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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Re: a note on ptm trscpts

From:

Ira Lightman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Ira Lightman <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 1 May 1998 14:21:32 BST

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (121 lines)


Ian, have you been reading the *rest* of what's been
being said? e.g. my immediate prior post posted in the same
hour e.g.

	"This Prynne vision counters the sort of unchanging
grid space true in all epochs vision in a lot of the 
biological science Sheldrake opposes yet is in Sheldrake 
himself. My problem with the moral geometry of P-T T
remains that the powerful excited *emotional* rush I
for one feel in Prynne's rhythm at this impetus (to
join Sheldrake with the non-Sheldrakes) betrays him
into either freudian or just careless slips into
sexism: which if they are slips reveal that he doesn't
foresee a (female) readership that'll call him on it."

	You ask me for attention to "the context of the 
whole piece being parodic and occasional, however serious 
some of its content"; this is what I was saying: for
"occasional" (which I know also means referring to a
specific occasion, real or fictional conference, but also
refers to an insight, a hot-off-the-press reading of
Sheldrake and others) read "rhythm at this impetus". I
exactly take account of that. My barbedness was a
response to Doug's remark (a day or two back in this
thread): "This is where his [P's] poetry *has always been*
superior to the most clever linguistic theorists, such as 
Derrida". Is this remark helpful? Yes and no. I didn't mind
unhelpful spontaneity, it worked me up to respond. Are you
generally in favour of helpfulness, Ian, or just over
discussions of Prynne? Even if so, I'm still trying to be
helpful. Are you in favour of "whole context" readings
or just of Prynne? You say that my "latter comment in 
particular elides the nature of the text's performance with 
material of its topic, in a not very helpful way"... elides
performance with material? when I've praised some of the
material and some of the performance? surely to respond
to any criticism of any part as a criticism of the whole
when it isn't is elision, Ian? Only out of the whole context 
even of the hour's exchange of about four messages,
let alone the 3 days of the thread, might my comment elide.
But it wasn't meant unhelpfully, but to answer Doug: if
Prynne *has always been* better than Derrida, which is my
subject, not dissing either Derrida or Prynne (I asked on 
16:55, 29th April: "no chance that my opinion might hold, 
some bits of each are a complication of the other, and 
v.v?") then: where are the slips into sexism and racism, if 
only slips, not acted on, not a policy of sexism and racism, 
an action of sexism and racism, which is quite another 
charge, that I'm not making, in Derrida?

Keston says:

"Le titre retenu pour cette seance aura ete la question du 
style.
Mais - la femme sera mon sujet.
Il resterait a se demander si cela revient au meme - ou a 
l'autre.
  (Eperons) --- is this really not sexist?  I'm genuinely 
not sure."

Then make your point in and with detail if you think it is. 
It it is a risque remark - which Keston, you're not exactly 
foreign to in your writing - then "in the whole context" of 
Eperons, isn't it self-questioned, kept in play, by "C'est 
la question de la femme de Nietzche": the other question, 
other than the question of style, which Derrida puts in 
deliberate formal rhetorical play with what you've quoted. 
"C'est la question de la femme de Nietzsche" is wonderful 
pun syntax: "it's Nietzche's wife's question, it's his 
woman's question, his Woman's question, his girl's question" 
(all feminist attention to the possessive in the grammar of
men talking about women) as well as "the question of
the woman-in-Nietzche['s man-woman riven gender as in
"you bring out the woman in me"]". In one sentence, he
exactly highlights that he's not the only one to raise
the question, not discussing women with a male audience
but with a male and female audience, and taking up a
problem raised by a woman" [there's also historical play
here, in that Nietzsche's mother and sister's abusive
treatment of him under christian pieties fired a cry for
help under attention-seeking-sexism that also had other
things to it; play too on the fact his sister helped
as executor create a Nietzsche in favour of nazism
or nationalism, both of which he wrote against "in
the whole context"]. I'm not exculpating Nietzsche
or Prynne or Derrida, none is perfect, none "has always
been" better than the other. If it's unhelpful to say
Prynne isn't perfect or above an accurate criticism
(that he doesn't have to borrow Watt unchecked, because
Derrida doesn't borrow Heidegger etc unchecked) then
G-d help us to help each other so I can see how.

Ira		


On Thu, 30 Apr 1998 17:59:06 GMT Ian Patterson wrote:

> From: Ian Patterson <[log in to unmask]>
> Date: Thu, 30 Apr 1998 17:59:06 GMT
> Subject: a note on ptm trscpts
> To: british-poets <[log in to unmask]>
> 
> It might be true to say that Prof. Quondam Lichen in PTM 
is a joke
> Scotsman, as it might I suppose be true to say that 'call 
me Myrtle' is a
> sexist remark, but in the context of the whole piece being 
parodic and
> occasional, however serious some of its content, the 
latter comment in
> particular elides the nature of the text's performance 
with material of its
> topic, in a not very helpful way.





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