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NARRATIVE HAPPINESS AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

Claire Colebrook New Formations; Winter 2007/2008; 63; ProQuest Direct Complete pg. 82

NARRATIVE HAPPINESS AND THE MEANING OF LIFE

Claire Colebrook
But that complete happiness is a contemplative activity will appear from the following consideration as well. We assume the gods to be above all beings blessed and happy; but what sort of actions must we assign to them? ... If we were to run through them all, the circumstances of action would be found trivial and unworthy of gods. Still everyone supposes that they live and therefore that they are active; we cannot suppose them to sleep like Endymion. Now if you take away from a living being action, and still more production, what is left but contemplation? Therefore the activity of God, which surpasses all others in blessedness, must be contemplative, therefore that which is most akin to this must be most of the nature of happiness. 1 ANIMAL HAPPINESS, HUMAN HAPPINESS AND INHUMAN JOY We all know, from Nietzsche, about animal happiness. Think of the cow grazing in the field, no thought of today, no thought of tomorrow. 2 This is a life of the pure present, unmediated by the desire and disease of consciousness. Human happiness, by contrast, is tied inextricably to narrative, to a sense of one's life as a whole and to the subordination of pleasure and animality to self-definition. Happiness, from Aristotle's definition of the human as a being who recognises his potential to give form to himself, to contemporary self-help manuals that stress the creation of goals and ongoing projects, has always been tied to meaning. While animal happiness is selfpresent and within itself, human happiness is achieved only by relating any now or present to the sense of one's ongoing and self-maintaining life. Happiness is the meaning oflife, because only a life lived with meaning can be happy; and only a happy life - a life where pleasures are not simply lived but are lived as one's own and as self-defining- can be meaningful. There is a remarkable consensus throughout the philosophical, psychological and literary tradition that human happiness is meaningful, and that meaning- or the capacity of a human life to perceive the world in ordered form - is what allows the organism to maintain itself. The clearest distinction between the animal and the human, along with its sophisticated complication, is offered by Henri Bergson. Animal instinct acts and maintains itself according to the being it is given; instinct maximises efficiency, so that the organism can perpetuate its present condition. Human intelligence, by contrast, creates and invents a form of being, such as technology, which requires more expenditure of energy and will also alter just what human being is. The animal and the human both emerge from the tendency towards movement undertaken in order to maintain life, but they diverge in their modes of movement: the animal remaining within its own organism's potential, the human giving itself new potentiaJ.3 On the one hand, Bergson's analysis reinforces the binary between human happiness achieved through self-creation and animal quiescence achieved through consumption. On the other hand, by pointing to the
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imbrication of the animal and the human, Bergson also points out that our usual image of the human as achieving happiness through order and meaning is still all too close to the animal's instinctive efficiency. Bergson therefore indicates another possibility, beyond the human's proximity to the energy-conserving animal: joy. 4 Nietzsche, too, imagined a joy beyond our organic and life-preserving being. His Untimely Meditations posited initial animal stupidity as an illusory beatitude; truly joyful becoming is achieved neither by returning to a state before time and meaning, nor by mastering the meaning of one's life through monumental and meticulous narration. Instead there can only be a joyfulness in active forgetting. Nietzsche's imagined happy cow was already an all too human myth of a life imagined as beyond all striving, liberated from the burdens of a human life subjected to promise, norms and commitments. Joy for Nietzsche is active forgetting: not a condition of torpor but the creation of means that will allow us to lose or remain unfaithful to ourselves. For Bergson joy is also different from a return to a state of animal sympathy with the world, and is instead a passage beyond the human intellect of utility and quantified pleasure, to an intuition of the movements and sympathies that are not our own. This notion ofjoy rejects the animaVhuman dialectic, rejects the idea that the human abandons happy animal self-presence and sacrifices pleasure for the sake of a meaningful and self-ordering life. It is a notion best expressed not by the philosophical proposition presenting what is, but by a literary voice which presents what might be. Placing a voice, point of view or image within a literary text effects an immediate detachment from a subject of enunciation and from sincerity. From Spinoza, through Nietzsche to Deleuze (and via a Spinozist literary tradition that includes Coleridge and Melville) we can set joy both against the (putative or mythic) immediacy of animal happiness and the ongoing self-maintenance and homeostasis of human happiness. Literature is one way, I will argue, that the human animal can take its technologies of meaning- in the form of narration and images - and create a 'line of flight'. Here, the very technology of language, sense and meaningful time can create a human perception of animal innocence that disrupts the self-presence of the human. Literature, when subjected to a 'higher deterritorialisation' 5 - extended beyond those narrative techniques that allow for continuity and self-recognition- is joyful rather than happy. It does not maintain the human in its self-creating wholeness, but uses those machines of self-creation, such as language, narrative form, style and point of view, for the sake of 'time in its pure state' .6 Whereas organic time is the time taken by this or that body to fulfil its life and go through time, literature gives us an image of time in its pure state through relations and differences that are not the differences of some underlying being. Herman Melville's Billy Budd, for example, presents Billy as an image of self-contained, self-present innocence liberated from all sense of interpretation and meaningful social relations - a human who is 'becoming-animal' in Deleuze and Guattari's sense. Billy presents 'a' life that is not defined through the social relations of recognition and action. 7 Indeed, Billy's presence has a primarily destructive and counter-semantic effect, for it is the perception of Billy as a complete and self-sufficient being that disturbs the moral relations of ship-board life. Melville's presentation of Billy challenges the dominant ideal of happiness as meaningful and self-maintaining, with a joy that is radically inhuman. It is as though Melville is staging the opposition between
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joy and happiness, between an animal-like innocence on the one hand, and a striving for self-mastery on the other. The narrative of Billy Budd is driven by the allure of the moral wholeness of Billy and its directly aesthetic appeal, alongside a resistance to that wholeness which acts as an accusation or admonishment of the self. Claggart - who will ultimately engineer Billy's wordly destruction- is drawn to the visual pleasure of Billy as a morally self-sufficient image: If askance he eyed the good looks, cheery health, and frank enjoyment of young life in Billy Budd, it was because these went along with a nature that, as Claggart magnetically felt, had in its simplicity never willed malice or experienced the reactionary bite of that serpent. To him, the spirit lodged within Billy, and looking out from his welkin eyes as from windows, that ineffability it was which made the dimple in his dyed cheek, suppled his joints, and dancing in his yellow curls made him pre-eminently the Handsome Sailor. One person excepted, the master-at-arms was perhaps the only man in the ship intellectually capable of adequately apprehending the moral phenomenon presented in Billy Budd. And the insight but intensified his passion, which assuming various secret forms within him, at times assumed that of cynic disdain, disdain of innocence - to be nothing more than innocent! Yet in an aesthetic way he saw the charm of it, the courageous free-and-easy temper of it, and fain would have shared it, but he despaired of it. With no power to annul the elemental evil in him, though readily enough he could hide it; apprehending the good, but powerless to be it; a nature like Claggart's, surcharged with energy as such natures almost invariable are, what recourse is left to it but to recoil upon itself and, like the scorpion for which the Creator alone is responsible, act out to the end the part allotted it.8 * Far from feeling a joy at the apprehension of this other being, who is the very expression of the unself-conscious life of the world, Claggart destroys Billy because the beauty of his moral unity acts as a challenge to Claggart's all too human and partial perspective. It is the tragedy of this narrative - the destruction of Billy - that adds a complexity to the tradition of joy and happiness. On the one hand, following the tradition that runs from Kant to Freud, we can say that Billy, like the infant or 'his majesty the baby', 9 presents an alluring image of unworldly moral wholeness. The image is desirable, if we can perceive the very joy of life beyond our own worldly and embodied interests. But the image is also painful, humiliating or 'chastening' if, like Claggart, we remain in a position of self-interest. Our finitude and selfishness is painfully intensified. The aesthetic beauty of Billy Budd is also a moral pain; it challenges our all too human, worldly and located finitude. One can perceive the beauty of such a moral image only if we recognise or perceive a joy that flows through a life that is irreducible to one's own personal good. If animal happiness is strictly unrepresentable and unthinkable- the thought of a being that simply is with no sense of a world - then joy is no less inhuman. joy is that capacity to expand beyond the goods and evils that affect one's finite life; it is the recognition of the force of life as eternal, as above and beyond any of its perceived points. joy is the power to affirm and live life, rather than judge life. joy is freedom from the position of the self in its relation to the

