International Necronautical Society INS Inspectorate News Bulletin
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Official Document
Title: Joint Statement on Inauthenticity
Type: Press briefing
Authorised: Chief of Propaganda, First Committee, INS
Authorisation Code: AA291208

The aim of this briefing is to summarise the main points of the declaration in anticipation of the release of the official transcript. Readers are advised that unauthorised recordings and transcripts now circulating in the Internet cannot be authenticated and may be unreliable.

The Joint Statement by INS General Secretary Tom McCarthy and Chief Philosopher Simon Critchley consists of a series of numbered theses on inauthenticity.

They begin with the failure of transcendence and the copies of this failure which are recorded in the history of art, philosophy and literature.

They identify, on the one hand, the slippery slope on which one slides upwards towards “essence” and “ideal”, a well-worn path for the tourists of the sublime looking for a glimpse of themselves “shattering themselves against death” as Heidegger (14) would fancy, or taking a swan-dive into the volcano like Empedocles (19).

On the other hand, the theses identify a more resistant slope which Bataille called “l’informe” — the formless which opposes the Platonic world of forms, a universe that “‘resembles nothing’ and ‘gets itself squashed everywhere, like a spider or earthworm’” (10).

All art and literature is divided between these two temptations: either to extinguish matter and elevate it into form or to let matter matter by making form as formless as possible. The INS delivers itself solidly to the second temptation: to let matter matter, to let form touch absence, ellipsis and debris (8).

The INS Chief Philosopher and General Secretary explain that what matters for the INS are “not the imperial dreams in the head of the polar explorer Ernest Shackleton but rather his blackened, frostbitten toes which, after the white space into which he’d ventured and on which he hoped to write his name solidified and crushed his boat, he and his crew were forced to chop from their own feet, cook on their stove and eat. Necronauts are poets of the antipodes of poetry, artists of art’s polar opposite, its Antartica” (sic, 9).

The Statement declares the death of tragedy in which the lonely hero, in death, is rewarded with authentic being. Instead it calls for the comic, the divided and the repetitive: instead of Oedipus, Wile E. Coyote who, like a true necronaut, “dies almost without noticing” (19), again and again, repeatedly.

The Statement navigates a course from the individual, to the dividual (11), thence to the residual, “a remainder that remains: a shard, a leftover, a trace” (33), and further to the risidual, a laughable doubling. “What distinguishes the poet or philosopher from others,” the Statement says, “is that he can laugh at himself. That is, he can simultaneously be the one who trips and the one who watches the trip: he can split himself in two — what Baudelaire calls dédoublement” (17).

All cults of authenticity, it is declared, whether they celebrate it in the guise of transcendence, unity or totality, for aesthetic, religious or political ends, “should be abandoned” (12).

The aim of the declaration is not contemplation. It is to stuff inauthenticity into our mouths like Molly Bloom’s seed cake, and thus with a silent “yes” (38) to reaffirm the tenets of necronautical materialism, to repeat: you are always already a necronaut.

Issued by INS Department of Propaganda. Official INS propaganda may be freely distributed, distorted, appropriated or adapted as the reader sees fit.