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how you envisage the grounds for reading interchangeably text and image? Does that practice not entail some danger of Lyotard might call the intensity-of the ignoring the specificity-what image as distinct from the linguistic text? Or. we are tempted to locate your work somewhere between phenomenological disclosure. you show that the center or crux of the theory of the sign is to be found in the doctrine of the Eucharist. as it might be pursued in a hermeneutic process. Placing special emphasis on the textual displacements or emendations that occurred in the various editions of the Logique de Port-Royal. in its dual dimension as both figuration and signification. In ETUDES SEMIOLOGIQUES (1971) you outline the program of a "pictoral semiology. and textual theory for the interpretation of painting. Your reading here borrows at once from the method of philology and from that of semiotic analyses. the latter attempting to grasp the coherence of the text not in its properly conceptual content. if they can be read together. what place. as it might be developed in a Marxist or post-Marxist 44 . Your work has now illustrated extensively the possibility and fecundity of using models drawn from semiotics.INTERVIEW LOUIS MARIN Questions from Diacritics 1. In LA CRITIQUE DU DISCOURS (1975) you take representation itself as your object. and an ideological critique. what status do you ascribe to the discourse of painting? 2. Could you indicate now. If we view this double movement (philological and semiotic) as analysis of philosophical discourse. linguistics. In relation to the entirety of your work (including UTOPIQUES: JEUXD'ESPACEand a vast array of articles)." that you proceed to illustrate through diverse studies centered on the rhetorical mechanisms at work in the process of figural construction. what is it that produces the effect of their difference? 3. in retrospect (nearly ten years after the "Elements pour une semiologie picturale" ). how would you characterize the value of this emphasis on the classical notion of representation? And within the ensemble of discourses with which a society pictures and signifies itself. but in the study of the mechanisms that allowed for the production of that content.
You do not. however. your notion of the model is displaced. but also have epistemological implications for the field of semiotics? 4. and Pascal formulating a critique of the second-degree ideology). i." This speech act (Hoc est corpus meum)-which ing reconsideration of the place of such key elements in the Logique de Port-Royal as the neutral deictic." and its center would in turn reconcile the internal contradictions. 338]. "the blind productive space in which the contradictions of the model are reconciled. 181]. as it departs from traditional "historicizing" or "logicizing" reading? Given that the locus at which the "theory of philosophical discourse" can be generated is inscribed by this shift away from historicism or logicism. how do you situate-what of-your (choice of an) explicitly oriented deconstructive reading. 362] the eucharistic utterance achieves the "uniting of the contradictory occasions an illuminatexigencies.e. As proposition and as figure [Critique. you sometimes have occasion to play a pedagogical role. and the possessive-is located "at the center of the problem of language and the sign" [p. the relations between deixis and logical content [pp. you have doubtless noted that we are commonly inclined to throw caution to the winds in considering the significance of delineating ideological structures or investments. 181]. From your vantage point. the place of the body. p." [p. To what extent is the more or less methodic or "scientific" deconstruction that you practice. is it then impossible to believe in a neutral semiotic practice? Doesn't the analysis of Port-Royal's discourse entail a subversive thrust in regard to the pseudo-neutrality of semiotics? Would this critical analysis no longer be simply historical in scope. Is conceiving of discourse in terms of space not already setting out in that direction? In programmatic terms. You indicate that the space of discourse is bounded by three poles: "(1) the originating metaphor of the word (2) the figure of desire (3) the ideological trope of the proper name of the subject" [Critique. This conciliatory function. we are prone to risk moving beyond the methodological issues raised in the previous questions to diacritics/June 1977 45 . incorporating the instruments of semiology as well as the framework of the discursive model. how is this shift regulated so that the reading can retain an operational validity? 5.. 100] It allows for placing in a series the "gestural function of the originating designation" [p. p. or again. set out to constitute an exhaustive inventory of the mathematical models of the discourse under investigation (Pascal in this case) with a view to constructing the type of reading we encounter in the "history of science. it is the "space in which the model is produced. the theological builds and destroys the logical text. The "theory of philosophical discourse" enters into La Critique du Discours through your insight into the work of the fragmentary in logic: you show that there are discursive positions or stances in logical discourse. The eucharistic model. Can we not construe the model as another name for the ground or force that structures the text? For what the model "accounts for" is in fact secondary in relation to its "structuring function": is the "accounting" not an effect of the structuring force? 