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エーコを称えましょう!
▼エーコはジョイスについて積極的に語りました。エーコは彼の「フィネガンズウエイク」を宇宙劇場の鏡とみなしました。だけれど、本というものは、鏡として存在すると言われていることとは正反対に、鏡という形容によって隠ぺいしなければいけないほど、なにも書かれていないし読むことができないのかもしれませんがね ...。▼In the domain of language, every organization or reoreganization of signifier entails a restructuring of the semantic system は、残された抵抗は意味を生産するしかないということを言っていますが、「フィネガンズウエイク」の本としての意味は最近やっと実感してきたかな?▼それにしても、国体的な日本精神の復興みたいなことを一斉に言い始めた現在よりも、この翻訳が出た2010年のほうが希望があったわけで。▼もしかしたらこの危機の時代を最終解決する方法として正しいとしても、(絶対に信じられない!)、精神の不平等と隷属化をもたらす、ポストモダニズムのモダ二ズム化という全体主義へのノスタルジーと'美しい日本'でいわれる皇国史観的なものへの回帰にたいして、これらを脱構築する意味を書くこと・生産することをやめないという孤独な意志しかないわけで...▼なにも約束されない未来を生きることと白紙の本を書くことのあいだにはもはや区別がないのではないかと想像しています。


びっくりしますが、現在、国民道徳というものが、教育の現場で復活する危険があるといわれます。本当ならば深刻な事態です。▼子安氏の講義をきいた私の記憶と理解が正しければ、かつて(国体諭的)国民道徳を市民の倫理学へと見事にシフトさせたのが和辻哲郎の功績でした。▼ところが、日本文化論の和辻は、ヨーロッパ解釈学を介して理念型として構成しただけの、(したがってヨーロッパ化・近代化の日本にしか成り立たない)「倫理」を、なんと!古代日本(とかれがかれに都合よく純粋に考えた想像物)にもとめて実体化させてしまったのです。▼常に隠蔽されてしまうものは、中立的に日本文化論的に語るときの不可避的な政治性ではないでしょうか。▼さて、憲法改定の神道非宗教化が無理でも、神道の日本文化置き換えで、天皇と総理の靖国参拝への道をみとめることは危険な神話化だといいたいです。信教の自由を保証した民主主義に反することだとおもいます。▼しかし安倍の応援団の日本会議が救済神学の様相を呈しています。これからますますそうなるのかもしれません。▼厄介なことに、この救済神学に対抗するリアリズムの側でも、「帝国の構造」ごときヘーゲル・マルクス的教説は、民主的介入に委ねるくらいならば、世界資本主義の自己崩壊かあるいは世界資本主義の分割のほうがましだと思っていることです。▼神話とリアリズム、この両者は、相補的に、二十一世紀ファシズム日本において互いに切り離せない関係を展開してくることになるというのでしょうか?

公に、しかも事もあろうに良識の参院の憲法審査会の場で、こういう発言がでてしまうとはね、そもそも事実関係の誤認があるのですが、アフリカ系マイノリティーとか言えなかったのでしょうか。丸山和也さん、逆に、「黄色い人種の国にも憲法があったのか?」といわれたら、やっぱり超むかつくでしょう?劣等感の裏返しであたかも「白人」になったつもりでベラベラ喋って得意な人間がまだいるとは、遠藤周作の小説はまだ続いていたのですね...
「今、黒人の血を引く人が大統領になっている。これは奴隷ですよ、はっきり言って。まさか建国当初、黒人、奴隷が大統領になるとは考えもしなかった。ダイナミックな変革をしていく国だ」


「私は概して、映画のそこが好きだ。説明不在の、光に浴たす、壮麗な記号たちの飽和」(オリヴェイラーがゴダールに言った言葉)

