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Tarrying in metonymic sites of pedagogy : the space of language and the language of space 2002

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Tarrying in Metonymic Sites of Pedagogy: the space of language and the language of space Patricia Adele Palulis B A . McMaster University, 1965 M . A . The University of British Columbia, 1986 A Thesis Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy in The Faculty of Graduate Studies Centre for the Study of Curriculum and Instruction We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard University of British Columbia November 2001 © Patricia Adele Palulis, 2001 In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. Department The University of British Columbia Vancouver, Canada DE-6 (2/88) abstract1 This dissertation works and is worked by the chiasmus in-between the language of space and the space of language. Fragmented narratives of live(d) experience from the everyday life of pedagogy are juxtaposed with theoretical traces from Lacanian psychoanalysis and Derridean deconstruction. The text(ure) of the work labours with and against the grain of hegemonic inscriptions in multiple sites of pedagogy - tarrying within uncertainty - on the tremulous grounds of a 'third' discourse. Located always already within the materiality of language, the work labours within spaces of provocative dissonance in-between theoretical positionings. Readings of spatiality from architecture and human geography intersect and disseminate with readings of language from post/colonial ethnography and cultural studies. Re- readings resonate within the vibrancy of a growing literature on writing otherwise within the spaces of interdisciplinarity. Reading outside the literature of pedagogy infuses the inside writing as boundaries are disturbed and subjectivities destabilized. Research is rewritten as messy text as/in a rigour of ruins in the gaps and intervals of the spaces in-between. As semiotic tropes of language shift toward performativity, the text ex-scribes in order to disrupt the circumscriptions of normative praxis. The text seeks invocations for risking radical responsibilities in the everyday experience of living pedagogy - in the tensionaliry of the always already and the not-yet there. The work of this dissertation labours beneath and beyond the text in semiotic dispositions - through an Aokian re-reading of Lacanian metonymy for pedagogy - a doubling movement of metonymy/metaphor in tropic moments - within a 'third' discourse generating openings for transformation. Ex- centric circumscriptions dis/appear into the space of no-thingness - a site of ambiguity that is both thing and nothing and yet neither thing nor nothing - an ongoing response to an invitation to write a paper/not paper. A writing that tarries within its inscription - ghosted by a reading relationship with itself. A writing that seeks a jouissance of vacancy in tracking the spectrality of paper ghosts. The possibilities for transformation happen in chiasmatic passages from trope to performativity through re-readings and mis-readings. From a working text emerge articulations of a radical rhetoricity evoking ongoing labour from the para-sitic spatial punctuations of AuthorTextReader. See notes for a working abstract on the following two pages. 11 n. un/toward notes for a working abstract ab/straction n. [1] off the track [2] as/in ex/traction - de/traction - dis/traction - de/fraction [3] from a space of departure - a departure of uncertain origins - to the space of an arrival - an arrival without a shore [4] with/in always already uncertain terrain [5] as/in a diaspora of words [6] with/in a persistent state-of-homelessness [7] a spectre - a paper ghost. As an ongoing responsive reading of an invitation to write a paper that is not a paper, this dissertation writes into performative spaces of hybridity. Drifting habitations de-stabilizing a writer who became increasingly enticed by the jouissance of vacant spaces. As the writer's working worlds shifted in a state of persistent instability and the writer's working words destabilized, the writing became an entre-prise - a performative enactment of tropological sites of hybridity - writing as a divided act - writing that always already - toujours deja - has a reading relationship with itself. A tropological site of Metonymy as a doubling with/in itself of metonymy/metaphor. Re/search became a space for vacant subjects, missing objects and empty contents - a vibrant site for re-naming in order to un-name. Empty content from a student as provocative defeat evoked the space of no/thing. Student/teacher boundaries began to blur as pedagogical moments emptied into spaces of void/nothingness - mu no basho. Englishness as practiced place - as a spatial praxis - began to dissolve - to disintegrate - opening to fragments of silence and excess. Writing beyond and beneath substance as ex-centric circum-stances spilled into the space of no-thingness - a tensioned site that is both thing and nothing and yet neither thing nor nothing - the pedagogue as vanishing mediator in a scandalous violation of the real. i i i Re-working the ruins - draws its force - from the silence and the excess of the hyphen - the force-de-rupture from the in-between spaces - from the interval. Storied fragments empty into the spaces vacated by theoretical traces - of deconstruction running with and against the grain of psychoanalytic discourse - entanglements of bricolage and decoupage. Reading into elseWhere spaces evokes a transformative pedagogy as a provocation for writing otherwise. A writing that tracks in the footprints of a paper ghost leaving traces of a vacancy in the spaces that it has occupied. A writing that seeks a jouissance of vacancy in tracking the spectrality of a paper ghost. iv t a b l e o f c o n t e n t s abstract ii table of contents v acknowledgements ix [inter-val] a curious pre[ ]text: ex-centricities in-and-out of context the im/possibility of a reading lesson 2 the site of pedagogy 9 radical misreadings 15 confessions un/becoming to a teacher 19 the time of reading 24 text as a doubling gesture of hospitality 26 re-marking the work 27 readings that refuse to stop 28 chapter demarcations as limes: limen liminal liminality 29 c h a p t e r o n e t h e jouissance o f v a c a n c y disruptive beginnings _32 invocations from the pedagon 33 (com)posting intentions 35 re-working metonymy 37 living un/grammatically 39 ethno/graphy as in(ter)vention 43 disturbing discourses 45 chiasmatic moments 56 V chapter two the english gaze: Metonymic moments of un/veiling beginning elseWhere 59 broken as/in english _J>0 the stain of Lacanian ink . 