6. at odds with the project of deconstructing the text(s) of metaphysics. with the epistemological project of elaborating an archeology is the scope or import of knowledge? That is to say. as you show. the copulative verb. You appear to be seeking after both the truth of the text and the play of ideology of the ideological envelopment (Port-Royal being the second-degree Cartesian first-degree." The model would then reconcile the "contradictory exigencies of the text.framework." Rather. The center of this model is the HOC. 183-85]. the logical and figural status of the copula "est" [p. thanks to career-related circumstances. resolving internal and external contradictions. what are the priorities that govern this type of work? How does one pursue simultaneously a theory of discourse and a description of the ideological enclosure within which that discourse is practiced? Is the model of the text topological? 7. This tri-polar grouping bounds a space the systematic topology of which remains to be constructed. has to be differentiated from such an approach: the model becomes a critical notion serving as the fulcrum for deconstructing the text. constructs/deconstructs the logical text. On the Anglo-American scene where. 33]. raises the question of the structure of the text.
the most apparently innocent text opens in your hands (or between your teeth) to reveal the structure of another world that is nothing but some universal condition of this one. Out of friendship. The world inside the mouth is like that in Gargantua. that arises out of the most familiar. what are the practical aims and implications of the critique of ideology. illustrates a permanent feature of your interpretative strategy: its playfulness. and I discover that I have never had such difficulty writing. articulations among all these writings.a relatively "pragmatic" concern with the institutional situation of academic criticism and philosophy. then. but also then as well as now. can characterize your critical politics? 8. The process is metaphorized in your own text in figures of orality. to dissipate the confusions and obscurities in these theoretical texts. to do this violence to myself. orientations. something like a system which is supposed to have been germinating. among all these texts. A certain laughter. it is a palatable commonplace to insist on the necessity (epistemological. a single theory allowing the inference that this theory. tions-about these friendly. this system was in some sense prefigured in 1966. incarnation. What did I mean to say in the "Elements for a pictural semiology. Whence this position that organizes and provokes these questions. the "positioning" that I feel as a kind of cantilever. I am forced to do this violence. relations. a certain jouissance is the inevitable conclusion of your work. out of vanity or interest). at the risk of inconsistencies and contradictions. of tearing as well as the violent movement of traversal "through. since I am the one who wrote it. over and beyond the understanding of that entrapment? What effects can you hope to achieve through this understanding? To put the question bluntly. dia-critical. Dia: which means in Greek the gesture of separation. of division. because on this occasion a single question is being asked. and that this occasion will allow me to set forth all at the links. has been in the process of construction ever since. a spatial and temporal gap within what is full." etc? To tell the truth. I do 46 . thanks to them. most available intimacy: la bouffe. For all the questions raised today are directed towards a single unified theory: they are theoretical questions-sharp. I do have to write about what I have written and explain how I view that-its intentions. theoretical questions presuppose that I am supposed to know how to answer them. the only question. After all. that I am better placed than anyone to answer them. or system. articles. the true date of my first text. compact. better than any reader. but one wonders if you are imagining a kind of eudaemonic esthetics? Louis Marin I have read and reread the questions sent to me by Diacritics. Your reading of "Puss in Boots. which would have been prefigured in my first text. eating." which opens a distance. the locus of some jouissance. ethical. since I am here and there at the same time. More than a century after Marx began to exert a decisive influence. The question remains.e. i. Perhaps this sense of your critical performance is not subject to direct questioning. dividing. the critical question. but faced with these questions. in 1966. continuous. separating in order to institute some unity. tearing. I hardly know anymore. basically. and ten years later. An once-showing extreme difficulty writing. I do have to answer these questions (out of friendship. vanity or interest. the place of a certain utopia. reader and author of what I read. or what have you) of a critique confronting the entrapment of our own discourse(s) in a prevailing ideology (of representation)." printed in this issue of Diacritics. even a friend. truth. with conscious naivete. So now I have to write out an implicit construct which would constitute a system. the diacritical question of criticism. the harmonious peace of a system. historical. But since I wrote those texts. of a state of peace. and I am tempted (can I in fact do otherwise?) to establish. when the smallest detail. penetrating dia-critical questexts that are themselves theoretical. directions-some implicitrinss there that I am supposed to know or ought to know better than anyone else. most childlike. some reconciliation: a violence in the service of an institution. books which are mentioned or analyzed-and with what acuity and penetration-in the questions sent by my friends.
