“everything can be said”

Over at New APPS I’ve posted on the night Kafka wrote his story, “The Judgment,” which marked a turning point and watershed event in his life as a writer. I use this ‘event’ to contrast my understanding of “Ideas” as multiplicities and concrete universals with Badiou’s understanding of the event. In short, when Kafka refers to ‘everything being said,’ or when upon reading “The Judgment” to his friends and recognizing what he called ‘the indubitability of the story,’ I take this not to mean that he has said, in a clear and determinate manner, everything that can be said; rather, the story contains everything that can be said in the same way that white light, as a concrete universal (and as discussed here), contains every color. This is the indubitability or haecceity of the story. At the same time, however, the possibility of saying everything skates dangerously close to saying nothing, to slipping into chaos or, in an effort to stave off the chaos, slipping into cliché and well-worn formulas. Kafka was well aware of these dangers, as was brought up in the comments to my post.