▼映画の歴史において目撃したことは、消滅しつつある映画が詩に移行していくことになったという歴史であった。つまりイマージュは言葉の力へと移行したのだ。これと同様に、魂というものが消滅するのは、それが言葉の理念に定位することによって、なのだ。そういう意味で、魂が永遠に存続すると教えてくる「救い」をともわなくとも、「信」は可能だ。この思想は三百年かかって獲得したとおもう。祭祀国家として近代化した日本のあり方(限界)をいかに乗りこえていくのか?戦争神社の問題は近代のあり方を問う問題なのだ。言い換えると、近代の問題は信を問う問題なのだ。これをかんがえるために、この五年間のあいだ、25名程の思想家たち(文学者を含む)の仕事を通過することがどうしても必要だったのだ。江戸; 伊藤仁斎、荻生徂徠、本居宣長、平田篤胤、会沢正史斎。明治; 福沢諭吉、清沢満之、岡倉天心、幸徳取水、夏目漱石。大正; 大杉栄、吉野作造、河上筆、津田左右吉、大川周明。昭和・平成; 和辻哲郎、三木清、西田幾多郎、北一輝、竹内好、丸山真男、大江健三郎、吉本隆明、小田実、柄谷行人、子安宣邦。近世と近現代の間の断絶を埋める中継点に、どうも和辻哲郎がいるらしい。

和辻哲郎をかんがえる

和辻哲郎が「国民道徳」をモダンな「倫理学」にシフトさせた功績は大きいといわれます。子安宣邦氏はこう指摘しました。「20世紀初頭の近代日本が直面する国家的・社会的規範から生まれた国民道徳論は、19世紀初頭の国家的危機に対応した水戸学の政治神学(国体論・忠孝一致論)をイデオロギー的な軸にし、家族国家諭を国民統合の論理として再構成された道徳教科の論説であった。そして国民道徳という教科目は倫理学という教科の補助教科として併設されたのである。和辻はこの既存の国民道徳論に、その概念の曖昧さを衝く形で挑戦する。」「国民道徳論は「ブルジョア精神をばそれと本質的に異る尊皇心と結合させるという如き反対の結果を生み出した」と和辻はいうのである。」「既存の国民道徳諭に欠落するのは全体性としての国民の概念である。すなわち近代の国民国家が前提にする国民(ネイション)の概念である。近代日本はnationの訳語としてのみ「国民」の語を構成しても、一つの統一体としての「国民」概念をもっていにと和辻はいうのである。」。そこから和辻は日本民族の呼び出しをおこなうことになります。一番最近の子安氏のツイートはそれに関してこう言っています。

『日本古代文化』の冒頭の章「上代史概観」で和辻は、「我々の上代文化観察はかくの如き「出来上つた日本民族」を出発点としなければならぬ」といっている。彼は考古学的遺物をはじめ歌謡、神話、信仰、音楽、造形美術などによって上代文化を考察するが、その文化の共同的形成主体である日本民族がすでに出来上がっていることを前提にするというのである。混成せられた民族がすでに「一つの日本語」を話すところの「日本人」として現れてきていることを前提にするというのである。『古寺巡礼』の作者和辻にしてはじめてなしうるような日本上代文化の考察とは、芸術性豊かな日本民族を文化的遺物によって読み出すことでもあるのだ。『古事記』とはこの日本民族の最初にして最古の芸術的作品である。昭和の偶像はこのようにして再興された。(「和辻哲郎と『古事記』の復興」)

和辻は、「上代人は、全体性の権威を無限に深い根源から理解して、そこに神聖性を認めた。そして神聖性の担い手を現御神や皇祖神として把握した。従って全体性への順従を意味する清明心は、究極において現御神や皇祖神への無私なる帰属を意味することになる。この無私なる帰属が、権力への屈従ではなくして柔和なる心情や優しい情愛に充たされているところに、上代人の清明心の最も著しい特徴が看取せられるべきであろう。」(『日本古代文化』)というのですけれど、笑止。強奪強姦野蛮の極みとおもわれる文字なき大和日本の時代にどこのだれが「清明心」だったというわけでしょうか!?と、しかし、それにしても、「古事記」に依るというがその原初的テクストの読めない書記性にではなく、あえて、ヨーロッパ解釈学を介してしか理念的に構成されることがない「清明心」を読み出していくことになった、声の力に依拠していく言説が、思想史的にもった意味ですね、それはなにか?声の言説は、「倫理学」がアングロ・サクソン的<近代>の超克の倫理学的な哲学的自己主張であったのと同じ意味で、「世界史的意義」に通じるなにかの抵抗ー自己が自身を代表できるような抵抗ーを構成する外部性をもっていたのか?外部性をもったとは到底正当化もできない、最終的な失敗に帰した破産は破産ですけれど、思想史的にみるとき、和辻の日本古代文化の意味をどう解釈していくのかという課題がわれわれにありますね。