in 1977. Austin. Aren't these surfaces where heterogeneous elements come into contact the loci of intensities? And have we gotten far enough beyond representation today to be able to speak of it as a "classical" notion? Or more precisely. that I attempted to approach with the notion of the neutral. present and future. and Panofsky. the representation of a real event never stops being constructed and being undone. So that. I have never studied anything other than these ambiguous objects-medals. of disjoined adjoinings where both one and the other. figure and discourse. 1966. interrupted. from language to image. both the one and the other direction as well as my own dispersal between them-I mean the Ex-Votoof 1662 by Philippe de Champaigne. in the same place. recurring place of the notion of representation from the beginning of my work and with it the notion of the discourse of painting. image and/or language. and on the other that of a prodigious knowledge of texts. portraits. encounters. In the last analysis. geographic maps. That is why-but only after the fact-I observe that except for the enthusiastic naivetes of the "Elements de semiologie picturale" (which marked the epistemological optimism of a generation taken with the modeling power of structural linguistics). moving back and forth to the rhythmof a double project of contemplation and reading.remember quite well certain events. icon and/or text. doubly and mysteriously illuminated by the daylight whose source is invisible to the observer and by another light falling from above in which both Grace and Miracle are being figured. in the locus where the two scenes of reading and contemplation are put in touch and set apart.or ratherwhich reinscribed in itself. in its very singularityas a painting. at the edges of contact between the two great systems of significance. or some desire to write. illustratedtales-which put to reading and viewing the unavoidable question of the "limits" [bords] and "edges" [rebords] of signifying systems at the point where their significance exhausts and produces itself. history. then meeting Jean Seznec and EdgarWind. in the gap between the one and the other.. Searle and those proposed by Greimas and Propp.etc. stories and legends. constantly falling short yet ceaselessly stimulated. of fiction or fictive practice. it is by focusing my look [regard]as reader and as viewer on the borderline that separates and articulatesthe text and image. I am tempted to answer theoretically that between. iconography. and the reading of a singular text made "foreign" by being shattered. has one ever really finished constructing that notion and abandoning it? Thus the Ex-Voto of 1662 can appear as this image-text which is emblematic of all my research. but also Poussin through the work of Anthony Blunt who was just finishing his three great books. there came into place a strange painting which at the same time intersected both these directions and yet held them apart. or more recently with that of rhyme (or syncope) in autobiographical writing. . Fromimage to language. engravings. So to the first question which concerns the insistent. in that zone of the canvas where words are written and icons are delineated. at the same instant. and the long afternoons at the National Gallery or at the Courtauld Gallery. projecting a book that was going to be called La Logique de Pascal. still lifes. each one conquering its identity over the other and estranging itself from the other irretrievably. the traditionof beautiful forms. reading. I would be inclined to reply: London. just as it was symbolically the trigger of work in the past. are brought to fulfillment and falter. in the narrative of that work as I am now constructing it thanks to the questions diacritics/June 1977 47 . a line of inquiry. fragmented. . a zone of limits. the two sisters of Port-Royalin their cell. A place and a moment that are empty and active. and at the same time. performing itself in this text and this icon. my own written commentaries on the Pensees that I was working at constantly. and readings which triggered a given question. Poussin's man killed by a serpent in a grandlyclassical landscape. it is by rereading the text written-inscribed to the left of the canvas (a text composed by the great Arnauld himself) with the aid of models supplied by Benveniste. it is by recalling today. succumbing to remembrances. that I am tempted to answer the first two questions: figure and/or signification. a text whose demonstrative and persuasive structures I was trying reconstitute. on the one hand.