62 entering 'inside-out' 64 metonymic searches 77 performative contradictions 80 the voyeuristic gaze 85 the labour of english as border fetish 88 the tain in the screen . 92 unfinished stories . 96 yet another language 100 gaze as double imaginary . 108 radical ec/centricities_ HO aporetic inscriptions from the theatre of no/thing 114 chapter three re/working the ruins of re/search as e(x)criture ... or writing and/as the in/appropriate(d) other . 116 fragmenting titles 122 working a title 125 signing the void 138 'being' out-of-time 141 inscriptions of a vacant space V I c h a p t e r f o u r u n t i m e l y m e d i ( t ) a t i o n s : t r a n s l a t i n g a s a v a n i s h i n g m e d i a t o r 146 a pied in a textorium 149 a vanishing mediator 154 the work of re-reading . _ 157 im/positions of englishness x 159 translating the slippage — eating as reading-on-the-sly . 1 6 0 doubled glossings 1 6 2 a clattering of brackets 1 7 0 dis/cordant aspirations 172 living on in spaces of hybridity c h a p t e r f i v e u n c a n n y d e m a r c a t i o n s : p o s t ( m a r k ) i n g a n a p o s t r o p h e gestures toward no/thing 177 time that is out-of-joint 181 traces of dis/placement 195 dis/solving the word 200 drifting habitations of a vacant subject 206 moments of performative writing 209 un/toward endings 219 postscripts on the im/possibility of death 220 r e f e r e n c e s 221 v i i i acknowledgements Writing is making (the journey) with ... Cixous & Calle-Gruber Rootprints, 1997, p. 168 I wish to acknowledge my gratitude to my co-supervisors Dr. Ted T. Aoki and Dr. Carl Leggo and to committee members Dr. Karen Meyer and Dr. Elvi Whittaker for being willing to risk this journey with me. To Ted's who opened spaces for transformation - whose invitation to write a "paper/nor paper" - has become an invitation to stop not writing. Through Ted, I became aware of the generative possibilities located in a "third space" of writing. To experience living pedagogy as I was writing in language and being written by language. To Carl who was always there to push me over the edge and to catch me if I fell - who encouraged me to soar while reminding me to be mundane. To Karen who offered support and encouragement as we talked our way out of schooled closures. To Elvi for engaging with my writing through an ongoing flow of questions - for keeping open Foucault's questioning of what it is to be an author. For a class held in a room with a view - ocean mountains forest sky. In such a space, language is humbled in knowing place. And thanks to friends who were always there with/as rootprints. To Marylin Low - for risking with me writing experiences in messy hybrid texts - for risking the terror always already and not yet there in the promise. To Aristides Gazetas whose scholarship has always been an invocation to transgress the limits - to bring into my work living pedagogy as cinematic text. To the summer of '96 with Marylin and Aristides when we attended Ted's class and were unable to stop the conversations. To Danute Aneliunas and Kathy Knight - for friendships emerging in ex-centric Arctic places - teachers whose artful teaching praxis has so transformed my own living pedagogy. To friends who gave permission to use fragments of e-mail messages to keep moments of intertext moving on - to Marlene Marcon [mm] and Warren Linds [wl] and Danute Aneliunas [da] - who kept me travelling while I was dwelling at home. These transposed texts are acknowledged within the coda of initials of proper names. I am indebted also to those who announced that I would have a difficult time finding a committee - for in the search I found those who were willing to risk - to risk a writer in a writing that makes the journey with ... ix ' I decided to go away into foreign parts, meet what was strange to me ... Followed a long vagabondage, full of research and transformation, with no easy definition ... You feel space growing all around you Nietzsche from The Wanderer and his Shadow 1 a curious pre [ ] text: ex-centricities in-and-out-of-context Ex-centric, dis-integrated, dis-located, dis-juncted, deconstructed, dismantled, disassociated, discontinuous, deregulated ... de-,dis-,ex-. These are the prefixes of today. Not post-, neo-, or pre-. Bernard Tschumi, 1996, p. 225 the im/possibility of a reading lesson . . . To preface a text seems always already an impossible task. I am called upon now to read my own text and to read as/in translation. And so begins the rhythm of an aporia - possible/impossible. And a pretext that sustains as entitlement a curiosity in performing its task. I am responding to a request to help the reader into the text. I have been asked to nail the work to the chapel door - to suture the work with points-de-capiton - to insert folded fragments of papers into the cracks and precipices of the wailing wall - hoping ... hoping for what - hoping to find the book for the reader. It's about the read - the habitus of a thesis - a space for meaning to announce itself. But i f it is about the read - it is a question of reading: Otherwise. It is an unfinished labour to be shared with a reader in a double gesture - in a double bind - text as a 'third' ground always already and not-yet there. [The text labours toward the void ... without arriving.] Responding to a barrage of questions from my first readers - questions that try to help me locate the work - to preface intention - to post the pedagogy, I