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world. Joy is not animal happiness: the mere presence to itself of non-self-consciousness. Joy, to use Deleuze and Guattari's terminology, is not being, or a finite and bounded sense of what is, but a becoming-animal. 10 Beyond the simple opposition between animal and human, between pleasure lived in the here and now, and happiness lived according to a narrative life of purpose and norms, becoming-animal is an essentially literary phenomenon. Whereas practical or lifeoriented perception is bound to the organism, and therefore to self-maintenance, literature is the creation of points of view beyond the body or present. But this is not to say that literature is a form of sympathy, in which we place ourselves in the point of view of the other, for once we have created a literary voice or perception it is no longer grounded in a feeling and moving body. There is an Idea ofliterature, therefore, that goes beyond narrative identity and character and allows us to think of 'a' life or perception that is not folded around an organism's striving for self-maintenance, and it is to this Spinozist literary tradition that I will appeal in this essay. Before doing so, I would like to mark a distinction between two modes of Spinozism. The first possibility is offered in the work of Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, who argue that one should overcome all the constituted powers of the world in order to return to humanity as a constituting power: 'homo homo humanity squared' or the saintly love of Francis of Assisi. 11 The second possibility, and one which I will pursue, regards the turn to the imagination beyond constituted bodies as a liberation from the generic human. We do not arrive at humanity in general, or a transcendental power, but multiple powers of imagining, a multiplicity of bodies that shatters the notion of a general sympathy or 'a' point of view. 12 Here, we consider not what the animal is from the point of view of human sense and reason, but accept the challenge of thinking life beyond notions of self, propriety and humanity. Kant argued that it was the idea of the human personality- the idea of a being who could act without the motivation of pleasure- that elevated us beyond happiness. 13 If the idea of the human functions as the ideal of a distance from animality, then the idea of the animal- becoming-animal or imagining a world beyond the human - has often been proffered as a utopian point beyond both the human intellect and animal instinct. When Coleridge's ancient mariner narrates how, after having acted in opposition to the force of life by killing an albatross, he perceives the sea creatures or water-snakes and 'blessed them unaware,' he describes a redemptive point at which the self no longer judges life but becomes one with the flow of life. This is a freedom from the moralising separation of consciousness. Similarly, in Melville's Moby Dick, Ahab's pursuit of the whale is not the pursuit of an object for some desired end that would give a sense to life; the pursuit of the whale is an overcoming of the self to become with life as a univocal whole. This is a life with no end other than itself, a life joyfully liberated from the bounds of the self and any personal ends that selves might create that are at odds with life. The Spinozist/Nietzschean/Deleuzean tradition of joy, and its expression in Romanticism, forms one of the key resistances to human happiness. But we need to be careful of creating a simple binary between a human happiness of the bounded, self-maintaining organism and its ongoing meaningful life on the one hand, and an impersonal, eternally returning selfless joy on the other. The happiness industry today manages to appeal at one and the same time to the traditional Aristotelian model of a life that is happy only if it is lived as a well-formed and self-maintaining narrative whole, and to the counter tradition that happiness is at odds
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with self-consciousness and meaning. It is therefore quite common to find mini manuals to happiness in lifestyle magazines that stress 'me' time, self-congratulation, and developing a sense of one's worth, 14 alongside spiritualist releases from such self-focussed hedonism - the prime example of which would be the Dalai Lama's best-selling book on happiness. 15 What I will argue in this paper is that we need to see the ways in which the problem of the human has always been a problem of the relation between happiness and joy: the relation between a life as a well-formed and bounded whole and a broader life that exceeds and transcends any single organism. The Deleuzean/Spinozist/Nietzschean tradition of joy often appears to be nothing more than the Romanticist 'other' of human happiness, a vitalism asserted in opposition to Aristotelian good sense. However, the value of Deleuze's philosophy is that it brings a certain complicity between radical philosophy and unthinking vitalism to the fore, and then offers a critique of that simple vitalism. Deleuze's philosophy, like so many transcendentalisms, does set itself against the human self of good sense, narrative continuity and practical self-maintenance. But it does more than that; and we need to see the ways in which the vitalist anti-capitalism of one flowing life has always maintained itself alongside the proto-bourgeois self of prudence, self-management and recognition. Only then can we recognise another vitalism of forces that do not flow freely in pure act - a radically passive vitalism that recognises a life that does not act. Joy, here, would not be a return to the proper life belied by the particular body, but a capacity to intuit the pulses of life that exceed the striving of bodies. Far from seeing vitalism as intrinsically radical and anti-humanist, a cursory glance at the contemporary literature on happiness discloses the easy cohabitation of an industry of self-help and self-definition with a commitment to liberation from ossified norms. Indeed, one becomes a happy self today, not by submitting to codes of honour that would allow one to be perceived as 'great-souled' (Aristotle), nor by imaging one's self as a personality elevated above pleasure (Kant), but by overcoming stereotypes, family expectations and social pressures in order to find one's inner and singular self. The tradition of American transcendentalism that imagines a self freed from consciousness of self- a self with no external imposed or mediated end -lies at the heart of American popular culture and its contemporary frenzied appeal for human happiness. It is possible to see the contemporary form of happiness as liberation from imposed norms as a loss or reversal of the traditional notion of happiness as self-formation. The liberating power of the American puritan tradition, the power to experience the world anew with the virgin glance of the child, animal or even inanimate object lies at the origin of the contemporary right to be happy. The self in its pure state is un-self-consciously happy. This vital and vitalist joy, I would argue, could be contrasted with the literary and philosophical traditions that stress a specifically human happiness. For human happiness, we are told, is never mere life; it is a life lived with meaning. It is a chosen or ordered life. Joy, by contrast, is not a life that orders itself towards some end or higher human life; joy is the very becoming of life freed from any organising image. In the paragraphs that follow I want to make two claims. First, both the tradition ofjoy and the tradition of happiness rely on an aesthetic commitment to a sense of life as a self-effective whole, a unity that is an end in itself. Whereas the happiness tradition takes this self-ordering end or whole to be the personal human life, the tradition ofjoy is critical of personal unity, but does
