The philosopher’s voice: Index n.46

What do you know about the soul?
Index number 46 is now on Soundcloud!

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Click on the picture and listen to Jean-Luc Nancy's voice

46

Click on the picture and listen to Jean-Luc Nancy's voice

46. Why indices? Because there’s no totality to the body, no synthetic unity. There are pieces, zones, fragments. There’s one bit after another, a stomach, an eyelash, a thumb-nail, a shoulder, a breast, a nose, an upper intestine, a choledoch, a pancreas: anatomy is endless, until eventually running into an exhaustive enumeration of cells. But this doesn’t yield a totality. On the contrary, we must immediately run through the whole nomenclature all over again, so as to find, if possible, a trace of the soul imprinted on every piece. But the pieces, the cells, change as the calculation enumerates in vain.

From Fifty-eight Indices on the Body (Corpus)Jean-Luc Nancy. New York, Fordham University Press, 2008.

46. Pourquoi des indices ? Parce qu’il n’y a pas de totalité du corps, pas d’unité synthétique. Il y a des pièces, des zones, des fragments. Il y a un bout après l’autre, un estomac, un sourcil, un ongle du pouce, une épaule, un sein, un nez, un intestin grêle, un canal cholédoque, un pancréas: l’anatomie est interminable, avant de finir par buter sur le dénombrement exhaustif des cellules. Mais ce dernier ne fait pas une totalité. Il faut au contraire recommencer aussitôt toute la nomenclature pour trouver, s’il se peut, la trace de l’âme imprimée sur chaque morceau. Mais les morceaux, les cellules changent cependant que le décompte dénombre en vain.

From 58 Indices sur le corps et Extension de l’âme. Éditions Nota bene, Québec, 2004.

46. Perché degli indizi? Perché non c’è una totalità del corpo, non c’è un’unità sintetica. Ci sono parti, zone, frammenti. C’è un pezzo dopo l’altro, uno stomaco, un sopracciglio, un’unghia del pollice, una spalla, un seno, un naso, un intestino tenue, un canale coledoco, un pancreas: l’anatomia è interminabile, prima di andare a ostinarsi nel conteggio esaustivo delle cel­lule. Il quale, peraltro, non fa una totalità. Al contrario, biso­gna ricominciare da capo tutta la nomenclatura per trovare, se possibile, la traccia dell’anima impressa su ogni pezzo. Ma i pezzi, le cellule, cambiano mentre il conteggio conta invano.

From Jean-Luc Nancy Indizi sul corpo. Ananke Edizioni, Torino, 2009

 

 

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