Derrida's "gibberish"?

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Derrida's "gibberish"?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 11th, 2017, 5:40 am 

Okay, maybe this is for Dandelion only? Yet again I see HUGE problems with the use of the term "object". I am not really Derrida makes any sense here and is guilty of kidding himself (in my eyes) and I'll try to explain.

From Writing and Difference (p.7-8):

...Only pure absence - not absence of this or that, but the absence of everything in which presence is announced - can inspire, in other words, can work, and then make one work. The pure book naturally turns toward the eastern edge of this absence which, beyond or within the prodigiousness of all wealth, is its first and proper content. The pure book, the book itself, by virtue of what is most irreplaceable within it, must be the "book about nothing" that Flaubert dreamed of - a gray, negative dream, the origin of the total Book that haunted other imaginations. This emptiness as the situation of literature must be acknowledged by the critic as that which constitutes the specificity of his object, as that around which he always speaks. Or rather, his proper object - since nothing is not an object - is the way in which this nothing itself is determined by disappearing. It is the transition to the determination of the work as the disguising of its origin.


For starters appreciate that Derrida offers a critique of Husserl in a later chapter. Husserl was quite clear that he never meant "object" as a physical thing and that pretty much everything was an "object". Husserl was also very fond of the term (in English translations at least) "adumbrate", which is equivalent to Derrida's talk of speaking "around" an object, whereas Husserl would simply regard the "around", or "adumbration", as an object.

Derrida then trips over his own explication by saying "since nothing is not an object", yet happily talks of some "pure book" as an object. He doesn't seem to appreciate that "nothing" is an object of sorts; and this is especially the case as we're talking about literature! He then equates negation with "nothing" by saying "nothing" is determined by absence, or "disappearing". He makes no attempt to view "nothing" as a future nothing, as an unfulfilled possibility, something un-rendered.

He starts off by saying "pure absence" too. Defined as not simply the absence of this or that, but rather as a blank canvass upon which work is done (an overt fecundity, much like Nietzsche touches upon in his explication of "nature" as a chaotic and powerful force). Derrida uses the term "wealth" instead of "fertile" not seeming to understand any difference.

Then we have the "book about nothing", and what he seems to miss here is something again Nietzsche refers to in The Birth of Tragedy and the "sacrilege of wisdom":

... what the myth seems to whisper to us is that wisdom, and Dionysiac wisdom in particular, is an abominable crime against nature; that anyone who, through his knowledge, casts nature into the abyss of destruction, must himself experience the dissolution of nature.

...

... the basic understanding of the unity of all things, individuation seen as the primal source of evil, art as the joyful hope that the spell of individuation can be broken, as a presentiment of a restored oneness.


Really hard to pick out the relevant passages from Nietzsche! he basically talks of individuation as reprehensible in the sense that it is the origin of suffering (not his words precisely, but his view of the mythos)

The "book about nothing" is essentially the beginning of art and of wisdom. It appears Derrida is playing at Nietzsche's view of Dionysus, badly because he is doing something strange by setting out to frame "object" as "nothing" rather than "nothing" as a particular kind of literary "object". Talk of "proper object" and of "nothing is not an object" are quite clear mistakes and misuses of language as far as I can see.

What do you think of either/or/both my thoughts and Derrida's text?
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Re: Derrida's "gibberish"?

Postby dandelion on December 11th, 2017, 10:20 am 

Sorry, I’ve been in a rush lately. I think I could have written something better in the ontological thread than I wrote too, but regardless I think I’d replied similarly once in a pm ages ago? It has been a while and jumping in, can be difficult to tell between articulating other's views, such as possibly about pure books, or reflecting on them.

“Pure absence”, ok- not of this or that, but take for example absence of certainty- it inspires motivation or imagination, in not knowing all that is possible there is possibility or hope. Whereas Nietzsche writes dispiritingly about condemnation to eternal return of the same, I think Derrida offers optimism instead, of hopeful repetition with difference- with openness and imagination for differing relationships (so although Derrida is repetitively writing of similar things as Nietzsche, there is great difference from Nietzsche’s thought- note a pattern?). In this way unfulfilled possibility, future or whatever, may be an inherent part of what is said here. So, this may be notions of motivation and imagination as a force to (uncertainty) “certain conclusion”. From sentences preceding the quote you gave, as though “a universe to be added to the universe”, “articulating excess”, may be sort of part of this. So there may be no certain purity and instead acceptance of mixture.

I think “wealth” about boundaries might be quite like fertility or hope or promise here, but perhaps of a different tense?

Maybe he did Husserl some disservice, yet physical or not there still seems concern regarding objects which may if anything be secondary, temporary incidentals of processing relationships between such forces or variables. Does that seem relevant to your thoughts?
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Re: Derrida's "gibberish"?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 12th, 2017, 3:40 am 

NOTE : What bothers me is Derrida says some good stuff but peppers it with nonsense ... it's REALLY annoying!

Not really. You just appear to be making your very own interpretation of his words by adding "certainty" into the mix.

He is clearly referencing the "universe" of common language. All he really says is 'language begins somehow' and thinks this is enough to start laying claim to what "nothing" is outside of language (where is doesn't exist - again I hear echoes of Kantian confusion in regards to noumenon!)

As an analogy, he saying the blank canvas is not nothing, but the absence of the canvas is nothing. He has merely pushed the problem further back and covered it up in verbose camouflage. He is making a poor attempt, in my view, to mimic Nietzsche's style - and hybrid of artistry and philosophical thought; which Nietzsche actually tackled as a subject. It is like he thinks he's writing for someone who has a full understanding of the etymology of each and every word (I am, you may have noticed, fond of etymology. I am not fond of how he puts it to use here though.) It is propaganda to serve who knows what perverse ideology he possessed? Or if I was being charitable, it is something that will easily be used as propaganda for other ideological approaches. It is not even an honest look at the art of critique yet, merely a ramble to befuddle the reader and soften them up for more and more nonsense so they start to fool themselves into thinking something meaningful is being said, when in fact all meaning is being slowly peeled away in a hideous mockery.

I feel so strongly about this because as soon as I saw the insertion of "since nothing is not an object" he'd revealed himself as a fraudulent writer, because when it serves his purposes "nothing" is an object in the sense that "book" is an object? His audacity is incredible and if no one else has ever bothered to point out this dualistic approach to language then ... WHAT THE FOOOK?? It is INSANE!

"The pure book" doesn't mean anything. He simple adds in this as if it has been explicated elsewhere (which it hasn't - I would add this is pretty much the same trick that Heidegger attempts with "Dasein", but he at least makes a partial attempt to explain it.)

The part about the "critic" I do see as a very meaningful piece of this problem. It is glossed over for now though and I hope later it is taken up more fully as the real issue here.

Anyway, after what I've quoted he doesn't explain anything more merely shifts to another semblance of reasoning not giving the reader enough pause to question his deceit.

What "pattern"? Nietzsche may be a dense read, but at least there is thought and meaning, and there is a clear expression of what he is tackling.

This is sickening me so much, like Heidegger, I;m going to have to see it through to the end and shitting all over it. I am already starting to see that maybe as Heidegger plagurised Husserl, Derrida may well have plagurised Nietzsche - and I may even go as far to say that Husserl himself may have too, because there are some unerringly parallels between them both.

I have to admit my respect for Nietzsche has gone through the roof lately. His work is almost incapacitating. No surprise that a great deal of those I admire the work of drew so much from Nietzsche (I am unsure of Husserl because I only saw a brief mention of what I said a post back).

Anyway, got that of my chest! haha!
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Re: Derrida's "gibberish"?

Postby dandelion on December 13th, 2017, 6:33 am 

That’s a shame.


Derrida questions notions of metaphysical transcendence so if considering epistemology say, a relationship may develop between what may be knowable towards some indication of what may not be. There are various notions that may be related to uncertainty, indeterminacy, undecidability, etc. Wiki, but discusses Nietzsche and Derrida in this way - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indeterminacy_(philosophy) I think you’d mentioned Godel recently too, and thought maybe superficially, I’m not sure about your context, that incompleteness may be relevant to this as well and thought it might relevant to your reading to some extent. . But, yes, my writing was an interpretation of course- and I did have a related notion I haven’t properly thought through yet playing on my mind, and wrote while trying to keep some track of it, but hoped it might gel this way, anyway!

Yes, my mistake, not necessarily what “other’s” may say, as I wrote, but I think he writes in different levels, such as more traditionally, from more within language, and also less traditionally within and regarding language use.

Yes, Nietzsche seems a significant backdrop. I’m not sure I’d realised you hadn’t read much of him when we’ve conversed about such notions before, and yes, very interesting, especially about ancient Greece, but problematic, I think. I think I wrote about such influence, chorus and such, in maybe some of my early posts here, but not written well. There are some other influences too but I wonder now what path led you to Husserl.

Regarding pattern, in what you describe as plagiarism, whether this may be the return of the same (Nietzsche), distortion (Heidegger) or much the same mixed with difference (Derrida), and where responsibility lies, e.g. I mentioned an Ancient Greek fragment in the ontological argument thread, like many others they have involved themselves with reinterpretations of it, e.g. Heidegger refers to interpretations of these by Diels and Nietzsche, and Derrida interprets Heidegger’s interpretation, etc. To be less as serious, Derrida once wrote about reinterpreting a note on a torn scrap fragment of paper with Nachlass notes or in the margins or something, possibly or not written by Nietzsche, which read “I have forgotten my umbrella” http://en.illogicopedia.org/wiki/I_have_forgotten_my_umbrella ( not Derrida).

Sorry, will be with family from today over the hols and won’t have much of a chance to get back into this with thoughts that might be worth contributing for about 3 weeks.
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Re: Derrida's "gibberish"?

Postby BadgerJelly on December 17th, 2017, 5:30 am 

Dandeloon (Sorry, couldn't resist!) -

As an example of what Derrida seems to do. He took Husserl's, what was it? 12 pages?, and then wrote a critique several times of long that made next to no sense. He pulled all manner of interpretations from it and for what purpose? Simply to show that he could? Who cares??

I have read in several places that Husserl is considered to be quite obscure. What does that make Derrida if he layers on more and more words for fun, and strangely seems to miss the entire point too?

As for what led me to Husserl, neuroscience. I found the term phenomenology in a book and thought "this sounds bloody useful" so I then googled it and up popped the name Husserl as the one credited with instigating phenomenology.

Don't rush! I'm muddling through several bits and pieces and when my new books arrive I'll be bogged down. At the moment trying to get to grips with the whole business of aesthetics and critique. Currently goin gat Nietzsche, Artistotle and Derrida, and just bought a book by Tolstoy too "What is Art?" ... not to mention Husserl will be arriving in the post soon too!! :D

Then I have to make time to read the anthropological stuff, start painting, and then bash out some kind of essay about my ideas surrounding the "Origin of Religion" ... which does relate to this whole scheme of aesthetics in general and artistic interpretation.

By then I'll no doubt be old and grey and a little more "insane" (and Fuckoff, as I playfully refer to Foucault, has a long way to go to make me say such a thing in anything but jest. And consider I have openly stated I have had a psychotic episode too, so I know a little about being "insane")

Happy winter solstice and Christ mythos holidays! May Pan and Odin bring you joy and merriment ... but not too much! And may the symbol of Christ help you strive to be "better" :)
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Re: Derrida's "gibberish"?

Postby dandelion on December 22nd, 2017, 8:49 pm 

Thanks, Badger, happy wishes to you and yours too and happy hopes for the new year :)
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