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so by appealing to an eternal whole of'life' as impersonal immanence and self-effecting cause. Both traditions, therefore, rely on an original investment in a figure of complex organicism. This is an originally moral image of a power or becoming that is nothing other than itself, purely effective and positive, without loss, separation or the imposition of any external or arbitrary end. This brings me to my second point, which concerns the relation between the politics of art and pleasure. Put very crudely, we might say that a dominant stream of ideology theory would argue that there are certain political interests or judgments, which are then rendered consumable, palatable or pleasurable in art or culture. Even a text as sophisticated as Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconscious, for example, argues that narrative allows us to live or make sense of intolerable social conflicts. 16 We would then say that art and culture render political relations into pleasurable wholes, in which case narrative and its resolution would be the vehicle for otherwise disordered or incoherent political content. I want to argue the opposite. The pleasure of wholeness, the pleasure of narrative resolution, is not an ideological mask but is directly political. The original aesthetic commitment to the pleasure of unity, resolution or life as a meaningful whole is already a political pleasure. It is a commitment to a life that has no end other than itself, a life that is a self-effecting power. We can see this commitment in its complex forms in the literary traditions of joy and happiness, which I will examine below. But in its simplest form we can see this aesthetic commitment in the contemporary popular culture of happiness, a culture in which therapy, television talk shows, soap operas and the cult of celebrity constantly reproduce the image of the well-ordered self. This is a culture in which self-devolving narratives have become the very life-blood of the political arena, a culture which grants a normative value to a life that is at one with its own becoming. From the simple notions of celebrity, in which a self becomes public and is then charted according to the style and life choices she makes - including the 'Big Brother' phenomena of celebrities whose only claim to fame is that they are being viewed - to the more complex popularisation of psychology, in which selves can now re-make and master themselves by buying the appropriate guidance, life is always understood as the life of a bounded and self-mastering organism. There is a moral image of the self which is also and at the same time a moral image of the world: life gives form to and masters itself. CALL NO MAN HAPPY UNTIL HE IS DEAD Aristotle was already drawing on tradition and received wisdom when he began his ethics from the assumption that we could call no man happy until he is dead. 17 Human happiness, in contrast to mere animal pleasure, has - from Greek ethics onward - always referred to life as a whole. Such a life is a narrative life, where the end drives and orders each element, and where the time of the self is not a mere series of pleasures: not a time of mere 'nows' with no relation to each other or a grander whole. Narrative time is a time aware of itself, a time bounded by death, by the sense of an end or the limit of the self. Happiness requires a uniquely moral relation among time, the self and narrative. Human life is cultural or political, according to Aristotle, not just because it can act to achieve and create ends, but because it creates itself, and can do so according to some sense of life as a whole. Moral virtues- those that define happiness- are
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not developments of given natural potentials but are produced through acts. 18 The moral self is not a natural development, working on the merely given, but a whole character or 'ethos' produced through action. 19 At its highest level this 'whole' would be communal or political. 20 If each mode of life has its function or ergon, then human life is uniquely blessed by the power to give an end to itself that is realised through its own activity: eudaimonia is an 'activity of the soul in accord with virtue'. 21 Virtue, here, is not a moral norm but an 'excellence' or flourishing; to act according to the soul's virtue is to maximise its potentiality, and the human soul's potential is rational22 - a capacity to intuit proper and essential ends. According to Sarah Broadie we should not only see Aristotle as arguing that every being has an end towards which it strives, but that ethics is the understanding of why certain ends are worthy. There is a difference then between ethics and a merely functional argument: ... apart from the desirability of being able to make sense of oneself to others (a fundamental dimension of the good life for human beings who, if Aristotle is right, are essentially social, and the formal nature of whose good is currently being spelt out by him in terms of hierarchies within society), there is the further question of whether we can or ought to be satisfied with an objective which to us is ultimate, but whose value we cannot begin to understand. For if we cannot know why something which is known to us is good, but only that it is, then we can never come to value it for what about it makes it valuable, and so we can never value it in the appropriate way. And this can make an ethical difference. 23 * Happiness therefore requires the power of self-narration, the ordering of life's affects towards the decided end oflife. Iflife is ordered by an end which is more than mere life, then the time of narrated happiness is a time collected and gathered back upon itself. This is a time that is driven and narrated by what is not the self now. It is the self I would become that allows the present to be more than itself. The present is rendered meaningful or happy only by the promise of the future, a future which can be anticipated only as the end of the self (where 'end' refers both to the ideal self and the termination of the self). Accordingly, John MacDowell argues that Aristotelian eudaimonia is tied to a specific type of reasoning, in which I consider what to do, and how to manage my pleasures, according to some idea of what it is to be human. 24 And it is in this notion of a specific mode of reasoning- to do with decision, deliberation, time and a self that is achieved through that time - that has more often than not tied human happiness to narrative. This is because a human life is a meaningful life, with meaning requiring both sameness through time - for something has sense only if it can be identified in more than one moment - and change, for meaning is also a capacity to cover more than one instance. It might seem, then, that we could align happiness with meaning, and meaning with narrative development. There is only one problem with such an account: narrative itself has its own time and development. We do not only use narrative to give form to our life, for narrative has its own life. This occurs both in the desire for narrative, for as readers we become trained in narrative expectation and fulfilment, and desire in narrative; the literary history of narratives (especially novels) has often worked critically with narrative desire by presenting a character's desire for meaning as illusory or misguided. In the previously quoted passage from Billy Budd, for example, we see the
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perception of a desirable ideal self- Billy as a pure, self-present wholeness - as an image that brings about violence and destruction. The ego ideal that is at the heart of the novel tradition, which has always set the striving self against the world, 25 is frequently presented critically in novels after the nineteenth century. In Reading for the Plot Peter Brooks argues that narrative bears the peculiarly temporal structure of desire (and that desire is, in many ways, a desire for narration}. 26 For Brooks, plot is not just the laying out or interaction of elements, as structuralist or formalist accounts would seem to suggest. Plot relies on temporal detour or delay. The fulfilment of narrative desire- the end- both drives the narrative and is the death of the narrative. The story is over when it reaches its end, and so the story, like desire in general, strives for its own dissolution or death. Here, I want to extend Brooks's insistence on the time and desire of narrative in order to point to the moral meaning of this time. I want to argue that a moral image of the self, or of life, underpins this narrative logic and this aesthetics. This is the image of time as self-activation that sets forth only to recover itself, where each moment of time is comprehended within a horizon or unity. Such a motif of time as a self-activating circle would be contrasted with the time of techne in which the origin no longer informs and governs the future or force of the effect. Technical time is a dispersed time, where forces and disruptions cannot be calculated in advance, where what a self is and does may no longer be within the horizon, anticipation or comprehension of the self's act. The morality of happiness is a morality of time: life ought to be active and ought to create its own trajectory towards its end, for a merely technical time will not allow life to master, organise and create itself. We can read this morality of time, not only in the two great philosophical epochs of human happiness - Ancient Greek ethics and enlightenment ethics - but also in the current frenzied proliferation of manuals on happiness. Consider, for example, Alain de Botton's mobilisation of philosophy and happiness. 27 De Botton reassures us that philosophy is not some academic enterprise to do with questions of truth; nor is philosophy a judgment or criticism of the world. Philosophy is not the creation of utopias, difficult Ideas or radical disruptions of the present. Philosophy is a way of restoring us to the rhythm of the world, of allowing us to create ourselves and our lives as our own. From Socrates to Nietzsche, philosophy reconciles us to man as he actually is and helps us live our life with knowledge of our finitude. We attain happiness, through philosophy, because we recognise who we are. Alongside de Botton's work there are endless manuals about happiness and self-management, mostly consisting of rules for stringent detachment from contingency. 'Don't accept responsibility for what you can't change'; 'Ask yourself, is this your problem'; 'Liberate yourself from unrealistic ideas you may have of yourself, of your possible success, thinness or ability'; 'Don't allow imposed images or stereotypes, the demands of others, to affect your sense of your own worth'. 28 Human happiness is the final vestige of theologism in Western thought. The idea of human life as a self-narrating and selftemporalising whole relies on an image oflife as soul-directed activity, in which immanent ends govern acts. To begin with we might note that happiness and the insistence on human narrative has its historically significant declarations in what might be called the pre- and post-theological eras. 29 Aristotle's definition of the self as formed through political relations, without reference