but stimulated by the discoveries of Louis Lafuma in the Fifties. it appears at the end of the article in the Annales E. For the sake. and when I speak of critical metalanguage. this symbolic operator. what I encountered in Pascal's Pensees was a text which necessarily posed the problem of the status of critical metalanguage and its values of truth and certainty. which is itself the reproduction of a lecture given at Oxford in 1966. occurred in two stages. this book-a thesis-has a strange and significant history. in the role of a "to be continued. but it was a false one.from Diacritics. nor a construction site on which I would have been the mason and architect. The difficulty I am evoking here in the mode of an autobiographical narrative is a fundamental. Neither a site of ruins or excavations on which I would have served as the archeologist. that temptation called for reflection. were-as fragments and as a collection of aleatory. a radical problem.C. The fact is that in this sort of autobiography being asked of me or that I am irresistibly drawn to write. fragments of which would be the Pensees. spiriting away what this discourse wishes to bespeak. itself constructed by the conjunction of two narrative sequences around an instant-that of the miracle which is not shown but told by the text producing the representation. in a state of constant interruption. or without allowing that discourse itself to be put into question by its object and relegated to critical invalidity. of saying that the Pensees were the ruins of an edifice that must have existed prior to their material. a diversionary maneuver: could I not find a book. the empty place of fiction between figures and discourse is the space in which I am trying to write. a work specifically dealing with 48 . had not died at the age of thirty-nine." an incompletion function in this discourse. one that is in any case pertinent in the context of the questions raised here. Because of them. Ten or fifteen years spent at this undertaking led me progressively to this very simple discovery: not only was the reconstruction. an austere mass into which I am now compelled to venture. etc. Initially my project was to write a book on Pascal. The first was discovering the difficulty. exist? In what ideal prior-world? But it was no less impossible to say-in the second stage-that the fragments were the materials for a future book that would have come into existence afterward (if Pascal had not been ill. or rather the re-presentative operation itself resulted from an effect of this strange text. In other words. Ultimately. again as a result of circumstances. And this reflection was soon reinforced and recast into a problem of writing or rather of discourse: how to practice. fragments-indeterminate. you will recognize what is called. a discourse that is not fragmentary. here again. or without allowing that discourse to be produced as just one of the effects of the text it analyzes. I notice that I have always placed this emblem. my objective was to reconstitute or reconstruct the edifice of the "Apologie de la Religion chretienne" on the site of the great ruins of the Pensees. since the study lacks the rigorous analysis of the text in which "narrative representation" is "seized" by the repetitive "speech acts" of the promise and of oblation and in which past time is neutralized by the present instant of iconic representation. in dealing with a fragmentary text whose "fragmentarity" I was trying to characterize. Yet the very fact that I was drawn irresistibly to act as archeologist or architect. and more particularly a book on Pascalian logic. Where then did the book of the Apology. a way out of the impasse began to come into view. the pensees. signifying reality as a text. let us say that the need to represent the Pensees as a book seemed to be forcefully determined by the fact that the texts.). without immediately dissolving. of a systematic account. as an operator of nonclosure. indeed the impossibility. Yet at the same time.or representation-of Les Pensees into a finished work whose structure I would reveal an impossible task. whose Pensees I have been reading since adolescence. at the limits of my own discourse. The same incompletion is present in my contribution to the Melanges Mikel Dufrenne. a tactical solution. philosophical discourse. basically a very simple one.S. And this remark leads me directly to the four questions from Diacritics concerning La Critique du discours.. in the questions formulated by Diacritics. This discovery. Coming after many readers since 1680.
