8.10.2005

a theory for the moment

"There is no subtext... The enunciative domain is identical with its own surface. Each statement occupies in it a place that belongs to it alone. The description of a statement does not consist therefore in rediscovering the unsaid whose place it occupies; nor how one can reduce it to a silent, common text; but on the contrary in discovering what special place it occupies, what ramifications of the system of formations make it possible to map its localization, how it is isolated in the general dispersion of statements.'" Michel Foucault, from The Archaeology of Knowledge

"By a slow movement whose necessity is hardly perceptible, everything that for at least some twenty centuries tended toward and finally succeeded in being gathered under the name of language is beginning to let itself be transferred to, or at least summarized under, the name of writing. By a hardly perceptible necessity, it seems as though the concept of writing – no longer indicating a particular, derivative, auxiliary form of language in general (whether understood as communication, relation, expression, signification, constitution of meaning or thought, etc.) no longer designating the exterior surface, the insubstantial double of a major signifier, the signifier of the signifier – is beginning to go beyond the extension of language. In all senses of the word, writing thus comprehends language." Jacques Derrida, from Of Grammatology

"The Author, when believed in, is always conceived of as the past of his own book: book and author stand automatically on a single line divided into a before and an after. The Author is though to nourish the book, which is to say that he exists before it, thinks, suffers, lives for it, is in the same relation of antecedence to his work as a father to his child. In complete contrast, the modern scriptor is born simultaneously with the text, is in no way equpped with a being preceding or exceeding the writing... The fact is (or, it follows) that writing can no longer designate an operation fo recording, notation, representation, 'depiction'... rather, it designates exactly what linguists, referring to Oxford philosophy, call a performative, a rare verbal form (exclusively given in the first person and in the present tense) in which the enunciation has no other content (contains no other proposition) than the act by which it is uttered - something like the I declare of kings..." Roland Barthes, from The Death of The Author

"Technologically possible manipulations determine what in fact can become a discourse... To the student Rilke, whose physics teacher had his students reconstruct and experiment with a phonograph that he had acquired as soon as the machine was on the market, the registered sounds opened 'as it were, a new and infinitely delicate point in the texture of reality.' The fact that a purely empirical phonetics (in rigorous distinction to phonology) suddenly became possible led to storing real phenomena according to technical standards rather than to regulating them according to educational norms." Friedrich A. Kittler, from Discourse Networks 1800/1900

"Truth" can only be a surface. And only through such a veil which thus falls over it could "truth" become truth, profound, indecent, desirable. But should that veil be suspended, or even fall a bit differently, there would no longer be any truth, only "truth" — written in quotation marks." Jacques Derrida, from Spurs

"The analysis of statements operates therefore without reference to a cogito. It does not pose the question of the speaking subject, who reveals or who conceals himself in what he says, who, in speaking, exercises his constraints of which he is only dimly aware. In fact, it is situated at the level of the 'it is said' - and we must not understand by this a sort of communal opinion, a collective representation that is imposed on every individual; we must not understand by it a great, anonymous voice that must, of necessity, speak through the discourses of everyone; but we must understand by it the totality of things said, the relations, the regularities, and the transformations that may be obersved in them, the domain of which certain figures, certain intersections indicate the unique place of a speaking subject and may be given the name of auntor. 'Anyone who speaks', but what he says is not said from anywhere. It is necessarily caught up in the play of an exteriority." Michel Foucault, from The Archaeology of Knowledge

"The right of the subject to represent himself is the narrator's choice. In exploration of the self in the representational wasteland that results in the pervasiveness of agent-less vessels is a blank slate. We hold the book up and we ask it, what does it say to us, the reader, as we navigate the plateaus of expression, the deep valleys of words spilling in to lakes and rivers of utterance. It is unknowable." - Pifflich Von Buren, from The Expression of the Word

"All that remains is the Object as a strange attractor. The subject is no longer a strange attractor. We know the subject too well; the subject knows himself too well. it is the Object that is exciting, because the Object is my vanishing point. The Object is what theory can be for reality: not a reflection but a challenge, and a strange attractor. This, potentially, is the way to go in search of otherness." Jean Baudrillard, from The Object as Strange Attractor, in The Transparency of Evil

(Bonus: which of these quotes is not like the others!?)

2 comments:

Seb (in deep thought) said...

"To me, truth is not some vague, foggy notion. Truth is real. And, at the same time, unreal. Fiction and fact and everything in between, plus some things I can't remember, all rolled into one big 'thing'. This is truth, to me."
- Jack Handey

For the bonus, I'd guess the Kittler.

Cristi said...

man, Jack Handey's down with post structuralism - why isn't everyone?

also, guess again!

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