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August 17, 2006

Comments

Lars

'... its confessional tone, its obsequious self-pitying me-ing that we all indulge in': but do we, those of us who write at the blogs you list? Isn't this a misreading, producing an entirely artificial difference between writing and reading you describe?

blah-feme

yes of course it is, but the 'we' here is a code.... it is, as it were, a field that is quite specific. Part of all this, of course, is rhetorical hyperbole, a writing that is meant to have effect, Affekt... the 'me-ign' I refer to is not meant as a blanket diagnosis, but a certain discursive habituation.

Lars

I suppose what you call a 'me-ing' can indeed collapse to the most tedious neuroticism. But I wonder whether there is a kind of confession that sets the 'me' apart from itself, inquiring as to the processes by which it is grounded and ungrounded. Perhaps there is a practice of writing that is concerned not with what is made by the 'me' - what it can possess - but that dispossessinon which reveals the economy in which the self comes together and is dispersed.Generosity, yes, but of writing as it sets itself back from authorial volition - sets itself back and dissolves it, as though writing could be a field without subjects, without objects. It is true that such a practice may separate itself from politics, becoming an ethics, a kind of spiritual development that retreats from the world without engaging with it. Interesting to find bloggers strongly interested in writing and who can write about contemporary horrors:http://www.cinestatic.com/different_maps/index.asp

blah-feme

You are right, of course: writing is no guarantee of politics in the singular, anymore than reading is a guarantee of a collective move. I guess my point here was to try to (yet again) not to let us off the hook as regards the idealising of the first person: blog practice tends to cohere around that figure and I am by no means the first to critique blogging for that reason.What I am really interested in, though, is your elegant recognition of the possibility of 'me-ing' as having the potential to partake in 'that dispossession which reveals the economy in which the self comes together and is dispersed'. Is there a metaphor of place, space, situating at work here? If so, is that space/place something like Zizek’s empty space – an imaginary terrain in which the work of ideology critique can proceed, an as if? It is very suggestive in your last comment.In this sense, the question of the 'guarantee' of a certain politics in reading/writing is therefore not really the point for me, but that the hyperbole of saying it opens up a kind of place where exactly these kinds of conversations. Perhaps ‘misreading’ in your first comment could be qualified ‘wilful misreading’ (especially since that qualifier itself pours us back into the ego pot) or ‘rhetorical misinterpretation’?The question remains for me (and one I have not even begun to answer in my post) as to how thinking about the first person as a kind of habituation nonetheless might also capture a certain discursive structuring of blog practice: is that emphasis on writing a way around the politics, a way of de-centring it to the point of neutering it, or is it a really radicalising strategy that is always already as it were ‘on the move’ always already self-dispersing. The Derridean in me (now quite repressed) would of course want to see writing as a celebration of exactly this kind of strategy. But, in the end I just don’t quite buy it.My post is edged in the great ‘perhaps’: perhaps thinking about writing ‘might uncover the ground of our collectivity’. That is a possibility that is worth chancing a bit of hyperbole for, it seems to me…

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