Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer School: Early Literary Theory 7

Featuring discussions of narrative theory, Maimonides, Al-Farabi, Augustine (a little bit), De Vinsauf and Sidney.


Karl Steel said...

Sorry to be an annoying commenter, and no need to approve this, but a quick tip from a medievalist: calling Geoffrey de Vinsauf "de Vinsauf" is like calling Augustine "of Hippo" or writing something called "The Da Vinci Code." Few Christians in the Middle Ages had surnames. What they had instead were place names (typically) and sometimes nicknames (like Peter "the Eater" or Notker "the Stammerer"). Place names differentiated one Geoffrey from another. It's perfectly appropriate to use the first name to refer to these people, so long as it's clear which one you mean (i.e., Augustine of Hippo rather than Augustine of Canterbury). So, you might write Geoffrey of Vinsauf or Christine of Pizan the first time and then each subsequent time, Geoffrey or Christine, with no one thinking you cheeky.

Timothy Morton said...

Hey thanks for that reminder. My bad!

Ruth Solomon said...

This pattern you outline of various levels of interval between narrative and chronological order- rang bells. The three stages you put down in stories/films and other art and sound mediums are maybe playing out everywhere given the chance i.e framed in duration. Some notes I made next day on therapy sessions with children involving movement-pause, touch-breath got me thinking about the three phases to nearly every situation:

1. Mismatch -mapping ground- false starts- doing/undoing. Missing- colloiding. Brief exchange in the cross-current.
2. Zero Point- Deep pulsaton and movement; cyclical.
3. Dialogue. Interaction. Time enacted episodically as fast exchange. Heightened motivation synchronised.

In a sense 1. is most important as it creates the variation out of which slowness and speed can be felt. 2. is a suspension and a sense of many things held in balance- flourishing which takes on a life of its own- like resonance of chords 3. is fleeting and not sustainable but is often valued most in educational/social settings as the conscious "Doing" exchange. But of course it can't exist without the other layers and infact all the layers exist simultanously.

So my question to you is what do you mean by chronological time? is it /can it be an absolute, set apart from the narrative?
Have you read Antonio Damsio- "The Feeling of what Happens" ?
He speaks of Proto self, core consciousness and extended consciousness. Proto self is the homeostatic level of blood flow, respiratory cycle, visceral adaptations, and minute fluctuations in speeds. It underwrites all sense of presence, even though that presence may be articulated and extended in secound order autobiographical self through langauge, memory and fine motor control etc. This is like the quick pulse underneath a continuos drone which can't be represented directly as a discrete entity, skill or function. Some kind of compatability here with Budhism?