distortions. The questions from Diacritics point. but in which the fragmentary text of Pascal would exert its effects-its violence disrupting the internal coherence of the discourse and the mastery or control of that discourse over reality and man. and various historians of philosophy had recently placed at the forefront of philosophical modernity La Logique de Port-Royal. Take the example of the theoretical. Circumstances provided me with this book. that in reading a text I hardly worry at all about methodological a prioris. effects of the work of the fragmentary in the systematic. in which I observed that the Pascalian text was cited at the fundamental points of articulation of the philosophical discourse: the primary terms of this discourse. of the questions that the Pascalian quotations introduced into the Logique. Marxist criticism or hermeneutics.the properly philosophical position of truth. offered me this "middle" philosophy of classical representation. philosophical. but also the application of the presuppositions. warpings began to menace even the discourse that seemed most securely demonstrable. at the risk of shocking some readers. but as the work this mastery had to carry out in order to achieve its position of authority. and religious. for two centuries. It matters little to me that my questions touching upon the limits of the book and its productive center be perceived in either of these ways. the text. the limits of this discourse. in conjunction with the Grammaire generale et raisonn6e. First I would say. its closure. Now I quickly observed that it was quite difficult to determine accurately the limits of the book. Why these questions about this book? Quite simply because diacritics/June 1977 49 . I shall limit myself here to telling the story of my reading of the Logique de Port-Royal. You will recognize at this point not just the effect. But at the same time. N. etc. For the reasons I have already noted. not as its hidden face. essential words or categories of language/thought. The representative model seemed to deconstruct itself even as its construction was developing. for example. In other words. rationalist ideology found the charter of its values. the quotation introduced gaps into this discourse. that would. the Logique de Port-Royal. signified the back-side [l'envers] of the logician's analytic mastery over discourse. coherent exposition of an Art de penser. its closure and simultaneously the closure of its object in the intelligible representation of that object. around those points where the Pascalian quotation intervenes in the Cartesian book of Port-Royal. M. the idea of a method that would pre-exist the object under study or the idea of applying a "readymade" instrument to a material. Chomsky. through this application. to some of these deconstructive movements. the a prioris of Foucault's L'Archeologie du savoir (which had not yet appeared when I was writing my book). philology or semiotics. the discourse of clarity and distinction in which. the idea and its validity (= the truth) are short-circuited to the advantage of a surreptitiously normative description of the way representation and its signs function. in my own "critical" discourse. and finally the subject of this discourse. exerting its effect in two directions: introduced in order to corroborate the logician's assertions [propos] with an authority at once scientific. Foucault. which is nothing other than a representation of the opposition history/ structure. methodological alternative. internal to the text of the Logique but which have methodological implications for the reading (my reading) of the text: thus. in a critical fashion. the Pascalian quotation was affecting the paradigms of the Logique. a philosophical discourse presenting itself at once as true and as teaching the true means of arriving at the truth. that it was equally difficult to determine its author. But this "work" was not to stop there. an "applied" cartesianism whereby the transcendental deductions of the subject. of the functioning of discourse and its subject. I am limiting myself to telling a story. Gradually. its beginning and its ending. I began this reading with the analysis of the effects of the Pascalian quotation in this book. both be broken down analytically into its its ultimate elements and constructed in its true form. by virtue of a "natural trait of mind" as the seventeenth-century moralists would say. displacements. what Diacritics presents as an alternative-semiotics or philology. by that I mean that I set aside spontaneously. the "ego" that sets it in motion and finds in the discourse its own ontological and semantic identity.
