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Jana Evans Braziel, Assistant Professor
229B Mc Micken Hall
Department of English and Comparative Literature
University of Cincinnati
ML 210069
Cincinnati, OH 45221-0069
Office # (513) 556-0834
Fax # (513) 556-5960
jana.braziel@uc.edu
evans_braziel@hotmail.com

Ontology and Language: Écriture, Être

Augustine, Confessions XI.6: theo-referentiality of language

'Word'
Logos
absolute
universal
eternal
present

words

sema

referential

particular

temporal

evanescent

Barthes, Roland Barthes: auto-referentiality of language

'Word'
Logos
absolute
universal
eternal
present

words

sema

referential

particular

temporal

evanescent

Cixous, Le Livre de Promethea (The Book of Promethea):
corporealization of language

Promethea
H. [Hélène] / "I"
I [ je ] / H
líexterior
à líinterior
surface
depth
Lascaux caves
wall
cave
contiguity
skin
womb
corps-âme
soma: body
psyche: soul
conscious
unconscious
meta-physical
material
metaphysical
sign: ineffable,
"untranslatable"
signifier: word
signified: meaning


the burning bush:
"I Am that I Am"
"All-Is-Given" 149

Cartesian cogito

"I think;
<therefore> I am"

ontological unity
logos
a/ontos

'SIMPLICITY'

'DUPLICITY': Split Subjectivity

"But how did you speak? Was it in the way that the voice came out of the cloud, saying, "This is my beloved Son?" That voice went forth and went away; it began and it ceased. The syllables were sounded and they passed away; the second after the first, the third after the second, and the rest in order, until the last one came after all the others, and silence after the last. Whence it is clear and evident that a creatureís movement, a temporal movement, uttered that voice in obedience to your eternal will. These words of yours formed for a certain time, the outer ear reported to the understanding mind, whose interior ear was placed close to your eternal Word. Then the mind compared these words sounding in time with your eternal Word in its silence, and said, 'It is far different; it is far different. . . . These words are far beneath me. They do no exist, because they flee and pass away. The Word of my God abides above me forever.'" .

"the voice is always already dead, and it is by a kind of desperate denial that we call it: living; this irremediable loss we give the name of inflection: inflection is the voice insofar as it is always past, silenced."

"Write on what is alive? But up to now I thought of myself as writing on paper. Sometimes the paper was thick enough, in fact, for me not to feel the blood flowing under the skin, under the paper. [...] I warn her: "I am writing on you, Promethea, run away, escape. I am afraid to write you, I am going to hurt you." [...] But rather than run away, she comes at a gallop. Through the window she comes, breathing hard, and alive as can be, she flings herself into the book, and there are bursts of laughter and splashes of water everywhere, on my notebook, on the table, on my hands, on our bodies."

"Your lips grow, your lips rise sweetly out of the light of the soul. your lips, flowers growing on the surface of wells of tears. I cannot go in. But I don't go in, I don't go in, there is no door, there is no armor, there is no mask, or enclosure or image, only soul, soul, your face rests all around my eyes, my glances float, your face wet with my tears or with your tears: the pond of my thoughts. My thoughts are young, my thoughts are violent, my thirsty young foal thoughts, my thoughts of mares till heavy with milk, my thoughts want to drink your soul, my mares want to cool their flanks off in your soul.

But don't go in, I am already hip-deep in your eyes, I am already breast-deep in your soul. You are so wide open. I cannot stay outside. There is no outside. No sands, no promise. It is a dizzying land. It is your deep body. I have never been in such a place. Your earth absolutely and violently given. All of a sudden it is honey all of a sudden it is wine blood."

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