Theory: process-relational etc   Leave a comment

Yesterday, I was reading Adrian Ivakhiv’s excellent post, process-relational theory primer, as I began to structure my post-Wake reading.

I also looked at Levi R. Bryant’s post on a-signifying semiotics. He writes:

“If I understand Guattari correctly (and I always find him challenging) when he evokes a-signifying semiotics he is referring to forms of operation that manipulate elements in ways that do not involve signification or meaning. The way in which DNA and RNA interact would be an example of, for Guattari, an a-signifying semiotic.

…Meaning and signification, of course, gets imbricated in these a-signifying semiotics when we encounter their results, but these operations do not in and of themselves function according to meaning or signification.”

This seems to be a fruitful lense through which I can continue to engage with the Finnegans Wake text.

Another quote that helps me articulate my thinking on FW comes from Deleuze and is quoted  Bruno Bosteels’ essay in Deleuze and Guattari: new mappings in politics, philosophy, and culture. It reads:

“The unconscious no longer deals with persons and objects, but with trajectories and becomings; it is no longer an unconscious of commemoration, but one of mobilization, an unconscious whose objects take flight rather than remaining buried in the ground”.

Bruno Bosteels‘ essay “From Text to Territory” continues, “Guattari’s institutional analysis departs from Lacanianism: first, of course, by considering the larger semiotic or even machinic experimentation of collective agencies rather than the linguistic expression of individual persons; second, by heralding a possible overcoming of the idea of a successful Oedipus complex; and finally, by breaking the axiomatic universality of the signifier and the name of the father” (160).

At the moment, I can (only) feel that this concept-bundle is central to my reading of FW. Continuing down Bosteels essay, “Hjelmslev’s model of stratification” (161); and its connection to Sassure’s view that language is “a form combining thoughts and sounds, the famous recto and verso of language as a single sheet of paper” also seem critical to my thinking (ibid.). And there is loads more to mine from the subsequent paragraphs of this essay in terms of how these thinkers can help a reader to relate to the “autopoeisis” of the “collective assemblages” operating at a “chaosmotic level” in FW.

My geologist’s head knows that assemblages font-émerger underlying relational process, “without presupposing any static image of the earth to begin with” (ibid.). As Deleuze says, “the object itself is movement”.


Posted January 28, 2011 by R.H.H. Nisbet in Literary Theory, process-relational

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