Let's try this piece by piece.
>So you are saying that if a person is knocked down by an
>automobile and severely injured that this is a fantasy of some "human"
>and that it does not necessarily mean that other "humans" would
>entertain this fantasy. The conclusion then is that the person in
>question has not been necessarily knocked down by the automobile and
>severely injured. Instead it is just mere fantasy. It never really
>happened. It is a purely subjective matter: the fantasy created by an
No. I'm saying that the cause and effect metaphor is not a *necessary*
linkage...it's not out there, in the "objective world" but in our
language. It is necessary to link, as Lyotard says, but HOW to link is
not. In your automobile scenario, there are all kinds of interpretations
which could easily be otherwise interpreted. Cultural convention, and
not more accurate linkage, is what makes it possible for us to agree
that someone was "knocked down" by an automobile. The move from A to B
in "logical reasoning" is not "logical" but seductive. We are seduced
>from point A to point B by convention, not by "reality."
Furthermore, listen to your language above. You suggest that an event
(or, later a "body") must be MERELY fantasy if it is not concrete
reality...if it's not "reality," it must be pure fantasy. But I'm not
suggesting a dichotomy between the two. If fantastic/phantasmatic
constructions are as real as real gets, then there is no opposition
here--the fantasy makes the reality possible. And we feel it, live it,
breathe it, albeit with differance. But this setup also suggests that
we're not experiencing a *necessary* reality...that, as butler notes,
tiny deviations in the citational chain could effect a radical
resignification in the symbolic domain, which we experience AS reality.
On the other hand, this is not to suggest that we might simply DETERMINE
to mutate the chain. I'm not a humanist. I think "it is [perpetually]
happening," to use a lyotardianism, but that's not to say that *we* are
in control of it.
>Furthermore there is nothing in my message to suggest that I have been
>personally offended, by above all, your mail. Perhaps you were
>"fantastamically" constructing my "message" across your own
>"interpretative/ideological grid." hehhe.
Well...perhaps, but how would you read this line?
>I look forward to reading your reply to this message of mine that you
>did not even read but simply trashed.
This is more of the same either/or problem from above:
>Then the "body" is a fantasamical construct. In other words as
>fantasy or image or whatever kind of weird yuppie language you want
>to use bodies don't objectively exist. It is all in the head. When I
>catch a cold I am fantasising. I don't really have a "cold" at all.
>The " cold" is just a word. Indeed the doctor only concludes that I
>have a "cold" as medium through which power asserts itself. The "cold" >as a word is a fantasmatical construct (this yuppie language is an
>amusement). The "cold" is the medical doctor and I fantastamically
>constructing the "cold" across our own interpretative/ideological
>grid. But even then maybe the doctor is a fantasy of mine too.
It's Freud who first recognizes that the so-called material body comes
into being fantastically/phantasmatically through particular
prohibitions on love, that the very notion of a fixed anatomy is
produced through negation and abjection. (Of course, he immediately
goofs when he then goes on to posit the penis as the original and
pre-existing protrusion par excellence.) I'm not sure where Foucault
deals with this directly (anyone know?), but he's certainly working
*out* of the idea all along. Lacan, Butler, Irigaray, Zizek, Lyotard,
Donna Haraway, Kristeva, and D&G, for instance, all directly deal with
the body as a phantasmatic construction. This is basic stuff. No,
you're not merely fantasizing a cold when you "catch" one. Something is
happening. But that "cold" may have been diagnosed as something very
different under different cultural conditions. Sneezing used to indicate
that the devil had ahold of you--which is why we tend to say "bless you"
when someone lets one go. Think of the beginning several pages in the
Birth of the Clinic...
>When people were tortured and killed in the German death camps by the
>Nazis during the second worl war we only think that this is what >happened. It is merely our subjective way of experiencing "reality". It >is not objective. Indeed there are reactionary historians who claim >that there never were concentration camps: "an ideological construct" >developed by certain interests.Ya know!
Yes, I know. This is why it's so important to refrain from insisting
that that "fantasy" and "reality" are opposing terms. This is the
reason it's so important to sloooooooow waaaaay down, to refrain from
being overly simplistic and blinded by oppositional logic and rude
calculation. We all have a tendency to desire a direct hit of "reality."
But these issues are far from simple and demand careful and open-ended
D D. Diane Davis D
D Rhetoric and Composition D
D Old Dominion University D
D dddavis@xxxxxxxxxxxx D