The Birth of Comedy

It seems to go without saying these days that every novelty is also a tragedy, that there is no transformation without deformation, that we can't get better without (also) getting worse. Progress, then, and regress, interwoven together in an endless oscillating series. Have our eyes not witnessed the tension of dramatic irony unmasked for the raw, pulsing, naked absurdity of existence? Have our hands not mastered the truncation (and administration) of desire? Have our lips learned naught but sophistry, unabashedly whispering lies in order to evoke the real? Haven't we sold our souls for a truth which thus can't logically exist? "Oh, the tragedy!" But this tragedy is neither the displacement of desire nor the mastery of emotional vitality, but rather the pure pageantry which logically results and thus merely alternates its pretensions: art or life, both and neither, exploitation-spectacle and culture industry --this, then, is why we implicitly sense tragedy in the new, why we feel the abyss gaze back at us, why we tremble before the horror and absence of "modernity".

For do "we moderns" not presume the tragedic to be singular, implosive, immanent and above all, non-cathartic? The epoch is characterized by an erasure which is also a personalization, the reduction of the individual to the blank square, in other words, the total eclipse of the subject--until we cannot separate the playwright from the void itself, or rather the fullness, the surplus, the omnipresence of the void? Our instincts have (perversely) absorbed the "tragedy" of modernity: since we can't believe in transcendence we thus base all our hopes upon it. Thus the tragic is that irresistible moment within dramaturgy in which an irreducible incompleteness in being is radically and unapologetically exposed--and this is why, today, to innovate, to speak the truth, to present a novelty is always also to perform the synoptical tragic act. Indeed, it would seem already that to make explicit the lack exposed by the tragic rupture is already to belabor common sense...

Yet a birth is always a comedy--

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