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In Homo Sacer, Giorgio Agamben suggests that Herman’s Melville’s ‘Bartleby the Scrivener’ offers the ‘strongest objection against the principle of sovereignty’. As Agamben sees it, refugees pose a limit to the political categories of Melville’s famous story “Bartleby, the Scrivener,” which is a recurrent. From Giorgio Agamben’s Potentialities. The Scribe, or On Creation 1. The Byzantine lexicon Suda describes Aristotle this way: “Aristotle was.

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For Arabi, the science of letters marks the agambrn from the inexpressible to the expressible, or from potentiality to actuality. In those books, divine creation is an act of writing.

Bartleby, Refugee, Sovereignty – The Philosophical Salon

What took place was, instead, the opposite possibility. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. Agamben5.

This can be understood by anyone with intelligence, for to say more is prohibited. Remembrance is about potentiality. If it thinks something other than itself, it does not matter if it thinks something important batleby trivial. Avicenna thought of the creation of the world as an act in which the divine thinks itself. Does this renewal remain within sovereignty? Home About Contact Us.

Bartleby, Refugee, Sovereignty

Emancipating itself from Being and non-Being alike, potentiality thus creates its own ontology. We need to see which laws govern the transition from the possible to the real, or what causes potentiality to exist.

The ink is thought itself. In his work on De animaAlbert the Great agreed with Averroes who made the potential intellect common to all humans. There could be no clearer way to suggest that undelivered letters are the cipher of joyous events that could have been, but never took place.

That line is a modification of Romans 7: The formula is repeated so often that it ruins any relation between absolute and ordered potential. This is why in the end, the walled courtyard is not a sad place. He quotes Wolff again: Duns Scotus says that if there is a contradiction between two actual realities, being P and not-being P, nothing keeps a thing from being actual and maintaining its potential to not be or be otherwise.


And finally, there is a complete potentiality that belongs to someone who has full knowledge of writing in the moment that they are not writing.

He is also a member of the boundary 2 collective and hartleby Advisory Editor for the Oxford Literary Review. The left wing is tinged with darkness, and is turned towards his capacity not to be. The image is ambiguous, and this ambiguity no doubt contributed to its widespread success. If potentiality were only ever the potential to do or be something, we would never experience as potentiality—it would only exist in the actuality it is realized in. Contingency is replaced by necessity or impossibility.

This God enjoys contemplating these events and his own choice among them: Agamben concludes this passage by saying. This makes it necessary to uphold the principle of conditioned necessity, and why Aristotle has to define the possible potential this way: AgambenThe Experiment, or On Decreation 1.

And if it thinks something, then that something is superior, because the thing would hartleby it. The Sunnites, on the other hand, thought the act of creation was incessant and instantaneous production of miraculous events which did not batleby each other, agwmben so were independent of all laws and causal relations.

Not to be naturalized. There is sky and there is bartlebu. Or in other words, how can a blank writing tablet impress upon itself? For to do so, he must close his own ears to the incessant lamentation that, throughout the infinite chambers of this Baroque inferno of potentiality, arises from everything that could have been but was not, from everything that could have been otherwise but had to be sacrificed for the present world to be as it is.


The experience of potentiality is only possible if bartlebj is agqmben the potential not to do, be, or think—if the tablet is capable of not being written on. The important point is not the image of the scribe of nature, but that nousmind, is compared to an ink pot. This site uses cookies. To be a refugee is always only a temporary condition.

Agamben offers a set of examples—or exemplars, possibly—of such experiments. It is difficult to imagine something more pharisaic than this demiurge, who contemplates all uncreated possible worlds to take delight in his own single choice. Hence it does not even want what it desires; there is no reason for it want one thing rather than another. The Cabalists pushed this to its limit and said that the Nothing from which everything comes is God himself. So thought is linked to the act of writing.

For example, if Being always preserved its potential not to be, then no possibility could ever pass into actuality or remain in actuality. The Byzantine lexicon Suda describes Aristotle this way: Here, the link between writing and creation is absolute: The aporia here agqmben that the highest thought can neither think nothing or think something, or remain potential or become actual.

The three parts of this grapheme represent first the descent of potential Being to the attribute, then the extension of the attribute toward actuality, and finally the descent of actuality toward manifestation. Not to be repatriated.