(Some responses to Quentin Meillassoux’s Le Nombre et la Sirène,(The Number and the Siren), responding to Stéphane Mallarmé’s ‘Un Coup de Dés Jamais N'Abolira Le Hasard’ (A Throw of the Dice will Never Abolish Chance)
The visible marked by invisibility, from imaginaries of the interior no longer distinguished from the exterior, where language collapses into the Real, marks out the world space of the Poem. Its horizontal planes, intersected by the vertical axis of reading are transversatile – a finite description of an infinite possibility, invoked through an absence. Word to image to number, to abstraction and to modernity. The numerical index of its infinite is Chance. In the triangulation of symbolic, imaginary and real are the figures produced of language. What is exposed is that nothing has taken place other than the poem. The poem is the figure. The poet himself fails [intends] to fail, succeeds in the correlation of thought to its broken objects, to the world imagined as drowned, and in these appearances, makes or reflects himself or herself or itself as its affirmation in Image. In the mind of the reader or the viewer these correlations also themselves fall apart, opening fissures of meaning and futility to the enigma beyond reach. There is no sense in ‘sense’ here. We follow a route through these open and turbulent apparitions of seas, as allegories of the sublime failure to make sense of the world we inhabit. This is the Real of the poem. Disorientation rather than orientation, impossibility and the operation of courage in the Real. The part wins over the whole. It is more so – the sacred as the number. Our being is vector of the subject cursed without meaning. It may be that something rather than nothing is salvaged in terms of the imaginary of zero, culled from the disaster [our shared astonishment, a secret, or promise, a co-incidence of memory] whose temporal fault is spilling out precision from chance operation. These differences in the poem’s structural complex in time and place cancel each out, to secrete numbers, exact in their count. Has there been a disaster, a shipwreck at all? Doubt exceeds expectation of an event in recollection as mere appearance, or that appearance is all about interpretation of an unknowable event. Mallarmé donates the Poem as a ‘factish’ event. It is modern without modernity to have taken place. The arc of the poem sends us back to the beginning of the century  to the afterthought before the disaster of the 20th has taken place. The infinite number might be grasped in the undecidability of the dice throw, passing into the ‘flesh of the poet’ to drown the author himself in the process. Do we stand, decide not to throw?
In his own uncertainty the throw defers to be an Image of the poem’s unassailable truth in hesitation. The question has remained open for a hundred years and spirals inwardly in waves.
These visual responses are drawn from such a transposition, where as he writes ‘one wave invades the head’. The subject is a vector, a wave. The wave disclosed and prohibits the shipwreck of a man, a ‘master’ with ‘no ark’. The subject reveals it as such. The words beg an image not to withdraw. We cannot dispel the master. Arc to ark to figure to number. An operation that seeks no solaces other than condition of emergence, realisation and codex indication, or as poetic witness, place. The illumination by the image then is to be founded and unfounded again in the transposition from word to image. This is neither to illustrate nor to represent. A parallel contingency - Nothing is to take place other than the exception to the rule of exception, one that revolves around the undivisible. ‘Hypothesis, prophecy, number – thus it is illuminated’, he writes, of understanding and deadlock.
The vector of the subject traversing the century [the Modern] now turning around to face the future as already always universal - disaster or decision, a speculation that reverses the ‘actual’ time in the poem, as the author intends. Through his typography and attention to the detail and mathematical order, the code is transported. What ending, of 707 words, is ‘sacred’ but precisely the last word itself? The dissolution of all religious conceit is suggestive of a game and the undecidability of the throw of the dice, which the artists have agreed to obey. As if an angel without wings, the dice throws itself. The images reveal themselves. These inexpressible operations, in subjunctive tense, open the sky to the terrestrial, and the prosaic or domestic workings. Images not constrained to the original vernacular of romanticism, are here the speculative objects of a real world, drawn from common or ordinary milieu as founded upon fictions. The storm that produces the illusion of the shipwreck, only verifies the absence of fact, in the cruel scene of the Image. The event takes place [recursion] on the page, the white clouds transposed to white paper, to restore the fictive vessel in a ‘gaping trough’ between their significations. All that remains is the haunting of the past memory as a hypothesis of the disappearance of the poem itself into image. The throw into the here and now is a memorialisation – and stains the pages with ruin and paradox. What should be forgotten ‘perhaps’ is remembered, but only in an absent form the word implies. The erasure speaks of an uncertainty, and the currency of our own experience of imminent death or ecological disaster. What happens in a strictly non-rational sense is the cancellation of the symbolic in the Now, cancellation of the bureaucratic power of the permission to speak, as wish. In silence, the Law is re-instated as Thing, or in the orientation of the objects of the poem to be as if perhaps constituted as inexistent Image.