on the contrary. that of discourse and its minimal unit. in La Critique du discours." what the "positions of enunciation" were questioning in the "author" was indeed the ideology of representation. which are perhaps unfortunate terms since they tend to muddle that movement and hide it within a metaphoric scheme of levels and hierarchies. (My objective. and finally. In other words. or whether. that of 1683? What are the true intentions of the authors? Will we find them in the preface addressed to the reader. the Essais de morale. or more precisely whether there did not appear. i. the Contes of Perrault. shaken. which went beyond the dimensions of La Critique du discours. all representation is ideology and all ideology is representation. that the model did not account for. this is not the case: there is no secret or hidden truth of the book. of locating in this book. was. but an operation in the book [travail du livre] that I call text. there are no conscious or unconscious intentions of the authors. and. but that. the real authors. or more precisely. of asking whether the text in the "Book.) But perhaps this extension that I envisaged will take on one of its possible meanings if I carry on with my story and go a bit more into detail. Now if the expression "representative model" is in fact pleonastic. such power!-was. the sentence (posited as the semiotic and the semantic by Benveniste). it was as if the gentlemen of Port-Royal. did account for the operation of the model. their 50 . if. some axes or foci [foyers] of coherence. what the "text" was questioning in the "book. quotations." the places and positions of discourse in the "Authors" would corroborate the coherence (so obvious to the reader) of the "object produced" by the discourse.-my own discourse being but one of the effects traced. of the operative ritual sentence. reconstructing or representing the true Logique.? What is the true role of Arnauld and that of Nicole in the work? What did they really write together. From then on.. if every representation is a model in the double sense of normative paradigm and theoretical construct. places of enunciation. Now that was not at all what I set out to do: for me it was a matter of analyzing an operation of the text [un travail du texte] within what is called a book (whence the study of successive editions. on the other hand. in the Logique. examples. Rather than repeat here the analyses I offered." Now these questions are not brought out in the Logique. their authentic intentions. what I called axes or foci of coherence: the question of the sign in general. fractured in and by these very operations of construction and grounding. could only develop it in the domain of language or else apply it in that of theology. etc. The work of text in the Logique led me to discover rather quickly a web of problematics (problematique en r6seau). but an author's work (or play) that I call positions in discourse. the textual marginality of the succeeding additions to the book. that of 1664. in anything more than a marginal fashion. from that moment on [February. equipped with the "Cartesian" representative model. finally. what I called. Still.). In short. It is this deconstructive movement that I formulated with the notions of first or second degree ideology. the Perpetuite de la Foi. perhaps awkwardly. etc.they are asked by the book itself? What is the true Logique de Port-Royal? The first edition of 1662. questioned. they would undermine it. in which the text is at work in this way. different discursive positions. grounding emerged. the theological question of the Eucharist. I will note what they revealed to me: that in support of these developments or applications. the representation of ideology. 1972] to pursue these studies in other domains: thus in studying the Fables of La Fontaine." a supplement that did not derive from the model. I would emphasize. the Reflexions et Maximes of La Rochefoucauld.e. the Memoires of Retz. representation as ideology. of transsubstantiation: "This is my body. some plural systematics organized around masses of quotations (from the Grammaire generale. through borrowings. etc. in the Catholic sense. displaced. a supplement was inserted into the "model. etc. in the first or second introductory discourse. etc. additions). registered by this work. separately? How did they write? All these questions are philological questions insofar as answers would be given that lay claim to the status of truth. especially in the case of the Eucharist. the representative model that the as its construction and its Logique elaborated-with such force.