return to Maurice Blanchot (1982) in The Space of Literature. Blanchot, in an exquisite fragment that opens the text, refers to "the pressure of the book and the circumstances of its composition" - 2 circum-stances always already en passant demanding de-composition. Readings across text(ure)s and within what Andrzej Warminski terms the "asymmetry - between interpretation and reading" (1987, p.xxxi). Warminski contends that "[a]s centre, subject, interpretation ... words ... are carriers of sense (or its lack); as self-decentering, subjectless, reading, the words are place-holders, markers, of the essay not there in a radically other sense" (p. xxx). It could be anything - it could be nothing. And what i f it were noThing? Inscribing in double imaginaries - thesis as text always already embedded in language as text - a thesis embedded in language that cannot read itself, I am asked now to respond to the first readings that overflow the text - first readings of a text not there - in a radically other sense. I am reading Warminski's prefatory postscript - reading that "[ljanguage is a text in need of being read" (p. xxxiii). Warminski insists on a rigorous conception of the negative so that the opacity of the text's self-reflection can be exposed through the labour of interpretation. Now reading Warminski with Nancy: ...the inexhaustible, interminable swarming of significations that ... proceed from a significance or signifyingness [signifiance] that whirls ... around a void point of dispersion, circulating in a condition of simultaneous, concurrent, and contradictory affirmation, and having no point of perspective other than the void of truth at their core ... Jean-Luc Nancy, 1997, pp. 46-7 M y intention is to respond through Tschumi's prefixes - an interruption of temporal linearity for the liminality of the space of hyphen - to dis-locate the work - to de- construct intention - to ex-pose pedagogy. Grateful for the questions that returned me to the site of struggle - re-inforced an intention to provoke anxiety and ambiguity in the work and that called me into question in terms of textualities-of-resistance - brought me back to the space of in/tentionality - to drifting aspirations - to a liminality of transpiration - to a second liminal passage attending to the force-de-rupture in the break. 3 Grateful for the hope that there might be a second set of readers. Hope tarries in liminal spaces - hope falters and yet survives ... [Readings unsettle the text.. .move it on ...] Tschumi's prefixes were first located in the introduction to a text entitled Ex-cavating modernism - the first volume in the series "de-, dis-, ex-." edited by Alex Coles and Richard Bentley (1996). Consuming and consumed by texts that work the space of architecture and writing, I have since located the source from which the citation was extracted - Tschumi's Architecture and Disjunction - and I am reading his contention that "we cannot both experience and think that we experience ... the concept of space is not in space" (1996, p.48). And so we are always already situated in and troubled by the gap. The text works this gap - works at keeping it open to new possibilities - works at keeping the space of language and the language of space alive. Works the gap of reading and/as translation. [The text labours as acte-de-passage.] Reading and/as translation. And I draw from Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe on translation as experience - tracking etymological traces through "the Latin ex-periri - a crossing through danger" (1999, p. 18). Tracking in a footnote to Roger Munier who contends that "it is difficult etymologically and semantically to separate the idea of experience as a crossing from that of risk" (n.15, p.128). Lacoue-Labarthe queries the very possibility of "a singular experience coming into writing" positing the destabilizing alternative of an 'or': ". . . or i f from the moment of writing its very singularity is not forever lost ... at origin or en route to destination, by the very fact of language" ( p. 15). I now draw these readings into a pedagogical site. Ted T. Aoki (1999) proposes a Metonymic reading of 4 experience in pedagogy as he cracks the signifier - opening a faultline as/in a chiasmatic rhythm of metonymy and metaphor as a doubling. The text works the slope of this crack - labours at troubling the border experience in-between reader and writer. Reading the slope of what Aoki terms a 'third' discourse, as reader I become reading effect - even as I am working the text. [What is the reader to do - how to read?] The first set of readers already enunciating a performative liminal passage to a second set of readers - a crossing that risks. The pretext performing an act of translation - an acte- de-passage - an event of thirdness - in a performativity of hope. That there might be a second set of readers to follow the first - in the hope that the second set of readers will continue to query the text - to move the text on - as/in translation - as in transgression - as/in survival - in a pedagogical space of Trinh T. Minh-ha's "task of speaking nearby" (1999, p. xi). Infusing newness into the space of gap interval limen. It's an ethnography/It's not an ethnography. M y first readers already inscribing the 'is' and the 'is not' - an Aokian Metonymic moment - a Derridean performative contradiction - a provocation to incite desire. And desire seeks a 'third' term - a 'third' ground - a space of intertextuality. Reading overflows the text in doubled articulations of meaning. What is the reader to do? What am T as reader to do? Reading readers reading the work - caught in the traffic of performative contradictions labouring in the transportation of the work. Translation 'stops' in a mobile site. Reading knows no stops. I'm reading now James Clifford in interview with Alex Coles in Site-specificity: The ethnographic turn in the fourth volume of "de-, dis-, ex-." Reading with and against the 5 security of a site specificity - writing nearby ethnography - I respond with Clifford's articulation of de-centering, in