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to a transcendent norm is - as Alasdair Macintyre has noted - the only coherent way to think ethically in a world without God. For Macintyre, it is precisely because modern accounts remain committed to foundations, despite secularism, that moral arguments become 'shrill' and incapable of any form of genuine discussion. 30 The self of eudaimonia makes sense only when living well is defined immanently; one defines the very function of human life, and then asks how that potential might be actualised to its fullest degree. If there is no transcendent God or end beyond life then human life will be required to account and give value to itself. Without God, we raise the question of the Good towards which life, especially human life, is directed. Aristotle is unequivocal that this Good is happiness, for only happiness in contrast to all other ends, is valuable in and for itself and not for the sake of some other good. Many contemporary commentators on Ancient Greek ethics therefore regard the immanence of Greek thought as uniquely tied to narration and self-formation. Happiness for Ancient Greek ethics is neither a pleasure added on to life, nor a pleasure that might accompany living virtuously. Happiness is the formation of life itself; it is the activity of the soul in accordance with virtue, where virtue is not so much a moral value or judgment as it is an excellence or living well. Alasdair Macintyre has argued that we are suffering from this loss of Greek happiness precisely because today we tend to think of both morality and the self as things to be known or discovered, rather than as ongoing activities. Martha Nussbaum has also insisted on the integral role that literature, as an arena for collective self-formation, has played in Greek ethics, and that it is this literary sympathy industry that needs to be revived todayY The idea that the 'good' is some value outside human creation and finitude is, Nussbaum argues, a ruthless and inhuman dimension of philosophy that we would do well without. Philosophy should generate sympathy and pity, and the extension of, rather than abstraction from our personal affiliations. Julia Annas has insisted that Greek happiness cannot be confused with pleasure or personal hedonism; only a happiness that is achieved or actively earned through the self-conscious production of a good life is worthy of the name. 32 Happiness is, therefore, tied expressly to creation and narration; it is valued only because it is a potentiality that must be actualised, rather than a contingent pleasure that might befall or flow naturally from one's bodily being. Greek happiness functions, then, as that whole or moment of cultural poiesis that has been lost in a world where values now circulate as empty signs or external measures, technical tokens rather than lived virtues. According to Giorgio Agamben art was once a praxis that was located within a communicating polity, where the artist took part in the disclosure or opening of the political world. 33 Today, however, art does not produce anything other than itself; the art object is nothing more than the act of the artist. Art no longer opens up a world that might allow us to reflect upon the coming-into-being of the world (as in poiesis), but is a circulating object defined as that which was created by a certain type of will or act. The Duchamp ready-made is an act without a revelatory production. What we have lost then is the sense that the human is not mere life to be managed technically, but the result of creation or actualisation. We have no sense of the creation of ends. Life has become technical- the mere maintenance of the already given - and no longer poetic. According to Agamben, what needs to be retrieved is a sense of life as that which has a potentiality that may not be actualised. The human needs to be brought back to a sense of its own self-creation: that it has no end beyond itself, and that it must give
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itself its own end: 'Man has on earth a poetic status, because it is poiesis that founds for him the original space of his world'. 34 We cannot understand Greek happiness, we are told, because we tend to think of happiness as an isolated pleasure. 35 We are unable to see that what makes a life valuable is not what it simply is but how it is lived, the sense or art that life gives to itself. Ancient Greek happiness operates as a figure or image of a time when selves were not deflected from their happiness by illusory values or some external law beyond life. The Ancient Greek citizen did not see law or morality as an end imposed upon life by some separate authority, nor was he subjected to the marketed reified and external pleasures and 'goods' of modernity. Neither subjected to some divine law beyond this world, nor subject to the circulation of meaningless goods within this world, ancient Greek life ordered and gave the good to itself. A Greek life had no end beyond itself; it became through its own active self-narration. Such a life was human and more than mere life because it produced itself through time as a whole, as a meaningful end in itself. The present was not merely lived but was referred beyond itself to a sense of the end of life. Happiness requires that life not be mere affect or that its time and activity are actively created. Both the power of philosophy and the power of narrative lie in the capacity for life to give and realise its own ends. Freedom from determination by mere contingency - a time of random and received pleasures - and freedom from an illusory imposed order are achieved by a life that narrates and gives meaning to itself. This is the art of human happiness, the art of a life conceived as a self-ordering whole, a life worthy of its pleasures. BEYOND HAPPINESS TO WORTH It is the worthiness of happiness that for Kant and the eighteenth century grants a whole new dimension to narrative, and the structure of the self in relation to narrative. If narrative is crucial to the formation of a self, something like a self is crucial to the function of narrative. Narrative desire, as Peter Brooks notes, is driven not just by the forces oflife, but the resolution or dissolution of those forces in an end or death of the self. The narrative must appear as the very path or force of life, as following the order or sense of the world; but the narrative must also bring an end or dissolution to the drive oflife. We can make more sense of this if we look at the eighteenth-century critique of happiness as the end of life, especially as it is formulated by Kant. For Kant, there are two problems with regarding happiness as the end of human life. The first problem is the assumption of an anthropological norm: how could mere happiness function as a lawful moral end? We could dispute just what counts as happiness, and how happiness would count: should we be trying to maximise pleasure overall, and how can we secure just what is and is not pleasurable? In a world where happiness were the highest good each would pursue his own contingent end. Even if we could create an Aristotelian world in which we are educated to enjoy a life composed of virtues, this would mean that living well would be grounded on the contingency of feeling. In those trying cases of duty, where we are called upon to act in the absence of sympathy or inclination, an ethics grounded upon happiness would not give us the motivation to act. Good actions would depend upon our particular tendencies. Morality could be neither universal nor lawful, for it would always be subject to the sympathies
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of persons and their specific moral development. Surely, though, morality occurs when we act well regardless of feeling, even if there is no state in which we are without feeling. 36 For Kant, it is the idea of freedom - that I may act without any hope of happiness or good feeling, but as a deciding agent - that yields an idea of personality that does not follow from moral feeling but that induces the feeling of respect: respect for the lawful, dutiful being I might become. I may not have any love, sympathy or fellow feeling for the human being before me, and acting well may not contribute to my happiness. Nevertheless, in being able to judge reflectively I can regard myself as a being elevated above mere feeling, as a member of the kingdom of ends, 37 or one who is capable of granting her own life a worth beyond the contingency of pleasure. Secondly, if happiness were the end of life then life could only be the cruellest of hoaxes. Constantly we see the virtuous man whose life does not deliver happiness. (Indeed, viewing the moral agent who acts without concern for his happiness chastens and humiliates us, giving us a sense of painful but humanising respect for the soul who can act as if this world were of no concern or consequence.) just as we often see and are painfully admonished by the virtuous man who is not rewarded with happiness, so we also see the villain who is unjustly rewarded with happiness. In the face of such a seemingly immoral world there must be an end beyond happiness and its cruel contingency. Only such an end would be truly edifying and satisfying for our moral reason. The problem with happiness, or the striving for the harmonious accord of our own life, is its arbitrariness and contingency, its lack of meaning or worthiness. We must look beyond our own contingent feelings and pleasures to the image of an end and worth that is not that of mere chance or fortune. Indeed, it is the image of a self who can act as if unconcerned for human happiness, that is truly satisfying- coupled with an image of a world in accord with the laws of our reason. Initially such an image of the moral self may cause pain, for we are all too aware of our pathological desires and their distance from the purely self-determining agent of duty. But such pain leads to a higher pleasure: a pleasure that follows from knowing that we can act as if undetermined by pleasure. Happiness, in its worldly fulfilment, is trumped by a higher sense of self: a self that can imagine a life beyond its own partial interests. 