Donnie Darko & his incompossible worlds

June 1, 2009

When I re-watched Richard Kelly’s 2001 cult movie, Donnie Darko, the movie was more compelling, than the time I last saw it, which was..hmm..some 8 years ago. Anyhow, the question is still lingering around:  Isn’t Donnie Darko the visual representation of he logic of Borge’s  The Garden of Forking Paths (1941)? I took a seminar on Digital Theory and quite interestingly this concept of  “the garden”is what many dynamic medium use ( or we can say that even the Internet itself is what the intertextuality per se). To escape from general assumptions, let me reflect on the incompossible worlds, which is a groundbreaking idea in the history of cinema, yet, we are unable to accomplish to entirely visualize this idea. (and some parts of me say, we will never be able to do so). Deleuze’s and Leibnitz’s approach to the notion of free will and predestination could be used in New Cinema, as well.book8

David Norman Rodowick in his “Deleuze’s Time Machines”, talks about the possibility of a naval battle to illustrate the notion of imcompossible worlds, but I found a better example:

Think of a machine that can take you back in time August 2001 and you warn the authorities what is gonna happen in September. The chain of events will justify you (let’s just skip the scenario, when thorough investigation will be made to clarify your innocence, i.e how the hell did you know this information) and finally the attach does not take place. Mission accomplished, now, you wanna get back where you freakin came from. But that place is a place where 2001 doesn’t take place, a totally new space. What happens to you? Where you came the attach did take place, therefore that place does not exist anymore! Because of you have changed the entire history of the world (not just yours!) your action induced-theoretically-an alternative reality, where the WTC stands and one where it doesn’t. This theory is stemming from quantum theory, where EVERYTHING is possible. These two places is what I see to be  an example of the incompossible worlds. This highly adoptable theoretization belongs to Keith Mayes, thanks to him!

Now as time travel is in the game- which is one of the central themes of the movie -it is high time to talk the fictitious book of Roberta Sparrow’s “The Philosophy of Time Travel”. The book -along with Hawking’s “A Brief History of Time”- refers to the Einstein- Rosen Bridge Theory. It discusses a quite astonishing question, concerning free will. From some characters’ navel area a jelly-like lightning comes out, designating his path.  Donnie, being able to see this can question his own free will or what God pre-decided for us.

Donnie Darko provides the possibility for presenting two alternative worlds for the viewers, the idea of which could be a useful and feasible for New Cinema.

Daniel Quinn the sinthomatic subject per se

June 1, 2009

As I was looking for some ending thoughts for my seminar paper, I stumbled upon a riveting analysis of le sinthome – my latest and absorbing issue – here. paramodern studies claims – referring to Paul Verhaeghe and Frederic Declercq that the subject is called Lacanian Neosubject if he:

“tries to come and go with the Real of the jouissance

dictated by its own drive, without falling back into the previous trap of stuffing it full of signification”


This helped establish a point in my discussion of the sinthomatic subject in the comic adaptation of Paul Auster’s “City of Glass”, apoint where further inquires can be made. Daniel Quinn, at least I believe, is the Lacanian Neosubject as he subordinates himself with his on his sinthome (i.e writing), stemmed from a trauma and unconsciously identifies himself with detective Paul Auster. The essay, entitled “Empty texts: The Lacanian (con-) textualization of the a-chiasmatic logic of the sinthomatic subject in the comic book adaptation of Paul Auster’s „City of Glass”(1994). This paper dealsi with the one-way misidentification.

sinthome..saint homme..again

May 27, 2009

There is something mysterious in le sinthome: it is an effect of the Real that haunts us from the outside. As being transferred from the Real in it symptomatic form, the effect of le sinthome is what connects the subject to his fantasy, that is we can enjoy our fantasies through the symptomatic joussaince.(more precisely, the joussaince of the symptom). Then, the symptom is thought from the fantasy.

That is, we are bound to the primacy of our sinthome (∑), as Jacques Alain Miller put it in “The Sinthome, a Mixture of Symptom and Fantasy”. So, my question is quite simple: how is it possible that an Order of such importance resists to verbalization, or description?


Sinthome 23

May 18, 2009

Sometimes I just can’t help noticing phenomena that could be mere coincidences. For instance, if a mediocre movie called Number 23 makes me realize that it is a manifestation of  a Lacanian-Joycean interpretation of le sinthome. As soon as I realized that the Baader Meinhof phenomenon is present when I talk about the movie and the sinthome (FYI it was Lacan’s 23rd Seminar, where he dealt with this Order), it suddenly struck me: isn’t it just the same proble Joyce was involved in, or what the notebooks connote for Paul Auster?

