Hyphen & Hymen, Pt. 1

“All discourses…would then develop in the anonymity of a murmur…

What difference does it make who is speaking?”

Michel Foucault

“We talk only because of a persistent desire to understand what is it we are saying”

Arkadii Dragomoshchenko

“Again and again there is the attempt to define the world in language and to display it –

but that doesn’t work”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

According to a receipt yellowed in the pages of The Impossible book, 16 years ago I purchased the Story of Rats by Georges Bataille.

“What are you ‘getting at’?”

“What do you mean by ‘kernel’?”

Questions are asked.  I ask them myself.

Today I got bored of it.

Uncertain I ‘get at’ anything.  Doubtful even that ‘I’.  Yet “feel” pursuit of some ‘kernel.’  In other words, because, simply, ‘other words’ (fore-words, afterwords) sometimes eventuate communication…

as if experience were an undifferentiable ocean of moving waves – incalculably deep waters ever in motion – unstoppable, interminable, immersive, and overwhelming – and something splashes, a cup dips, a boat prow plows its way, an arm drops, or rock, or bird flashes down talons – and a surface becomes, is broken…

“A word”

…ruin.  Ruined.  Inalterably (no, that’s not accurate – rather incessantly alterable, altering, altar-ing, alterity – othered and changed) altered, altared – SACRIFICED to perception, experience – peering-in-out-of, or peering/prying-out-of-in, out-of-pry-into

“and vice-versa”

Rue-in, is what ‘I’ seem to do.  Bring sorrow, lack, and loss with each perception, each calling, each again/comparison/re-cognition…Ruin, rue-in.  Touching, seeing, tasting, smelling, hearing – continual selection and ignor-ance (DE-selection, de-lectory, de-clamation, di-visory…) rues-in, sorrows-in, i-dentifies creating lack, erasure, damage.

“What happens – ?”

The temptation together [to gather]…to peer and pry into, in, with…to test and to try…to extract and bring, to-gather… to form-u-late.  AFTER experience, to create other…posit(-ion) a “You,” “out,” exo-, ex-tend, ex-plain, ex-haust, ex-hilerate and ex-aspirate…to KILL, CRUSH, SLICE, DIFFERENTIATE…’I’ hiding somewhere in All and Every.

An ‘I’ in All is AIL.  Rue-in.

“Wouldn’t it be better if we didn’t get sick?  But we do.” – Jan Zwicky

“Don’t be so hard on yourself…we all…”

Separate, tear, disjoint, di-chotomize, di-vulge, de-story, de-struct [de-con-struct i-we-form de-form]

“Hey!  Enough!”

As I was saying, try-pry-di-ing to say…

“Who?  When?  Where?  How?”

Tri-, di-, all in-volves, in-volutes, con-volutes a cutting, a ripping, a be-lying of de-struction – as it crafts an alternate structure (con-struction)…

“the ‘kernel”

Oui.  We.  Yes.  The sense that  Is the sense of being-thrown, dropped, something making a splash, separating the waters… a kerneling, an ob-ject (re-ject, ab-ject) dis-turbance that sub-jects turbulence…

Thrown.  Splash.  Change.  Alteration.  Altaration.  Altarity.  Othering.  For-IN (foreign)… kernel.

“What are you ‘getting at’?”

“So that’s what you mean by ‘kernel’?  Dis-turbance… Turbulence… something must be… in order to…”

“What thing?  Why?”

“In the beginning was the Word… was God… and God moved…and divided the waters…” (John 1:1, Genesis 1:1, 6, KJV) a Bar, a “firmament,” a permanent Between “called Heaven.”  And so separating, separation be-gins…from the first very first motion, movement, change… ex-pulsion, ex-crement, ex-ultation, ex-is-stance.  Out.  OUT.  OUT-of… posit-ion.

“You’ve lost me…”

“Oui – what are you ‘getting at’?”

