1.

You have to start somewhere. To tell the story to compose, by its scattered fragments, a meaning. At least an orientation. Because it is by telling stories that we learn who we are and, perhaps, who we can become.

2.

For a long time you believed that literature was only a luxurious form of culture. A place of bored descriptions or subjectivities that tell small details of their daily life. And then you hit the life in literature, the precarious life, the metamorphosed life, the real life.

3.

You thought, perhaps dreamed, that literature could be this space for transformation.

4.

Right now the time is definitely pressing, but it is in front of us, or we are in front of it, and we don't know what the next forms of stories will be made of. We don't know what may become of literature, we simply must welcome what may exceed it. Listening and telling a rush of stories can be a method.

5.

You never know everything a life struggles with and everything it has to deal with. Again, hospitality is your method, a method of imagination.

6.

In order not to be disoriented in writing, you start with your body and come back to your body.

7.

You just started crying every day. You don’t know why you can’t stop. You cried younger.You cried at the injustice, every time.You had teenage rage.

8.

Georges Didi-Huberman wrote that tears are a manifestation of political potency. A complaint that does not ask for power, but rather manifests powerlessness. He says that it is courageous sometimes to cry in front of others. And that the overwhelmed impower can become the unanimous revolt.

9.

The virus caught you vulnerable but nothing really happens at all. You said you were ok, your room was on the sixth, and you didn’t move. You’d never ran away.

10.

You have to calm down your desire to generalize, because we are very impatient in the beginning to tell the smallest thing we have learned, turning it into a big sentence, or into a robust knowledge of an author whose books we only know the titles. Patience is eventually acquired little by little. And the difficulty of the big sentences seems to be the rite of the researcher, who also learns not to raise his voice on the subjects he does not know. At the beginning as a student the less you know the more you say, and at the end as a researcher it seems to you that the more you know the less you say. This slight patience in making statements of knowledge eventually convinces us. That convinced you.

11.

You don't like the easy judgments people make about others and things. People do that.

12.

A child’s lesson you learned. Nothing lasts forever even the worse. In bad times you must always remember that it might be over soon. Like Justin Vernon it’s your political mantra. But you’re obviously not in your finest hour. You were drunk alone lately, even in good times. It’s not just you. Right now it feels like you’re searching to recompose yourself after the confinement. To be able to see others. And you wonder if it’s ever, or if it’s never gonna happen again. So you’re all standing at that station, looking how you marked yourself. You took the opportunity to tell you carried a little burden. Too much for you to pick up. Goddam right, there is definitely a ceiling now in our garden.

13.

When you’re out tell your lucky ones, so they know.You’re precious here.

14.

You looked back at them as you left. People don't hate you as much as you think they do. Your friend told you that if they weren’t nice to you it was their problem, and that gave you a truth.

15.

Carolin Emcke said: "No one can hate in details", meaning that precision is
a political concern as much as a concern for the world. Whenever we hate something in the world, it is always in general, by confusing, by categorizing.

16.

You walk across the university campus every day where we produce much more competitive intelligence than cooperative intelligence, which are always fragile alliances and friendship politics that are certainly not born of logics such as those supported by the university. So it’s each time a recovery,
a manufacturing of threatened collective intelligence, a creation of time and places where we are going to be able to slow down and to allow the thought in this deceleration (and not only the reaction, the designation of enemies). The university does not produce such cooperative intelligences and does not encourage them, so it is a matter of a construction that is always precarious and threatened by a competitive academic mold that affects us all.It affects you every day.

17.

Art schools are not doing any better. The important thing is to create shelters.

18.

The war of all against all produces refugees as a burdenwe can no longer afford.

19.

Supervisors do not like in-betweens beings.You are one sometimes, often.

20.

Your ultimate advice is that progressing in numbers is always the right way. It allows you to be many. It allows you not to have this sick jealousy towards the other collectives.

21.

Wajdi Mouawad has, he says, an imaginary twin in the country of his birth who never left Lebanon. A child during the civil war, whose family was not confronted, like his own, with the refusal of a residence permit by the french authorities and was therefore not forced into a second exile in Quebec in 1983. This child does not fall prey to the guilt feelings of the exiles. But it must be recognized that this twin was not awarded by the French government in 2002 the title of Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres for the whole of his work..

22.

You’re stacked with your brothers. Stay bound to their secrets. Be challenging, but never despise.

23.

You did not move from the sixth. You put all your money in your jeans. Dad went to play poker with the carnies. You tried to escape with this girl but she’s gone forever now. And you’re on the path to redemption.

