File spoon-archives/foucault.archive/foucault_2001/foucault.0111, message 79


Subject: Re: But isn't 'cutting' too violent?
Date: Fri, 30 Nov 2001 16:45:50 -0800


Before this "thread" gets cut . . .

I would think that Foucault might have intended that this "cutting" be
exactly as ambiguous as we are finding it.  (And so, maybe we need not feel
obliged to perform our own de-cisive "cut" on it too quickly.)  Violent,
sure, in the very worst sense as well as any other -- hence power/knowledge,
and maybe especially including that which is to be made "useful."

Perhaps too there is a bit of the Heideggerian notion here of every
unconcealing necessarily involving a simultaneous concealing.

Trent Hamann


----- Original Message -----
From: <Fmacke4sph-AT-aol.com>
To: <foucault-AT-lists.village.virginia.edu>
Sent: Friday, November 30, 2001 10:06 AM
Subject: Re: But isn't 'cutting' too violent?


> Jeez.
>
> This has become an amazingly odd thread, at least given my comprehension
of
> it.
>
> First, why is "cutting" inherently to be perceived as violent?  Are
tailors
> and quilters, then, doomed to sharing the cultural/symbolic implications
of
> Jack-the-Ripper?  As even children know, often one must cut things to make
> them more useful.
>
> Second, I would urge caution in the habitus of recoil from "violence."
> Magritte's and Duchamp's (and, of course, Breton's) writings stress the
> importance of a strategy of violence in artistic work.  Not violence for
> violence's sake (as popular culture would likely be inclined to take it
it),
> but as a form of useful aesthetic resistance to the practiced habit of
> perceiving objects of beauty and wonder.  Breton saw this as vital to the
> surrealist "movement" (in fact, he holds Lautremont and Sade as cultural
> heros);  Magritte and Duchamp had no interest at all in movements.  They
both
> forcefully shrugged off the "surrealist" label at key points in their
lives.
>
> The "violence" entailed in cutting, it seems to me, is simply the practice
of
> separation, a practice that is inescapable in embodiment.  In a life one
> cannot walk all paths, read all books, know and live the allness of
> everything.  One does not eat the whole cheesecake.  One must slice it
first,
> and then eat until one is reasonably sated.  I fear what I see to be a
> tendency to discard the practice of the "either/or" in contemporary
cultural
> theorizing.   At least with regard to the cheesecake, if my fear of
cutting
> pervades my knowledge of it, I will either eat none (or give none away),
or I
> will eat until I throw up.
>
> With regard,
> Frank Macke
> Mercer University
> USA


   

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