From: Paul Murphy <paul.murphy@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 20 Aug 1996 12:33:20 -0400
Bob Scheetz's approbation aside...
I gave up on Tom Blancato's 'polemic' half-way, as I just didn't see the
point. It struck me as little more than heavy-handed sarcasm. But maybe
I'm just too obtuse.
I would like to respond to one of Mr. Blancato's recent, voluminous
posts (one of these days my e-mail reader is going to collapse!). He
gainsays the Derridean line, "Writing is parricide" with a curt "no it
isn't". This seems to miss the point. Of course with JD one is taking a
risk by appealing to 'context', since the context is never fixed or
determinate etc. etc., but still, this line from "Plato's Pharmacy"
should be read in context. Derrida is largely preoccupied with the
"Phaedrus" denunciation of writing as parasitic upon living speech,
doubling, supplementing, usurping the originary generative-engendering
(seminal) power of the speaker-father's pure word. Hence for Plato
writing acts in a parricidal fashion, bringing about "the disappearance
of the good-father-capital-sun" (p.168, _Dissemination_, English
trans.). The charge of 'parricide' delivered to writing is one of many
phallo-logocentric gestures constitutive of the metaphysics of presence,
instituting the solar reign of metaphysical economy.
Please correct me if I'm wrong, Tom, but you often seem to want to
literalize. Parricide = murder = violence in your books, reducing
whatever 'symbolic' or hermeneutic role the term might play. 'Violence'
-- the very Q you wish to pose -- seems to undergo a similar operation,
to the extent that rape and murder are placed alongside Heraclitean
polemos and the politico-economic violence of sanctions against states,
eliding the manifold differences across the field. The thinking of being
is made subordinate to geopolitics-sociology-anthropology, so that
_Being and Time_ is measured against the yardstick of the training of
the police in Haiti (the point of which I still don't understand, except
as another instance of the Great Satan ganging up on the Third World,
leaving aside the fact that the Tonton Macoutes were hardly adherents to
I would be happy to be disabused of whatever misinterpretation of your
position I may be expounding. I await your next 30kilobyte message...
Paul N. Murphy
--- from list heidegger@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ---