The unknown tongue : postponing language and the anonymous
Thomson, Eoin Scott (1996) The unknown tongue : postponing language and the anonymous. PhD thesis, University of Warwick.
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Official URL: http://webcat.warwick.ac.uk/record=b1402501~S15
in the following thesis, I argue for an interpretation of relationality on the basis of the
opacity that separates perceiving subjects. Although a great deal has been written
about relationality, my own project tries to demonstrate that paying close attention to
the role of language and time in the explication of separation can provide us with
into the conditions upon which relationality is based.
The structure of the thesis directly supports, at a formal level, my interpretation of
subjectivity as that which, because it revolves around the absence of a unified identity
"I" could call its own true self, is always in the process of arriving out of obscurity.
The link between the structure of the thesis and its thematic development is inscribed
in the question that guides my interpretation of relationality: How to name the
anonymous? My invocation of this long-standing and recurring question in the
disciplines of philosophy and the practice of narrative is intended to highlight the
important role signification plays in the explication of opacity as itself a name
appropriate to the discussion of relationality.
In the first section I provide an introduction to terms that will figure prominently
throughout the thesis against the background of Emmanuel Levinas' critique of the
Other and Jean-François Lyotards critique of the sublime. In the Interlude I provide
an argument supporting the inclusion of a number of Latin American authors in the
thesis (namely, Alejo Carpentier, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Carlos Fuentes, Juan
Rulfo and Octavio Paz) on the basis of their relation to absence. It is this relation that
helps to clarify the terms introduced in the first section and which provides a close
analysis of duplicity in the explication of the separation of relation.
Finally, in section five, I take the reader back to the middle, to the very temporality of
the between, the separation which conditions relationality, in an explication of
postponement, a term I employ in varying degrees throughout the thesis. My critique
of postponement is based on Carlos Fuentes' reading of Denis Diderot and Nikolai
Gogol and Elizabeth Deeds Ermarth's Sequel To History: Postmodernism and the
Crisis of Representational Time, both of which provide us with a language by which to
conceptualise the role of postponement in the approach to the question 'How to name
the anonymous'. In this way, I hope to construct, through the tight linkage between
form and content in the thesis itself, the very thing which the language and the
temporality of the thesis are seeking to name.
|Item Type:||Thesis or Dissertation (PhD)|
|Subjects:||B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)|
|Library of Congress Subject Headings (LCSH):||Relation (Philosophy), Other (Philosophy), Separation (Philosophy), Anonymous persons|
|Institution:||University of Warwick|
|Theses Department:||Department of Philosophy|
|Sponsors:||Overseas Research Students Awards Scheme (ORSAS)|
|Extent:||xiii, 207 leaves|
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