Badious's In Praise of Love, Mirol's Bookperformance

by AJ. Carruters* 2014

“To love is to struggle, beyond solitude, with everything in the world that can animate existence." Alain Badiou

What if love was an invention, or that if every time two humans “fell” in love, (falling is a meaningful word) what was created between those two was something actually and truly new: a truth? What if love, furthermore, was a bit like science, or art, or even militant politics (say, communism), precisely because what is generated in those other procedures are truths, things completely new and unforeseen, perhaps even entirely unpredictable, you might say?

The “love letter” that opens Mirol’s Myface Book (Yüzüm Kitap) addresses this question of reinvention. It functions both as a statement on love and as a kind of manifesto, bypassing both the didactic and the romantic: “Aren’t we people of the same world after all? I wanted to tell you a little secret, and I would appreciate if it stays only between us: To understand means, in a certain way, to enjoy. Even if they are not synonyms, they are homonyms. Just like the sounds we make when we enjoy and we understand. Homonyms.” (MyFace Book, 2014, p.9)

Does the reference to the homonym signal a kind of poststructuralist multivalency, the slipperiness of language? Mirol is far more suggestive here. People are of the same world, love’s jouissance is rather a splitting, a splitting of one world into two. Homonym here almost turns into a metaphor for the splitting of a world. But what world is split?

The world is split between the fall, and the fidelity to that fall.

Love does funny things to time. The time of love was, or will be, an eternity. For Badiou, love is “a declaration of eternity to be fulfilled or unfurled as best it can be within time: eternity descending into time. That’s why it is such an intense feeling” (Badiou, In Praise of Love, 2012, 47). This intensity is framed within understanding, a construction that is decidedly procedural (understanding leading to accomplishment). We have a distended temporality: “By the way, I have a request for you. I hope it won’t take you one hundred years to understand me. Another hundred years of solitude would be too difficult for me. I want to be understood now. If you understand me now, I say to myself, what couldn’t we accomplish in one hundred years? Just imagine!” (MyFace Book, 2014, p.9)

Is love a mistake, is it an accident, or an accomplishment? Surely it is a mistake, less surely an accomplishment (how many of us are made poor and unhappy by it!). There is an element of truth in the idea that the first part of love, the fall, is an accident.  But the fidelity to that fall is not. Mirol writes: “This truth has not been some mistake typed by my fingertips, rather what has been typed by my fingertips is a possible life for the two of us.” (MyFace Book, 2014, p.9)

Mirol, called by herself the “beloved author,” wants to write the truth, to reinvent it between two beloveds: author and reader, to bear upon the impossible in order to make what once was impossible possible. This is the “construction” part of love. If you thought that was crazy, take this: we cannot be duped in love, but if by pure chance we are, the world once rent apart is hewn back together, and the subject pops out once again into the mundane reality of the world.

What might be the name of this fall?

*AJ. Carruters: