No, no that again. I just thought today of writers and their struggles. I do not narrow writing too much, but I’d like to think of myself as miserable no more. Yes lack of money is pronounced, yes there is no apparent market for writers, and to become a teacher of writing seems to be more difficult than publishing these days. My point is simple: writers are not keeping a depository, after all the library at Alexandria burned to the ground and other texts came to be. What Plato did was make us cheap, cheapskates, so cheap that words only cheapen and only become cheap. The library at Alexandria would have probably done the same, and if it had done the opposite then writers would be in even greater harm than they are in now. Words are cheap, as a methodology of language words are economical, fast, reliable in the sense of decoding, and recording. If I am to concern myself somehow with alchemy since I have mentioned already words and cheapening in the same sentence so that the suggested alchemy is for words to cheapen and to being cheapened, I would say that words do not cheapen the cat or door or volcano or mimosa or mimesis but that with syntax begin the alchemy, for as soon as cat is string-beaned with other words such as catology etc. this is where the alchemy occurs and things go cheap-side. An ode to god cheapens god, the Iliad in a twist of faith that has never been intended cheapens the Trojan war as much as it chronicles it in epic proportions. This is why for example in the Jewish faith there are not supposed to be any depiction of god since any depiction will necessarily cheapen the image of god. But what about the word of god? If the bible is the word of god does it not in no uncertain terms cheapens the word of god now that it is bound in a book? Well, theologically the bible is a concise blue print of the world and it is not the completedness of what god had passed on verbally for god had also had passed on verbally the oral torah–again this is theologically. But in hypothetical terms let me imagine some cyber environment where a word equals, i.e. in one to one correspondence and not arbitrarily but fixedly the thing that it signifies so that cat is cat, literally, whatever word is typed into the computer game the same thing of what that word is turns up in the computer game so that writing cat with a keyboard into the computer game module there would be a cat on screen–the number of times I can type in cat is limitless but the screen will debug once the cats fill in the physical or virtual space of the screen. It’s a bit similar to thinking that the literary sign is real, an actual physical sign floating in space as Calvino had depicted in ‘Cosmicomics’ as a sign floating in space.
Now it is also possible to think of it in the following manner: we, speakers, peoples who use language, are always in peril of time travel when using words, and though it may sound a bit far fetched this is a problem that time travelers will have to deal with once time travel becomes available and then readily available. The problem is that of reality and theory, of a main street person and Derrida or Derrida’s theory of the center. If I am talking about the cat so I will say, though it is a lie at the moment, that I have a calico cat. When I mention a calico cat to someone else who doesn’t know a calico cat we are then talking about different cats, a known cat and an unknown cat. When I am talking about a calico cat to someone who knows about calico cats then we are talking about one kind of a calico cat, we are talking about the same kind of cat, a known cat, but in my mind will be my calico cat and in his mind will be his calico cat and so our knowledge of calico cats would be a bit different. If we would decide to bridge our differences in our understanding of what calico cats are we will then have to compare notes about our calico cats and reach a conclusion of what calico cats are. People with calico cats would have to swap notes in order to get to the bottom of what a calico cat is. we are one calico cat away from cataclysm for if imagine that a calico cat, an extra unknown calico cat is there, even if this calico cat is hypothetical, it may be that just one extra unknown cat renders all of the knowledge collected about calico cats somewhat tenuous for what if that calico cat doesn’t conform to what we know of calico cats and their calico variations? being too broad and including too many variations and we would all have a varied idea of what a calico cat is, while a too narrow idea of what a calico cat is would make it impossible to swap notes as calico cat catology definition of each person would be too narrow to allow a cross referencing of calico catology. Therefore a balance must be struck between keeping things in the general and in the archetypal and in the particular, so that even my definition of my calico cat necessarily depends on a cat other than my own, necessarily depends on an unknown, which I then integrate with the personal–it is almost never possible to know the archetypal first hand and that is what Plato also hinted at when he talked about the ideal forms and how ideas represent in mere representation the ideal forms so that words–ideas, of course–abstractions, of course–bring archetypal ideal forms into knowability so that necessarily, and here Plato may have missed it a bit, the knowledge base is a pool combining both the archetypal ideal form and the word that serves as mere representation to that ideal form. To know one and not the other would be a case of knowing something all too narrow and all too rigidly and without any of the flexibility afforded by the shifting sign so that I cannot think the archetypal without thinking the word and I cannot think the word without thinking the archetypal ideal form–where Plato also goofed up a bit is where the word cheapens and where it is being cheapened or in other words the moment when narrative lies which is also the moment when narrative cannot be without a narrative lie, it is an inherent lie which is a sort of a mutation without which understanding and comprehending would be impossible, it is similar to Donna Harraway’s biopower concept and the biopower in language is the fine line between particularity and between lying. This has a bit of dialecticism imbued although not necessarily between one person to another but within one person to oneself for it seems to me that I know of myself by a certain absence as well as the presence of a self, a self of which I know only partially and will never get the whole picture, I know myself in relation to I don’t know about myself and what others may know about me, so that if I want the complete picture of who is I then I must entertain the notion that absence of knowledge of myself about myself is an essential piece of information in absentia essential because I would then realize the social aspect of the self since any individual has a story beyond the self-contained self, and in turn that story or narrative of the self, an autoethnography, is a lie no matter how truthful it is–thus I exist since I both know and don’t know myself. In that sense I am, like any other individual, an archetypal person, an ideal form, once I recognize myself as myself and apply to myself my given name or even a nickname I then reach the Lacanian stage or the mirror stage, but really what happens is that I begin to negotiate the ideal form with Time travelers will it’s the lie and the truth–their combinatory combinatronic combination–that cheapens reality and of course reality is a further subdivision, as is everything else in the life of signs, of the lie and the truth, a further subdivision that is of the narrative of reality into a lie and truth, the lie of fiction and narrative and the reality, essentially that’s the trap of binary opposition and dialecticism and this is perhaps only escapable using Derrida’s idea of the tri-partition, some unmediated way of recombining the lie of narrative and fiction and our reliance on the narrative for reality. It is not the word, the signifier that cheapens the signified, or the signifier that cheapens the ideal form but rather both the signifier and the signified, the ideal form and the imitative form, that when combined create the generalized and particularized knowledge of the world that is both known and unknown.
Since I am archetypal, a non ideal form ideal form, since I know myself to the most detailed extent what would happen if I there would be someone else who would know myself in that archetypal form and in that ideal form form? Wouldn’t that cheapen me? All that is needed is one simulacra, one doppelganger, one evil identical twin, one shadow boxer to cheapen anything, to break open archetypal forms and ideal forms, this being the case since if there were two identical calico cats the knowledge base of calico cats wouldn’t have the interplay between generalized and particularized knowledge of calico cats, the knowledge would be immediate, unmediated, instantaneous, and there would be no narrative lie–without a narrative lie all knowledge is the same, the narrative lie cheapens the ideal form in a wide pool of thinkers who cast their knowledge of calico cat into that pool, if all knowledge is the same there is no need then for the pool. If I were to travel in time to a certain event that I have been to before I would cheapen the event, since my prior knowledge of something that has already been completed, archetyped, seal in an ideal form, my excess narrative lie would coax it out the ideal form. In other words, if I have a prior knowledge of the big bang then the big bang is not the big bang, this necessarily cheapens the big bang. The same is true of the great American novel and the search after the next great American novel, but if I already had that next great American novel this novel would be out of the realm of the ideal form, it would be manifested, it now has generalized and particularized knowledge base, it know receives narratological lies, with another boon being that to get the next great American novel I would need to get it by narrative lies. If I had reached all the way back to know myself unequivocally there would be no narrative lie needed to know myself, I would need no pool of thinkers, no think tank in order to know myself, I would thus know myself in an ideal form, as an archetype, I would not cheapen knowing myself through the knowledge of a think tank. But, since such ideal form knowledge is not within reach, and since narrative lie is needed to learn of myself, Plato then was a bit off, because if the ideal form cannot be gotten to, at least not without unmediated narrative, i.e. to get to the ideal form, to get to archetypal knowledge I must also learn of myself via narrative lie, it is the combination of both the ideal form and the narrative lie that cheapen and are being cheapened, for if the ideal form was more accessible and without the need to get to it with narrative lies then we would talk in absolute knowledge, and god and physics would all be the same, reality and imagination, the real and the unreal would be absolute, no more real or unreal than the opposite, all signs would be absolute too, if what I now know if via known and unknown and cheapening and being cheapened of both by each the other, in an ideal form knowledge the known and the unknown are both known, there isn’t a narrative lie, but since this knowledge is not accessible without a narrative lie then it is not only the narrative lie or the imitative form that cheapens and is being cheapened but also the ideal form that cheapens and is being cheapened once the ideal form and the imitative form are necessarily in tandem.
To speak in absolute knowledge and in absolute terms would have rid Plato of the need to deride writing while using writing, for in absolute knowledge every sign would be absolute, ideal, archetypal, fully known, and once this happens I may begin making my peace with Plato. In the mean time I won’t, since he is the one who started with the whole poets are cheap shot artist type of thing. I am not a poet, nor am a writer, I am a narrative liar, it suits me well–it suits me well to lie. To use Derrida’s idea of the center, no word is centered, the constant state of flux works against Plato’s ideal forms, or maybe in his favor, since words can never really be absolute, against Plato since a table is hardly a table in word nor in an ideal form and for Plato since words are so slippery there can’t be anything but a compromising of the ideal forms yet the inaccessibility of the ideal form without a narrative lie is why there is a constant compromise with a narrative lie, and it is the ideal form that is being compromised because it is neither accessible without narrative lies nor is compatible with narrative lies, the flaw of the ideal form is that no absolute knowledge is accessible without a narrative lie and Plato criticizes narrative lies cheapening ideal forms when in fact he should be criticizing the notion of the ideal form as being an impossibility, as being too stable, too rigid, too uncompromising so that when it is compromised it is cheapened, while language is constantly compromised but is not cheapened, and so poets who never run out of words keep on compromising and cheapening the ideal forms when in fact the ideal forms are too rigid not to be compromised. Derrida’s center is always already off center, no one ever said that there isn’t a center, but only that the center is always already elsewhere, this is, I must say, the ideal form for the center. However, the ideal form of the center is always deferred, it is always in flux, as such, without being fixed, it is not the ideal forms of Plato.If the ideal form of the center is always already elsewhere just as the center is always already elsewhere in its ideal form then my ideal form is also unstable, it is a signifier for myself and also a signified, but whatever I bring to it, i.e. whatever meaning I apply to it, whatever I upload onto my ideal form it is always already elsewhere, I can never get the complete ideal form, I can never stand in the center without also standing elsewhere then the center at the same exact time, the ideal forms, here Plato was off, are also always already elsewhere just as Lacan’s baby looking into the Lacan’s mirror feels complete with mother, an archetypal knowledge, absolute, then strikes the knowledge of i and everyone else, then strikes the knowledge that there was never a complete knowledge, never an absolute, never a complete sign without a rupture somewhere and slowly the self-knowledge migrates towards a transference of allegiance, when the self transfers allegiance elsewhere the narrative lie of the self is not without movement, it is not that the self shifts out of the biopower but that the struggle for biopower is not ordered, it is not eugenics which delineate nor govern the self, it is the self’s transference of allegiance that describe the biopower, in itself perhaps the only ideal form, in itself perhaps the only centered presence, but as in all power the search for the seat of power leads almost inevitably away from power, towards the destruction of power, towards the crumbling of eugenics, towards a cyborgism biopower, the search for the seat of power leads to it being unseated, leads to powerlessness, the center cannot be gotten to.
this is the self
Keep in mind that as a writer I am writing this simply so that people would leave me alone, I am fine as a writer, I am not a fine writer but I am fine, I am just fine so leave me alone.
By Omer Zalmanowitz