How Do We Live Here? Abyssal Intimacies in Jean-Luc Nancy's La ville au loin

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  • It might seem rather strange to turn to Nancy, the thinker of exposition, to rethink the figure of intimacy. Indeed, it is Nancy who said, in “The Intruder,” that “the subject’s truth is its exteriority and its excessiveness: its infinite exposition” and, in “On the Soul,” that “the body is always outside, on the outside. It is from the outside. The body is always outside the intimacy of the body itself.”1 We also find in Nancy a powerful critique of the nostalgic paradigm of the lost community and of the community of lovers as harboring the truth of the lost community at a remove from society. Here again, no intimacy, at least if by that we mean an immanence, an inside that would be so compact or so full that it would absolve the community from any contact with itself and with others. But of course things are not so straightforward. Indeed, already in the early book on Descartes, Ego Sum, we find the word “intimate” under Nancy’s pen, but in conjunction with C’est toute l’habitation qui est ouverte, béante, et tout son habitus à réinventer another word: “abysmally” (abyssalement).

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    Attribution-NonCommerical-NoDerivs 4.0 International
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    • Morin, M.-E. (2016). How Do We Live Here? Abyssal Intimacies in Jean-Luc Nancy's La ville au loin. Parrhesia: A Journal of Critical Philosophy, 25, 110-128.
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