You could bump into Allah, into the Prince of the Rebel Angels, and into all the dead stars of the universe. Before the fault, nothing had happened // Krasznahorkai & Stiegler

War & War

… this, said Korin, was what struck him as he walked those hundred furiously-thinking paces on the evening of his birthday: that is to say that he understood the infinite significance of his faith and was given a new insight into what the ancients had long known, that it was faith in its existence that had both created and maintained the world; the corollary of which was that it was the loss of his own faith that was now erasing it, the result of which realisation being, he said, that he experienced a sudden, utterly numbing, quite awful feeling of abundance, because from that time on he knew that whatever had once existed, existed still and that, quite unexpectedly, he had stumbled on an ontological place of such gravity that he could see - oh but how, he sighed, how to begin - that Zeus, for instance, to take an arbitrary example, was still "there," now, in the present, just as all the other old gods of Olympus were "there," as was Yahweh and The Lord God of Hosts, and there alongside them, the ghost of every nook and cranny, and that this meant they had nothing and yet everything to fear, for nothing ever disappeared without trace, for the absent had a structure as real as the structure of whatever existed, and so, in other words, you could bump into Allah, into the Prince of the Rebel Angels, and into all the dead stars of the universe, which would of course include the barren unpopulated earth with its godless laws of being as well as the terrifying reality of hell and pandemonium which was the domain of the demons, and that was reality, said Korin: thousands upon thousands of worlds, each one different, majestic or fearsome; thousands upon thousands in their ranks, he continued, his voice rising, in a single absent relationship, that was how it all appeared to him then, he explained, and it was then, when he had got so far, continually reliving the infinite capacity of the process of becoming, that the trouble with his head first started… 

Technics and Time, 1

Thus the deviation, if there is one, is not in relation to nature but in relation to the divine. Again this means that the real issue here concerns the relation of mortals to immortality, that this anthropogony is in the first instance a thanatology. Anthropogony only acquires meaning in theogony, the conflict between the Olympians and the Titans, which continues, in an underhanded way, with the struggle between Zeus and Prometheus. It is in this sense that humans participate in the divine, on the basis of the double fault, particularly that of the theft of fire, erecting altars to the gods qua those who are immortal. It is a religion entirely made up of trepidations at the condition of technicity (its power, implying equally the powerlessness of mortals). Before the fault, nothing had happened. 

Through sacrifice mortals are put in their place: between the beasts and the gods, this in-between (between appearing and disappearing) resulting from a deviation. It is not a matter of recalling a state of nature, nor of claiming what "human nature" ought to have been; there was no fall, but a fault, no hap or mishap, but mortality.

Man invents, discovers, finds (eurisko), imagines (mêkhanê), and realises what he imagines: protheses, expedients. A pro-thesis is what is placed in front, that is, what is outside, outside what it is placed in front of. However, if what is outside constitutes the very being of what it lies outside of, the this being is outside itself. The being of humankind is to be outside itself. In order to make up for the fault of Epimetheus, Prometheus gives humans the present of putting themselves outside themselves.

Humankind, we might say, puts into effect what it imagines because it is endowed with reason, with logos - that is, also with language. Or, should we rather say that it is because it realises what it imagines - as we said a moment ago, because it lies outside itself - that humanity is endowed with reason, that is, with language? Is it tekhnê that arises from logos, or the reverse? Or rather, is it not that logos and tekhnê are modalities of the same being-outside-oneself?

Discovery, insight, invention, imagination are all, according to the narrative of the myth, characteristic of a de-fault. Animals are already marked by a de-fault (in relation to being as it is and as it endures through change, and in relation to the gods): they perish. One must understand "de-fault" here in relation to what is, that is, a flaw in being. And yet, whereas animals are positively endowed with qualities, is it tekhnê that forms the lot of humans, and tekhnê is prosthetic; that is, it is entirely artifice. The qualities of animals make up a sort of nature, in any case a positive gift to the gods: a predestination. The gift made to humanity is not positive: it is there to compensate. Humanity is without qualities, without predestination: it must invent, realise, produce qualities, and nothing indicates that, once produced, these qualities will bring about humanity, that they will become its qualities; for they may rather become those of technics.

