File spoon-archives/surrealist.archive/surrealist_1998/surrealist.9808, message 20


Subject: Re: ---------- (?) ---------- (no translation needed...)
Date: Wed, 19 Aug 1998 20:07:19 PDT



Greetings M. Le Phasme, Bogartte, et. al.

Le Phasme wrote:

>[Although, I don't know, I must be mistaken : in your last message,
>Edward, is it question of the <exogénéité> of the dictating 
princip>le
>? I could not admit it.]

In my last message, as in so much of my writing, I draw a distinction 
between PURE thought, which needs no supplement, and contaminated 
language -- CONTAMINATED, that is, by the traces of previous usage.  
Whenever we engage language, in the mo(ve)ment of communication, we 
compromise the purity of our thought(s) by turning our idea(s) over to 
the free-play of worldly ADEQUATION: the act of the other as s/he 
receives/interprets our words.  This may be what you call the "dictating 
principle" -- an exteriority in which meaning takes on the form by and 
through which it will be transferred to the other.  It is interesting to 
reflect upon the manner in which we attempt to render our thought 'more 
pure'.  In order to present our thought to others as it is to our Self, 
we make use of abstract concepts and all sorts of qualifying poesy ... 
all in an attempt to EXTEND our inner Self for the supposed benefit of 
hylic existents.

When I use the term 'hylic', I am, as someone else on our list supposed, 
drawing on the Greek word _hyle_, 'matter'.  Since material existence 
proceeds in a cause-and-effect chain, I contrast the operations of 
matter to those of thought, which is independent of cause and effect.  
As Nietzsche wrote, in _The Will to Power_: "to suppose a direct causal 
link between thoughts, as logic does -- that is the consequence of the 
crudest and clumsiest observation.  Between two thoughts all kinds of 
affects play their game ..." (tr. Kaufmann, 1968).  I call language 
hylic, since the non-causal flow of thought is interrupted when it meets 
the concrete signifier.  The interruption is only momentary, however, 
for soon the signifier will branch out into a network of traces having 
no direct connection to the thought that originally engendered the 
expressive mo(ve)ment: the choice of signifier.  Therefore, the 
alienation of thought is twofold.

The communicative drive is caused by our meeting with the world, yet it 
has no bearing on the essential purity and independence of our thought.  


I enjoyed your message, M. Le Phasme, and appreciate your effort in 
translating it.  I have more to say on some other matters, but I await 
some feedback before proceeding.

Regards to all,

~~ Edward












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