— Gilles Deleuze, "Nietzsche’s Burst of Laughter: Interview"
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— John D. Caputo, ”For the Love of Things Themselves: Derrida’s Hyper-Realism”
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Today consists of too much coffee & too much Schopenhauer, thus the strange combination of a jittery sort of melancholy.
4:01 pm 14 notes
Joseph Massey, “December,” Exit North
— Nathaniel Hawthorne, The Scarlet Letter
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— Hayden Carruth, Reluctantly: Autobiographical Essays (via heteroglossia)
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One can extend to the system of signs in general what Saussure says of language: “Language [langue] is necessary for speech [parole] to be intelligible and to produce all its effects, but speech is necessary for language to be established.”
There is a circle here, for if one rigorously distinguishes langue and parole, code and message, schema and usage, etc., and if one wishes to do justice to the two postulates thus enunciated, one does not know where to begin, nor how something can begin in general, be it language or speech. Therefore, one has to admit before any dissociation of language and speech, code and message, etc. (and everything that goes along with such a dissociation), a systematic production of differences, the production of a system of differences— a différance — within whose effects one eventually, by abstraction and according to determined motivations, will be able to demarcate a linguistics of language and a linguistics of speech.”
— Jacques Derrida, Positions
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1:06 pm 15 notes
From Noumenon, a sequence in 3’s
“Sex negative” and “sex positive” are relatively useless terms in terms of discussing feminist approaches to issues of sex and sexuality. The terms convey the message that “sex positivity” equals support for a vision of sex and sexuality that is defined by patriarchy and one that is primarily libertarian. What’s defined as “sex positive feminism” tends to translate to: non-critical of the sex industry, BDSM, burlesque, and generally, anything that can be related to “sex.” “Non-judgement” is the mantra espoused by so-called “sex-positive feminists,” which is troubling because it ends up framing critical thought and discourse as “judgement” and therefore negative. Since I tend to see critical thinking as a good thing, the “don’t judge me”/”don’t say anything critical about sex because it’s sex and therefore anything goes” thing doesn’t sit well with me.
“Sex negative,” on the other hand, tends to be ascribed to feminists who are critical of prostitution, pornography, strip clubs, burlesque, BDSM and, really, sex and sexuality as defined by patriarchy and men. The reason that feminists are critical of these things is because they want to work towards a real, liberated, feminist understanding of sex and sexuality, rather than one that sexualizes inequality, domination and subordination, is male-centered, and is harmful and exploitative of women. To me, that sounds far more “sex positive” (from a feminist perspective, anyway), than blind support for anything sex-related, because sex.”
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— Roland Barthes, via Eratio Postmodern Poetry Journal
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— Gilles Deleuze, Immanence: A Life
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In the realm of truth-processes, facts come independently and determine our beliefs provisionally. But these beliefs make us act, and as fast as they do so, they bring into sight or into existence new facts which re-determine the beliefs accordingly. So the whole coil and ball of truth, as it rolls up, is the product of a double influence. Truths emerge from facts; but they dip forward into facts again and add to them; which facts create or reveal new truth (the word is indifference) and so on indefinitely. The “facts” meanwhile are not “true.” They simply “are.” Truth is the function of the beliefs that start and terminate among them.
— William James, “Pragmatism’s Conception of Truth”
Truth is a product of “double influence”: mind and world, subject and object interact and through their interaction make what we call “the truth.” For James, it makes no sense to try and find a line of demarcation between the knower and the known, the mind and the world. What we know, we know in terms of its relevance to human life, and our very act of perception shapes the thing perceived in ways we can never discount or undo.
What would happen to our reading of literature if we took such an epistemological position seriously? One consequence might be that we begin to pay attention to things that we’ve previously discounted. If one were to take as one’s premise that the meaning of any given work of literature resides not in “the work itself” nor merely in the mind of its readers (or “interpretive communities”), but rather in the interaction between reader and text, this interaction itself—the complex relationship between a reader and a book—would become a legitimate object of inquiry.
Investigating interactions instead of objects poses a particular problem. [William] James writes that trying to look steadily at what he calls the “transitive parts” of our thinking—the parts having to do with relations between things rather than with things themselves—is like trying to catch a snowflake in your warm hand. Just by being held, it ceases to be itself.”
— Kristen Case, "On Reading The Cantos: A Pragmatic Approach”
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