2 figures

 

1) sokal in his intellectual impostures scolds the french gang for misrepresenting the science. he's right in a few cases. french intellectuals boast a much deserved reputation for original synthesis and intuitive genius. unfortunately they are sometimes blinded by their own brilliance, treating reputation as license rather than responsibility--cloudheads stumbling over stupid mistakes. sokal, generally, excludes from his clown show derrida who he grants rarely uses scientific and/or mathematical terminology anyway, except as metaphor which is my method also. deconstruction should not mistake hard science for social science. it does not dispute the facts--it simply reminds us that all discoveries play on the field of intertextuality. science is necessarily interpretive--the laws of nature available to us as formulae, as formulations, whether mathematical or prosaic, and so difference/distance occupies the space between event and understanding. there exists for us no unfettered thing, real or imagined, that evades interdependency--we can only imagine what might fall outside the framework of knowledge. below street level? the animal who fucks and shits--imaged within the labyrinth of romance, the mythology of language

all signs--intellectual, emotional--find their meaning for us insofar as they participate in language. and that includes mathematics and the soul of poetry. whatever tongue we name the evidence is before us--words chasing words--identities found "in other words"--the bottom line always on the move--as derrida says, different and deferred, dispersed as the semiotic system, lost in the void of differance. in order to lock in meaning we must accept a provisional center/first principle beyond which we refuse to go, a weigh station of consensus. we fuck up, of course when we mis-take the provisional for solid ground. the one one of many--transcendence as dependence. how different is this from the futile pursuits of wordsworth, shelley? or the nightingale of keats, imaged yet forever lost in a world of words? derrida, why can't we see you as you are? failed romantic

conventional minds see deconstruction as a threat to comfortable distinctions, like those between past and present, literature and criticism. but that is only one way to frame the story, one angle of myth, one chapter in the romance that is language. think of deconstruction and quantum physics as reciprocal metaphors. matter, we are told, is an expression of atomic and subatomic particles, or waves, depending on one's point of view. without this fluidity, this conflation and dispersion, there would be no matter. so it goes with all things, and selves. that which threatens difference from one perspective is responsible for it from another. distinction--in things, in language--is nothing if not the by-product of endless motion, transference, a coextensive lack of distinction, this hole in the ocean

intertextuality (the simultaneous marking and erasing of textual differences) now understood as the inevitable dispersion of meaning throughout the language system, which energizes the appearance of privilege--history before synchronism, literature before criticism. derrida does not erase privilege any more than the cyclotron erases the parthenon--he merely examines nuts and bolts, loosely fitted

some americans, artists and academics, misread the deconstructive method as relativism, nihilism, democratic, totalitarian--it is not any one of these. deconstruction addresses the possibility of traditional hierarchies. it is exposition, analysis, not reversal or devastation. it changes nothing. it does not even claim a sensible escape from governing metaphysical structures. those structures are always already conflicted--sense chasing nonsense, nonsense chasing sense. no matter our feeble attempts, we cannot escape what we are--this ocean of contingencies out of which god's image rises like tsunami, and floods the earth

derrida, five years old, bored. his mother gives him a riddle to occupy his time. "which came first, jacques, the chicken or the egg?" a career is born

2) lies, mythologies--what we have to hang our hats on, that's all what's real. the gut shit another chapter of the romance the moment we know we smell it. to know is to create, right? to formulate and catalog the stink

like a vision of dimensions inside, or beside, the trinity imaged by the five senses--how many dimensions twined around space/time? quantum physicists call it the "as if" universe. we proceed as if there were atoms, neutrons, electrons, protons, leptons, baryons, matter and anti-matter--a mini cosmos mathematically drawn that is mythology, that is poetry. from such inscrutable powers language comes--mediator, translator, prevaricator--words like prison walls formed of an energy that spilled us like a running abscess, an excrescence as useless as the cosmos. we image as if circularity--energy > life > self/world > death > energy. we dream a god of light to rescue us. but gods are dark, and they demand a blood sacrifice

georges bataille writes that mankind alone is capable of eroticism, i.e., the pursuit of sexual pleasure outside reproductive imperatives. for all other creatures, sex is always in the service of reproduction. eroticism constitutes mankind's attempt to restore a lost continuity which is a deconstruction of the self, whereas the aim of reproduction is to maintain discontinuity, difference, the individual. is he correct? well, it depends. can we not also claim that, since no living thing other than the human is conscious of a reproductive purpose, all sexual activity is erotic--eroticism as the norm--the exception being the human intentional utilization of his drive for reproductive resolutions? when mankind pursues the erotic impulse he does indeed seek continuity, which is his own repressed animal nature. and religious zeal cum ritual, as bataille rightly asserts, provides symbolic re-enactment, a displacement of erotic desire

so it is with beauty. any artist who concerns himself exclusively with cerebral nit and pick has abandoned the poetic, so hardly engages the human condition--in the sense that beauty is both a seeming encounter with continuity, with the animal, and a resistance. the poetic allows us a vision of the abyss--of "god"--while at the same time maintaining our discontinuous individual existences. it is, as bataille implies, a mythology of violence--transgression of self, of language, which is de facto no transgression at all. it is bound by words but appears to function at the limits of knowledge where language and the animal mingle their breaths

to re-angle a biblical trope, "and the word was made flesh"--but what of talent? just a genetic accident, a twist in the carnal splicing, a back street to the wild side

 

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