Ex-perience.  Prying, peering.  Trying.  Be-ing separates?  Dis-joins?  Dis-tracts?  ‘I’ am a rupture.  Dis-rupts: not two, not one.  I stray, strive, volition, volute…de-story, de-volve.  What am ‘I’ but a weapon-blade?  Rue-in.  And thus I speak, say with pointed pen…poke and pry and terrorize – ex-perience.

“Glorious or gory-ous – visions are di-visions”

So it seems…

“So it is…”

Is, was, will be spoken into/out-of our stance (existance)…falsified di-visions…

“I cannot get beyond language by means of language”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

 

Advertisements

Michel Foucault: “Speech Begins After Death”

.

..does the pleasure of writing exist?  I don’t know.  One thing I feel certain of is that there’s a tremendous obligation to write.  This obligation to write, I don’t really know where it comes from.  As long as we haven’t started writing, it seems to be the most gratuitous, the most improbable thing, almost the most impossible, and one to which, in any case, we’ll never feel bound.  Then, at some point – is it the first page, the thousandth, the middle of the first book, or later?  I have no idea – we realize that we’re absolutely obligated to write.  This obligation is revealed to you, indicated in various ways.  For example, by the fact that we experience so much anxiety, so much tension if we haven’t finished that little page of writing, as we do each day.  By writing that page, you give yourself, you give to your existence, a form of absolution.  That absolution is essential for the day’s happiness.  It’s not the writing that’s happy, it’s the joy of existing that’s attached to writing, which is slightly different.  This is very paradoxical, very enigmatic, because how is it that the gesture – so vain, so fictive, so narcissistic, so self-involved – of sitting down at a table in the morning and covering a certain number of blank pages can have this effect of benediction for the remainder of the day?  How is the reality of things – our concerns, hunger, desire, love, sexuality, work – transfigured because we did that in the morning, or because we were able to do it during the day?  That’s very enigmatic.  For me, in any case, it’s one of the ways the obligation to write is manifested.

This obligation is also indicated by something else.  Ultimately, we always write not only to write the last book we will write, but, in some truly frenzied way – and this frenzy is present even in the most minimal gesture of writing – to write the last book in the world.  In truth, what we write at the moment of writing, the final sentence of the work we’re completing, is also the final sentence of the world, in that, afterward, there’s nothing more to say.  There’s a paroxysmal intent to exhaust language in the most insignificant sentence.  No doubt this is associated with the disequilibrium that exists between speech and language.  Language is what we use to construct an absolutely infinite number of sentences and utterances.  Speech, on the contrary, no matter how long or how diffuse, how supple, how atmospheric, how protoplasmic, how tethered to its future, is always finite, always limited.  We can never reach the end of language through speech, no matter how long we imagine it to be.  This inexhaustibility of language, which always holds speech in suspense in terms of a future that will never be completed, is another way of experiencing the obligation to write.  We write to reach the end of language, to reach the end of any possible language, to finally encompass the empty infinity of language through the plenitude of speech.

Another reason why writing is different from speaking is that we write to hide our face, to bury ourselves in our own writing.  We write so that the life around us, alongside us, outside, far from the sheet of paper, this life that’s not very funny but tiresome and filled with worry, exposed to others, is absorbed in that small rectangle of paper before our eyes and which we control.  Writing is a way of trying to evacuate, through the mysterious channels of pen and ink, the substance, not just of existence, but of the body, in those minuscule marks we make on paper.  To be nothing more, in terms of life, than this dead and jabbering scribbling that we’ve put on the white sheet of paper is what we dream about when we write.  But we never succeed in absorbing all that teeming life in the motionless swarm of letters.  Life always goes on outside the sheet of paper, continues to proliferate, keeps going, and is never pinned down to that small rectangle; the heavy volume of the body never succeeds in spreading itself across the surface of paper, we can never pass into that two-dimensional universe, that pure line of speech; we never succeed in becoming thin enough or adroit enough to be nothing more than the linearity of a text, and yet that’s what we hope to achieve.  So we keep trying, we continue to restrain ourselves, to take control of ourselves, to slip into the funnel of pen and ink, an infinite task, but the task to which we’ve dedicated ourselves.  We would feel justified if we no longer existed except in that minuscule shudder, that infinitesimal scratching that grows still and becomes, between the tip of the pen and the white surface of the paper, the point, the fragile site, the immediately vanished moment when a stationary mark appears once and for all, definitively established, legible only for others and which has lost any possibility of being aware of itself.  This type of suppression, of self-mortification in the transition to signs is, I believe, what also gives writing its character of obligation.  It’s an obligation without pleasure, you see, but, after all, when escaping an obligation leads to anxiety, when breaking the law leaves you so apprehensive and in such great disarray, isn’t obeying the law the greatest form of pleasure?  To obey an obligation whose origin is unknown, and the source of whose authority over us is equally unknown, to obey that – certainly narcissistic – law that weighs down on you, that hangs over you wherever you are, that, I think, is the pleasure of writing…

