguist's testimony takes precedence here - that closely resemble mathematical articulation, alternation after succession, framing after alternation? It is precisely because he was a poet that Parmenides says what he has to say to us in the least stupid of manners. Otherwise, the idea that being is and that nonbeing is not, I don't know what that means to you, but personally I find that stupid.
Of course, this very simple statement has consequences in Parmenides, consequences that make Parmenides an enemy of Badiou. But the point remains about the importance of the articulation, and this will then have to do with the distinction between knowledge and truth, between the banal (like, say, this post) and the revelatory (Parmenides), and then, still further, the poetic as a sort of precursor or movement in the direction of the matheme.