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The infant was treated as a body like any other. Practices did not take into account a relationship that, ever since the Age of Goethe, has given rise to innumerable celebrations and hymns: the interaction between mother and child. This is why, in the eyes of the pedagogical and psychological reformers who at the end of the eighteenth century discovered the infant as the main task of all cultural work,21 prevalent methods all led “to stupidity and idiocy”—such are the attributes of a simple [schlicht] body when the gaze of psychologists assesses it.

48 If the hypnagogic voice of the mother provides the model for the new poetry and its effects, these poems—notwithstanding even the most up-to-date theories of lyric—do not involve matters of expression. The parameter of “expression” refers an utterance to its speaker. Hypnagogic effects, in contrast, occur in the addressee. Rarely does Lacan’s law—that “style,” on no count whatsoever, is “the man,” but rather “the man one addresses”49—hold as strictly as it does for the literary lullaby. In its distance from meaning [Bedeutungsferne], the lullaby sounds for an infant that harks yet does not hear.

They cannot not communicate, and they cannot not interpret: “Wanting to say all that is capable of signifying [Das Redenwollen alles dessen, was Zeichen zu geben weiß]” and “needing to imitate, which already occurs when signs are sensed and represented [das Nachahmen-Müssen, das einen Zustand nach Zeichen schon errät und darstellt]” (Nachlass III 716), generate a positive feedback loop between affects and signs.  (Nachlass III 784) Instead of idealistically mediating production, works, and reception through consciousness, Nietzsche short-circuits bodies and signs.

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