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[log in to unmask],.Internet writes:

>Ben, I can't argue with you that words take on the tincture of human
>action.  Some words are even fashioned from scratch and aimed
>consciously
>with malign design.  What I was trying to point out, however, was what
>I consider an abuse of language in another direction: the attempt to
>impute some sort of volition to language itself

Henry: Your comments are well taken. What one butts up against in
discussions like this is the fact that a sequence of words can "speak"
or even "act" in a way that interrupts or overflows the original
speaker's intentions. To say as a consequence that words have
"volition" would be ridiculous. But we're left with the problem of
accounting for the way words do, indeed, operate independent or in
contravention of the desires of their sentient producers (us!).

I'm going out of my way here to avoid technical language. Derrida gives
a technical account--or one technical account (and WITHOUT attributing
volition to language, I might add)--in _Limited Inc_.

[log in to unmask],.Internet writes:

>At any rate the point was that this seems like a
>serious essay that deserves to be read.  Those on the list who have read
>it--Nate, David, Ben, and Chris--seem to think so.

Keith: I don't want to give the false impression that I've read
Prynne's essay (my copy is presumably en route). I was commenting only
on the quotes in Nate's post, which were very striking, to say the
least.

Ben F.


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