Otherness as a Fatal Strategy

/, Essays, Blesok no. 13/Otherness as a Fatal Strategy

Otherness as a Fatal Strategy

– Dr. Phallus as a Figure of Knowledge –

A. Character as an ideological synecdohe (representatives of a certain global concepts or ideas)

•Cross– identities of Dr. Phallus
Sexual identity – homosexual
National identity – German
Cultural identity – European
Inter-textual identity – Dr. Faustus
Episthemological identity – Teacher (Master, Initiatior, Sedducer)– will (desire) to power

•Cross – identitites of the Youngman
Sexual identity– “straight” … until being raped
National identity – Macedonian
Cultural identity – Balkanian
Inter-textual identity – “Bildungs-roman” character
Episthemological identity – Student (Aspirant, Initiated, Sedduced) – will (desire) to knowledge

B. Drama Structural Conflicts (drama as a simulation of social communication, according to the Dietrich Schwanitz’ s Systemtheorie)

– Body-mind problem (c.f. the concept of erotic irony – Thomas Mann)
– The structural split between Balkans-Europe through the perspective of post-colonial subject) – building the opositions: We, the West, Insiders, Liberal, Competent – versus Them, The East, Outsiders, Non-liberal, Ignorant
– The concept of homotopy (Alexandar Kiossev) as an intercultural identity construction

C.Concepts of Knowledge

– Knowledge as an Erotic Initiation (Sedduction, Pennetration)
– references to the Byble myth of expelling Adam and Eve from the Paradise (lost of primal innocence/ ignorance)
– to Platonian model of Eros as a philosophical instinct
– to the 17th century profound relation, between the “libre” (i.e. book) and “Libertinage” (being spiritually, but also sexually, liberal-minded) •to the Nietchean concept of a “merry science”
– Knowledge as a (mode of gaining) Power
– applying the post-modern deconstruction of phallogocentrism •Teacher as the big (castrating, alientating) male Other •toward questionning the (repressive) policy of knowledge
– “Each educational system is a political way to protect, keep or change the adoption of discourses, knowledge and power– that they are burdened by.” -Michel Foucault-
– to the possibility of the ideo-political abuse of knowledge (science)

D. The Problems of Reading,Teaching and Writing (how is the education at all possible?)

– reading as a (love) transfer – passionate interpretation
– teaching as a process of transferring, translating, but also transgressing the knowledge
– Dr. Phallus: “I want all that I know”
– toward “ the existentially tatooed writing” (Peter Sloterdijk)
– education as a body inscription (Gilles Deleuze)
– knowledge (savoir) – as a “fatal strategy”; versus wisdom (connaitre) – as a self-enlightement
– “I’ m not actually interested in the academic status of my work, the crucial problem of mine happens to be my personal transformation”– Michel Foucault

