The long present of physical pain. Five laws of sorrowed temporality

Keywords: Physical pain, Temporality, Temporal figure, Amorphous present

Abstract

The article aims at formulating five essential laws that could serve to characterize the peculiar immanent temporality of physical pain. The first three laws are common to numerous experiences of consciousness: cursive nature of pain, or no instantaneousness of the phenomenon; current nature of pain, in the sense that the previous retention course is not additively added to the suffering impression; changing character of every painful process, which never stays still. The fourth law refers to how the painful present does not integrate its own past in a coherent display, but rather results in a long now that flows awkwardly, stagnant over itself while excited or urged. Pain do not lack a “temporary figure”, but it decomposes time at every moment and is essentially arrhythmic. The fifth law assumes a particular contingency in the effective duration of pain, which may be equally short-‑lived, brief, or endless. The last two laws, deeply “anti-‑musical,” allow us to speak of an amorphous temporality of suffering.

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Published
2020-05-06