I’m nearing the end of the translation and my deadline is fast approaching for Future Christ and I’ve been struck by a certain phrase that is very central for the book. The phrase was the one that first hit me when I read the book two summers ago on a long bus ride from Paris to Nottingham. In French it is l’Homme-en-personne. As Ray Brassier’s project, which he describes as a transcendental nihilism, has been a singular influence on English language reception of Laruelle’s project I at first assumed there was some kind of kenotic element to this phrase. A kind of “Man-as-nobody”, emptying the concept. But this didn’t seem to really fit the tone of the book, which didn’t strike me then as sharing in the nihilistic orientation of Brassier, nor does it now (which isn’t to say that Ray’s work isn’t valuable for understanding Laruelle, it really is). Thus I played around with reading it as “Man-in-anyone”. But I didn’t know if that quite captured it either. I note that others have felt a similar confusion as evidenced by Noëlle Vahanian’s review of the edited volume Théorie-Rébellion [warning PDF], which includes an essay by Laruelle using this concept, translates it both as “man-as-anyone” and “man-as-nobody”. I emailed Laruelle about this question and he explained that he sees the term between the individual and the human race, a kind of species-being or proletariat or “function of humanity” that stands between the universal and the particular without mixing them. He ruled out the “nobody” idea and thought perhaps the “anyone” would work, but didn’t seem to think it was the final word on it. I’ve been translating it as “Man-in-person” but I’m still not sure this is the best way to go about it. I think it holds this radical immanence of the universal and the particular, but I’m not sure that this is so obvious to someone reading it. I thought I’d ask the readers of the blog to tell me what they think. Man-in-anyone or Man-in-person – what feels best when you read it?