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Pataphilology: An Irreader

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ISBN: 9781947447813 9781947447820 Year: Pages: 240 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0232.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-03-26 11:21:03
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What do the bizzare etymologies of Jean-Pierre Brisset, made-up languages for literary fiction, The Dialectic of Enlightenment, Latin grammarians, Horace’s Epodes, and the Papyrus of Ani have in common? Absolutely nothing. Yet, taken together they provide an unusually coherent picture of a hitherto unacknowledged non-tradition of linguistic investigation. At these moments, particularly within the traditions of European writing which can loosely be termed “avant-garde,” philology goes rogue, hearkening to unearthly imperatives and barely comprehended intimations, and producing results well beyond those generated by more respectable – and supposedly more grounded – philological endeavors. ‘Pataphilology: An Irreader seeks to document and analyze such moments of philological speculation, invention, and détournement. In using the term ‘pataphilology, Gurd and van Gerven Oei are not proposing a facile analogy with ‘pataphysics, where ‘pataphilology would be philology’s wacky twin, always out for a lark, never doing anything real. This would presuppose an operation (even if parenthetical) on philology analogous to a shift from physics to ’pataphysics, something which Alfred Jarry, to whom this volume owes the latter neologism, appears to contradict in his initial definition: “Pataphysics […] is the science of that which is superinduced upon metaphysics, whether within or beyond the latter’s limitations, extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics.” Any way you cut it, ‘pataphysics is a physics that demands — or, better, that relies on — an utmost philological sensitivity to writing, unheard etymologies, unstable translations, incomplete formalizations, and haphazard decryptions. This volume seeks, then, to document how philological practices — no matter how non-standard, disreputable, or academically useless — have played a role in the production of avant-garde literature and knowledge, as well as forgotten, alternative, or fictitious scholarly projects. Ranging from the papyrus of Ani to the future languages of speculative fiction, from the fictional tablets of Armand Schwerner to the Attic Nights of Aulus Gellius, from Horace to Lacan, ’Pataphilology: An Irreader is a cabinet of philological curiosity — and a map of the ever-changing constellations that emerge when human language loses its chains.

Language Parasites: Of Phorontology

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ISBN: 9780998531861 Year: Pages: 136 DOI: 10.21983/P3.0169.1.00 Language: English
Publisher: punctum books
Subject: Science (General)
Added to DOAB on : 2019-06-12 09:24:33
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Who speaks when you speak? Who writes when you write? Is it “you”—is it the “I” that you think you are? Or are we the chance inheritors of an invasive, exterior parasite—a parasite that calls itself “Being” or “Language?” If our sense of self is best defined on the basis of an exterior, parasitical force that enters us from the outside, then the “self” is no longer a centralized or agential “inside,” but rather becomes reconfigured as the result of an “outside” that parasitizes the “inside”-as-host. Rough versions of this model can be found in several traditions of continental philosophy: in Lacan, Derrida, Serres, Kristeva, Foucault, Baudrillard, to name a few. However, the full implications of this ontological model have yet to be addressed: what are its consequences for a theory of subjects, objects, and the agencies that intersect with them? How does this framework alter our understandings of the human and the non-human, the vital and the material? An off-kilter point of view is required to consider this historical and philosophical situation. Language Parasites argues that the best way to conceive of the “self” or “subject” as something linguistically and ontologically constituted by an aggressive and parasitical outside is by asking the following question: “what is the being of a parasite?” In addressing this challenge, Braune combines speculative philosophy with ’Pataphysics (the absurdist science, invented by Alfred Jarry, that theorizes a physics beyond both the para and the meta, resulting in the pata). These theoretical collisions betray a variety of swerves that extend to the social (as a parasite semiotics), the cultural (as the invasive force of memes), the aesthetic (as the transition of postmodernism to postmortemism), the linguistic (as found in Saussure’s paranoid researches into the paragram), the poetic (as seen in Christopher Dewdney’s journey into “Parasite Maintenance” and Christian Bök’s attempts to embed a poem in a bacterium), and the literary (as para-cited in Henry Miller’s experience of housing a parasite named “Conrad Moricand”). The “voice” of the parasite can be found in what Saussure calls the “paragram”—the uncanny messages that lurk hidden underneath the written word. And what does the parasite say? Or, does its speech reject human ears?

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