Voyou Désœuvré

Unlike Adam, I’ve been quite enjoying the police investigation sub-plot on House; but I’m worried that at this point they’ve given themselves nowhere to go. After last week’s episode, it seems inevitable that House will have to “learn” something from the experience, and thereby doubtless “grow” as a “person.”

If there’s one thing I don’t want from House, it’s learning and growth, which completely misunderstands what is so compelling about House as a character. House of course is very unhappy, but it would be quite wrong to take the pop-Platonist-therapy route of saying that this is because of ignorance on his part. On the contrary, House knows exactly why he is unhappy, and continues to do it anyway, precisely because if he ceased to do that, he would no longer be him. There is no “real” house separate from his depression and pain. I’m reminded of Deleuze’s gloss of Nietzsche: “The eternal return says: whatever you will, will it in such a manner that you also will its eternal return.” It’s hard to think of a more consistent, a more terrible, or a more cheering, self-knowledge.

 In other House news, it appears (from the faith-healer episode repeated last night) that Dr Cameron is a Spinozist. How splendid.


  1. Alistair, 3:01 am, November 29, 2006

    This is your best post of 2006. Well done.

  2. Adam Kotsko, 10:03 am, November 29, 2006

    There seems to be a consistent pattern whereby the only time House seems to have a “problem” is when Cuddy and/or Wilson are somehow fucking with him — compare early this season when they concealed from him the fact that he had been right about the catatonic patient, sending him into a depression that apparently caused him to have to go back on the drugs in the first place. Then Cuddy nickle and dimes him on the pills, and non-coincidentally he’s a total asshole (for real this time). I’m more and more convinced that there really is nothing wrong with House and that, more broadly, it is the right of every person not to “get better.”

  3. John Emerson, 8:05 pm, December 4, 2006

    She’s got the steely-eyed Nicole Kidman look. I used to think that Kidman was a Scientologist, but no. She rejected that and used her inborn steely-eyedness to beat the scientologists at their own game.

  4. Ian Mathers, 12:35 pm, December 13, 2006

    I remember the faith-healer episode, but not the part where Cameron is a Spinozist, which intrigues the hell out of me.  Care to provide details? I quite liked this week’s episode (particularly the 0-to-60 start), and I love that the descriptor “loveable asshole” applies more and more to Wilson than to House – your and Adam’s points about the essential rightness (or right to exist-ness) of the House character as opposed to, err, pretty much everyone else on the show (except for Foreman and maybe Cuddy?) are very well taken. Also, this is a fantastic blog.  This and the “Aufhebung” post are some of the best I’ve read all year (and are summarily getting linked), and I’d think that even if I didn’t love “With Every Heartbeat” (but I do, and oh what a song – if her 2005 album ever gets much-deserved North American release I’d kill for this to be included as a bonus).

  5. voyou, 11:44 pm, December 14, 2006

    Well, she doesn’t come right out and say she’s a Spinozist, but there is that bit whereshe says “if there is a God, why would it  be interested in people?” or something  like that, which seems close enough for me.

  6. Ian Mathers, 6:28 am, December 23, 2006

    I did like that line.

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