A great bit from Leslie Fiedler’s The Return of the Vanishing American:
If there still exists for us a Wilderness and a Place-out-of-time appropriate for renewal rather than recreation, then that place must be in the Future, not the Past: that Future toward which we have been pointed ever since the Super-Guy comic books and the novels of science fiction shifted the orientation of Pop Art by one hundred and eighty degrees.
But the real opposite of nostalgic is psychedelic, the reverse of remembering is hallucinating, which means that, insofar as the New Western is truly New, it, too, must be psychedelic.
Does this statement not converge perfectly with D&G’s position, laid forth in the “Becoming-Intense, Becoming-Animal…” plateau, that creation always entails a particular kind of forgetting and opposition to memory (it without saying, of course, that D&G were intimately familiar with Fielder)? The artist who declares “memory, I hate you!” and Nietzsche’s Untimely standing in strange opposition to history’s weight. This unity of “history-memory” is taken as the very logic of the ‘punctual system’— the ‘molar’ system par excellance, an abstract machine governing social stratification…
Man constitutes himself as a gigantic memory, through the position of the central point, its frequency (insofar as it is necessarily reproduced by each dominant point), and its resonances (insofar as all of the points tie in with it).
There is, then, something of a formal identity between forgetting—’antimemory’, as D&G call it—and the hallucination, the psychedelic, or the psychedelic as marking the way out from the domination of the punctual system. And yet this link was already forged by the time that The Logic of Sense was written, with Deleuze drafting in that book an “homage to psychedelia” that functioned as something of a mini-manual for getting out of the subject.
To the extent that the pure event is each time imprisoned forever in its actualization, counteractualization liberates it, always for other times. We can not give up the hope that the effects of drugs and alcohol (their “revelations”) will be able to be relived and recovered for their own sake at the surface of the world, independently of the use of those substances, provided that the techniques of social alienation which determine this use are reversed into revolutionary means of exploration. Burroughs wrote some strange pages on this point which attest to this quest for the great Healthour own manner of being pious: “Imagine that everything that can be attained by chemical means is accessible by other paths….” A strafing of the surface in order to transmute the stabbing of bodies, oh psychedelia.
The humor of the surface—aeternal Californian dreams—posthistory, the grand forgetting at the summit of history—
3 thoughts on “Forgetting”
A nice piece of writing.
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