ABSTRACT

Let us begin by identifying three dimensions of the relationship of dislocation that are crucial to our analysis. The first is that dislocation is the very form of temporality. And temporality must be conceived as the exact opposite of space. The ‘spatialization’ of an event consists of eliminating its temporality. Let us consider the case of Freud’s Fort/Da game. Through the game the child symbolizes the absence of the mother, which is a traumatic event. If the child comes to terms with that absence in this way, it is because absence is no longer just absence but becomes a moment of the presence-absence succession. Symbolization means that the total succession is present in each of its moments. This synchronicity of the successive means that the succession is in fact a total structure, a space for symbolic representation and constitution. The spatialization of the event’s temporality takes place through repetition, through the reduction of its variation to an invariable nucleus which is an internal moment of the pre-given structure. And note that when we refer to space, we do not do so in a metaphorical sense, out of analogy with physical space. There is no metaphor here. Any repetition that is governed by a structural law of successions is space. If physical space is also space, it is because it participates in this general form of spatiality. The representation of time as a cyclical succession, common in peasant communities, is in this sense a reduction of time to space. Any teleological conception of change is therefore also essentially spatialist. It is important to note that we are not dealing with the synchrony/diachrony opposition here. Diachrony, insofar as it is subject to rules and attempts to capture the sense of a succession, is also synchronic in our terms. But this means that only the dislocation of the structure, only a maladjustment which is spatially unrepresentable, is an event. Through dislocation time is overcome by space. But while we can speak of the hegemonization of time by space (through repetition), it must be emphasized that the opposite is not possible: time cannot hegemonize anything, since it is a pure effect of dislocation. The ultimate failure of all hegemonization,

then, means that the real – including physical space – is in the ultimate instance temporal.