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05 Fifth Class Seminar 2012 Part 2

05 Fifth Class Seminar 2012 Part 2

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Published by: Terence Blake on Jul 06, 2012
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07/06/2012

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1
Pharmakon.fr Bernard StieglerFifth class of seminar 2012, part 230 May 2012
(translated by Terence Blake)
 That we are what we «read» (and so we must spell out veryprecisely
what
reading
means here
), is what I described inmy W3C conference (that you can find online athttp://arsindustrialis.org/bernard-stiegler-%C3%A0-www2012):«This transformation of the individual [by writing] ispossible because the latter has, for example, ‘literalised’ hisown brain, which has thus become a ‘reading brain’, and istherefore now a weave of literalised secondary retentions,ie of textualised secondary retentions, and becomes assuch the object of constant self-interpretations». This refers back to what I presented last year like this:
 
2
 This is why Eptsein could write:
we are what we read.
And it is what
Walter Ong
makes comprehensible when hewrites that
literate human beings
literate minds
– are
beings whose thought processes do not grow out of simply natural powers but out of these powers asstructured, directly or indirectly, by the technology of writing
. Without writing, the
literate mind
would not and couldnot think as it does, not only when engaged in writing, butnormally even when it is composing its thoughts in oral form.
Here Ong speaks of 
 
mind and not of brain. What my spiralsrepresent are minds and spirits
literal
 
revenances of the letter
. It remains that the brain must be instanciated inall that: such is one of the first objects of a generalorganology in the age of neuroimaging.Ong tells us here that even when he speaks and expresseshimself orally
the
literate human being
is
 
LITERALLY 
READING AND INTERPRETING HIMSELF
– ie that he is
 
«literally»
WRITING HIMSELF
, if it is true that 1.EVERYTHING THAT HE READS
INSCRIBES ITSELF IN
 
HIS BRAIN
, and that 2. EVERYTHING THAT HE READS
 REACTIVATES AND INTERPRETS THE PREVIOUSLY ANDTEXTUALLY WRITTEN CIRCUITS OF HIS SECONDARRETENTIONS
: the
literate human being speaks likethe book that he is and that he reads
 
 ,
 
3
And I will add here that
this is what our spiral shows
.But
prior to
its
literal
 
tertiarisation
, I affirm that
 
every
 
brain
 
is
a sort of 
reading brain
 
 
 AVANT 
 
LA
 
LETTRE
 
ie:
AN ORGANWHICH ASSEMBLES SECONDARY RETENTIONS WITHPRIMARY RETENTIONS BY WAY OF TERTIARY RETENTIONSWHICH MAY OR MAY NOT BE LITÉRAL
.
(Added June 10th): And this is what in fact is meant byarchi-writing as that writing that speech is supposed toalways already be, and not only speech but the logosand the psukhè by means of all their ex-pressions, ie of 
all their movements
.
* That the
reading brain
reads in itself when it reads a text, forexample a book by Proust, is also what Wolf describes in citingProust:We
read
Proust on the basis of what we have
already
r
 
ead ,and that is done in a
situation of «orthothetic» empathy
inthe sense that

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