By "nonphonetic" to you mean, like Chinese writing (which JD discusses R.'s
myths of in OG)? Or like Kristeva's "semiotic"? Kristeva heroizes Joyce.
Joyce? Is that "nonphonetic"? Or D&G's "asignifying"? Beckett? is that
Can you clarify the sort of thing you are looking for? Is it more JD texts
you are in search of?
I had to wake up last night because I had funny dreams. Sad dreams that made
me cry in my sleep. Of old times (and times yet to come). In which people I
once knew (or should have remembered) were not as I remember them, demanding
and fierce, but as they really are, glowing warm, and took me to their
hearts for old time's sake.
What was I to say to them? "Nonphonetic"?
Or do you mean literature that is like symbolic logic, devoid of "semiotic"
or "asignifying" features (or at least a literature where such features are
irrelevant)? Might that not be the ambition of philosophy? At least certain
philosophers? JD reminds us of how writing has been shunned for trying to
Chinese writing, you know (and JD does not seem to) is not "nonphonetic".
Not quite, not really. Chinese characters have phonetic components.
Speaking, whatever the case, always comes before writing (I mean learning to
read and write) in any social context we know of. But how to distinguish
"reading & writing" from archewriting (e.g. the savage alphabet inscribed
... memory ... mystic writing pad)? Anyway, Chinese people associate
characters with sounds, not just ideas. And the characters are made of
strokes with names of sound.
It is of significance that, generally, there is a 1 to 1 ratio of character
I hypothesize that Egyptian & Mayan writing (and perhaps many others)did not
tend towards phoneticism over time, moving from an arcane ideogrammaticism
to utilitarian alphabeticism, because of an enlightenment process, nor a
process of degeneration, but because drawing and speech form a block of
In the 20th century, the "pinyin" alphabetical system of writing has been
invented. It's role is basically, mostly, pedagogical. Pinyin represents the
sounds of a Mandarin reading of "ideograms" in Roman alphabet. Pinyin is
also useful on computer keyboards. With certain progs running, as you type
pinyin onto the computer, the machine gives you a short-list of Chinese
characters to select from.
>i realise this is perhaps the wrong place to ask a derrida question, but
>seeing as everyone else seems to i hope it will be indulged... ;-)
>i'm currently looking at material concerning ("literary") writing and
>"abstraction": sounding out the connections/relationships between
>"Modernist"/ formalist concerns and Derrida's conceptualization of
>"nonphonetic writing" in _Of Grammatology_. and if anything makes me
>especially sympathetic to Derrida and fills me with a desire to paint
>banners and hang them from tall buildings proclaiming his majesty, it the
>nearly total absence of any consideration of this issue which i seem to
>run into!! never mind the "menace of the nonphonetic...": we seem to have
>some kind of cultural black hole of denial about putting the word
>"abstract" and the word "writing" next to each other in a literary
>context... abstraction within writing, why, of course! but abstract
>writing??? have you taken leave of (your) sense(s)?!
>so my question is: does anyone know of any articles/books etc that deal
>nonphonetic writing -- in this instance, writing as in "Literature" rather
>than mathematical/science/logical symbols etc-- or, indeed, of anything
>apart from "language poetry" which could make a serious claim to BE
>nonphonetic writing + literary??
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