Saturday, February 22, 2014

Short opinion pieces. The crafted description of observed events.
Fiction or non-fiction? Parasitic or no?

In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

The Garden
Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
of a sort of emotional anemia.

And round about there is a rabble
Of the filthy, sturdy, unkillable infants of the very poor.
They shall inherit the earth.

In her is the end of breeding.
Her boredom is exquisite and excessive.

She would like some one to speak to her,
And is almost afraid that I
will commit that indiscretion.

Searle, "Reiterating the Differences"
3. In what is more than simply a misreading of Austin, Derrida supposes that by analyzing serious speech acts before considering the parasitic cases, Austin has somehow denied the very possibility that expressions can be quoted. I find so many confusions in this argument of Derrida that I hardly know where to get started on it. To begin with, the phenomenon of citationality is not the same as the phenomenon of parasitic discourse. A man who composes a novel or a poem is not in general quoting anyone; [HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME] and a man who says his lines on a stage while acting in a play while he is indeed repeating lines composed by someone else, is not in general quoting the lines. There is a basic difference in that in parasitic discourse the expressions are being used and not mentioned. [HURRY UP PLEASE IT'S TIME]
Sonny Rollins, tossing in a few bars of Easter Parade into Night in Tunisia at midnight on Easter morning is an act of quotation, citation, mentioning. O O O O that Shakespeherian RagBad artists borrow; good artists steal. They don't make new things; they make things new. The pleasure felt by a sophisticated audience for philosophy as for music is in knowing the source and what's been done with it.

repeats of repeats of...
Aber etwas fehlt
Sitting in a bar reading Limited Inc.. One table away a young couple were facing a crisis. It would be hard to count the layers of falseness and dissembling, of performing for and lying to each other and themselves, of false confidence, feigned indifference, contempt and self-abasement, all as reflex. It was a less sophisticated version of Derrida and Searle. Ressentiment

A work of art is both fundamentally a thing unto itself—though affected by others and events—and a communicative act. The same was true of the couple's actions, as self-directed formalism and outward-directed performance. And most of the communication was in subtext. The spoken "I love you" was secondary to the unspoken, "I can walk away". And beneath that were all the communicated subtleties, if communicated is the right word, in gestures read by the audience but most likely not by the performers.

A novel is a thing crafted out of a plot, and judged as that. It's less an essay than a house. Language, as event and communication is an aspect of life. Philosophy and theology are parasitic on that. Literature, art, is both descriptive and formal. History, describing both art and the world, is observational and secular.

Derrida wants to replace the historian of art with the philosopher of art. Searle represents those who oppose history itself.
And we're suppose to choose one or the other.
J.L. Austin, Lecture I
Whatever we may think of any particular one of these views and suggestions, and however much we may deplore the initial confusion into which philosophical doctrine and method have been plunged, it cannot be doubted that they are producing a revolution in philosophy.
Lecture II
We were to consider, you will remember, some cases and senses (only some, Heaven help us!) in which to say something is to do something; or in which by saying or in saying something we are doing something. This topic is one development -there are many others- in the recent movement towards questioning an age-old assumption in philosophy- the assumption that to say something, at least in all cases worth considering, i.e. all cases considered, is always and simply to state something. This assumption is no doubt unconscious, no doubt is wrong, but it is wholly natural in philosophy apparently. We must learn to run before we can walk. If we never made mistakes how should we correct them?
Lecture III
So then we may seem to have armed ourselves with two shiny new concepts with which to crack the crib of Reality, or as it may be, of Confusion—two new keys in our hands, and of course, simultaneously two new skids under our feet. In philosophy, forearmed should be forewarned.
Ken Johnson on ‘Re-View: Onnasch Collection
I want to protest. I think what happened with American and European art in the three or four decades after World War II was not a progressive shutting down of creative possibilities but a great opening up,...
The "opening up" was opening elsewhere.  An old girlfriend of mine taught me that the best way to read late Wittgenstein is to see him as ending where Proust began.

I hadn't read any Austin when I read Derrida and Searle.

update: or Dennett.

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