reference to his recent text Routes, as trying "to inhabit a tension, an antinomy, of neo- and post-colonial narratives" (Coles, 2000, p.59). And I would ask - to inhabit and be inhabited by - as parasitic habit(ation)s - an ethnographic topography of edges. Deconstruction ... attempts to resist its own tendencies to come to rest... always in movement, a going beyond which remains in place, as the parasite is outside the door but also always already within, uncanniest of guests. J. Hillis Miller, 1979, pp. 252-3 Pointing a finger - pointer du doigt - A n exemplary dissertation is held up before me. You can open it anywhere and you know what it's about. But ... a disjunctive but - disjunctive as the doubling labour of a conjunctive - my thesis works at - labours toward vacancy - an invocation into a jouissance of vacancy. The text struggles toward noThing. If one knows then has one not stopped reading? What happens when reading halts? An exemplar as text is a circumscription for jamming the read. How to release the grasp? A text lives only if it lives on [sur-vit], and it lives on only if it is at once translatable and untranslatable ... Jacques Derrida, 1979, p. 102 Reading is never finished. Reading doesn't know how to stop. I have located Patricia Ticineto Clough's comments - readings - of Trinh's experimentation with ethnography. Clough traces the tensions of deconstruction biting into the traditions of western anthropology. Transformations. If not speaking about then speaking nearby ... What does Trinh want? Clough contends that Trinh wants "ethnographic writing to be ghosted by the nonknowable" (2000, p. 168). Affronting grammar continues the conversation - disturbs it - moves it on. In writing "close to the other of the other" Trinh contends that 6 relationship must work at "undoing the I while asking what do I want wanting to know you or me" (1989, p. 76). Not to know with certainty what something means evokes a fear that it is meaningless. I write always already with the spectre of this fear haunting the pages - troubling inscriptions. Ruth Robbins writes of a leakage in the approximation of about - What is this thesis about? Or, what is the subject of the thesis? Robbins contends that the vagueness of 'about' already disrupts the possibility of a 'subject' that can be knowable (1996, p. 42). I want to address the economy of aboutness as I read Robbins in an essay on the preposition of about - reading Robbins reading Derrida on the notion of 'aboutness': what is the subject? Robbins alerts us to the ambiguity and multiplicity that are always already written into the question - talking about the subject of what is 'about' a text - talking about - writing about - as locating the text - in-and-out of a frame. I am reminded of Trinh's framer/framed. The frames are everywhere in the hegemonic traces of what a thesis should be. How to work with and against the text(ure) of boundaries. A writer cannot but transgress - writing at the margins to risk letting the subject escape. a text... is henceforth no longer a finished corpus of writing, some content enclosed in a book or its margins, but a differential network, a fabric of traces referring endlessly to something other than itself, to other differential traces. Thus the text overruns all the limits assigned to it so far. Jacques Derrida, 1991, pp. 256-7 Trinh's conversations nearby - as hybrid economies that move a text on ... As the reader frames the text does the text not work the frame into the work? [A text is never innocent.] 7 I struggle to stop not reading. Returning to Shoshana Felman in a complicated psychoanalytic reading of The Turn of the Screw by Henry James - I re-read the performativity of a parable as pedagogy. The story goes something like this. A governess seeks to understand - as "reading the knowledge of the child and thus ... naming truth and meaning" (1977, p. 165). But to grasp the child - to have a hold on meaning - is to suffocate him. "To master, then," contends Felman, is "to refuse to read the letters...to exclude ... specifically, the unconscious" (pp. 193-4). In the everyday practice of pedagogy, I am always being startled by my students in spatialities of silence - in spatialities of excess - in the multiple exposures of my non-mastery of them. Trapped by my blind spots, trapped by the language that I presume to know - Lacan's subject presumed to know - in the double fold of language. Doubled ex-posures of not knowing. And here a citation doubly exposed as I cite from Felman's citation (1977, p. 173): The grasp with which I recovered him might have been that of catching him in his fall. I caught him, yes, I held him, it may be imagined with what a passion; but at the end of a minute I began to feel what it truly was that I held. We were alone with the quiet day, and his little heart, dispossessed, had stopped (ch. 24, p. 88). A text that I cannot stop reading. Words that are stunning - that take my breath away. A text requests that reading not be halted. That the author, the text, and the reader move on ... resuscitated ... to breathe again ... an aporetic breathing ... possible/impossible. Listen to a suffocation that Derrida pronounces of writing in his extraordinary Glas: Let us space. The art of this text is the air it causes to circulate between its screens. The chainings are invisible, everything seems improvised or juxtaposed. This text, induces by agglutinating rather than demonstrating, by coupling and decoupling, gluing (en accolant et en decollant) rather than by exhibiting the continuous, and analogical, instructive, suffocating necessity of a discursive rhetoric. Jacques Derrida, 1986, p. 75 8 And Gregory Ulmer reading Derrida on a deconstructive reading that starts with entamer - a biting into - le morceau ... The first step of decomposition is the bite ... the effect is that of releasing the grasp or hold of a controlling context. Gregory Ulmer, 1985, p. 57 Felman reads James' text as a labyrinth of mirrors through which the reader is seduced into repeating the text. Reading readers reading