38 Further, for the post-Kantian tradition of Romanticism, it was Kant's third critique that allowed us to think beyond the gap between the world we know as lawfully caused, and the freedom that we can think of as giving a law to itself.39 In art and aesthetic experience, beauty occurs when the world we experience appears as though it were perfectly created for the formation of our concepts; the sublime occurs when the world does not offer itself for conceptual ordering. We nevertheless feel our formative powers striving to give some order to that which goes beyond our understanding, and so feel a sense of ourselves as beings who cannot be reduced to any category, but give a category to themselves -what jean-Francois Lyotard referred to as the 'tautegorical'. 40 Kant therefore seems to reinforce the idea that human beings are self-constituting ends in themselves, but goes beyond the Aristotelian notion that such self-giving occurs in a narrative directed to a good beyond the self, and instead occurs in the self as personality: the sense or feeling one has of oneself as the ground of narration, not the figure within narrative. It is not surprising, then, that Kant's shift in the ideal of self-creation from narration through time to self-affectation that produces time, is contemporaneous with the complication of self and narration that occurs with the novel. Even in the earliest novels there is a tension between the
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desire within the narrative - the desire for the central character to achieve their end - and the desire for narrative - the reader's desire that the end be complicated, deferred, brought into line with a series of commands for moral worthiness, and effected in some overall lawful moral whole. We are, I would suggest, still living this tension between two modes of narrative happiness: a happiness that maintains itself through time in the form of continuity and recognition, and a happiness that releases itself from all worldly recognition and identified being in order to become nothing other than a pure law unto itself. There is, therefore, a dialectic that is irresolvable between happiness and moral pleasure, between a life that enjoys and recognises its own extended being in the world, and a life that elevates itself above all worldly recognition and is charged with a sublime joy that is out of this world. HAPPY ENDINGS This dialectic between happiness and moral pleasure provides the very force of narrative character in eighteenth-century novels. On the one hand there is the desire for fulfilment and worldly pleasure - the desire for marriage or fortune that drives the story. On the other hand there is the delay of moral self-sufficiency. The character must be able to renounce their desire or achievement only for it to be rewarded with a higher return at the end. Typically, the lovers decide to marry regardless of whether they will achieve wealth or recognition; they must be presented as moral wholes, above mere fortune. Finally, though, the world is presented as one in which such moral integrity meets with happiness and felicity. This, indeed, was Kant's own dialectic of happiness. We must assume - in order to satisfY reason - that we would act on our duty regardless of any end; only such a non-contingent end can grant us that truly moral elevation of self. At the same time, we must also assume that the world will ultimately not be at odds with our duty; it is this image of the world - a world in accord with human duty - that is both produced by the imagination but is also required of the imagination. Morality requires that we act as if we were not concerned for our personal happiness, only then do we really have personality. But personality is further strengthened by imagining a world conducive to the fulfilment ofthe morallaw. 41 We might conclude, then, that the image of the self who narrates its own trajectory already relies on the mythic pleasure of the self-authoring subject, and that narrative in its popular forms from the eighteenth-century onward reinforces this fundamentally moral pleasure. It is not just that selves are formed through narrative, nor that narrative produces those moral selves we would take a higher pleasure in becoming; it is also the case, through the insistent logic of happy or sublime endings, that the world answers our request for echoing human justice. Either happiness is granted to those who demonstrate moral worth or personality; or, the renunciation of happiness presents a moral image of humanity, a humanity freed from the mere pleasures of this world, capable of perceiving itself as a virtuous soul. Satisfaction or the narrative fulfilment of a happy ending can only occur with the production of a self capable and willing to renounce mere life for a moral end. Consider Henry Fielding's Tom Jones, which is typical of eighteenth-century novels of self-fulfilment and the affirmation of happiness. On the one hand, narrative pleasure and desire relies on the production of a
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worthy self. If marriage acts as a resolution to so many eighteenth-century novels it does so both as an end of love and of worldly felicity. Tom must express the desire to love and marry even if this means being cast out from Paradise Hall, and entails renouncing received fortune and granted pleasures. But he must also, having passed this test, and having transcended a world of the mere gift of fortune, receive fortune in the end: as though the world itself were historically transformed to recognise human worth. In such narratives, the self is produced as a moral end beyond this world, and then the world is conformed as harmoniously rewarding this self-formation. Happiness is a critique of mere life. Without the image of a self who can detach himself from mere life the resolution would lack all meaning, all sense or satisfaction, all moral order. I want to argue that this is not ideology in the conventional sense; it is not the aesthetic ordering of political content. The ordering or form is directly invested and desired, a desire for the self as self-sufficient whole. This is not a cognitive desire but an affective investment. This goes some way to explaining the direct affect of art. We can find ourselves moved to tears or laughing - quite physiological responses -when we know the cliched, political or motivated nature of the artwork. We find ourselves weeping at the end of a Disney film, not because we believe in the sublime pathos of the death of Bambi's mother or the tragedy ofET's departure, and not because we are being lulled by some political 'message.' We are moved directly by the image of the self as detached from worldly pathos. A direct affect of the self capable of renunciation of this world, the direct affect that Jean Laplanche describes in the seducing gaze of the parent towards the self-contained and 'worldless' infant: at the heart of the meaning of life is this image ofthe organism that is at one and the same time self-organising and selfless. 42 Constitutive of human desire, insofar as it is human, is this investment in the self that is not of this world, and that gives its own world to itself. 43 The subject, as Jacques Lacan had argued, can only begin to be formed with some image of wholeness or integrity, and so this would explain the long-standing commitment from Aristotelian philosophy to contemporary cognitive science on the self-maintaining, integral and autopoetic organism. At the same time, as Lacan also noted, this very image of wholeness and integrity that presents itself as a world unto itself, cannot be one object or desired thing to which the subject might bear a relation. It cannot exist within the world of things and pleasures but rather insists as that ultimate jouissance beyond relations: the fully self-sufficient Thing. 44 The moral fantasy of happiness is today, more than ever, this contradictory desire for a self or subject that is so master of itself that it maintains no relation to an outside - a pure for itself -and an existence so complete that striving and desire have been transcended. At one and the same time the self-help industry is drawn to the Aristotelian discourse of self-management and the pseudo-Eastern mystical discourse of self-transcendence. In the opening of this essay I referred to the specifically literary nature of becominganimal. If happiness has been considered as the specifically human capacity to create one's life as a narrative whole, or to create one's self as nothing other than the pure possibility of self-affection, then the animal has always been marked off as a life devoid of that subjection to order and self-consciousness. Literature can be defined as becoming-animal insofar as it questions the distinction between the self-creating man and the absolutely immanent animal.

