Thanks for saving my feelings with your gracious reply -
>I threw out the Cixous piece as an example of experimental writing (though
>haven't read it through in a while). It was a bit of a provocative move,
>intended as a sort of wedge to open up the question of writing,
>but also innocently since I think Cixous' essay is relevant (to the
>of ecriture), though it's not something I'm very concerned with right now.
>It's true that her style is not the sort of thing philosophy is usually
I agree. But i think the reason C.'s writing IS different from much
philosophical writing is because she embraces poetry - and sound. Obvious
e.g. puns in C & JD?
>For what it's worth, I agree with others who see the question of
>non-phonetic writing as a bit of a non-starter, since writing is clearly a
>different animal than speech. Technically, phonemes = basic units of
>and graphemes or perhaps gramemes are the basic material units of writing,
>although language encompasses both... and we get muddled.
I suppose what we are looking at here is the relation between phoneme and
grapheme via the gramme? I think it's a three part dance? Others may join
in. Let's invite the quality of the paper to perform? Or the ration of the
cybersenses? Or let's have Pound cavorting with Mussolini and trying to
encircle FDR's new deal?
>Figures of speech, or rhetorical figures were once considered the basic
>units of the Art of Persuasion, the arts of the Statesmen, some would also
>say of PHilsophy. Rhetoric has been a long time dead in most education
>systems. Figures of speech are sometimes given a cursory one over in
>English class and examined closely only in analysing poetry. They may be
>secret fetish of pedants. Sometimes I enjoy being a bit pedantic.
True enough! But as I'm sure you are aware, rhetoric continues, even various
rhetorical strategies remain basic, even if we are not formally taught them.
And I don;t want to even consider the prospect that some oratorical devices
mights be transcultural ...
>Cixous' philosophical essay, in that it employs the classical resources of
>rhetoric (syntax, grammar, diction, imagery) to full effect may be called
>poetic, though it be prose. I would argue though that she exploits diction
>(alliteration, onomatopeia, assonance, dissonance) very little, and syntax
>and imagery more than the average essayist.
>(Beauty is a concern both of poetry and philosophy, even though there is
>nothing particularly beautiful of sonorous about the word beauty...)
>As to this question:
>A np-philosophy (or art) would be one in which
>>things as sonority, inflexion, intonation, meter, onomatopoeia, rhetorical
>>art - all this would be irrelevant. Would not np art/writing/philosophy,
>>even np-thinking, be one where the sign reflected the thing (or idea)
>>without the mediation of poetry or rhetoric?
>Hmm. I don't know. Are you saying that a direct style is more useful for
>talking about ideas?
Sort of saying the opposite. But you can do it both ways. Maths for e.g.?
Maths as NP? Would music then be the opposite of maths? How musical the
maths how mathamatical the music!
One thing is for sure, I think whether one has
>affinity or not for a writer's style affects whether or not one can read
>them. I don't think Cixous is easy to read, and her unusually "poetic"
>language probably puts many off. However, to return to an earlier point, I
>don't think it's useful to confuse phonetic with poetic.
C (and JD) have both been accused of empty sophistry. By those champs of
symbolic logic and "plain speech". By the way, "plain speech" was invented
by Elizabeth I as a rhetorical device and appears, doing combat with Latin,
in the Common Book of Prayer. James I took up the project and attacked
Law-Latin wanting plain English. The Port Royal taught us what it was to
speech properly - to speak like we were writing. ... ;)
>As for the notion that signs (or ideas) are better off unmediated. I think
>it depends on what you call signs. I think a sign is a value, which is why
>you can talk about a regime of signs... I think that things can have sign
>value, and be taken as good signs or bad signs, as in omens. Things as
>signs affect you. But I don't think signs reflect things.
I feel somewhat the same. But there are signs with referential functions.
Jacobsen lists a number of "functions" for signs. It's better to think in
terms of functions than in terms of "signs are' or "this sign is". Signs do
(and in their doing, are).
>Since I've been throwing Signs around for a while now, I think I'd better
>brush up on semiotics (much more fun than rhetoric really, and more
>difficult). France - Italy: 2-1 (in overtime). The Euro Cup is over!!
>I can catch up on my reading.
Thanks again, Karen.
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