…I’m not an author.  First of all, I have no imagination.  I’m completely uninventive.  I’ve never even been able to conceive of something like the subject of a novel…I place myself resolutely on the side of the writers [in distinction – Roland Barthes – from authors] those for whom writing is transitive.  By that I mean those for whom writing is intended to designate, to show, to manifest outside itself something that, without it, would have remained if not hidden at least invisible.  For me, that’s where, in spite of everything, the enchantment of writing lies…I’m simply trying to make apparent what is very immediately present and at the same time invisible…I’d like to reveal something that’s too close for us to see, something right here, alongside us, but which we look through to something else…to define the proximity around us that orients the general field of our gaze and our knowledge…

So, for me, the role of writing is essentially one of distancing and of measuring distance.  To write is to position oneself in that distance that separates us from death and from what is dead…I’m in the distance between the speech of others and my own…In exercising my language, I’m measuring the difference with what we are not, and that’s why I said to you earlier that writing means losing one’s own face, one’s own existence.  I don’t write to give my existence the solidity of a monument.  I’m trying to absorb my own existence into the distance that separates it from death and, probably, by that same gesture, guides it toward death…

I’dd add that, in one sense, my head is empty when I begin to write, even though my mind is always directed toward a specific object.  Obviously, that means that, for me, writing is an exhausting activity, very difficult, filled with anxiety.  I’m always afraid of messing up; naturally, I mess up, I fail all the time.  This means that what encourages me to write isn’t so much the discovery or certainty of a certain relationship, of a certain truth, but rather the feeling I have of a certain kind of writing, a certain mode of operation of my writing, a certain style that will bring that distance into focus…

Foucault saisi par la révolution - Vacarme | Michel Foucault | Scoop.it

Alias Ouroboros; or, Alias and [the Philosophy of] the Process of Elimination

tumblr_lt17abrdkf1qmdrwbo1_500

Looks, stares, gazes.  Alias, alone (with ants).  In bathroom.  Facing mirror.

Is reminded (from whence and where?) “My way of not being the same is, by definition, the most singular part of what I am.”  Remembers Foucault wrote that (how? why?).

Contemplates.  Scrutinizes.  Reflects.  Adorno: “To make things of which we do not know what they are.”  Wherefore?  Examines his old face for repetition.  For resemblance.

What ever did he suppose the “self” was?  Leans closer.  12 years old, exploring raggedy woods surround childhood farm in the Kansas countryside with a crooked clumsy stick (a settler’s gun).  Who did he posit “others” to be?

Laramie, somewhere far.  Laramie: OFF.  Sister.  Sometime “friends.”  Lucy (before that H____, before that T_____, and prior A______, D_______, J_____, and so on).  Had he come to approximate “himself” at all?  And who and what and where determined that?  Where is the Observer?

What constitutes the subject in its relations to the true, to rules, to itself?” (Foucault had queried) – the “I” in a sentence – and why had he ever read that stuff?  Why did he feel himself “drawn” to it?  Magnetized to self-reflection, chaotic perspective gyroscope?

