Lumpen Orientalism
19 Nov 2006

In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Gauttari���s notes on Islamic philosophers are insufficient and in many cases poorly and incorrectly ripped off from obsolete French translations of works written on Muslim philosophers, manipulated in the most liberal and avant-garde technique: adding your words to them and then quoting or paraphrasing them back as an overseas philosophical support to your philosophy: inverse-plagiarism.
Lovecraft on the other hand knows very well the ineffable charm of Arabic names or Near and Middle Eastern pronunciations. Although both Deleuze and Lovecraft have contributed to Lumpen Orientalism (borrowed from China Mi?�ville) as far as their reputations have allowed but on the other hand they have shown in a pragmatic way that Orientalism more than anything testifies to the inaccessibility of social, political and ethical bodies in Asia for Western tools of analysis and decision making. This inaccessibility that appears as a form of irrelevancy or asymmetry between the subject of the inquiry (the orient) and the western inquiry’s frame of reference always operates as a cunningly socio-cultural indifference, a form of hollow affirmation to Western approaches. In other words, the irrelevancy of the oriental manifests as a chimeric situation for Western configurations and modes of analysis. It is an affirmation rooted not in commonality but the lack thereof, an affirmation capable of taking shape in different guises without essentially committing to them as its principles. Far from being a token of radical dissociation or vengeful and victimologic negativity (the hallmark of a reactionary and bankrupt thought), the orientalist affirmation is committed to the production of superficially exotic off-beat and off-time entities and events which share (affirm) much with Western aspirations. It is through these superficial commonalities that orientalism preserves the sharp asymmetry or irrelevancy of the Orient. An example of this encounter and subversive cooperation has already been followed in Lovecraft���s linguistic distortion and its social influences.
If for the most part, encounters with the East continue to be Lumpen Orientalist, it is because in a twisted way Lumpen Orientalism is that chimeric landscape through which the East perpetually and actively remains evasive not in the sense of mystery but in sense of asymmetry — an asymmetry that does not succumb to the status of a mindless reactionary proponent of the East.
Now, in a visually mind-eating and tongue-binding way, the first self-proclaimed and registered Lumpen Orientalist.
Lumpen Orientalist
But more than satiating morbid interests in bizarre bazaars among archeological lurkers and people who try to sell you sentient junk relics and organic oddities I am looking forward to the Lumpen Orientalist���s photo-essay which interrogates the Deleuze problematic of Nomadism by rigorously delving into forgotten nomad fabrics and their blood-bond with the State.