Goodbye language

Godard’s Revolutionary 3-D Film

By Richard Brody

Jean-Luc Godard’s initial idea for the film “Goodbye to Language,” he said, was a simple one: “It’s about a man and his wife who no longer speak the same language. The dog they take on walks then intervenes and speaks.” That does happen, sort of, eventually, without the talking. Like many of Godard’s later films, “Goodbye to Language,” which opens today, is a kind of collage, a compilation of images and sounds, incidents and phrases that don’t tell only one story but bring lots of stories together, in a cycle that fulfills a grand idea. In this film, that idea is also something that Godard mentioned in the same interview, and it worked out exactly as he anticipated: “Maybe I’ll even shoot my next film in 3-D. I always like it when new techniques are introduced. Because it doesn’t have any rules yet. And one can do everything.”

“Goodbye to Language” is in 3-D—you’ll have to wear the glasses—but it’s unlike any major 3-D movie, in that it’s not made like a major movie. Usually, 3-D implies great technical sophistication and a very high budget. (For instance, in making “Hugo,” Martin Scorsese employed a full-time “stereographer,” who did nothing but regulate the distance between the two cameras.) Godard, by contrast, treated 3-D as a device of independent filmmaking; he used simple equipment and homemade contrivances (and a crew of just three, including himself) to achieve the effect. With that simplicity, he opens the art form up to yet another, virtual dimension. His use of 3-D is itself the film’s big idea.

In Godard’s “King Lear,” from 1987, he has a character describe editing as “handling physically, in both hands, the future, the present, and the past.” In his self-portrait film, “JLG/JLG,” from 1994, Godard dramatizes the importance of the hand in a sequence involving a film editor—a blind editor who edits by touch. In an interview, Godard explained that it would be a greater blow to him as a filmmaker to lose the use of his hands than the use of his eyes.

It’s a commonplace to talk about a great director’s vision, but Godard is, above all, a director whose greatness is also a matter of touch—of physical touch—and “Goodbye to Language,” is his most tactile film to date. Pardon the expression, but, because of his use of 3-D, the film is the ultimate example of a touch screen. It suggests a movie that embodies the touch of the director, and that invites the viewer to seemingly touch what’s on the screen.

The 3-D effect fulfills two functions at once—to make objects onscreen seem extremely close to the viewer, and to create the sense of extremely deep space. Making highly sophisticated effects by means of lightweight, hand-scale techniques achieves another effect, one that Godard has been pursuing for forty years: to make, almost casually and with the cinematic equivalent of a painter’s hand, images that have the grandeur and the solidity of the ones that he has always loved in the grand-scale masterworks of the history of cinema.

In the nineteen-seventies, he worked with the great camera creator and entrepreneur Jean-Pierre Beauviala (who founded the company Aaton) to develop a lightweight 35-mm. camera that would be the size of a Super-8 camera and would fit in the glove compartment of Godard’s car—he wanted to be able to film the way a painter paints, wherever inspiration strikes. (The camera was eventually produced, but Godard didn’t make extensive use of it.) Rather, the polar extremes of the quest—poise and spontaneity, monumentality and intimacy—remained, for the most part, distinct aspects of his work, and their synthesis in one and the same cinematic gesture remained an ideal and an idea, until now.

Godard’s 3-D is painterly, and its painterliness is woven into the film, with a citation from Claude Monet and a sequence, toward the end, of Godard himself (who was a painter in his youth) working on watercolors with a young woman. But, long before the reference and the sequence, many of the shots in the film are like Monet paintings come to life—in particular, scenes of water, such as one in which the ripples on Lake Geneva leap off the screen like the impasto of oil paint, or another, of a pond, in which the smooth surface reveals depths that in turn reveal a subtle riot of color.

But 3-D also gives objects solidity. Much of 3-D cinema is effects-driven, and doesn’t film objects at all but creates them with C.G.I. Godard, by contrast, films (or, rather, video records) ordinary objects in ordinary places, to grand dramatic effect. A chair placed by a roadside is the most sittable chair I’ve ever seen in a film; when Godard places a stanchion in the extreme foreground of a lakeside setting, I’m afraid I’ll bump my head on it if I lean toward the screen; white pebbles feel round and smooth to the touch. Rather than using 3-D as an effect to create a sensation of flight or to make a viewer feel like the target of propelled objects, Godard uses 3-D to emphasize the materiality, the physical properties, of the world at hand.

