Friday, February 08, 2008

In the Garden with the Peacocks

Forgive the paralipomenal quality of this post–if a story that's always never quite being told can be said to have paralipomena then welcome to my blog, dear reader. I'm reading Merleau-Ponty's "The Indirect Language and the Voices of Silence" (in Signs) at the same time I'm reading Nancy on the image and Agamben on infancy and while I wish to dwell on the topic of silence (and entwinement, the as such, nothingness and that whole business) here I'd like to briefly touch on a reverberant passage:

Language does not presuppose its table of correspondence; it unveils its secrets itself. It teaches them to every child who comes into the world. It is entirely a "monstration." Its opaqueness, its obstinate reference to itself, and its turning and folding back upon itself are precisely what make it a mental power; for it in turn becomes something like a universe, and it is capable of lodging things themselves in this universe–after it has transformed them into their meaning.

(p.43, Merleau-Ponty's emphasis)

Kaleideation unfolds under the sign of the peacock. It may as well be the sign of the anole lizard, and that "may as well be" may as well be the unraveling of its meaning, the deciphering of its labyrinth. But I will tarry and loaf a while in the garden with the peacocks. (As it happens not everybody is enraptured by peacocks but lizards poop too so what are you going to do?) Although many appreciate a flamboyant display, few appreciate the faculty of display. It is like looking into the mirror and not seeing the mirror, or it's like knowing how to tie one's shoelaces. Display may as well be the cosmos–I'm now prepared to let Arendt have this point–for display is certainly a cosmos and one cosmos is as good as another in the garden with the peacocks. In this cosmos kaleideation transforms things as they are into their beauty. Wasn't their beauty intrinsic? This is touchy. If beauty touches on forms–a florid if, albeit oft taken for granted–what needs to be said about how forms touch on beauty? And what of the lure of the something else promised by the transformative, the something else that may simply be the as such of thing as it is or silence. Is silence presupposed or might it rather be a kaleideation?

Do you present yourself to me as kaleideation, dear you? Through kaleideation? Does the aleatory encounter take the (trans)form of a kaleideation? Oh how I have distorted you, my beautiful you! It's not so much that I balked at the formless encounter; I have allowed myself a crumb of nostalgia and it has been my unraveling, or an unraveling, as be as that may well. My mood is subtrist as I sit in the garden with the peacocks, adding to a story that's never quite being told.

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posted by Fido the Yak at 5:03 AM.


OpenID lloydmintern said...

I am not completely sure what you are focusing in on, but I think this piece (carefully chosen from BLACK MIRRORS, my own kaleidoscopic blog) relates:

I share your infatuation with the convoluted.

February 08, 2008 12:36 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Hi, Lloyd. I may be trying to discuss a phenomenality (with and) without forms or the symbolic communication of a phenomenality without forms–that's not quite a focus, is it?

I've given some brainwaves over to the question of the origin of the ice cream cone. Perhaps it's not fair to call them brainwaves since I don't actually care to know the answer–unless it's a beautiful story I can tell, because even though I don't like stories I want to be able to tell the beautiful story of the ice cream cone because I love ice cream cones. Truly, then, I have an emotional connection to the question of the origin of the ice cream cone. Can we tell proper stories about things that have no origin? You wouldn't be hungup on the make-believe of the story, would you, Lloyd? I don't have any suspicions one way or the other. I'm just asking. Can we properly think about things we have no emotional connection to? I'm vaguely aware that for some people emotion and thinking are antithetical or at the least like oil and water. I haven't yet subscibed to any such viewpoint. Possibly what passes for thinking in the absence of emotion is merely a shadow of thinking. Anyway, I don't know if we should fault people for wanting to tell stories (even though I have little use for them myself–irony I'm no stranger to) even as such a desire entails questions of origins that only taste good fresh from the narrative farm. Well, would I like stories with no beginnings any better? I doubt it. Sometimes I like disruptive narrative techniques, but the whole beginning middle end thing is not my problem with stories.

Ooh, I cheated. "The exact origin of the ice-cream cone is unknown," says Wikipedia. But I would look into Frascati. Perfect name for a story about the origin of the ice cream cone.

February 08, 2008 1:29 PM  
OpenID lloydmintern said...

The whole point of my SPATULA piece, and much of my writing in general, is to suggest (or rather, vehemently argue) the idea that since the idea of "origins" originates in thought, telling stories is PRECISELY what should be done. Furthermore, the story of origins that we tell in each case (like the origin of ice cream, or the spatula, or the solar system) has a truth value. It actually participates in the future reality of the item being talked about. And influences, believe it or not, the established or insufficient past of that item--because thinking is retrospective. Of course this point of view relies on an assumption that language and thought are intimately, poeticly, and positively, if not primordially, connected. If you would, read that piece on my blog pages called "The Writers Imperative", which is about Owen Barfield. In fact, read Owen Barfield, especially SAVING THE APPEARANCES.

February 08, 2008 4:17 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

As luck would have it the library has Saving the Appearances so I'll check that out. I read your "Writer's Imperative." I can see how we might have a few things in common.

February 09, 2008 9:16 AM  

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