Prometheus robs Hephaestus and Athena. By pursuing Athena, Hephaestus becomes the father of the Athenians. Here arms, tools, and instruments of war play a large role: Athena rose from the head of Zeus clad in arms, delivered by the patron god of handicraft with an axe. Athena is in turn pursued by Hephaestus when she orders arms from him: in this manner the craftsman's sperm is spilt on the earth, constituting the myth of Athenian autochthony… Origin, war, politics: with each it is a matter of instruments. From these gods who handle instruments is stolen "the creative genius of the arts" (which translates ten entekhnen sophian: it is, again, a matter of sophia and tekhnê).

Laszlo Krasznahorkai; War & WarBernard Stiegler; Technics and Time, 1

they smiled at each other's pagan faces - the barbaric smiles of Bacchus; Ballard and Schulz

With a gesture he led Sanders down the nave to the open porch. He pointed up to the dome-shaped lattice of crystal beams that reached from the rim of the forest like the buttresses of an immense cupola of diamond and glass. Embedded at various points were the almost motionless forms of birds with outstretched wings, golden orioles and scarlet macaws, shedding brilliant pools of light. The bands of colour moved through the forest, the reflections of the melting plumage enveloping them in endless concentric patterns. The overlapping arching in the air like the votive windows of a city of cathedrals. Everywhere around them Sanders would see the countless smaller birds, butterflies and insects, joining their cruciform haloes to the coronation of the forest.
Father Balthus took Sanders's arm. "In this forest we see the final celebration of the Eucharist of Christ's body. Here everything is transfigured and illuminated, joined together in the last marriage of space and time."

Then he realised why Thorensen had brought the jewels to the young woman, and why she had seized on them so eagerly. By some optical or electromagnetic freak, the intense focus of light from the surfaces reversed the process of crystallisation. Perhaps it was this gift of time which accounted for the eternal appeal of precious gems, as well as of all baroque painting and architecture. Their intricate crests and cartouches, occupying more than their own volume of space, so seemed to contain a greater ambient time, providing that unmistakeable premonition of immortality sensed within St. Peter's or the palace at Nymphenburg. By contrast, the architecture of the twentieth century, characteristically one of rectangular unornamented façades, of simple Euclidean space and time, was that of the New World, confident of its firm footing in the future and indifferent to those pangs of mortality which haunted the mind of old Europe. Dr. Sanders knelt down and filled his pockets with the stones, cramming them into his shirts and cuffs. He sat back against the front of the depository, the semi-circle of smooth pavement like a miniature patio, at whose edges the crystal undergrowth glittered with the intensity of a spectral garden. Pressed to his cold skin, the hard faces of the jewels seemed to warm him, and within a few seconds he fell into an exhausted sleep.

J.G. Ballard; The Crystal World; 1966

From the dusk of the hallway, we stepped at once into the the brightness of the day. The passerby, bathed in melting gold, had their eyes half closed against the glare, as if they were drenched with honey. Upper lips were drawn back, exposing the teeth. Everyone in this golden day wore that grimace of heat - as if the sun had forced his worshippers to wear identical masks of gold. The old and the young, women and children, greeted each other with these masks, painted on their faces with thick gold paint; they smiled at each other's pagan faces - the barbaric smiles of Bacchus.
Market square was empty and white hot, swept by hot winds like a biblical desert. The thorny acacias, growing in this emptiness, looked with their bright leaves like the trees on old tapestries. Although there was no breath of wind, they rustled their filial in a theatrical gesture, as if wanting to display the elegance of the silver lining of their leaves that resembled the fox-fur lining of a nobleman's coat. The old houses, worn smooth by the winds of innumerable days, played tricks with the reflections of the atmosphere, with echoes and memories of colours scattered in the depth of the cloudless sky. It seemed as if whole generations of summer days, like patient stonemasons cleaning the mildewed plaster from old facades, had removed the deceptive varnish revealing more and more clearly the true face of the houses, the features that fate had given them and life had shaped for them from the inside. Now the windows, blinded by the glare of the empty square, had fallen asleep; the balconies declared their emptiness to heaven; the open doorways smelt of coolness and wine.A bunch of ragamuffins, sheltering in a corner of the square from the flaming broom of the heat, beleaguered a piece of wall, throwing buttons and coins at it over and over again, as if wishing to read in the horoscope of those metal discs the real secret written in the hieroglyphs of cracks and scratched lines.

Bruno Schulz; Street of Crocodiles; 1934