The Event and the Problem of Scale

The problem of scale can be deduced from two passages from Deleuze’s Logic of Sense:

“If the battle is not an example of an event among others, but rather the Event in its essence, it is no doubt because it is actualized in diverse manners at once, and because each participant may grasp it at a different level of actualization within its variable present. […] But it is above all because the battle hovers over its own field, being neutral in relation to all of its temporal actualizations, neutral and impassive in relation to the victor and the vanquished, th coward and the brave; because of this, it is all the more terrible. Never present but always yet to come and already passed, the battle is graspable only by the will of anonymity which it itself inspires. This will, which we must call will “of indifference,” is present in the mortally wounded soldier who is no longer brave or cowardly, no longer victor or vanquished, but rather so much beyond, at the place where the Event is present, participating therefore in its terrible impassibility. “Where” is the battle?” (100-101)

“How different this “they” is from that which we encounter in everyday banality. It is the “they” of impersonal and pre-individual singularities, the “they” of the pure event wherein it dies in the same way it rains. The splendor of the they is the splendor of the event itself or of the fouth person. This is why there are no private or collective events, no more than there are individuals and universals, particularities and generalities. Everything is singular, and thus both collective and private, particular and general, neither individual nor universal. Which war, for example, is not a private affair? Conversely, which wound is not inflicted by war and derived as a society as a whole? Which private event does not have all its coordinates, that is, all its impersonal social singularities?” (152)

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