An Essay on Destructive Plasticity
In the usual order of things, lives run their course and eventually
one becomes who one is. Bodily and psychic transformations do
nothing but reinforce the permanence of identity. But as a result
of serious trauma, or sometimes for no reason at all, a
subject?s history splits and a new, unprecedented persona
comes to live with the former person - an unrecognizable persona
whose present comes from no past and whose future harbors nothing
to come; an existential improvisation, a form born of the accident
and by accident. Out of a deep cut opened in a biography, a new
being comes into the world for a second time.
What is this form? A face? A psychological profile? What ontology
can it account for, if ontology has always been attached to the
essential, forever blind to the aléa
transformations? What history of being can the plastic power of
destruction explain? What can it tell us about the explosive
tendency of existence that secretly threatens each one of us?
Continuing her reflections on destructive plasticity, split
identities and the psychic consequences experienced by those who
have suffered brain injury or have been traumatized by war and
other catastrophes, Catherine Malabou invites us to join her in a
philosophic and literary adventure in which Spinoza, Deleuze and
Freud cross paths with Proust and Duras.