James, Felman is witness to a subversion of the reader as reading effect. How does a story come to hold and comprehend the readers - us? How is it that we become trapped by the text? And I read in Cixous's notions of ecriture and Nancy's efxjcriture writings in outlaw genre that might begin to release the grasp. An [x] to mark an exit. the site of pedagogy .. . And where is the pedagogy? Pedagogy happens everywhere. We are always already host(age) in the textualities of pedagogy - in the archi-textures of pedagogy - in the performativities of pedagogy. This dissertation works with and against the grain of pedagogy. The writing is of pedagogy - in the inter-est of pedagogy. The (w)rites of pedagogy. Writing nearby - the moments of the event. The time always already out-of- joint. I struggle with Tschumi's notion of space as experience [ex-perience]. Pedagogy grows in the gap in-between the space of academe and the space of live(d) experience. Fragmented narratives disseminate with theoretical traces. Theory - en passant - passes into the language of pedagogy. Tschumi contends that "we cannot both experience and think that we experience" - and when we are always already in language, how can we think about language - the aporetic gap is always with/in a double fold - the space of the 9 text and the textuality of teaching. The text happened as I worked at teaching and was worked by teaching. The text happened as I learned to let go - as I became in/active - as I bit into - as I wounded and was wounded by - text(ure). The text tarries in messy fragmented hybrid ruined spaces ... ... that action becomes exquisite when it is borne out of "inaction" - out of waiting, listening, attending ... David Jardine, 2000, p. 171 Ex-quisite - another eccentric departure - from the Latin quaerere - to seek. Learning to listen ex-quisitely ... eccentricities of seeking. And now I am listening to Laiwan: "listen ... nothing will be the hardest thing to do/ ecoute ... rein ne sera le plus dur a faire" (1992, p.37). Reading as listening. A porous reading of ambiguous text. [Reading sets the text to work.] The work emerges from multiple positionalities as a student - as a teacher - as a student teaching teachers - as a volunteer in a bookstore-at-fhe-margins - so that fragments from the flow of texts interrupt the work. A 'not-me' that interrupts. Pedagogy happens in the gaps of ex-perience1 when exemplars are resisted - when circumscriptions are disrupted - when knowing is abandoned - when the grasp is released - when subjects escape from a text. I struggle in-between translations - reading Miryam Sas' Fault Lines - citing from Andre Breton: It is pointless to add that experience ... has found itself increasingly circumscribed. It paces back and forth in a cage from which it is more and more difficult to make it emerge. (Sas, 1999, p. 106) ' In an ex-ilic leap from one screen to another, on a Sunday afternoon - an afternoon of scattered showers - I'm watching the 1993 film "Six Degrees of Separation" with Stockard Charming in the female protagonist role - walking out of a society dinner party - insisting that experience has to be more than an anecdote. Encountering an imposter. Experience as transformation. A film as gaze always already watching me write. 10 And Sas citing Takiguchi's translation of Breton: Pure theory allows us to consider only facts belonging to our experience. Experience circles round and round inside a cage and it becomes increasingly difficult [konnan] to escape. (Ibid., p. 106) Sas comments on the contradictions in interpretations - on the something that happens en passant in translation. A doubling of notation - a doubling suffocation - restriction of escape in the performative. A n aporetic coupling - an inability to escape from the cage coupled with a reluctance to escape - institutional stigmata. How to disrupt circum- scription - with a hyphen. [The text resists ... circumscription.] Is it now about purpose or are we speaking of a reading effect? I am reading Felman reading James on an uncanny reading effect. A m I now writing as reading effect - contaminated by a text de-composing? The critic seeks to stop the meaning, to arrest signification, by a grasp, ... by a firm hold on the Master-Signifier. In demanding that the text "speak in clear language" - giving, that is, to the ghost its proper name, the critic commits a murder by suppressing within language the very silence which supports and underlies it, the silence out of which the text precisely speaks. Shoshana Felman, 1977, pp. 191-3 And I am asked: Is it about the emotive? Perhaps along the way something happens. Rereading Felman I find a citation from Paul de Man. And here I draw from de Man reading Proust: "Reading is dramatized not as an emotive reaction to what language does, but as an emotive reaction to the impossibility of knowing what it might be up to" (1979, p. 19). And of a writing that struggles with ethical ambiguities with/in the impossibility of knowing what might happen. A doubling distress of semiotics. [The text tarries ... in semiotic dis/positions.] 11 Clough exposes the blind spot in autoethnography - queries the ontological status of the self - ghosted by Trinh's nonknowable. As T write experience - as T am written by experience - what happens in-between? What happens to de Man's "grammatical subject cut off from its consciousness" (1986, p. 70). Listen to Derrida. Wherever there is Ego ... it spooks. If authorship is Ego, it spooks. But this Ego, this living individual would itself be inhabited and invaded by its own specter. It would be constituted by specters of which it becomes the host and which it assembles in the haunted community of a single body. Ego=ghost. Therefore "I am" would mean " I am haunted": I am haunted by myself ... Wherever there is Ego, es spukt, "it spooks." Jacques Derrida, 1994, p. 133 The work resists the rhetoric of this is about - resists the 'is' in a slippage toward this happens - a movement - a moment - a cadence. But caught always already in the space of what it is that one resists - and