Amid the body of work and biography of Flusser, suicide has been manifested mostly focussing on two spectra: a practical and a philosophical. Facing the violent loss of his relatives and its surrounding events, his non-death confined disgust and a abrupt inbred link to the nameless. His drive towards self-deliverance turned out however to be a convenient tool for getting by: “the possibility of killing yourself today, and of not having to face the tomorrow, made the tomorrow practicable, and was doing so daily” (Bodenlos, 2010: 46).
Also in Bodenlos, suicide appears as an opening for the need of another philosophical strategy to deal with the irreducible distance between ideal and experience - ought to kill the thought to live again. How to finish with the subject and dissolve the separation to the object? From this point, many suicidal missions left eastward, not seeking wisdom, but skills: manoeuvres for twisting the cartesian boat. Flusser affirmed some occasional practices of oriental techniques for transcendence, against the certainty of doubt; doubting doubt and, therefore, dismantling the intellect and its reality (On Doubt).
Suicide is the authentic philosophical question, since it is what could put an end to the individual human existence. The ideas around it were a few times explicitly manifested, but often evoked. Much of what lead to his approach on intersubjectivity (and what regards love and responsibility) can be traced back to the act of realizing oneself through the existence of another. For that, one own’s composition is given away, taking the other along with it. In Mundo-palco (world-stage), for example, audience and actor - even arena - die in divine absence and sudden empathic bell tolls.
Through the History of the Devil is where suicide continuously comes out. The feedback and multifacets of will and lowliness form several binaries that constitute no rule nor exclusion. Suicide would be the spindle of the pendular movement between the adventurous world of the mind and the boredom of the laws of physics. Lust, sloth and suicide operate against, with, and within one another. A circuit opens, complicating even more the surface of each pivot.
Pulse between burst and deflation of desire. Melancholia, not only in resignation for what once was and what will never be, but also in the obscurity where information is loudly unvealed, where it is fitting in the grumble of memory. The passion for liberation in the absurdity, obsession for watching noise becoming information. The numbness and the impulse to the jump. Faith on a more sophisticated communication and sadness for having to let go of oneself and the others. Renouncing a familiar constitution in favor of adapting to “I don’t know what”. In this seesaw, the suicide is necessary and inevitable, the only logic. It is this side, the other side and the passage itself. In every case, passage to infinity, nothingness and virtuality. Necessary annihilation to an intersubjective give in, to any radical transformation, to the possibility of a new order. Sovereignly smiles laziness, who knew all along that a new order is an order quand-même. At any rate, in Flusser’s intellectual microcosm, suicide is the joker which inverts order, whatever it may be, and dignifies the heroic spinning for nothing.
Original article by Monaí de Paula Antunes
Albert Camus, Le mythe de Sisyphe (1962), Malesherbes, 2013
Vilém Flusser, A História do Diabo (1965), Sao Paulo, Annablume 2006
Vilém Flusser, Bodenlos, Sao Paulo, Annablume 2010
Vilém Flusser, Der Sisyphos des Camus oder die Ablehnung des Selbstmordes, unpublished article Vilém Flusser Archiv ([SEM REFERENCIA]_2381_DER SISYPHOS DES CAMUS ODER DIE ABLEHNUNG DES SELBSTMORDES Vilém Flusser, Mundo-palco, in As coisas que me cercam v.2, unpublished manuscript Vilém Flusser Archiv ([SEM REFERENCIA]_O MUNDO-PALCO)
Vilém Flusser, On Doubt (1965), translated by Rodrigo Maltez Novaes
Thomas Knöfel, Es ist gegenwärtig unwürdig frei zu sein, interview with Vilém Flusser, Linz, 1988 Vilém Flusser Archiv (NCAT13_INT_SEM REF_2013-05-15 (36)) 1988