First of all, let me anounce you, that on the account of this lecture, I would like to offer you an alternative perspective in thinking about the relation between knowledge, education and life experience. This lecture is initially based on a brief analysis of an exemplary literary fragment, enrolled in the theater play Who The Fuck Started All This?, which was awarded with a Grand Prix on BITEF 1997, and was written by Dejan Dukovski, being, at this moment, the most prominent Macedonian play writer.Although still relatively young (being at the age of 3o), Dukovski is already well– known and appreciated all over Europe and wide, first of all, due to his previous play “The Keg Powder” (1995), which during 1998 was filmed, under the direction of Goran Paskaljevic, and was also awarded by FIPRESCI (the Association of film critics) at Venice Film Festival , and with FELIX prize at London Film Festival.
The lecture will also imply a self-reflectional discussion, on the very notions of a teaching method, the figure of a Teacher, the most-appreciated model of Knowledge, the applied (and mostly recommanded) policy of knowledge, as well, as the starting point to reflect on this term, on the account of the postmodernist subversion and questionning the fundaments of so-called phallogocentrism, i.e. the metaphysical tradition of Western thought.
The lecture is founded on the interdisciplinary methodology, i.e. the analytical cross-reading of the drama, which is not concerned only by offering convenient literary interpretation, but also by posing some of the most profound and transgressive reflections on the power and politics of knowledge.This method is also called an intertextual one, which means reading of a text, within and through the frameworks of another one, or more precisely, mutual explication of two (or more) texts.
So, according to this, we are going to read the third circle in this drama, named “Faith” – as an exemplary story or narrative, which is indicative in presenting some recent concepts of knowledge as sedduction, “body inscription”, alienation, “castration”, domination etc.
Since this is a single presentation of contemporary Macedonian literature in the course of our Summer school, it might, as we hope to, also be useful for raising your further interests or investigations in this domain.
As we have been previously mentioned it, the title of this part is FAITH, but through the proces of reading, we find it to be an ironic ( if not a cynical) one. The action is taking place in a specific chronotope, i.e. inn (called “The Black Pig – a forgotten European inn”), which, in Mikhail Bakhtine’ s dialogic concept of identity, belongs among the places (as well as the fairs,bazaars, squares etc.), which he considered to be most proper for constructing one’s identity.
It would also be necessary to notice, that this drama is written in a specific post-modern idiom, which is being marked by a certain metaphysical nihilism, i.e. fundamental denial of fundamental, widely accepted, Western cultural tradition system of values. It also might be interesting to find in there many references of meta-theater, as a number of self– and auto-referential practices, dealing with the various semiologic quotations.
The main characters, taking part in this fragment, are: Dr. Phallus ( person, with a very indicative name, later on, discovered as an effective paronomastic, i.e. intertextual reference to Goethe’s hero, Dr. Faustus) and the Young Man (the anonymous newcomer and student, posessed by his “will to knowledge”, as well, as with his (erotic) myth of searching).
They are both ideological synecdohes, i.e. representatives of a certain and whole systems of ideas and values, or certain identity roles, or, more widely, certain (and indicative) cultural references.
They are actually cross-identitied, as it is briefly presented on your reading lists – and on the account of this binary structuration , we are allowed to see that drama as a simulation of a social communication, within a certain type of interactive conflict, having its own social roles and realtionships.
Their fundamental relation is possible to be determined as an initiation– Dr. Phallus is the one, who, being competent, well trained, experienced – is supposed to lead this process of initiation and be the Master; while, the other one, the Young Man is in the role of an aspirant, having to pass through an initiatory ritual (also including, as we all know, a certain amount of body-pain).
Concerning the interpretations of Jacques Derrida, the process of teaching is very similar or adequate to the processes of transferring or translating, and all of them are inevitably followed by the crucial relationship, incorporated in the basic psychoanalytical process of transfer – the relationship of love .
Far from being only a convenient hypothetic construction of Derrida, this profound intimacy, between knowledge and erotism, was noticed long ago, if not first in the famous Bible myth, about expelling Adam and Eve from the paradise, because of their disobediance, or, better to say, their losing (sexual) innosence/ (spiritual) ignorance.
Considering Plato, his concept of eroticism, includes not only the flesh instincts, but also the mystical, religious, and first of all, philosophical experiences , as well.
There is a very provocative situation during the 17 century and the epoque of Enlightment: in the etymology of the term book ( libre) we find the arguments for considering the movement of libertinage, as paradygmatic one, in our observation of the closest relationship between knowledge and eros.
Not to forget Nietzche– whose concept of a merry science and the whole of his works, might be seen as an apology of an ecstatic philosophic subject…
And also, not forget T. Mann, with his concept of erotic irony, reffering to the “humiliating, subordinated role of the spirit(ual) – in comparison to the sensual, life-pulsionnel.
But, let’s go back to our Dr. Phallus!
He is in the role not only of a master, or a teacher, but, also, a role of a Sedducer. According to the theorists, the sedducing is not a self-sufficient aim (purpose), but, first of all, medium of gaining power over the Other ( through provoking their own Desires and Jouissance). According to Deleuze, the figures of teachers and instructors are actually phallocratic oedipyzing, castrating ones.Therefore, through the concept of education as a body inscription, we become aware (being warned) of the pennetrating, alienating, raping (as it is, in this drama), even paranoid (decomposing) effects of knowledge on its subjects.
This raises the problem and the possibility of the ideo-political abuse of knowledge and science.
It is both possible on the horizontal , i.e. intra-cultural axe, as well as on the vertical, i.e. inter-cultural axe , as well. This means that, the most indicative statement of Michel Foucault, that I have quoted in your reading paper, could also reffer to the binary inter-cultural opposition, between Balkans and Europe, which is dramatized in “Faith”, on the account of Dr. Phallus (as an European, collonial) and the Youn Man (as a Balkanian, post-colonial) subject.
Certainly, we initially recognize Europe as a positive reference group , so that obviously, the Young Man is searching to acquire his aspirational self– image, optimized to this prescribed “European” models.
His learning, getting to knowledge reminds us of a pilgrimage, voyage, journey (which is very alike to a certain ancient practices of self-education).
But is the desirable transfer of knowledge at all possible? Is it reciprocial or assymetric? Is it based on masculinity or on democracy?
Is it something else hidden in there? Yes, of course …

2018-08-21T17:23:55+00:00 March 1st, 2000|Categories: Literature, Essays, Blesok no. 13|0 Comments