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This questioning occurs not through proposition or argument, but through the creation of images, forms of perception and voices that juxtapose ordering wholes with 'lines of flight,' " where a line of flight is the departure of a potential from its putatively proper end. If humanity is defined by its power to give itself form, then a line of flight would be the extension of that form-giving power beyond the human. Whereas happiness has been defined as an activity of the soul in accordance with virtue- so that we become what we ought to be -joy is the liberation of creation and potential from virtue, from a definitive excellence. Becoming-animal is that capacity for literature to present images of wholeness, integrity and self-ordering and then work with the ways in which those supposedly human predicates can be deflected from their proper end. As we saw in Billy Budd, the moral image of the beautiful enclosed self, the child that is at once its own world, is at once a pleasing higher image of who we are, and a painful admonition of the purer self we must regain. 45 Narratives of happy endings both reinforce the moral autonomy and self-production of the human agent and flirt with a world that must be captured and harmonised with that autonomy. We can think of the image, but not the biological reality, of Freud's single celled organism: negotiating the amount of stimulus and disruption from without alongside the desire for sameness and return. 46 Narrative pleasure comes not solely from the self's path towards unity but also from a life and time that harmonise with this trajectory. Life does not just happen to us; we give life to ourselves through narration and through a lived time. What is repressed is not just the mythic or supplementary nature of the wholeness of the ego, but the inhumanity of time and life. From the self-narrating community of Aristotelian ethics and communication ethics, to the self-formation models of identity politics and the culture of therapy, human happiness is the image of the self that earns, activates and is worthy of itself. It is a self that becomes through a time where the future is governed by a desire for integration of sense and elimination of distortion, a self responsible for its own time. It is a self as organism rather than mere machine, a self where narration is the ordering and return oflife. We can acknowledge the mythical, illusory and narcissistic nature of Freud's supposed original organism, closed in upon itself, disrupted traumatically from without. But we also need to work with the cultural necessity or at least intransigence of this illusionY The self is essentially the myth of its own trauma; we spend our lives mourning the loss of that integrated self we once were. 48 At the biological level, the image of the original organism that subsequently meets with change may well be an illusion; but at the cultural level it seems to form the very structure of thinking. In What is Philosophy? Deleuze and Guattari contrast two modes of vitalism. The first, that of an Idea that acts but is not, has always been the default position in any consideration of happiness. According to this style of vitalism, life is pure act and only defiles and reifies itself when it falls into finitude; happiness is not a state but an ongoing becoming that is liberated from any subjection to pathos. By contrast, Deleuze and Guattari put forward a vitalism of forces, in which there is neither Life as one underlying flow, nor lives as well-bounded wholes. 49 Only this mode of vitalism can take us beyond the fantasy of the happy organism, or the idea that it is possible to attain a state where one remains as pure act, with outside relations being limited to those that allow the self to actualise what it always was in potentiality. It was Kant who originally argued that the very sense of the world, as an ordered and transcendent whole, is an
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extension of the idea of the self's own body as an autonomous organism. 50 The self-ordering and autonomous organism is not one idea among others but crucial to the morality of life. The current discourse on human happiness is evidence of the persistence of this originally moral image of the closed and self-sufficient organism. 51 For the morality of happiness has always stressed the self-sufficiency of the human organism. A happiness achieved by drugs or luck is no happiness at all; happiness is earned as an essential sign of the self's power for autonomous becoming. There is an almost cliched horror expressed at a happiness that comes from without. Think of the distopia of Brave New World, or the anxieties that surround Prozac or ecstasy. Why do we fear, so intensely, a world where happiness might be engineered in advance? In such a world happiness would have no meaning. 52 There is something frightening about a world in which we might be happy, but where we were not responsible for our happiness. There is something both dangerous and redemptive in the traditional aesthetic commitment to the selfthat is author and activator of its own pleasures. The danger lies in its narrowing of the domain of morality and responsibility. We need to recognise moral forces that lie beyond the self and the intended achievement of a good life. What we repress are the forces of a life which might grant and withdraw happiness beyond any intention or goal of life. Such forces are coming to the fore in recent empirical research on happiness, which indicates that the pursuit of happiness - all those concepts of striving, self-maintenance, projection and command of the future - bear no relation to lived happiness. 53 Evolutionary psychologists have responded by defining happiness as a useful lure; we are efficient and self-maintaining as long as we pursue happiness, even if pursuit ultimately bears no relation to quality of life. Rather than accept and explain this illusion of the pursuit of happiness on the basis of life, I would argue that we can turn to the literary tradition of joy as a critical, mature and enlightened critique of the politics of happiness. As long as we believe in happiness we believe in a politics of intent, agency and worthiness: ignoring all those forces - from language and economics to genetics - that traverse and produce the bounded selves of a culture. 54 Literature's capacity to stage and pervert narrative desire can be seen, respectively, in Claggart's perception of Billy which is at once desiring and destructive, and in the narrative structure of Billy Budd. The story produces an image of innocence beyond human instrumentalism, and then stages the tragic destruction ofthat image. That capacity for the tragic is a joy beyond happiness, the power of the human organism to say 'no' to narrative resolution and moral pleasure. Recently, within two otherwise dissimilar areas of philosophy there has been a fundamental critique of what I have referred to here as narrative time, a time in which each event is made sense of through reference to the finality of a whole. 55 The philosophy of life that runs from Nietzsche to Bergson to Deleuze insists on the non-organic forces of life. The organism is the vehicle through which life passes; the motor of desire that propels the self is not the self's own. We deflect from our happiness, not because we ourselves posit some higher end, but because life acts through us. If the aim of life is death, this is not because the organism strives to return to the self that it once was; it is because death destroys any closed image of life. The problem with Western thought, its inherent moralism, is its image of time as end-driven, as a time of narrative coherence 96
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in which each element or affect has worth and sense only through a purposeful image of the world. In quite different ways, and in conflict with the Bergsonian stress on a life beyond any of its closed or meaningful forms, Derrida has also criticised the anthropologism at the heart of Western conceptions of time. Any concept or thought oftime is already other than time, already a return of time to the self. 56 The Bergsonian desire to think time itself, as pure act, is already an image of a time that is neither lost nor dispersed nor ineffective. We have always thought of time as a circle, as a becoming that ultimately recognises and realises itself Life and time, Derrida argues, are traditionally determined as events of self-actualisation, with man functioning as that being who realises and brings to presence the flow and effectivity of time .57 Time, the self, and self-comprehension are inextricably intertwined. What cannot be thought is a time out ofjoint, in which undecided events or a time without order, sense or direction opens the space of the political. 58 Politics and ethics have been dominated by an ethics of self-determination, self-reflection, self-formation and the priority of the active, worthy and earned. In contrast, Derrida sets a justice and responsibility that comes from without: unannounced, undecided and not anticipated or projected from the present. It is the discourse of happiness, today, that evidences how close we remain to the morally meaningful image of the closed self and its ordering world. The culture of happiness, I would argue, both maintains and depends upon a normative and moralising image of the self. The proliferation of manuals on happiness confirms the self's power to author and determine itself, testifying to a profound cultural narcissism. At the same time, such an insistence on selfformation also confirms a moral image of the world. If I am unhappy it is because I have been deflected from my real interests. Happiness is, and ought to be, within my power, within my life: I am nothing other than this power to free myself from any false image of myself. The culture of happiness is a culture of worthiness, moral reward, active autonomy, self-formation, selfaffirmation and narrative intelligibility. As Kant insisted, a world in which happiness merely befell the fortunate would be a world without moral meaning, a world in which the human would be abandoned to what lay beyond its own decided ends. If the self is not a closed whole of self-authorship and if 'life' is not self-realisation with no end beyond itself, then we might be prompted to move beyond a morality of praise and blame to an expanded concept of responsibility. We can only, Kant argues, blame others because we think of selves as responsible for their lives. For Kant this is evidence of the necessarily posited free and noumenal self. For Nietzsche, this is evidence that blame or punishment produces the fiction of responsible selves. 59 Recognising the self as this necessarily posited origin we can both look to the impersonal forces that produce the moral subject and realise the power of this moral image. Something like this double movement is given in new styles of narrative where the forces that decide the self are neither the self's own nor morally meaningful. Part of the scandal and horror that marks a text like Bret Easton Ellis's American Psycho is that its 'evil' is not located within the psychology or intent of the central character. The character of Patrick Bateman is itself a collection of undecided affects and quotations, producing a life that is never definitively his. Character is a style or habit that is at once that of a culture in general as well as being random, undecided, disowned and anonymous. The narration of American Psycho spells
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out the detailed analysis of restaurant menus, speaks through the 'sleeve-note' or album-covers discourse of eighties music, repeats the latest messages from the Pattie Winters show, and then moves seamlessly into the description of human dismemberment and sexual torture. Evil is not contained within a self: the self is nothing more than an act of narration, but a narration that is always the technical repetition of material and affects that come from elsewhere. Bateman is not some evil intent behind American consumerism, for the 'evil' lies in the absence of intent, the sense that we are not being presented with the mind of a serial killer so much as a force that runs across bodies and actions. This is an amoral evil, an evil terrifying in its lack of location, intent or personal responsibility. If the narrative has a propulsive force this is towards the increasing proliferation and exhaustion, rather than return, of desire. And as the affects proliferate and become machine-like in their capacity to drive the self, the figure of Bateman desperately resists with the literal image of a hard body. The body as gym-defined, synthesised and self-fashioning then takes on its own violent force. Bateman is the effect of style, not its author. Indeed, not only does the narrative ofAmerican Psycho destroy the wholeness of the determining self, it also places the aesthetic of the closed self within the series of received affects that constitute Bateman. The style and aesthetic that drives Bateman focuses in a frenzied manner on the very borders of the self; the women he desires and destroys are referred to as 'hardbodies', while Bateman himself, through food, drugs and exercise, becomes an organism resistant to all imposed or received affect. But his self-investment always comes from elsewhere: from received styles, codes, images and messages that are repeated with a force and desperation that drives the narrative. His dismemberment of other bodies parallels his own frantic self-investment. American Psycho diagnoses the narcissism of narrative and the violent nature of that narcissism. The self who forms himself, gives meaning and worth to himself, is a self governed by a violent will to order, delimit and moralise life. By contrast, we can imagine an ethics beyond the moralism of closed life, in which the supposed personal forces of good and evil are seen to arrive from an impersonal, untimely and anarchic genesis. This has both critical and positive implications. Critically, it allows a diagnosis and responsibility for life beyond praise and blame. The self-formed moral agent, the self of recognition and integrity, may be a gift of fortune. The self of destruction, violence, dissolution and evil may be the production of inhuman and unintended forces. Moral responsibility may be extended beyond decision, recognition and intent in order to recognise a new politics of forces that produce us beyond the common space of communication and narration. NOTES
1. Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, X.8. 1178b8-b22. The Complete Works ofAristotle, Jonathan Barnes (ed), Vol. 2, Princeton, Princeton University Press, 1982, ppl862-63. 2. Friedrich Nietzsche, 'On the Uses and Disadvantages of History for Life,' in Untimely Meditations, R.J. Hollingdale (trans), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1983, p60. 3. Henri Bergson, Creative Evolution, Arthur Mitchell (trans), York, H. Holt and company, 1911, pl34. 4. Henri Bergson, The Two Sources ofMorality and Religion, R. Ashley Audra and Cloudesley Brereton (trans), with the assistance ofW. Horsfall Carter, London, Macmillan, 1935.

