– towards Dionysusian propagation of the theory of literature –
The interpretation itself is a form of the will for power existing as passion
Writing is a science of enjoying the language, its kamasutra
I like everything I know
Dr. Falus, a character in the play “… Who Started First” by Dejan Dukovski
Even though initially marked with its apophatic, unutterable and rationally unexplainable character, love, with its constitutional feature of being an “experience, incommunicable by ideas,” according to Octavio Pas, one of its undoubted connoisseurs, has long been a theoretical theme par excellence as well, even more when, beginning with troubadour poetry, it (love) has developed into a certain institution.
Judging according to the deepest philosophical perceptions, love ranks amongst metaphysical qualities, marginal conditions and deadly (fatal) issues which are determining for human existence just given the man’s fatal commitment and fateful finiteness, in the world. In this apocalyptic context, love has been prescribed certain hermeneutics of offense and transcedence; altogether with the soteriologic (salvational), cathartic, heuristic, world-creational and even – Utopian connotation and power! Allowing dissimilar levels of division, love, as a phenomenon, passes through and is subject to a few transformations: according to its shape, it can be passion, ecstasy, philia (as the one of Tristan and Isolde’s), or a mystic delirium, nirvana, agape (as the one of religious novices’); according to its object, it can be abstract love for objectless love; that is, universal cosmic love – or, it can be concrete love, directed exclusively towards one or several beings; according to the way of its expression, love can be declaring, made known by the means of the lexis, styled or categorized according to its style, and performing (performed and proved, self-sufficient exactly on the language level), or love can be an activating force, corroborated on the practice level by a certain act, self-sacrifice, or an ethic deed. Fateful, fatal, and inevitable such as it is, love has also some daimonic aspects of the body and corporeality; submerged in dark, irrational impulses, it may be primarily (al)chemic occurrence, non-expectable stream which leans toward coalescence, or synthesis; toward certain cosmic (omni-prevalent) wedding, celebration, harmony of the unity with the world, symbolized through the loved person…
Not going further into this exceptionally delicate and complex area of thought, which this treatise is not aimed at whatsoever, we want to underline that love usually exists as a theme, motive, problem; while the literature discourse, as a discourse On love, is its meta-level.
Unlike the ampleness of papers which treat love as their own THEME disputing endlessly its modalities, teleology, and symbolism, our ambition is for love to be (develop into) an APPROACH to the literature, to be inbuilt immanently INTO the discourse, which, such as it is, would be the demonstration, verification and inseparability of love.
When saying this, we think of the epistemological cut/break made by the current post-theory, reaffirming the values of the homeopathic, magical principle of contagiousness; of existential-and-ecstatic infectedness and intonation of the theoretical approach and even more – the speech! We think of the ever more emphasized and undeniable AESTHETIC significance of the contemporary theory in which, amidst the fundamental crisis and reconsideration of the foundations, anyone is predetermined “to choose by himself his own genre and his own itinerary within it”(V. Biti, 1997:V)
One’s predetermination to oneself, to one’s self-contextualisation which re-evaluates positively the achievements of individual experience of the text, and above all the modality of libidinal lust and yearning (as a deeply comprehendible and heuristically powerful longing) leads to an initiation model of the theory of literature, which would prefer passionate, potent, and lucid lovers, prepared to a certain risk in the always uncertain adventure of a text, instead of mediocre compliers to the rigid theoretic system.
Being similar to the Socratic “erotic anamnesis” (Peter Storejdik, 1992:55) with its volcanically vigorous and pulsative and actualizing approach, such aesthetised post-theory not only “reverses to yearning which goes beyond any object” (1992:55), but forces itself out beyond the epistemological horizon of the literary science for any final outcome and, why not, ideal, just going through a personal self-transformation, self-improvement, askesis (self-discovering and self-shaping by the means of intellectual efforts and theoretical activity).
So, starting from love as a supposition of dialogue (and the very dialogue being elevated to the level of an ontological, worldly principle, according to Bachtin), the post-theory implies as its own legitimate components the hedonism, enjoyment in the text, reading, criticism, game, or aestheticism to the level that openly calls itself “a fancy theory” (Elisabeth Brus). “Theory as an art” (Fransoa Leotar); “minority art form” (Terry Eagleton); “theoretical fiction”(Jan Belment Noel).
In the spirit of Nietzschean traditions of the intellectual art, it develops and safe keeps its artistic charm, its procedure of astonishment (until recently only typical for the art literature), divertissement, joke, and the effect of aesthetic emphasis.
Its embedment in love as a starting modus of communication with the literature inter alia is recognized in the indicative determination of the reading as a transfer, marked with a series of erotic and passionate signs and quality features. In view of this, Jack Derida wrote that “one text likes/loves another”, and that such immanent and textual love and affinity is actually a motivating basis of the very poetics of inter-textualism, of the crossed, inter-textual reading; paradigmatic for the method of deconstruction of the letter (in this case the post-theory letter), we discover it (love) among other things on the level of etimological similarity: in the tradition of the troubadour lyric and eroticism where central weight has just been taken by the love test, assai (in Provencal), which implies ritual initiation, and ritual consecration of the woman in all phases of her everyday life including dressing up, undressing, and her going to bed etc. Terminologically quite alike this old-French love test, the present-day favourite theoretical genre – ESSAY– requires a ritual as much as love dedication and tactile relation towards a literary-artistic text, attempting by itself to add to it, to parallel it with its own beauty, attractiveness, creative charm and authenticity, even more when it also belongs and anchors in – the letter.