This last week I have been compiling all the notes and short pieces I’ve written for my next book which, much to my surprise, comes to about 800 hundred single spaced word pages, all written since January. I’m not sure how I’ll ever organize it all but hopefully, as I read over it, a general thematic will come into view. Right now I’m about halfway through Badiou’s Logics of Worlds. I have to say, I’m finding the second volume of Being and Event far more opaque than I found the first volume. Despite being very impressed with his revised theory of the subject in the first chapter of the book, I have very mixed feelings about the chapter on the Transcendental and Objects. As always, there is much here to provoke thought and generate new ideas, but my major problem with his discussion of objects is that it still seems too wedded– to my thinking –to cognition. Yes, yes, I know Badiou declares that the transcendental he’s developing is in no way attached to a transcendental subject and that he is attempting to think an objectless subject. The problem, however, arises in relation to his use of mathematics. Throughout his discussions he is constantly making reference to issues of how to identify, evaluate, and measure objects. In other words, his account of objects and worlds strikes me as unfolding in the register of the epistemological rather than the ontological, and, as such, seems inexorably wedded to the subject (in a Kantian or Phenomenological sense, not Badiou’s special sense). Perhaps this should come as no surprise given that Badiou continues the Parmenidean protocol of defending the identity of being and thought.
On a more positive note, I’ve been reading James Williams’ Gilles Deleuze’s Logic of Sense: A Critical Introduction and Guide and have been enjoying it immensely. For me the Logic of Sense is among Deleuze’s strangest books. On the one hand, it stylistically has a tremendous clarity that is absent in much of Deleuze’s other writing. On the other hand, despite this clarity of style I find the book deeply enigmatic and opaque. What is it, exactly, Deleuze is trying to develop? What problems is he responding to? What is his major claim? All of this remains largely unarticulated in the work. Williams book goes a long way towards responding to these issues and develops a highly interesting account of both Deleuze’s theory of the event (and its relation to matters of fact) and a Deleuzian ethics. Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity to write a bit more on the major lines of his development once I finally complete the book.
At any rate, below is one of my favorite Summer pasta recipes. If I have chosen to call this pasta the “Subject of Truth” pasta, this is in honor of Badiou. For readers who are not familiar with Badiou’s conception of truth, truth, for him, is not a representation or adequation between proposition and object, but is a practice in relation to an event that evades all the categorizations of the semiotic web or web of belief characterizing a particular situation. For Badiou there are four types of truths or truth procedures: the amorous, the political, the artistic, and the scientific. These are the four domains where events or shattering encounters take place. Thus, for example, Galileo’s declaration that nature is mathematical is a sort of event and subsequent scientific practice involving the mathematization of nature would be the “truth procedure”. Those engaged in this project to this day are what Badiou refers to as “subjects”. If I refer to this pasta as a “Subject of Truth Pasta” then this is because it makes you want to keep eating even after you’ve eaten far too much.
Subject of Truth Summer Seafood Linguini in Herb and Wine Sauce
1/2 pound linguini
1/2 pound large sea scallops (quarter into smaller pieces)
1/2 pound peeled shrimp
Salt and Freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus some more for drizzling
3 tablespoons of butter, divided
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large shallot, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and chopped
4 sprigs fresh oregano, leaves removed and chopped
1 cup dry white wine
1 can (6.5 ounces) of chopped clams with juice
25 leaves of fresh basil, shredded or torn
1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 lemon, zested and juiced
Place a large pot of water over high heat and bring to a boil for the pasta. Once at a boil add some salt and cook pasta to package directions. Hold off on starting the scallops until you drop your pasta. Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil and heat. Add garlic, shallots, crushed red pepper flakes, thyme, oregano, a little salt and pepper. Reduce heat a little and saute garlic and shallots 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine to the pan and free up any pan drippings. Reduce wine 1 minute, then add clams and juice. Continue to cook for about 1 minute. Add the basil, parsley, lemon zest and juice and the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter, stir the mixture until it has melted. Season scallops lightly with salt and pepper. Add the scallops and shrimp, lightly poaching (about 4 or five minutes). Add the cooked linguini and cook for about 30 seconds, just to combine and let the pasta soak up the sauce. Serve with Transcendental Garlic Bread and Evental Salad
Transcendental Garlic Bread
Combine a couple tablespoons of butter with a dash of dried oregano, some Hungarian paprika, and a bit of garlic powder to taste. Mix thoroughly. Slice crusty French bread so that individual pieces are still attached at the bottom. Butter each individual piece. Wrap in tin foil and heat until warm in oven at 300.
Fresh garden greens such as arugula or baby romaine
Some sliced red onion
Crumbled blue cheese
Balsamic vinegar dressing