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5. Gilles Deleuze, Proust and Signs, Richard Howard (trans), Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2000. 6. Ibid. 7. Gilles Deleuze, 'Immanence, A Life,' in Pure Immanence: Essays on a Life, Anne Boyman (trans), New York, Zone Books, 200 l. 8. Herman Melville, Billy Budd and Other Stories (Penguin Classics), Frederick Busch (ed), Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1986, p356. 9. Sigmund Freud, 'On Narcissism: An Introduction,' in Art and literature, jensen's Gradiva, Leonardo da Vinci and other works, Pelican Freud Library, ~illume /4, James Strachey (trans), Albert Dickson (ed), Harmondsworth, Penguin, 1985. 10. Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, A Thousand Plateaus, Brian Massumi (trans), Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 1987, p274.
11. Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2000, p204.

12. Moira Gatens and Genevieve Uoyd, Collective Imaginings: Spino:w., Past and Present, London, Routledge, 1999. 13. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Practical Reason (Cambridge Texts in the History of Philosophy), Mary J. Gregor (ed), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1997. 14. A random perusal oflifestyle magazines in December 2006 revealed a number of guides to achieving and maximising happiness. The British edition of Zest featured as its lead article 'Trust Yourself to be Happy' in which a number of experts defended appeals to intuition and listening to oneself. 'Nobody knows you better than you,' Zest, December 2006, pp14-18. An Australian lifestyle magazine from the same month offers 'Your 2007 Happiness Script' in which readers are encouraged to develop 'immunity' towards negative emotions. Advice includes various methods for strengthening and idealising the self. 'Then whenever you hit a setback, try to find somewhere quiet to sit for five minutes and conjure up the image of your "best you"', Good Health and Medicine, January 2007, pp62-65. An Australian fashion magazine, also from January 2007, consults a series of writers for an article 'The Happiness Recipe'. Here, a range of opinions are proffered from novelists and columnists, but the inset quotation that dominates the page-spread comes from Oprah Winfrey, 'Living in the moment brings you a sense of reverence for all oflife's blessings', Madison, January 2007, pp188-193. In addition to the manuals for happiness within lifestyle, fashion and beauty magazines, there has also developed a new genre of popular psychology magazines all oriented to a cultivation of the self and a strengthening of self-worth. In Britain Psychologies mixes advice from both scientific and 'new age' sources, while the United States' Psychology Today of December 2006leads with two articles for 'self-invention': 'How to Upgrade Your Thinking, Reboot Your Attitude, and Reconfigure Your Life,' and 'We All Want to Change Our Personalities? At Least a Little'. Again, advice focuses on diminishing and managing the effects of the external world by focussing on 'a new internal vision', Psychology Today, December 2006, pp66-70. 15. Dalai Lama, The Art of Happiness: A Handbook for Living, London, Riverhead, 1998. See also, Chris Prentiss,
Zen and the Art of Happiness, London, Power Press, 2006.

16. Fredric Jameson, The Eblitical Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, London, Methuen, 1981. 17. Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics, H. Rackham (trans), Cambridge, Mass. Harvard University Press, 1934, pp46-7 [l.x.1]. 18. Aristotle, [2.i.4], ibid., p7l. 19. Aristotle [2.ii.1], ibid., p75. 20. Philippa Foot, Natural Goodness, Oxford, Clarendon, 2001. 21. Aristotle, 1098a pp16-18, op. cit. 22. Terence Irwin, Aristotle's First Principles, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1988. 23. Sarah Broadie, Ethics with Aristotle, New York, Oxford University Press, 1991, ppl3-l4.
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24. John MacDowell, 'The Role of Ewlaimonia in Aristotle's Ethics,' in Mind, HLlue and Reality, Cambridge, Mass., H;nvard University Press, 1998, ppl-22, 10. 25. Lucien Goldmann, Towards a Sociology of the Novel, Lucien Goldmann (trans), Alan Sheridan, London, Tavistock, 1975. 26. Peter Brooks, Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative, Oxford, Clarendon Press, 1984. 27. Alain de Botton, The Consolations of Philosophy, New York, Pantheon Books, 2000. 28. It is in this sense that Mihaly Csikszentmihayli stresses the worth of the 'autotelic' character- one who establishes their own ends, and so are able to maintain a fully masterful relation to outside objects and persons precisely because relations to those other forces are established from - rather than imposed upon - the self, Living WeU, New York, Phoenix, 1998. 29. To a certain extent I would disagree with both Luc Ferry and John Cottingham, who argue that the question of life's meaning demands some type of religious or spiritual focus, although they both try to retrieve the structure of religious meaning after the death of God. As long as there is life in an afterworld then we need neither question nor demand the worth of this life, but if we are devoid of religious consolation then we need to seek some value in this life alone, and if this life seems lacking in pleasure then we are required to posit a value higher than pleasure. This will require us to value some end of life, and it is just this creation of ends that defines happiness and introduces a structure of meaning. John Cottingham, On the Meaning of Life, London, Routledge, 2003; Luc Ferry, Man Made God: The Meaning of Life, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 2002. 30. Alasdair Macintyre, After Virtue, 2nd edition Notre Dame, University of Notre Dame Press, 1984, p8. 31. Martha Nussbaum, lnve's Knowledge: &says on Philosophy and Literature, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1992. 32. Julia Annas, The Morality of Happiness, New York, Oxford University Press, 1993, p30. 33. Giorgio Agamben, The Man Without Content, Georgia Albert (trans), Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1999, p60. 34. Ibid., plOl. 35. T.H. Irwin, 'Kant's Criticisms of Eudaimonism,' in Stephen Engstrom and Jennifer Whiting (ed), Aristotle, Kant and the Stoics: Rethinking Happiness and Duty, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996, pp63-101. 36. Barbara Herman, The Practice ofMoral judgment, Cambridge, Mass., H;nvard University Press, 1993. 3 7. Christine Korsgaard, Creating the Kingdom of Ends, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996. 38. Immanuel Kant, Metaphysics ofMorals, in Kant: Doctrine of Virtue, MJ. Gregor (trans), New York, Harper and Row, 1964, p377. 39. Immanuel Kant, Critique of the Power ofjudgment (The Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant in Translation, Paul Guyer (ed), Eric Matthews (trans), Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2001. 40.Jean Francois Lyotard, Lessons on the analytic of the sublime: Kant's Critique ofjudgment, [sections] 23-29, Elizabeth Rottenberg (trans), Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1994. 41. Paul Guyer, Kant on Freedom, Law, and Happiness, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2000, p13; Dieter Henrich,Aestheticjudgment and the Moral Image of the World: Studies in Kant, Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1992. 42.Jean Laplanche, 'The Unfinished Copernican Revolution,' Luke Thurston (trans), Essays on Otherness, London, Routledge, 1999, pp52-83. 43. Jonathan Lear, Happiness, Death and the Remainder of Life, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2000, p33. 44. Jacques Lacan, The Ethics of Psychoanalysis 1959-1960: The Seminar ofjacques Lacan Book Vll, Jacques Alain Miller (ed), Dennis Porter (trans), London, Routledge, 1992, p118.