chronological or historical supplementarity. this narcissistic cannibalism in the blind silence of the animal body. the task that remained to be carried out was to read the third part of the Logique de PortRoyal in order to uncover one of the sharpest. And it is this displacement. also turned out to be central. which can sound exceedingly modern to us." The "theoretical. and the project of deconstructing the metaphysical text. Those powers are explicitly treated and investigated as the subversion of the representative model by the violent manifestations. And yet the grounding of representation here in its value as truth. in the book. a remark touching on the ambiguity of the term logic in what was entitled. to indicate that the discourse in which this word is employed is the discourse of a man who does not only conceive of things (that is the role of representation). the Verb-of which "the principal use is to signify affirmation. What then was this supplement that was both superfluous (marginal) and necessary (structural)? It was the appearance in the model of representation.. it crossed through the book. Upon careful reflection. identified "sign-thing" ("corpus meum")-the thing (being) is consummated as a sign. of an articulatory power of language and of a capacity of appropriation and identification which assured. and universality (theoretical discourse. in 1662." the optico-metaphysical re-flection that is representation itself would thus be supported by this ground the structure of which is given by the gentlemen of Port-Royal. the universal domination of man over being) requires the effacement. the schema of the erasure of the speaking subject in what is spoken. the mathesis universalis. i." i. objectivity. of the desire that is named. First. it seems to me that I have been answering with these remarks the fourth question. a schema in which the institution of the theoretical or symbolic ("est") will be recognized. structural. is stated by Descartes. for this advance. whose privileged metaphorical scheme is the mirror and the paradigm. and is repeated by the Port-Royal logicians in their famous definition of judgment and of. the perfect congruency (adequation) of the sign and the thing. the essential texts of the Discours de la methode). the representation of myself. as my representation. but who judges and affirms them. precisely. a desire for knowledge. a desire for truth: all that. this dynamic polyvalence that I sought to inscribe in my own discourse. in the margins of the Logique. the primitive self-devouring. i. as a supplement-but given in the sphere of the religious (this is an essential point. logical reading. to trace in my book in the form of recurrent considerations of the same questions.. Against this background. thus turn out to be symbolic of a desire. For it is indeed a question of logic.e. of the representation and being. the obscure clarity of the Catholic faith: the schema of the imposition of the sign on the thing ("Hoc"). most rigorous analyses ever conducted of the powers and capacities of discourse in the enunciative relation. grace and/or lust.e. fundamental. and finally. but diacritics/June 1977 51 . who wishes or desires them to be as he conceives them (this gives a strange accent to what is currently called the aletheic function and the existential function of the copula). The analysis. prior to any metaphysical or transcendental deduction of the objectivity and truth of the signs and representations of the theoretical subject. "my body. the theoretical itself. according to strict Cartesian orthodoxy. marginal in the Logique. and with them. the schema of the return of the subject of enunciation in the utterance but as an appropriated. indiscernible in their effects. the forgetting of the originary consumption. my substance which is mine. this break-through toward this ground may well have been possible only in the religious sphere in the seventeenth century). the Logique. The same "fragment" of the text thus occupied several signifying positions in the space or volume of the book. the optical reflection (cf. circulated in it. This power and this capacity of language and discourse. science and philosophy. which is unquestionably the most complex and difficult since it addresses the epistemological status of my own discourse. of the ritual formula "Hoc est Corpus meum" provided the structural schema of this power and this capacity.e. I would nonetheless like to bring in a few supplementary considerations concerning the relation between historical reading. but within the religious mystery. of the model and reality..
