On Teaching: or, “going there, without knowing where,” with Jean-Francois Lyotard

Jean-Francois Lyotard - EGS
Jean-Francois Lyotard – EGS

Endurance and the Profession – Lyotard

(replete with approximations of my own markings and highlights – N Filbert)

Nourishment during a lunch break

Fynsk - Claim of Language“Here, I will observe simply that fundamental research (in the humanities) diverges from much theory in that it is always seeking the limits of its language in responding to that to which it seeks to answer: those dimensions of experience and symbolic expression that summon it (as a kind of exigency for thought) and to which no concept will ever be quite adequate.  Such research is impelled by its own neediness and its sense of being answerable, whereas theory, governed by the concept, proceeds with ever-expanding appropriations; fundamental research proceeds from encounter (always from a sense that something has happened to which it must answer), and it seeks encounter.  In theory, there are no encounters.”

– Christopher Fynsk – 


The Meticulous Blur

entry for Friday Fictioneers, June 28, 2013

copyright - Indira

How it left my mouth, toward her.  How long I’d ached and labored it.  How meticulously prepared.  From amorphous origins – a preoccupation and urge, a hunch, desire.  Like longing + some desperate attention.  Had I shared this constant process, they’d have named it “obsession.”  A phrase, a statement, a promise, a claim.  How it left my mouth when the moment arrived, arrowing itself toward her.  A chiseled and hair-thin fibre of sound, a core-content-chain of DNA, let free in the matter between us.  How it blurred and whooshed past.  Disintegrative and smeared in possible meanings.  How quickly the resulting compound decomposed and deconstructed.

Ah, vitality


“Nietzsche is the most sarcastic son of a bitch ever to set foot on this
earth. Just say that; then write whatever else you want, like he would.” —
— So my friend Werner Timmermann tells me, with a gleam in his eye.
He helped with my translation of Thus Spake Zarathustra, a four-year-long
labor of love, so he knows what he is talking about. Zarathustra (1885)
was Nietzsche’s magnum opus; everything before it was preparation,
everything after it expatiation and elucidation.
But, for some, the question remains: Why Nietzsche? Friedrich
Nietzsche (1844-1900) was quite simply one of the most original and
influential philosophers who ever lived; in addition, his writing style was
brilliant, epigrammatic, idiosyncratic [“It is my ambition to say in ten
sentences what everyone else says in a book — what everyone else does
not say in a book.”] The language dances, prances, whirls and twirls; it
ranges from ghetto-verbalizations and vulgarizations to high art, from
lyricism to sardonicism, from satyr-play to passion play. No one really
writes like Nietzsche, though the number of his stylistic apes and
imitators is legion (especially in the ranks of academe).

-from the introduction 2004 translation of Ecce HomoThe Antichrist

Ecce Homo & The Antichrist by Friedrich Nietzsche (2004)

sympatico-ally discovered via Time’s Flow Stemmed (take a look!)

Experience, anyway. cont’d


            Like before, but never exactly.  That’s why similar and memory, and that’s why it’s new.  Begins.  Never not change.  If only pennies.  It works.  It goes on.

So that what seems a chasing, a tracing, a spy-archaeology-sci/fi-breathless-fragile-safebreak (i.e. “creative writing”) is also dirgy dredging, slurry stirring, re-invention redone renewing some old search.  If he wrote “to get it right” it would be wrong.

Standard unlocatable with too many variations depending on, all boundaries shift with each decision – though it feels less freedom of choice than compulsion to find – where there’s nothing to find that’s not making (constructed – what’s there getting too little credit in general) – what’s done with what’s attended.

Not meant to be confusing – but from quark or qualia, wave-particle to universes full of looming holes, it plainly is.  At least what we’re able to tell of it – representamen – hingey symbols we careen from like units of mobiles in wind or gyring pirate swings.

There is that.  Is, is, is, is : handy set of markings and concepts “to be” the seeking and the sought – condition and conclusion – of begin.

Listening now – the statue the only Other besides the dogs – well, and whomever all conjoined to craft these scribblings to serve as silent sounds filled with elastic contents over meticulously-constructed time.  The billions.  And infinite (as far as he’s concerned or capable of “counting”) quanta of wave/particle/atom/molecule/element – dithering thoroughfares making up ginormous pervasive systems within systems in which he depends and participates toward is.

– To music, quiet head of Buddha lurked behind, no longer staring with the eyes as much as ears – sense shift and collusion – never one without another – it goes on.

New Fiction: “Experience, anyway.”

For some time I have been lacking for representation.  Processes and patterns go on, no doubt, but nothing materializes save scattered words, informed thoughts, scholarly papers, and so on.  Spouse says of self: “I need something to shoot for, develop toward, to propel…otherwise I stagnate, repeat…” and I agree with her – I’ve been itching for fiction – a larger project – something to belong to and build while fulfilling responsibilities, learning, parenting, husbanding, being “professional.”  But the pages have been blank.  This morning I began, and it started like this:


Experience, anyway.

            And stared at the head of Buddha.  As if literature were whatever could be fitted to symbols.  There were experiences anyway.  Complex goings-on.

He started.  As if starting were the only thing he could do.  He, she, self, other, organism – whatever.  It had begun.  If there were a god, it might know where, but they – for the life of them – could not figure it.  Not literature.

And for all the anyway-experiences, also.

In other words.

They stitched and thatched and wove, tore through, ripped out, clipped and pasted and tagged.  For all the cross-hatching and shading, foregrounding and back-, no image came through.  Or if it did, it never matched.

Representation.  Representamen – for a more mystical suggesting.  Arcane.  Obtuse.  That which is metaphor’d.  That which signals, indices, or forms.  That which functions.  Which can be acted on, or with, within, without.  Functioning ephemera.  To latch.

And undo.  It passes.  Lock on – decipher.  Pass around the room.  Agreeing by argument, it becomes.  Difference.  Evaporate.

The head of the Buddha is shaped out of stone.  More likely poured, cast.  More likely art – official.  What is artificial? – But human construction of world.  That radical deflect.  That begin.  In symbol.

At a certain time (constructed, invent), cross-purposes : experience.  Anyway, perceived.  So aroused – appreciation, cognition, desire, belief – purchased (bought, fallen-for, faith-in) : acquired.  Experience, anyway – head in corner on bookshelf knick-knack antiques, money (that wasn’t there), and taken away.

Evaluation = meaning.  Interpretation.  Somewhere whereabouts and how, or when – experience, anyway.  Action occurs.  It’s started.

Mood Construction

because I have been wanting to share the subtlety and nuance of Elena Tonra & band “Daughter,” and after a day on repeat words became…

mobius, ever,

turning ribbon gyre


under foot, a soaker hose


a sprinkler fountain




an emanation –

tangled collisions –

of stars.  of light.


and here, supine




in aimless ache


while there, ever,

slight twist in the band,

an error,

a mark-miss,


and bypass.

N Filbert 2013



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