The movie may uncounsciously play with the breakdown of the external self-representing/defining mediums that constitute and guarantee the subject’s coherence. With Joyce, these mediums are veiled so psychoses was to be avoided, but the more interesting part in the movie is that they’re not hidden anymore: as our hero realizes his trauma that actually haunted him in the form of nightmares or in a certain number; so this trauma is revealed and the Symbolic veiling is shattered.

On the other hand, the character,played by Jim Carrey wants to identify himself with the main hero from the book, entitled “Number 23”, which is the opposite case as in the example of Joyce.

Russian Circles

March 8, 2009


Recently, I’ve found myself quite getting more immersed into the genre of the so-called post-rock. Two names are worth mentioning: God Is An Astronaut and my favourite one: Russian Circles. Their songs are usually instrumental with some catchy metal riffs.


Russian Circles: Campaign

Visualizing Kristeva

March 8, 2009

In her text, The Speaking Subject, Kristeva analyzes the two Orders that constitutes the (speaking) subject en procés.  Her approach to visualize her two modalities (Semiotic and Symbolic) is to call Thom’s Catastrophe Theory to help. This theory is a part of the so called bifurcation theories and supposes that “all structures are the result of the interaction of two communicating spaces; spaces, however, which do not obey the same laws.”

The Semiotic – the quasi-dimension of the Lacanian Real and Imaginary- and the Symbolic are thus the constitutives of the subject and – I believe – can be visualized by the Lorenz attractors.

These are governing us together and this dynamic construction is what co-ordinates our mental “space”.

Just got in…

March 6, 2009


Transhumanism or Posthumanism?

March 1, 2009

Philip K. Dick – as we are advancing in time – is more likely to be seen as  a visionary, or someone with great imagination. A recent reading of mine Dr. Bloodmoney includes the character of Hoppy Harrington, who suffers from focomelia, a congenital disorder affecting the limbs. Now the story revolves around an atomic catastrophe, which divides the book into a pre- and a postatomic part. In the second part of the book Hoppy manages to boost his physical abilities by incorporating mechnical devices into his biological body, which results in a transhuman body. The transhuman body is everything that can enhance your natural (God-given?) abilities.

Transhumanism, as a concept, does exist in contemporary science oand philosophy. The H+Magazine deals with this concept and the provide digital editions of their journals. An issue of their magazines can be downloaded by clicking on the mag cover.

Pessimism in Psychoanalysis

February 28, 2009

Before the Oscar-related thread (which has to wait until I watch Slumdog Millionaire), let’s focus on the pessimism that characterizes the subject as such. The basis of such a pessimistic view is to be found at the very moment of méconnaisance in the mirror phase and later when we enter into the Symbolic, getting sutured into the realm of language, which of course provides us the illusion that we are able to master it. But beneath the very structure of our being there is a void around which we are structured around in the Symbolic, which keeps us from knowing ourselves fully, in the same way language keeps us from verbalizing our true intentions. We cannot utter what we want properly, but we need language anyway. This is the basic logic of psychoanalysis, what Žižek refers to as Coincidentia oppositorum in Television. The oppositions coincidentically unite.

Moreover, what Kaja Silverman states [i.e the (Lacanian) subject is like a narrative] is a bright “manifesto” of the beforementioned pessimism, as with the narrative we are in the “prison house of language” á la Jameson.

The Lacanian psychoanalysis is quite intermedial/interdiscliplinary, thus we might have to reflect on it from such a multiple POVs. But with the misrecognition of ourselves in childhood,  we experience the same in our artificial circumstances that are ideologically prefabricated for us.


February 23, 2009

image232Talking about the notion of adaptation is a helluva thing to do. At least this is what I learnt from one of my previou courses I had on Film Adaptation. Anyway, this was the topic of last week’s event, which was held at REÖK.
We had the chance to see Dragon Zoltán (Institute of Amercan Studies, SZTE), Dettre Gábor (director) and Balogh Bálint (head of the Szobaszínház), discussing the beforementioned issue. Although, thousands of books have already been written on adaptation, I must say that this “marriage” (á la Robert Stam) is almost impossible to fulfill the utopistic vision of perfect adaptation. This is because there are obstacles originated by the otherness of each genre. No film can envision my previous reading experience, that is why it will never happen. I mean the perfect adaptation.

The forum was not successful concerning the original topic, maybe because the guests analyzed the topic from numerous POVs and the time was not enough? (Nope, my inner sarcastic self says this was because it is impossible to talk about adaptation. So what the fuss.)