24.

To live is not only to build or to construct, but is, as already proposed by Martin Heidegger, "this kind of silent conversation which is woven along ourdaily and ordinary relations with the place in which we live".

25.

"Off" isn’t tolerated in high school. Remember when you were that kid. Your mother made you ashamed of your life but it wasn’t her fault. Life had left you behind, you were out of line. At that time in Germany, if there wasa voice in your head you didn’t have to listen to it, but you did. Still today.

26.

Societies do not change, they only change when the conditions are already present for the change to be made. There is no historical truth more intimate than this. We only change according to the needs of our environment. We only change because the previous situation is no longer sustainable. The bully will never be able to change if there is still a possible world in which he can exist without impunity.

27.

You told your therapist that you’ll lose people you love.Because you feel it’s one thing you’ve learned.And you know youmay end up more alone.

28.

Haven't you noticed that nobody ever actually feels normal. We all certainly want some peace with the norms. “Don’t bother me” you said, as the least political thing to do, the minimal politics.

29.

Nietzsche taught us that we must focus on the body to evaluate the value of a thought. Why does it need this thought? In what way is it the expression ofhis necessity? Isn't his body the scene of a relation of forces that only this thought expresses?

30.

You think we must each, for ourselves and for others, find our minority principle, our minority becoming, and we must do so even more if it does not come tous. When it takes a long time to appear, we must create it. So we will commonly put this issue down to willpower, but in fact it is a political and ethical question: what kind of societies we want. We must be able to create events, meetings, places, in which people can find the opportunity of their minority becoming. You obviously didn't find yours in school, or even in college. You found yours in music, movies and books, and then in friendship.

31.

There are times in life when you already have too many problems for someone to mess with your identity. You had it with Judith Butler. And then you can't be receptive to a series of things, because somehow you're not breathing well, you're already suffering, you can’t welcome additional trouble and questioning, which are at that moment, perhaps, a form of luxury.

32.

Theoretical and practical experiences are inexhaustible, making the world inexhaustible in new experiences and experiments from them.

33.

When you were spending your lives together, just the two of you and your friends, you didn't even have the idea that you were carrying a homosexual identity. That identity simply resurfaced when you returned to society. It was enough to see a heterosexual person to directly grasp this "identity of the other" that you had forgotten.



LITTERATURE IS A NAME FOR INTIMACY AND POLITICS

Daniel Sean Mellet





34.

Roland Barthes dreamed of idiorythmia, of a collective solitude,
of a form of composition between relief and commitment, a community where the people who would live there would be both spaced and together, would meet and disperse. Probably by the sea.

35.

In Freudian psychoanalysis, we can represent the various forces
of the psychic life by places, by what Freud calls topics, for example the rooms of an apartment. The psychic life is a kind of residence, sometimes the place of our own interior —our interior space— our room, sometimes the place of hospitality for the other. If you want to speak about this interiority, you must necessarily pass by the places
of the world, if you want to develop a language on this interior space you must pass by the language of the world. This passage is at best
an exploration which, as in the heartbeat, rubs itself inside and sends itself outwards. We are not prison identities. Yours has always been like an open wound to the world.

36.

You were always sure to meet one day the one who’ll save you from
this life. It's the certitude you need to move forward. It’s like, when you meet that person, you’ll think you’re released from your past.

37.

In his counter-revolutionary commitment, Chateaubriand writes about
the revolution to demobilize. Revolutions would not take place because they repeat the recipes of the past. In the preface of his Essays on revolutions we read this: "We already have this important truth, that man, weak in his means and in his genius, only repeats himself ceaselessly; that he circulates in a circle, from which he tries in vain to get out... -It follows that a man who is well persuaded that there is nothing new in history loses the taste for innovations, a taste that I consider to be one of the greatest scourges afflicting Europe at this time. "His opinion is tragic for us. There is no new experience, there are only new men who constantly make the same experiences. You think about it sometimes in the evening.

38.

It is necessary to open up a possible space for reflection and concern outside the naming of enemies and the certainty of our opinions. Because we need people to think, it is not enough to exhort them to make a revolution in order to reproduce the system of domination as it is. And you never know in advance —or not well —which way the differences may go, see Arthur Koestler for you.

39.