3-D also creates a sense of images in space—receding and protruding—and Godard makes aesthetic use of that effect to evoke vast depth of field. For instance, a scene of a streetside book sale features a small card table in the foreground, with books pushed up close enough to easily read the titles (including one by Ezra Pound, “Le Travail et l’usure,” Labor and Usury), then the street behind it, then the “Usine à Gaz” (Gas Factory, an art space) behind it, then trees behind that, and clouds in the sky between them. Similarly, the aforementioned lakeside scene features the stanchion in the foreground and a ship in the distance, both in sharp focus. The effect is monumental, grand, colossal—it creates the sense of a cosmos right at hand—and it’s one that has a particular place in Godard’s own work and thought.

Though he had written for other publications, and would go on to write for still others, Godard was launched as a critic—as were François Truffaut and Jacques Rivette, and the French New Wave over all—at the startup Cahiers du Cinéma, co-founded by André Bazin in 1951. Bazin, a great critic and editor—indeed, a great man, who was Truffaut’s literal savior and surrogate father—was also a major theorist with whom Godard wrangled from the start. In emphasizing the photographic authenticity of the cinematic image, Bazin deprecated editing in favor of the long take. In lieu of the closeup or the image that isolated a character in the frame, he endorsed depth of field (as in the films of Orson Welles) for its power to provoke “ambiguity.”

Godard, by contrast, argued in favor of editing, of montage as the very essence of the cinema. (Godard and Bazin even wrote duelling articles on the subject, in 1956). His idea was that editing is central to cinema, not merely as the succession of images but as the juxtaposition of multiple elements in a single frame. For Godard, praise of depth of field is, by definition, praise of editing, even without a cut. A shot of a person in a chair is an image of a person and an image of a chair; one of a person in the street shows the person and the street. Godard understood deep-focus effects as just that—one effect among many in a filmmaker’s panoply, one that was not inherently praiseworthy with respect to editing or nonediting.

In “Goodbye to Language,” Godard uses 3-D to out-Welles Welles, in the deep-focus category, and to out-Bazin Bazin, in the overwhelming complexity of visual experience and material reality that he can fill his seemingly vast frames with. Here he revisits the passions, the controversies, and the ideas of his youth, in a movie that is filled with his own self-referential and retrospective touches. The catalogue of them is striking; they include a line from a poem by Aragon that featured prominently in his first feature, “Breathless,” from 1959; a riff on Solzhenitsyn’s “Gulag Archipelago” that he used in the 1978 TV series “France Tour Détour Deux Enfants”; the magic chant “Abracadabra Mao Tse-tung Che Guevara,” from his 1987 film “King Lear”; a sexual aggression in a shower reminiscent of one in “First Name: Carmen”; a nocturnal gas-station scene suggesting one from “Hail Mary”; a reference to a beloved man as the “shadow of God,” from “Hélas pour Moi”; and a reading from the pages of a blank book, borrowed from “In Praise of Love.”

There’s an expressly retrospective historical tone to the entire film, as established in its first segment, in which Godard revisits Europe’s political crises of the twentieth century. This meditation is centered loosely on two young philosophy students, a man and a woman, and a mysterious teacher, Mr. Davidson, who also seems to be a sort of secret agent. Their main subjects are Hitler and Solzhenitsyn. Germany lost the war, he says, but Hitler triumphed—essentially, in the greatly expanded power of the modern state.

A pointed reference in the film to the invention of television, in 1933 (the same year as Hitler’s rise to power), by the Russian engineer Vladimir Zworykin suggests the role of television in the centralization of government power. Until recently, most television in Europe was state-run; movies, at the time that Godard entered them, were a more freewheeling realm of cavalier producers (such as Georges de Beauregard, who made “Breathless”), freewheeling critics (such as Truffaut), directorial gate-crashers (such as Jean-Pierre Melville, an elder friend of Godard’s who plays a role, as a novelist, in “Breathless”), and even fanatical independent collector-curators (such as Henri Langlois, the founder of the Cinémathèque Française, where Godard and others in the New Wave did much of their movie watching).

When Davidson riffs on the subtitle of Solzhenitsyn’s book (“An Experiment in Literary Investigation”), it’s Godard’s way of emphasizing the importance of art, and of avant-gardism, in the confrontation with tyranny. There isn’t much about contemporary politics in the film, but the question of whether “it’s possible to formulate a concept about Africa” suggests the poverty of modern philosophy—and of modern art—in addressing political crises that were wrongly relegated to the margins of the twentieth century and that have recently come to the fore.

