From: Liano Sharon <lsharon@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 May 1997 17:42:39 +0800 (CST)
On Mon, 23 Dec 1996, Vadim Linetski wrote:
> 16 MAY 97
> Dear Liano, my dear Friend,
> i'll try to answer your questions, and start again with an apology for
> paraphrasing your points :
> 1. you deny (or doubt) that there is any connection between your thread
> and Brian's, i.e. my attempt to answer you by answering Brian. i
> continue to maintain that there is a fundamental connection: in your
> first message devoted to paradoxes you tried to differentiate between
> paradoxe (continuity) and contradiction (discontinuity). Now Brian's
> view of D/G 's theory as creative writing implied precisely the
> continuity between two activities, a continuity which makes of
> "creation" (your term) an act of life/existence etc.
If creation is not an act of life and/or existance what is creation?
> For my part - i
> argue this point in _BAKHTIN'S WORDS..._ (summary in my previous
> message) - i believe that it's precisely this continuity which makes of
> PoMo a fulfillment of logocentric project, PARADOXICALLY, the
> fulfillment of scientificity (truth claims), i.e. exactly NOT of an
> "existential" attitude.
The problem I see with your argument here is that you concieve of
paradox as a purity--a pure continuity--and thus seal it up in a box that
can be signified and thus placed into archical conflict with the other
purity--contradiction. Paradox is not purely anything, it is not even
purely paradox. "I always lie" does not merely mean "I never speak the
truth," but rather, "I cannot lie and I cannot speak the truth". True and
False become meaningless. This is because if I say "I always lie" and
proceed to abide by that rule, then "I always lie" becomes true and thus
false. You argue that this prodeces a continuity between true and
false. This may well be true, but it is beside the point, because if
true and false merge into a continuity, they lose all meaning. What
meaning can "true" have if it shares that same meaning with "false"?
Similarly for "false" of course. This is one instance of a general
phenomenon--paradox renders absolutes meaningless, but still not purely
meaningless (if it did then absolutes would re-enter the fray as you
point out), because regardless of how meaningless I may be able to
convince anyone that true and false are, it still remains the case that I
either have two feet or I don't. Paradox makes absolutes dependent on
context, paradox demonstrates that absolutes are not generalizable. One
frequently encountered falacy that should be noted here arises when a
context is generalized and the absolutes dependent on this context are
passed on to the generalized context. Each context has its own absolutes
which are not necessarily atributable to any generalization of their
context, and are not even putrely absolute in context, because "in
context" recongnizes that there is no absolute context.
To return to the alledged continuum between D&G and creative
writting, first level: do you deny that D&G wrote? Do you deny that
by writting thay created some thing? If you deny neither and still claim
that because they were theorists they undermine themselves by proceeding
in this way, then either you have an over theorized (in my opinion)
concept of creative writing, or I would very much like you to explain how
one can theorize and write with out writting creatively. If you suggest
doing away with theory, I may well agree with you--I don't see any reason
to do away with writting, and I'm not interesed in readin (or writing)
only everything already written, so I find I must support writing
creatively. If I'm being to literal, please clearify.
> 2. you try to rebuke me by way of reading D/G as existentialists (your
> option in favor of theory qua existential act.
> (that's why i was
> justified to equate your message on paradoxes and Orpheus's texts : if
> theory is creative writing is existential act
Theory is not existential act, but there must be a method of
traslation between them, otherwise theory can never effect the world, in
which case I'm not particularly interested in theory. My argument re: John/
Jay/Orpheous has consistently been that John's act had no existential force
and could only attain existential force if it were translated into a
framework which found a way of generalizing it beyond its context, or
embedding it in a generalized context in which it would not otherwise be
found. Both of these possibiities could occur from either a
theoretical affirmation or denouncement of the censorship/monitoring
interpretation of John's post. Since there was no theoretical affirmation
(Jay's post being only a repetition, not a theoretical affirmation), the
most potentially dangerous post I saw (sorry to say this) was your
theoretical denouncement. This is why I responded to you and not to
John, and (paradoxically) it is also why I had not intended to respond to
your post, as it was just as likely to fade away as John's, even though
it still held more potential problems (in my view).
> than you cannot deny the
> continuity with other existential acts /shitting, fucking incl/:
I can and I will deny this depending on the context. You are
generalizing an absolute (absolute continuity) without reference to
context, as I discussed above in the section on paradox.
> forsooth i was NOT evaluating your contribution of which i think very
> high indeed but by putting shit in commas tried to highlight the status
> of your text within your own theoretical framework, and yet to pretend
> to read my reading literally:
> 'tis strange for a theorist who at the
> very outset of our discussion stressed that he is using even "coffee"
Not stressing, commenting. It was not at all important to any of
the arguments I was making at the time.
I apologize for taking you literally when it was not intended as
such, and hopefully I've explained why I've taken you literally on such
occasions in my earlier post. I will be more carefull next time.
> But this means nothing else than a return to
> psychologizing: is not your recourse to "intentions" (on which you base
> your attack, forgive the "combat" idiom!) strange indeed after "the
> death of an author", this inugural event of PoMo?!
Not at all, because in reading we each become the author.
> Well, an und für sich
> SUBJECT qua concept (albeit PoMo would deny this) is not a priori
I believe we agree here (see my earlier post), but I wonder what
importance you place on the idea that this connection is not logocentric,
and if this has any impact on your position regarding referencing (again
see my previous post).
> But in order for your argument to be maintained you have to
> start with re-conceptualization of this notion - rather than using it as
> if it is self-evident (which always means using it in the conventional
Perhaps I've answeed this already in my previous post where I
talk about referencing and referencing transcendents. Tell me what you
> 3. and this leads us directly to the question of res.to theory. Clearly
> under this term we understand quite different things. Whereas you are
> concerned with investigating the mechanism of thory (re)producing
> itself, i was speaking all along about (a) the politics of theory and
> (b) of textual resistance. the latter i tried to outline in my response
> to Brian. as for the former, i mean quite a mundane thing: namely, the
> reluctance to endow old concepts with new meaning, to invirogate the
> accepted definitions (primarily those which PoMo has furnished us with.
> 4. given your psychologizing turn i am not at all surprised that you are
> strongly opposed to my speaking about PoMo as a project - rather than
> about Lyotard's version.
I must say that I disagree with Lyotard quite often. In what
I've read I often feel that he doesn't go deep enough into the concept of
judgement, for example. Also, I'm not entierly sure what you mean by his
version. Please clearify.
> that of D/G etc. i am interested in basic
> discursive moves characteristic to all. please try to counter my
> argument that at the most fundamental level the notion of "khora" in D/G
> theory, for instance, differs from Kristeva's and Derrida's use of this
Where exactly do you make this argument? I haven't had time to
go back and re-read your net-published peices yet, and I don't recall a
previous reference to Kristeva in our discussion.
Also, though I would be happy to do this given sufficient basic
information, I must point out that though I've read Kristeva and Derrida
(though certainly not nearly all they've written), I don't have any of
their stuff with me here in Taiwan, and I probably haven't seen any of
their stuff in about 18 months or so. If, however, you'd like to present
the main points (or point to them on the web), I'd be happy to respond.
If you have already posted them and I've missed them in the surrounding
debate, I apologize, and if you'll point out which messages (I've saved all
the recent ones) it would be my pleasure to take another look.
> yours devoted friend, vadim