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THE CENTURY Alain Badiou ‘Translated, with a commentary and notes, by Alberto Toscano polity Fat pulled in French n 2005 by Eton da Seu a Le Site and (© Batons da Seu, 2005 “Ths Engl tranation © Polity Press, 2007 ‘This book i supported by the ech Ministry of Frcgn Affi at part ofthe Burges programme un by the Colerl Department ofthe Trench Embasy ia London (ww: enchbooknewsom) institut francais, COuvrage publi avec tad ds Ministre fangs chargé dela Culture Centre onal dire Published with the anastance of the French Ministry of Culture ~ [National Contre for the Book. Polity Press 65 Bridge Street Combet 2 URUK A Tg, Paty Poe Bg 50 Mas Set + Maen MARS. USA “ef All cghs reserved. cept forthe quotation of short passages for the Purpose of crits and evew a part ofthis pblicaon may be Feprordced stored in eseval sytem, or tanastted, any form or Dpamy meas clectzonie, mechanic, photocopying recording ‘thervi, without the pir prmision of the pba ISBN-10:0-7456-3031-4 ISBN-13 978-0745636913, ISBN-10:0-7456-3632-2 (pb) ISBN-13,978-07456-36320 (5b) “Typeset ia 1113 p Bring bby SNP Boxset Typeset Lid, Hong Kong Prot an bound in Malaysia by Alen Pres Malaysia For further information on Ply, sour website: wept cauk Contents ‘ranslaing the cnsury Dedication 10 n 2 3B Search for» method ‘The beast ‘The unreconcled A new world Yes, but when? ‘The passion forthe real and the montage of semblance ‘One divides into two Sex in rst ‘Anabass Seven variations Cruclies Avant gardes ‘The infrite ‘The joint disappearances of Man and God ‘European non’ and beyond: commentary by “Alberto Toscano Notes Remarks on the translation Select bibigraphy Index vi My 26 39 48 58 68 81 98 m1 131 48 165 19 202 27 224 26 Translating the century These thirteen lesions on the twentieth century were orginally Intended to be accompanied by facing English translation, Rights tnd ownership intervened to foreclose that possibilty: In the spirit ofthat orginal projec, and by way of introduction, 1 would like nevertheless to include in this monolingual edition a reflection bor af the inital plan that I shared with Alain Badiou, Since the lectures to fellow aim to cleave as stringently as they can to the ‘century's own propositions, it might be pertinent to ask what the ‘century itself has to say about the question of language in general, and of bilingualism in particule ‘While in many respects the century's philosophy has beea marked, bar afew renegades an ‘extremist (Ihave in mind expe- ally that brillnt and sombre Neo-Parmenidean from Trieste, Carlo Michaelstadter and his 1910 book La persasione ¢ la ret toric), by something like an apotheosis (not a proto-theology) ‘of language an equation of philosophical with linguistic reflection {from the pedestian propositions favoured in Cambridge to the tullrian homilies of Todtnauberg), the century's wordsmiths have been far more sceptical, experimental, or even despairing about the powers of language, be ordinary or prophetic Tn concordance ‘with the everdncreasing and often austere attentions that the ars of the century lavished upon ‘media’, though perhaps with far more intimate and contorted repercs. sions, poet and novelists multiplied the ordeals undergone by lin- Buisic material just to consider the conventional armature of| ‘punctuation, so riliantly explored by Adorno, the century's lit frature enacted both its suppression (Becket’s How It Is comes