Individual Presentation or Panel Title

Craving the Appearances: Poetics and the Twilight of Sight

Abstract

The following presentation, Craving, is directed toward that paradox in whose twilight language, vision and knowledge coincide. The event of interest for this inquiry, the composition of attention—how it composes, shapes and moves, gathers and disperses—remains murky, a confluence of sorts where the terms presiding over the momentary instances of recognition constitute, sustain and determine, in part, one’s capacity to attend. Recognition, in this immediate phenomenological sense, is paradoxical, as the mechanisms that allow one “to identify; to learn again” often require, simultaneously, the exclusion of that which escapes the terms of our acknowledgement, and the grammars that regulate meaning.

My suspicion, supported by Maurice Blanchot’s essay, “Speaking Is Not Seeing” is that language – one of attention’s key constituents – fastens what is seen with what is known, and vice versa. In the words of Blanchot, “we gives ourselves in language a view that is surreptitiously corrected, hypocritically extended, deceiving.” This claim is severe when considering the continuity of metaphors that couch knowledge in the syntax of sight, and maintain what Blanchot calls an “optical imperative that in the Western tradition, for thousands of years, has subjugated our approach to things, and induced to thing under the guarantee of light or under the threat of its absence.” My presentation looks at a few literary scenes that confer upon the poet, for whom language is at stake, a special agency with paradox, a capacity to navigate through the twilight, to function without the guarantee of light, clarity, positivity.

Presentation Description

The presentation "Craving the Appearances" is directed toward that paradox in whose twilight language, vision and knowledge coincide. What special agency has literature conferred on the poet to navigate through this paradox, to access those terrains where light, clarity, and positivity cannot be guaranteed? A research for which language remains at stake, constitutive of attention, determinate of knowledge, initiates the scholar into the generosity of the real.

Keywords

Maurice blanchot, Poetry, Phenomenology, Vision, Barthes, Poe, Gertrude Stein, Paradox, Composition

Location

Oglethorpe

Publication Type and Release Option

Presentation (Open Access)

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Jun 10th, 3:45 PM Jun 10th, 5:00 PM

Craving the Appearances: Poetics and the Twilight of Sight

Oglethorpe

The following presentation, Craving, is directed toward that paradox in whose twilight language, vision and knowledge coincide. The event of interest for this inquiry, the composition of attention—how it composes, shapes and moves, gathers and disperses—remains murky, a confluence of sorts where the terms presiding over the momentary instances of recognition constitute, sustain and determine, in part, one’s capacity to attend. Recognition, in this immediate phenomenological sense, is paradoxical, as the mechanisms that allow one “to identify; to learn again” often require, simultaneously, the exclusion of that which escapes the terms of our acknowledgement, and the grammars that regulate meaning.

My suspicion, supported by Maurice Blanchot’s essay, “Speaking Is Not Seeing” is that language – one of attention’s key constituents – fastens what is seen with what is known, and vice versa. In the words of Blanchot, “we gives ourselves in language a view that is surreptitiously corrected, hypocritically extended, deceiving.” This claim is severe when considering the continuity of metaphors that couch knowledge in the syntax of sight, and maintain what Blanchot calls an “optical imperative that in the Western tradition, for thousands of years, has subjugated our approach to things, and induced to thing under the guarantee of light or under the threat of its absence.” My presentation looks at a few literary scenes that confer upon the poet, for whom language is at stake, a special agency with paradox, a capacity to navigate through the twilight, to function without the guarantee of light, clarity, positivity.