Erik (eriktrips) wrote,

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beginning again

I've had an epiphany of sorts about the dissertation which although it is not the same as actually writing the dissertation is at least the discovery of a possible way of writing that I might be able to employ to get me through.

some reorganization of what little I already have will have to be done but after talking with a number of people about the possibility that I only propose a larger project while keeping the dissertation itself to the announcement of that project I have come to the point where I think I can lop off a couple of chapters and straighten out the trajectory such that getting it done has begun to enter the realm of the conceivable.

here is what I wrote today most of which is throat clearing but provides something like a structure for tearing apart the introductory draft I've written and plugging the second half of it into the beginning of the next chapter.

basically I'm going to make this next chapter the story of how I have come to be thinking about the things I am thinking about. see this way I can lend some unity to my writing life given that I am also writing an autobiography.

but so I start with pragmatism and end up in some kind of mysticism:

The story of one man’s metaphysical struggle with language and its other, beginning with pragmatism’s “pragmata” of inassimilable experience and ending at the incorporeal event which suggests that the distinction between language and its other is already a linguistic one and that what precedes this distinction is not an experience that can be “had” but something like a traumatic primary process that is at once language’s ground and its effect: sense, or the question before its answers.

I begin with a story. I will also end with one. In between will be nothing but story (how relate this narrative of metaphysical pursuit to the drawing of the self itself? What devolves at the fringes of a narrative describing what one has thought? What devolves at the fringes of the thinking itself? Because if I am to proceed this way I must be conscious of the consequences of proceeding this way. The drive to the heart of language’s other has also been a drive to the heart of that which is other to my “I,” to my saying and my saying so. The story then, of how I have been speaking about language and its annunciator--what will it constitute? Who remains at the end of the account or does the accounting itself unravel upon itself so that no who is apparent when all is said? If nothing else I can exhibit the same repetition compulsion as everybody else, with the stated ambition of getting it different this time or emphasizing what is repeated and forgotten in all the other iterations: that they have no teleology, or no efficacy in the service of a teleology of the self and its claims to sovereign experience but rather each iteration spins off its own unsayable which is the guarantee of further iterations even as it is their compulsion. To repeat is a curse and a gift and if the primary process of differentiation can never be completed, if the speaking subject is broken upon that which speaking sets into motion, we can be gloomy or we can be joyful or we can imagine the joyful gloom of a man in a bowler riding his bicyclette.

Thus what I propose is less of a conversation than a monologue, although I intend to meet up with other speakers at various points and although everything I say may well have been said already to the point that I only borrow from or laboriously mimic what has come before.

Cue restlessness: that I can find no place to alight, that experience, once I come upon it, cannot be mine, that profit and egocentric acquisitiveness become impossible at that point where I meet my other will serve to underscore the restlessness of appearing and saying themselves, and to point up the necessity of terminal confusion at the very moment one seeks clarity. When I got here there was no “I” here, no “there” here and indeed not enough time for either of these to manifest themselves. For the time of the event is always late or early and never locateable within a present that would sit and make itself aware of the wall it faces. To be here now is impossible and yet the only way available: the way of the event of appearance itself, the unfolding across the infinitesimal gap of the present which cannot present.

There are at least one hundred ways of saying this thing which is not a thing and which cannot be said, and to place them all in an architectonic relationship with each other, so that one may map, for instance, the aleatory point of potential onto the event of the proposition and to map both of these to the disaster which befalls the subject at the approach of the other may be to engage in a peculiarly thick description which layers reverberation upon reverberation without succeeding in bringing the whole apparatus into a harmonious cycle. Instead the squeak of the indiscernible.

It may be that I write and rewrite Chapter One for the rest of my life. That would be ok. If I am to write about the repetition compulsion I might as well exhibit it at the same time. To say: “I” repeatedly and without efficaciousness. To tell the story that cannot undo the undoing of the storyteller and which indeed enacts yet another undoing, another repetition led on by that which cannot be repeated yet can only be repeated. As I write myself writing I set free nothing but an opportunity to write again, an opportunity that is not writing but its precondition and effect. And its other.

The story, though, if it is to be about anything, is about the slow process whereby one turns from the concept of the dichotomy between language and experience to an inconceivable event of articulation subtending the very possibility of dichotomy. Articulation itself is the precursor to nothingness insofar as nothingness is circumscribed and cast out of something; articulation itself is the undecideable moment between sense and nonsense, where the possibility of either is first posited without the choice being made. Articulation would be the infinite aleatory point that in other words and places might be called the Divine.


now all I need is a job for the winter. anyone got about a thousand bucks I can borrow till January?

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