so the rhythm of a moment - a cadence. If we need an 'about' then it is about biting into the hegemonic textualities of pedagogy - it is about dwelling in the entanglements of spatiality and language - biting into experience - not knowing what opens up when language is disturbed - when ghosts are disturbed ... [The text tarries ... in hauntology.] And if we read Warminski with Tschumi, how can we be in language and read language? An aporetic condition. Language is reading us as we are reading language. What happens in the passage from trope to performativity? Wherever there is Ego, es spukt, "it spooks." I do not claim absence of Ego and so where the reader reads there may be multiple shimmerings of spectrality. So we are always already here entering into the gaze of the specter - the I/eye of the reader as gaze. Tell more about the gaze. The gaze - is a slippery place - a mise-en- 12 abyme - the gaze is me looking at you looking at me looking at ... always already an im/possible gaze - an aporetic gaze - for in the abyme a slight shift interrupts the repetition. The gaze begins with Jacques Lacan's objet a - a lack that drives desire - detracting refractions in a mirror phase and now as an archi-textual un/canny ... The signification of 'gaze' drifts transforms as reading effect - always already detracted. The gaze is the object looking at the subject and not seeing. The gaze as de-stabilizing shifter. Clough draws from Donna Haraway on the notion of a diffracted gaze - diffraction as a "rhizomatic writing, a composing and recomposing that cuts into and cuts away from genres, technologies, images, and scenes so that the movement is never simply narrative or life story" (2000, p. 184-5). I find it is these polysemic conversations - Clough drawing from Haraway, from Trinh, from Derrida - that incite my work. If one distinguishes between the work and the text it is not enough to have one without the other ... I read with Clough "the traces of the movement of desire ... to do something" (p. 185). I am reading with Clough on the notion of territory conceived as "economic resource" but also as "the ground for writing futures" (p. 185). I have been asked: Is there an enterprise here? I am drawing from Sartre on writing as entre-prise. And I would hope for an eco/nomy of futures in writing as/in reading: Otherwise. [The text labours as ... entre-prise.] And so a curious prologue begins - in the middle. How to entice the reader into the performativity of live(d) textualities and theoretical traces - reads - to risk the anxieties - the ambiguities - the uncertainties in the hope that something transformative might 13 happen - that noThing might happen. How can we shift from pronouncing what is to what happens? Jean-Luc Nancy speaks of melange: "The melange, therefore is not. It happens; it takes place" (2000, p. 151). How to mediate - to inter-vene so that the reader is willing to stay with/in the difficulties of the text - to find the book for the reader. Or, perhaps to find a reader for the book who might be willing to stay at the site of difficulty in order to get someWhere else - a reader who is willing to risk reading otherwise - detouring on a via negativa - into semiotic ex-posures of the performativity of language in pedagogical spaces. And risk an unknown jouissance of ex-scription ... This reading - which is first of all reading itself, all reading, inevitably given over to the sudden, flashing, slipping movement of a writing that precedes it and that it will rejoin only by reinscribing it elsewhere and otherwise, by ex-scribing it outside itself - this reading does not yet comment. This is a beginning reading, an incipit that is always begun again. Jean-Luc Nancy, 1993, pp. 336-7 Wolfreys writes of "reading's taking effect ... reading announces itself ... without hurrying to decide on a meaning" (2000, p. 110). A reading effect - a haunting. Wolfreys asks what is it to read: How to translate? What is to be done? What is it to read? These questions drift into a slippage - or what Wolfreys terms a "[djrifting between signatures, citations, and fragments, remnants and ruins" (p.76). How to translate multiple readings of proper names - reading as a process of deconstruction - of psychoanalytic theory? How to translate an economy of in-between? Hearing footsteps near the keyhole as I am peering back into the work - a voyeur exposed at the moment of jouissance - so doing I expose to the reader an un/certain liminality that cannot know destination. The gaze defracts back on the writer exposing the blindspots echoes excesses silences cries. The work requests response to maintain the moment of the gap. 14 radical /w/sreadings .. . And I am asked to bring out the notion of performativity from the onset of the read. How to respond in the midst of linguistic vulnerability? And here I should like to refer to Butler's enunciation of a vulnerable linguistic distinction [dis-tinction] between performance and performativity. In an interview with Peter Osborne and Lynne Segel, Butler contends that performance "presumes a subject" while performativity "contests the very notion of a subject" (Osborne, 1996, p . l 12). What happens in the inter! What happens to a subject presumed to know in the space of contesting? What happens to knowing as the subject is contested? Slipping away - where does the subject go? Writing on agencies of style for a liminal subject, Butler has the "not-me" entering "as an absence into the scene of the present as its interruption, its compulsion, its necessity" (2000, p.34). In the naming of contestation, a subject is always already allocated space - and what does a disappearing subject leave behind - traces cinders dust. Performative misfires require a reader who writes with and against the grain. A reader as subject always already on the move - fingerprints footprints rootprints. Readings that articulate the lingering traces cinders of dis/appearance. Reading within an Aokian tropological system of doublings - of metaphor/metonymy - I find myself drawn to Paul de Man on mz'sreadings - asking