may be transgressed or because it has already been transgressed; it is thus that Greek tragedy emanates from Dionysus, god of confusion, god of transgression.”47

Our singularization to come has expelled us in advance from our every insertion into a world—we say, from every constituted phenomenality. Singularization dephenomenalizes. This is what our knowledge of ultimates teaches us. This knowledge can be deciphered best in the largest characters, which are those of the law. Topology teaches us what binds us in every normative position, not just what is represented as maximal, but also the deictic experience from which it was extracted and which will come to haunt it, destitute it. The vocabulary of difference does not express very well the ultimates which make us posit the koinon and let the deiktikon be. If it is as mortals that we know how the undertow toward the monstrable singularal ways works on demonstrable theses, then the strategies crossing each other in the event, in stead, maintain a differend.

One has abdicated philosophy if one does not inquire into the conditions that make ordinary experience possible. But to respond to this inquiry with a thesis—to posit a simple arché—is again to enter into the megalomania of desire. The analytic of ultimates shows these conditions of possibility to be anarchic because they are at odds with themselves.

The Birth of the Law from the
Denial of the Tragic

“Cruel is my lot, if I rebel; but it is just as cruel if I must sacrifice my child, the jewel of my house, and, at the altar, soil my fatherly hands with the bloody flood gushing from a slaughtered virgin. Is there a course that does not spell misery?”48
“Even after these painful contradictions have been eliminated, the question of being will not have been answered; but the mind, no longer tormented, ceases to ask this question it considers unjustified.”
—H. Hertz49

On a wall in Pompeii there is a fresco representing Agamemnon sacrificing his daughter, Iphigenia. Noteworthy in the picture is the fact that the face of the koricide father is veiled.

It is Agamemnon speaking in the first quotation above, of whom Homer had said he reigned over “numerous islands and all of Argos” (Il. 2, 108). He was the mightiest of Greek princes. After Paris had abducted Helen, Menelausʼs wife, it fell to Agamemnon, his brother, to lead the punitive expedition against Troy. None other than Zeus had ordered the operation. The fleet had gathered at Aulis in Beotia, but Artemis caused ad verse winds to blow; it was she who demanded the sacrifice. Thus, Agamemnon found himself at the crossroads of two divine commands. Was this reason enough to cover his face?

Furthermore, he found himself at the cross roads of two laws, at the intersection of a conflict bleaker than those which present them selves to other tragic heroes. What law could be more important to the premier commander than to bring to a good end a war ordered by the first of the gods? And what law could be stronger for a father than the law of preserving his childʼs life? “Is there a course that does not spell misery?”

Reiner Schürmann - Broken Hegemonies