amusing parodies of the great and serious questions of the metaphysics of representationand the subject of knowledge. absence.) that I employ are dismantled as they are put to use. speaking-(to)-the other as a figure of the power-to-eat [the other] shows clearly enough that it is only a matter of a fiction of origin. eating. after a few years have elapsed. its space of authority. my "critical"discourse attempted.." one of the definitional images of man. to bring it under control to its own advantage. linguistic. is the place of philosophical discourse in which. the gap being that space where the truth. perhaps. representation in general. 52 . to proceed along this limit. I wonder whether. etc. indiscernible as such (as a real event) is likewise indistinguishable from the origin of power whose figure in turn is the mutual devouring of bodies: the circularityof these figures (eating the other as a figure of the power-to-speak. taken as one of its major products. where the markof a double effect of distancing and parryingis inscribed. in a discourse that would in its turn institute an order of truth. concerning my "critical politics. in its margins." the preceding remarks should make it clear enough that. Whence. my nomadic course between the Eastand the West. simultaneously.theoretical) by the humoristic or parodic inclusion of my own discursive position in the object about which my own discourse speaks. Forthe deconstruction of representation is already underway and my discourse is only the product of that process. just as my theoretical discourse on philosophical discourse is transformed into a criticalfiction. on this double edge: diacriticaldiscourse. i. the very notion of deconstruction is not in turn displaced as an epistemological and theoretical project to the advantageof limited. to be neutralized as a project. insofar as it simultaneously opens a gap and occupies it. That brings me to a brief consideration of the last two questions that were addressed to me. a remark touching on the historical or historicizing dimension of my reading of the Logique: this dimension or this orientation is in fact tactical. shall we say as a meta-discourse (I would then have to inquire into the status of that metadiscourse. attempts today. Whence. on the condition that we understand clearly (as in the fable. there occurs an opening onto the spaces of a lack.e. And it should be equally clear that I am strivingfor a discourse. it is a indiscernibly descriptivepresentationof the real conditions that make discourse possible and a normative presentation of the ideal conditions that make it legitimate. its school. the Cartesian metaphysics of representation and of the subject of representation is exposed-in all the senses of this term-and. in the second place. a mode of writing. a pedagogical practice that does not seek to bring that power to light. as I said previously. my project. the effect of truth. the project of deconstructing the metaphysical text comes. and in particularthat of the Logique.this logic is an art of thinking and. Second. In other words. So that today. in fear and trembling. and inquire into this inquiry). what I am questioning is the power that is structuredand exhibited. within this tactic that is at once historicizing and logicizing in (and not on) the text of the Logique as it is plied by the Pascalianwork of the fragmentaryand. undergo a metamorphosis into figures of the desire for knowledge. In this optic. I mean that the Port-Royalof Arnauldand Nicole. my interest in short narratives such as La Fontaine's Fables or Perrault's Contes. is produced. that is institutionalized by the book or the painting: the power of an order of truth. What I said earlier about the ritual formula "Hoc est corpus meum" and about the consumption of things as signs should have sufficed to point up the pertinence of what Diacriticsaptly terms the figures of orality. and void where desire-grace and/or lust-is at work. very precisely. punctual operations of disintegration. an art of judgment. between Europe and America. for example. or ratherof a "catastrophic"reversalof the powers of discourse (critical. First. by that of the borrowings and quotations that I have indicated. where the "moral" sanction of the animal's discourse is the alternativeof eating or being eaten) that "the talking animal. and the models and categories (semiotic. in my reading of the Ex-Voto of 1662 by Champaigne or in my reading of the Logique. and incarnation. in this place. is the figure of an origin of language based on the mutual devouring of animal bodies and that this origin of language. from this point of view.
a reading trap. its playfulness-its operation is only its undoing. this narrativeinstitution. to include itself in its product so as not to be exempt from the trap it sets. motifs which. and to exhibit the other side of the coin. staged in a narrativerepresentation. diacritics/June 1977 53 . in the double sense of return: to come back to itself.But this power. I am positively delighted with this last question because it points very incisively toward a place of communication or transfusion among some of the diverse motifs of my work. can seem foreign to one another: utopia as both representation and fiction. But here is another way of answering the question that is always forgotten: "how does it happen that we write. happiness as a defection from institutional power and an exercise in playfulness. its movement is only its turning-back. this representation functions in a strange fashion. is a listening trap. representation as an institution. or a figure of the origin of narrative. It is also a matterof understandingclearlythat these figures of an origin. esthetic pleasure as an effect of this power and as the acme of jouissance. power of truth and as a space for the fulfillment of desire. and that is its power as play. that we have an urge or desire to write?" The answer is provided at the end of "Puss in Boots" in this marvelous observation that the King does not give his daughter to the miller's son until after having had one drink too many."origin" meaning nothing but the power to "institute" the fiction. as the fable. a "fable. as it happens. to turn itself over as one "reverses" a glove or a skin." are in turn at work on this representation so as to institute it as such: as narrationor power of enunciation. and once it is in place. seen from a distance or a global perspective.
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