That’s part of Godard’s goodbye to language: where philosophy, and discourse in general, has failed, hello to images and welcome to cinema. The movie features a wry remark about there being a Nobel Prize for literature but not one for painting or music—the implication being that the very officialization of language suggests its limits, whereas painting and music, the arts that Godard, in effect, fuses here, remain brash and free outsiders. There’s also a sublime skit-like dramatization of the ultimate outsider literature—the writing of “Frankenstein” by Mary Shelley, in Switzerland, in 1816, with Lord Byron and her (actually soon-to-be) husband, Percy Bysshe Shelley. Godard alludes to a political significance in their departure from England, and suggests that the book itself is an act of political metaphor and historical image creation. (He also shows Mary Shelley writing laboriously, with a quill, in her notebook—writing not as concept alone but also as physical exertion.)

As for that ideal cinema—the cinema of true and free vision that is, above all, tactile—that’s where the dog comes in: Roxy Miéville, the dog that bears the last name of Godard’s longtime partner, Anne-Marie Miéville (herself a significant filmmaker). As Godard originally planned, there’s also a couple having trouble—in fact, there are two young couples, though one of the two men does seem a little older—and one of the couples, driving at night and stopping at a gas station, suddenly finds and adopts a dog.

Some of their trouble is sexual, some of it comically ribald (as regarding the use of the toilet and its conspicuous gags likening the defecator to Rodin’s “The Thinker”), and some of it violent—the sexual aggression in the shower, and a woman’s remark that her lover had stabbed her four years earlier. Godard sees that the life of a couple isn’t just literary allusions and philosophical divagations, and he bears witness to male brutality. Yet, despite his couples’ conflicts and accommodations, they are the most effaced characters in all of Godard’s films.

Even as clips from classic movies play on a TV screen in the background, one woman says, “I hate characters,” complaining about having been forced to become one from her own early days. Here there are neither characters nor really actors (despite their apparent skill at executing the gestures and delivering the lines as Godard directs). They are people, people of their time, our time, living in the shadows of the first part of the film—the mighty historical horrors and enduring political myths, centered on Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, that endure, in art and philosophy, and seem to persist as an outsized influence on today’s politics, stories, and even identities. In the same way, these young people live in the light of the history of cinema, of the great age of Hollywood and the classic European cinema that also overarches and overawes the moderns.

“Goodbye to Language” presents young people whose very contours and identities seem out of focus and ill-defined compared to the looming images and myths of the past—yet Godard depicts these effaced young lovers with great sympathy. In many of Godard’s later films, he seems to be eating his young, to be dominating and deriding young creators with the force of the enduring past that he himself embodies. Here, he transmits, he teaches, he works patiently and cheerfully with a young woman who is learning the art of watercolor. It’s the art of the hand, the touch itself that he passes along to another generation.

As for the art of vision: hello to Roxy. The dog is by far the most prominent performer in the film, in terms of both his screen time and his centrality to the film’s compositional schema and great idea. He does simple canine things—he frolics by the edge of a pond, swims in the currents of a stream, rummages among leaves, rolls in snow, looks into the camera. And Godard’s camera follows him, impulsively, alertly, tenderly, as if seeking to film with a gaze akin to Roxy’s—not blank or uncomprehending but endowed with a boundless, self-subordinating sympathy.




For all his skepticism about the diminished adventure of contemporary life, there’s one regard in which Godard, looking at the withdrawn and bewildered young people in his presence, sees authentic progress: in the matter of animal rights, which are discussed in a series of remarks on the soundtrack, added in the actors’ copious voice-over. The subject, broached while Roxy is seen onscreen, plays like Godard’s one rare glimmer of historical optimism. It’s as if Roxy were the agent of reconciliation—not of one merely lover to another but of Godard to the present day, to the rising generation.

Near the movie’s end, in a scene (one of many shot in Godard’s home) that features Godard’s voice and a woman’s voice that I think I recognize as Miéville’s, there is a living room in which two empty chairs are placed in front of a TV showing only video snow, and Roxy is there. Even when there’s no movie showing and no one there to watch it, Roxy is there, the survivor of art and artists, their silent witness and the secret bearer of their best aspirations. It’s one of the great and piercing funerary moments in Godard’s films, an utterly unironic, tender testament of love.




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