Wednesday, January 20, 2010


I have had the experience, in the past couple of days, of feeling okay where I am. It seems like a new feeling, or at least one newly experienced after months of bad moods, bitterness, and unjustness. I don't know why; I mean, nothing seems to have changed, and chances are, the old will return tomorrow, but here it is. The coincidence of this state with my continued reading of Claudia Brodsky's In Place of Language has led me to think about the significance of this feeling for Brodsky's discussion of the immediacy of the present--the pastness of present words--involved in what she calls building. Brodsky describes the non-metaphorical qualities of building, how it does not transfer anything, carry anything over, or exchange one thing for another; instead building, in the first part of her discussion, refers to building as a form of technology, and to the technological grounds of freedom that arise from theory and praxis becoming "at once" one another (57). Brodsky wants to get at an "ungrounded" place, that is, the inessential aspect of the deictic act (which is itself essential), which marks "here" as here, "there" as there, and "here and there" as here and there. This is the meeting of poesis and technology, of "poetry making," in her marked Heideggerian discussion. Brodsky writes, "Rather than a body or an idea, technology dazzlingly embodies the break with bodies and ideas, the caesura that allows these to be stored and transferred at will" (53). The referentiality established here, not unlike the contested hyphen of identity, imagines the freedom that is offered by the "here and there."

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