The reproach one often hears is that the Event Alain Badiou and me
are talking about is some big shattering magic occurrence that changes
everything, the very basic coordinates of a situation in which it occurs.
To counter that misleading impression, I would like to focus on the Event
at its most fragile, a barely perceptible shift in the subjective attitude.
Shakespeare: Music as “a Sign of Love”
Shakespeare’s ability to preﬁgure insights that properly belong to the
later epochs often borders on the uncanny. Was not, well before Satan’s
famous “Evil, be thou my Good?” from Milton’s Paradise Lost the for-
mula of the diabolical Evil provided by Shakespeare in whose Titus
Andronicus the unrepentant Aaron’s ﬁnal words are: “if one good deed
in all my life I did, / I do repent it from my very soul”?1 Was not Richard
Wagner’s short-circuit between seeing and hearing in the last act of
Tristan, which is often perceived as the deﬁning moment of modernism
proper (the dying Tristan sees Isolde’s voice) clearly formulated already
in Midsummer Night’s Dream? In act 5, scene 1, Bottom says: “I see a
voice; now will I to the chink, To spy if I can hear my Thisbe’s face.” (The
same thought occurs later in King Lear: “Look with thine ears.” King
Lear, act IV, scene 6).
One should not shirk from asking the vulgar historicist question:
Why was Shakespeare able to see all this? Part of the answer resides in
The Minimal Event:
From Hystericization to