Malabou’s Most Wanted: Fragment from Catherine Malabou on Plasticity and the Death Drive

“Organic life strangely suffers from the same defect as architecture: space is the privileged

metaphor for its developments. But the plasticity of mental life implies an unpicturable

state of things in which emergence and preservation, life and inertia, vitality and passivity

coincide in time—not in space. This simultaneity between the two meanings of plasticity—

the creation of form and the destruction of form—is the main characteristic of the

time of materiality which goes beyond the pleasure principle.”


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