The thing fascinating about the Mobius strip is its attempt at eruptive simultaneity, one side turning into the distaff side. I feel that way about many things (viz, the ionic fort/da) the collapse of presence and absence through the agency of the middle way, the stroke. I feel that way about the phenomena of kitsch (and its vertiginous, poisonous kin),the funereal middle stroke taking over every sort of dialectic, turning all it touches into a flattened smirk…either that (maybe preferable) or turning something into a humourous decombustive nothing. And I see that in what is maybe, ostensibly it’s opposite…witz
From Jean-luc Nancy, essay collection :
Witz cannot control; that is why philosophy began with its exclusion. It enacts combinations without knowledge, it remains heterogeneous even after combining the heterogeneities it produces, it seduces without trying, couples without fecundating, and we remain fearful of it as long as our expectations remain high—it can literally do anything. Literary elegance, which always remains “elegance,” even when it descends into vulgarity, once a literary project or proposal comes into existence, becomes a protest against this “anything,” against chaos—and, likewise, philosophical reasoning, always remains “reasoning,” even when it makes use of the resources of a brilliant Witz. The triviality, the verbal chatter, the femininity and lack of consistency of the “bon mot” have always worried and threatened the works of Witz from below, even though those works have also drawn their resources and justiﬁcations from them. Of course, it is always possible to control Witz, to yoke it to the production of knowledge and of works that have always had the ﬁnality of judgment. But because they had reached the peak of such control, the romantics watched as it suddenly disintegrated in their hands. Their attempt to use Witz to engender everything saw the return of something that was most characteristic of Witz (or rather, of that which never creates the Witz but a Witz) but cannot be appropriated, cannot be introduced into any work (not even and, especially, into Tristram Shandy)—its uncontrolled birth.
I’m thinking that witz and kitsch have more in common than might be first imagined, with witz taking the high ground, intellectually speaking. Witz being a sanctioned virtue directly opposed to the fungibility of ktisch’s one-step-from-the-bottom. But in fact the two operate in conjunction with each other. The flaws of one reflected in the virtues of the other (creating the other actually; a one-two punch coming and going).