Can almost see the swallowing snake.  How long he’s longed (like Laramie) to shed obligations and self-evolving charges (children, lovers, homes and labor)…and how lonely alone turns out to be.

Leans back.  The hair, the shoulders, the wrinkles and beard.  Sheer size alone an entirely variant specimen from 12, shape of 20, motility of 3, vim of 47.

But the naming remains: Harlequin – spanning centuries, derived from ancestor’s medieval roles.  “Ignatius” and “Evgeny” – monikers pilfered from grandfathers – representing both (or some) genetic “sides” – the mother’s and the father’s.  Then Alias, alas – selected purely for sound and almost a joke – “let him make his own name” his dad was supposed to have said – “make a name for himself.”  Alias i. e. Harlequin – an identity of shifters.  Contentless, versatile signs.  This or that, also known as, patchwork jester.  Volatile collage.

Multi-colored robes of Joseph – Alias certain he’s never led anything out of bondage – let alone himself.  A joker then?  Entertainer with a deathly fear to perform.  Chameleon, hodgepodge, bum.  Rag-tag coddle of experiences, interests and events: people, places, actions and things.  Jumbled potpourri of knowledge sans expertise.  “Who is this what that I am?” he thinks, unattended, gaping at the bathroom mirror.  “How?”

Sways toward.  Yellowed teeth, crudded sockets.  Webs stringing out from the eyes indexing smiles – from when?

Drinks.  Diarrhea.  Trembles.

Considers process of elimination.  Engages, ingests, transforms…and turns it all to shit.

Precisely!  If we could do without metaphor!  “The real,” “the rules,” “itself” and “other” hacked, torn and blundered, mulched and mushed, pulped and extracted…some to nourish, some to harm, random keeps and passes…What if “itself” were able to masticate, dissolve and disperse, digest and diarrhea itself?  If thinking passed like food and water?

Crush the judgments, statements, words and perceptions. Struggle to swallow.  Swill the pains and fears – chug through the gullet – expel from the sex.  Crap the hopes, the dreams.  Piss prejudice and myth.  Ingurgitate logical systems, impressions and lust.  Eliminate ruin and waste like a transitioning, dynamic…eroding, decrepit, diminishing body.

Examines physique – misshapen shapeshifting slush.  Deliberates learning.  Vocations.  Training.  Behaviors and “talents.”  Successes.

Swallows again, more of a choking or gulp.  Peers closer.  Slurps and gobbles, wriggling it down – acids and micro-solutions…expel, eject, devour.  Autosarcophagy, necrotizing fasciitis, auto-immune (how did he know these things?) parasiting himself – is it possible to empty?  To void?  And where’s Laramie?  Lucy?  The children?

The trots again.  He starts to gag.

Take it from here…

“If one wishes to describe the enunciative level, one must consider that existence itself; question language not in the direction to which it refers, but in the dimension that gives it; ignore its power to designate, to name, to show, to reveal, to be the place of meaning or truth, and, instead, turn one’s attention to the moment…that determines its unique and limited existence.  In the examination of language, one must suspend not only the point of view of the ‘signified’ (we are used to this now), but also that of the signifier, and so reveal the fact that, here and there, in relation to possible domains of objects and subjects, in relation to other possible formulations and re-uses, there is language

-Michel Foucault-

Fynsk - Claim of Language

“The opening of speech – every time – presupposes the material site provided by that structure of exposure that defines the essence of human being ( at least insofar as we are dealing with human speech), and the problem of thinking that exposure requires a new understanding of what calls for thought and the possibility of thought’s answer…An offering occurs in language, but this gift and its historical unfolding – thought from the way language is given – cannot be thought apart from a usage of the human that it presupposes…The notion of an experience with language, in other words, pointed to a thought of the way the human being, in its essence, is itself given to the speaking of language – every speech event entails at its limits an exposure of the human – language communicates im-mediately – the human essence is relation

-Christopher Fynsk-