You really believe that the definition, or rather the non-definition, the definition by the negative, of heterosexuality, makes the individual ethically and politically responsible for homophobia (from the distancing to the will to destroy). The change of the heterosexual matrix, of the normative heterosexuality or of the "society", will not be done only with the tolerance or with the denunciation of the exaggerated intolerance of "others". Change will come from taking new postures and adopting non-heterosexual practices and lifestyles. It is a matter of considering one's own intolerance and welcoming difference within oneself, that is, understanding how the "silence" of one's identity participates in the exclusion of everything that is not heterosexuality

40.

To try to create differences in oneself. To try to become one’s own difference.

41.

It bothers you that we have very little political imagination and political experience on the making of a position : immediately we come back to morality with the themes of the forbidden and the sin. You are a vegetarian, and you feel that this can only mean a moral rule. But when you’re vegetarian for political and ecological reasons, this moral rule that defines the forbidden is far from making sense. What remains of religion and Christian morality is there?, you asked.

42.

Being interested in the history of others helps us to understand
our own. You try.

43.

You are inspired by elastic forms of art that are always the conjunction between practices and theories that one would not suspect of going together. You don't want the complete lack of boundaries, but more than that. It is a question for you of conceiving the theory directly as a practice, and the practice as carrying in itself a theory. The theory would not need any practical supplement that would be missing : it must always be conceived as the practice of a necessity. The practice does not have to find intellectualizing accents through reflection, but should always carry in itself a theoretical necessity, a force of precision.

44.

You can’t get bad thoughts out of your head these days. You thought it would be painless, but it isn’t. You would like being in the middle of a crowd. The kind of solitude that happens to everyone every day. But you feel like you need to be with people now. You can’t take it anymore. Now all you only think about is San Francisco when the sun goes down.

45.

You would say that we have become a certain number of things because we have been trained to become them, through techniques, devices ; how can we recover in the training of ourselves, how can we find techniques of becoming-other, of metamorphosis, how canwe act on our environment so that this environment transforms us? We don't change just like that, we change our environment and in return, this environment constitutes us differently, gives us another place. You have strayed from your environment often.

46.

Gilles Deleuze said that to have an impossible thought in philosophy was "to make thinkable by a very complex material of thought forces which are not thinkable".

47.

As hard as it is for us to recognize, the attacks have broken down part of the "dominant bad guys versus dominated good guys" schema on which many of our political representations could easily rest.

48.

You feel the only condition for not being easily criticized by the left is to be hated by the right and the extreme right, and to assimilate any criticism of the left to these reactionary postures.

49.

You've finally found a good example to talk about toxic masculinity. Start by arguing that at its core, the thing is political. Because politics is about our relations between humans in a specific place (city), our relations to others who are there, to those who are not there (absent, or strangers) and to things. So a table is a small society, four people talking is a small society. At this level, what people embody, the construction of what they participate in, the language and power games in which they are even unconsciously, even imperceptibly in relation to each other, concerns a certain politics, and even perhaps the most direct form of politics in that it is the relationship between bodies present in the same space. It is thus politically that we do not agree when we consider that someone is not welcoming, kind, when the language games in which he participates are problematic for us, even punctually. We could take the example of right-wing people: even when these people do not claim to have fascist political arguments, their way of being in the world, of speaking, of conceiving what it is like to relate to other humans, of treating the other people in the room, of giving them attention, even of simply constructing what we will say about the things and the people around us, all these things define an ethic and a politics that we will reject. And we will reject it even if we know how funny or nice people are in some aspects. We wouldn't dare to say that fascists are nice people because they can be nice, just as we wouldn't go out with a right-wing extremist because he or she is nice in his or her private life. If it is ethically and politically that disagreements are formed, then the counterpart sympathy cannot be used.

50.

We often write profound things that we think we understand, advanced analyses of power, but whose concrete content we do not finally grasp. Theory must be something we are sensitive to.

51.

You feel the more you love the more you suffer. That’s one thing you really have come to know.

52.

Leave if you must.

53.

The departures leave behind them writings that will influence the path of those who follow them.

54.

In this place where life began for you, you were young once more. Nothing really happened at all.

55.

Your relationship is on the rocks. But nothing happens.

56.

Your parents will eventually separate. Nothing happens.

57.

Your brother is your sister now. Nothing happens.

58.

Your friend attempted suicide. Nothing happens.

59.

There’s things you’d like to forget. Nothing happened.

60.

They say you’re a freak. Nothing happened.

61.

You can't really complain. Yes nothing happened.

62.

Remember that this room is where it all happened. When you close your eyes you remember. You’ve made it out of the void, all your childhood. Now you are ready to introduce yourself to others. Welcome to this life.

63.

A disguise is always a self-portrait.