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45. If narrative pleasure and pain play with the self that must both form itself actively but also be at one with its world, then laughter can be explained as a release from this stringent command of happiness. For it is in laughter that we are liberated from the well-ordered microcosm of the self. According to Henri Bergson, laughter often overtakes us when the purposive fluidity and responsiveness of the human body breaks down and the self is reduced to a mere mechanism. Slipping on a banana peel, being overtaken by the deck-chair one is attempting to assemble, a man's body controlled by the women's clothes adopted for a ruse: laughter here is release from the organism of the self, a freedom from the self's moral freedom. We laugh at the self that is no longer agent and narrator of its destiny, as though there were release from the moral strictures of the self as divine author of itself. Henri Bergson, Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic, Cloudsley Brereton and Fred Rothwell (trans), Mineola, NY, Dover Publications, 2005. 46. Laplanche, op. cit., pp69, 81. 4 7. According to Jonathan Lear, who accepts a linguistic approach to the problem, the ontology of happiness is inaugurated with Aristotle, who seduces the reader into an idea of a complete and self-sufficient good which is definitive of happiness, and then proposes contemplation as the fulfilment of the originally 'enigmatic' signifier, Lear, op. cit., p46. Deleuze and Guattari, by contrast, argue that the image of the organism and of self-sufficiency is not a signifier imposed upon life but the consequence of life's own tendency to resist absolute deterritorialisation. 48. Serge Leclaire, A Child is Being Killed: On Primary Narcissism and the Death Drive, Marie-Claude Hays (trans), Stanford, Stanford University Press, 1998, pp2-3. 49. Deleuze and Guattari, What is Philosophyr. op. cit., p213. 50. 'Because man is conscious of himself as a self-moving machine ... he can, and is entitled to, introduce a priori organic-moving forces of bodies into the classification of bodies in general (21: 213, Op. 66). We experience organic forces in our own body; and we come, by means of the analogy with them (with a part of their principle) to the concepts of a vegetative body, leaving out the animal part of its principle (22:373, Op.ll8; cf. 22:383, Op.l20). Forster glosses this passage in the following way: 'Our own bodily experience functions as the paradigm for the estimation of other objects as organic; it is the primary example by which we judge all others. But as a paradigm for natural purposiveness, it cannot be subject to the 'as if' principle of the third Critique: this principle fails to hold on the case of our own bodily organization. My body thus plays a unique role in my relation to the world around me ... ' Eckart Forster, Kant's Final Synthesis: An Essay on the Opus postumum, Cambridge, Mass., Harvard University Press, 2000, p28. 51. This 'organic thinking' (to borrow Elizabeth Wilson's phrase) can be identified in mainstream philosophy, popular science and neuroscience, and positive psychology. Elizabeth Wilson, 'Gut Feminism,' differences 2004, 15, 3: 66-94. In philosophy, Christine Korsgaard describes the self as necessarily committed to normativity due to the necessity of maintaining a sense of oneself as the same through time. In popular neuroscience, Antonio Damasio has drawn upon the philosophy of Spinoza to argue that the happy state of mind is our feeling of the bodily state of equilibrium. Antonio R. Damasio, Looking for Spinoza: joy, Sonvw, and the Feeling Bmin, Orlando, Fla., Harcourt, 2003. In cognitive science Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela have rejected the idea that thought must relate to some world, and instead insist that cognition is the autopoetic organism's way of managing its state of equilibrium; the outside or world is encountered only as this particular body's living environment. Humberto R. Maturana and Francisco J. Varela, The Tree of Knowledge: The Biological Roots of Human Understanding, Robert Paolucci (trans), Boston, Shambhala, 1992. In positive psychology, the emphasis on the state of flow privileges the state in which the self is in a position of such mastery that there is no longer a sense of something other than the self to be mastered. The self is at one with its action, and action is at one with the world. See Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Flow: The Classic Work on How to Achieve Happiness, New York, Harper and Row, 1990. 52. In Artificial Happiness, Ronald W. Dworkin argues that we have lost all sense of achieving happiness and dealing with life because we have turned to the artificial happiness of drugs such as Prozac. Artificial Happiness: The Dark Side of the New Happy Class, New York, Carroll and Graff, 2006. 53. Daniel Nettle, Happiness: The Science Behind Your Smile, Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005, ppl4-15; and Daniel Gilbert, Stumbling on Happiness, New York, A.A. Knopf, 2006. 54. For an account of a materialist philosophy of forces that extend beyond the human agent, but are nevertheless also open to transformation see, Rosi Braidotti, Transpositions: On Nomadic Ethics, Cambridge, Polity, 2006.
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55. For a sophisticated criticism of this concept of time and an introduction to a new philosophy of open time see, Elizabeth Grosz, The Nick of Time: Politics, Evolution, and the Untimely, Durham, Duke University Press, 2004; and Elizabeth Grosz, Time Travels: Feminism, Nature, Power, Durham, Duke University Press, 2005. 56. Jacques Derrida, 'Ousia and Gramme: Note on a Note from Being and Time,' Margins of Philosophy, Alan Bass (trans), Sussex, Harvester, 1982, pp29-67. 57. Ibid., p52. 58. Jacques Derrida, Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, The Work of Mourning, and the New International, Peggy Kamuf(trans), London, Routledge, 1994. 59. Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morals, Douglas Smith (trans), Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1996.

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NOTES ON CONTRIBUTORS
Sara Ahmed is Professor of Race and Cultural Studies at Goldsmiths College. Previous publications include Differences that Matter: Feminist Theory and Postmodernism (1998); Strange Encounters: Embodied Others and Postcoloniality (2000); The Cultural Politics of Emotion (2004) and Queer Phenomenology: Orientations, Objects, Others (2006). She is currently writing a book entitled, The Promise of Happiness for Duke University Press. Lauren Ber1ant is George M. Pullman Professor of English and Director of the Lesbian and Gay Studies Project at the University of Chicago. She is author of The Anatomy of National Fantasy ( 1991 ), The Queen of America Goes to Washington City (1997), and The Female Complaint: the Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture (2008). She has also edited a number of volumes, including: Intimacy (2000), Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion (2004), and On the Case (2007). Lisa Blackman is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Media and Communications, Goldsmiths, University of London. She works at the intersection of critical psychology and cultural theory, and particularly on the relationships between the body, affect, relationality and the psychological. She is the author of Hearing Voices: Embodiment and Experience (Free Association Press, 200 I) and joint author with Valerie Walkerdine of Mass Hysteria: Critical Psychology and Media Studies (Palgrave, 2001 ). She is currently completing two monographs, Immaterial Bodies: Affect, Relationality and the Problem ofPersonality (under consideration by Duke University Press) and The Body: The Key Concepts (Berg, 2008). Rowan Boyson is completing her PhD thesis on pleasure and intersubjectivity in Enlightenment philosophy and Romantic poetry at Queen Mary, University of London. Claire Colebrook is in the Department of English at the University of Edinburgh. Her most recent book is Milton, Evil and Literary History (Continuum, 2008). Carrie Hamilton teaches Spanish and History at Roehampton University in London. She is the author of Women and ETA: The Gender Politics of Radical Basque Nationalism (Manchester University Press, 2007) and is currently writing a book on sexual politics and oral history in revolutionary Cuba.

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