what happens when the text passes from trope to performative as an event. The text needs a reader. Warminski contends that "the text cannot ... account for its own production" (2001, p. 27). A trope that contains a doubling within itself - that maintains a chiasmatic momentum - 15 generates possibilities for readings to swerve - for readings to misread - and possibilities for reading: Otherwise. I am reading Paul de Man reading Rousseau - reading guilt as a cognitive - excuse as a performative - a nostalgia for me of catholic readings of guilt - faithful and unfaithful to the legacy - performative interpretation - an interpretation that transforms the very thing it interprets. How difficult it has been to tear away at the texture of hegemonic readings of research - to seek rigour some/Where/else in the fray age of ruins remnants relics residue - to re-work the language of the hegemonic script. Since guilt... is a cognitive and excuse a performative function of language, we are restating the disjunction of the performative from the cognitive: any speech act produces an excess of its own production ... Just as the text can never stop apologizing for the suppression of guilt that it performs, there is never enough knowledge available to account for the delusion of knowing. Paul de Man, 1979, pp. 299-300 I confess to a preface written as excuse that fails to disguise the guilt for not producing a traditional thesis. And yet, the Ego that writes will not retract. Listen again to Derrida: Wherever there is Ego, it spooks. What happens to Ego when the spectre spooks? I am willing to risk a reader who must read with the occupant and the spectre of its ghost. Listen to Derrida reading de Man reading Rousseau - the ambiguity of spatial punctuations - the terror always already writing with and against the promise when one reads with Derrida: "The confession ... is never innocent" (2001, p. 306). [The text reads ... into shadowy spaces shimmering.] As an act - an event of inscription - a confession is always already performative. I confess to writing a dissertation as excuse for always-already-being-guilty - waiting for 16 the uncanny to arrive as / 'arrivant - as le revenant - to write a space - a domicile - for the spectre to come-and-go. Waiting - for repeated re-readings of Stephen Jay Gould's contentions on the mismeasure of man to disrupt my pedagogical praxis - to write with Gould's moment of "frisson" troubling cartographies of inscription (1996, p. 44). A temporal/spatial gap - an interval - an educational leave - providing the force de rupture - to exit vacate reject refuse decline - a familiar position. The unheimlich had at last arrived - announced itself - always already there - to re-position - working with and against the grain of hegemonic dictations. From mismeasures to misreadings - slow persistent smoulderings - seeking the sparks of a misfire. And the reading Ego? A reading ego that arrives with its own ghost? What might emerge from with/in the shimmerings of a host of spectres? In the passage from trope to performative, in the emergence of yet-another-kind of rhetoric something happens. Now I am reading Warminski reading de Man re-reading rhetoric as a "radicalization of the disjunction ... between cognitive and performative, trope and performative" (2001, p.27). [The text passes - comes to pass.] For what happens when the text "passes" from trope to performative ... an event, an occurrence (as in "comes to pass") - is a certain "repetition" of the violent, groundless and ungrounded, inaugural act that, again, put it into place in the first place. Andrzej Warminski, 2001, p. 28 The linguistic vulnerability of performativity troubles and is troubled by multiple readings - soundings - failed attempts at securing definition - thereby maintaining a critical edginess to any writing that seeks to sustain the instability of vulnerability. How to read Butler and Derrida with and against the grain of Warminski and de Man? If 17 performativity contests the very notion of a subject, is the passage of the disappearance of the subject - the event - the act - the possibility whereby something else might happen? Passage as interval as 'comes to pass.' Derrida traces the passing - the passage - of guilt "displaced from the written thing to the writing of the thing, from the referent of the narrative writing to the act of writing" (2001, p.304). And what of the writer? The hand of the writer? Butler contends that the "[t]he hand is reflexively spectralized in the course of the writing it performs" (2001, p.271). Radical responsibility. And i f performativity is about citationality then I confess to guilt in wrenching the 'reads' - intestinal entrails from the bodies of texts - "[rjeading as dismemberment" (Wolfreys, 2000, p. ix). In order to begin reading: Otherwise - to begin re-reading - biting into - the textualities of pedagogy. M y excuse as act de passage from trope to performativity. Citation is nothing other than the removal by force from the textual body that bodily fragment which, in being transplanted into the critical reading, allows for a somewhat intestinal connection ... we seek through the double motion of incision and excision, to open reading to itself. Julian Wolfreys, 2000, p. viii-ix [The text splits ... as ex-citation.] The text runs repeatedly into itself as the writer continues to read - hopelessly seduced into spaces of not understanding. Spaces of reading so enticing that it would be impossible to consider closure - spaces so transgressive in performativity that radical ec- centricities spin the reader in-and-out-of-con[ ]text. The prologue is a disruption of the linearity of a sequence of chapters because I am pulling - dragging threads of the final chapter through to the beginning so that you can 18 occupy the vacant spaces with me. In psychoanalytic discourse - the split subject - the you that is already there in me - there where I am not ... uncanny. In deconstructive discourse, we cohabit the text with our spectres - occupants and ghosts. Uncanny. [The text reads ... on and