In his introduction to "Ethics" by Alain Badiou he does a quick run down on how the analytic ethics of Lacan differ from the philosophical ethics of Badiou. I'm having a hard time understanding some of what he says, particularly this part:
'What death stands for at its' most radical is not merely the passing of earthly life, but the night of the world, the self-withdrawal, the absolute contradiction of subjectivity, the severing of its' links with reality'. A Lacanian ethics is designed to enable us to endure this severing without flinching, as the price to be paid for a 'symbolic New Beginning, the emergence of the "New Harmony" sustained by a newly emerged Master-Signifier'. And it is at this point, Zizek continues, that 'Lacan parts company with Badiou'. For confrontation with Lacan's Real here amounts to an experience of the abject, inarticulable realm of the corpse as such - the 'undead' that is Oedipus after his mutilation, or Antigone reduced to her 'living death'. Zizek accepts this reduction without hesitation. Since 'modern subjectivity emerges when the subject perceives himself as "out of joint', as excluded from the order of things, from the positive order of entities', so 'for that reason, the ontic equivalent of the modern subject is the reduction of the subject's positive-substantial being to a disposable "piece of shit". From Zizek's perspective, what thus 'remains beyond Badiou's reach... is this domain 'beyond the good', in which a human being encounters the death drive as the utmost limit of human experience, and pays the price by undergoing a radical 'subjective destitution', by being reduced to an excremental remainder'.
Badiou would no doubt plead guilty as charged. For the great virtue of his system, compared with Lacan's, is surely its' separation of the merely ineffable, in-significant horror of death from the generic 'destitution' or subtraction no doubt demanded by every subjectification. It is Badiou's achievement to have subtracted the operation of truth from any redemption of the abject, and to have made the distinction between living and unliving, between finite and infinite, a matter of absolute indifference. The 'Real' emergence of 'undead-indestructible object, of life deprived of support in the symbolic order' is incapable of provoking the slightest reaction either from within the domain of purely multiple being-as-being on the one hand, or from the domain of an infinite, properly immortal subjectivization on the other. From Badiou's perspective, death can never qualify as an event.
I'm having a hard time with what constitutes death here. What is absolute contradiction of subjectivity"? Why can death not be classified as an event? What is this "undead-indestructible object" and so forth? I would very much appreciate some clarity. Thanks.