Thursday, September 7, 2006

TAGS Barthes

No Last Word

Remembering to read a little bit of Barthes from time to time. I like this one (from RB):

When I used to play prisoner's base...

When I used to play prisoner's base in the Luxembourg, what I liked best was not provoking the other team and boldly exposing myself to their right to take me prisoner; what I liked best was to free the prisoners--the effect of which was to put both teams back into circulation: the game started over again at zero.

In the great game of the powers of speech, we also play prisoner's base: one language has only temporary rights over another; all it takes is for a third language to appear from the ranks for the assailant to be forced into retreat: in the conflict of rhetorics, the victory never goes to any but the third language. The task of this language is to release the prisoners: to scatter the signifieds, the catechisms. As in prisoner's base, language upon language, to infinity, such is the law which governs the logosphere. Whence other images: that of choosing up hand over hand (the third hand returns, it is no longer the first one), that of scissors, paper, stone, that of the onion in its layers of skin without a core. That difference should not be paid for by any subjection: no last word. (50)

After reading through Invention as a Social Act, I turned to this bit from RB to untwist what I was reading about collaboration as a dialectical process from Lefevre. No need to blur the distinction between synthesis (anti/thesis wound together like a bread-tie) and "scatter[ing] the signifieds."

Although this is as much because I was posting Barthes passages last year, 9/7.

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