off the page.] confessions un/becoming to a teacher ... I am an unstable subject who exited repeatedly from country - and de-toured within to ex- centric localities - with pedagogy contained in my suitcase - in my baggage. To work as an ex-patriate in europe - in asia - in africa. As ex-patriate - to re-turn 'home' - to disappear in a diaspora-of- words. By de-stabilizing my spatial praxis I had been able to keep myself excited (ex-cited) about teaching. Radical ex-centricities in space but the language of englishness - the discourse of the master narrative - travelled with me - in the covers of the books in my suitcase - in the covers of the curriculum texts in the sites of teaching. I took englishness with me everywhere - I trafficked in english. As an ex-patriate I became more english than I was. Not- being-english, I carried with me an extradiscursive englishness. Except in england where degrees of separation - exposed the excess - faltering with/in colonial readings - repetitions. Working- out-in-the-field and finally coming home to do my homework - to unlearn - to deconstruct language - to listen to discourse shifting from a 'what' to a 'where' - fragments of stories that happened - fragments of everyday pedagogy lived-in tensely - lived with passion. And to unpack - to let all the specters loose - the un/canny - to let loose the specters of the english gaze in the un/heimlich - of not-being-english ... An apology [apologue] is offered here, as requested, but as a double gesture - to the first set of readers for working you so hard and to the second set of readers for providing a 19 post-scriptive pretext that might soften the labour of the work - that already distorts your reading. A warning always a double gesture - for distortion already calls up a resistance to provoke [soft/not soft] and so we stay at the site of tension. A mediated entry for a text that works the traces of a vanishing mediator. I am the subject of uncanny returns it is not easy to be 'at home' - when I returned to country - under suspicion at the borders - the gaze of border officials on the foreignness of a homebody - contaminated by instability - by being-outside - contaminated through border crossings - by the strangeness of inscriptions on my passport. I borrow from Laiwan who de-fines Canadian as "a slim document called a passport" (1992, p. 59). A passport that works its promise out-of-country and yet labours under terror at the borders of re-turns. Under erasure as a teacher - I was told I would have looked too unstable - the gaze of a master narrator on the text of a resume marking an instability in shifting locations - in movement. Un/becoming to a teacher. A provocative defeat. I re-sumed position - and in the liminal passage of re-turn - becoming intransitively - as transformation. Resistance in letting me return to teaching - the parents are professionals here you know and as the 'you' shifts to T what was "I" - a "non" - a non-sequitur. To shift categories in positionality is as difficult in regression as in progression - working my way back into the labour of teaching - as a para-sitic transgression - 1 was a traveller. This is a provocative defeat. Teachers are not immobile. Delays at the border. Not knowing. M y father came to Canada as a foreigner - as a stranger. Were my repeated departures and returns a mimetic repetition - a genealogical performativity of the foreign element - hoping for a misread - to find a way of being-at-home with homelessness? Border crossings with/in english - a language that is not mine - that is not mine and yet not not mine - the unhomely - u n h e i m l i c h - of accented english - I only ever have an accent when I am out-of-place. Events of accent. Being-away-from-home so as to be-at-home. 20 Now it becomes a chiasm(us) - now it's about us with/in chiasm. And i f the work is at all performative the reader as an effect is one of its effects. "I" too am now a reader. How to move it on - take it further - as transgression - as transformation - as transpiration. Philippe Sollers on the writ as fecrit would say that the writ of passage "functions on the basis of the resistances it meets and ... provokes" (1982, p.335). What does the work want? The work wants intransitively - the work wants ... at the site of resistance. Always already haunted by Trinh's query - "what do I want wanting ... to know you or me . . ." And what do you want wanting to know? The 'you' as referent - the Other. ... in the opening : us. We happen as the opening itself, the dangerous fault line of a rupture ... we are meaning. Jean-Luc Nancy, 2000, p. xii Finding a 'no stops' committee - we'll be there to push you over the edge and to catch you if you fall - questions now to pull me back to the edge - but I have come to dwell there - in what Derrida refers to as "a strange topography of edges" (1993, p 80) - tarrying with/in uncertainties of not knowing. I like it here. I want to reside in slippery spaces. I like the edginess of not-being-at-home. I like the familiarity of the unheimlich. I want to be worked with words - that labour to de-stabilize my identity. Pronounced inappropriate in school praxis because the performativity of shifting language was too transgressive - the radical fringe - I risk the naming for the provocation of defeat - the limits inciting transgression - too enticing to ignore. I am taking reading lessons from Michel Foucault on the curious interdependence of limit and transgression: Transgression is an action which involves the limit, that narrow zone of a line where it displays the flash of its passage, but perhaps also its entire trajectory, even its origin; it is likely that transgression has its entire space on the line it crosses. The play of limits and transgression seems to be regulated by a simple obstinacy: transgression incessantly crosses and recrosses a line which closes up behind it in a line of extremely short duration and thus it is made to return once more to the horizon of the uncrossable. Michel Foucault, 1977, pp. 33-4 21 I am a reader who has lost a book. A phone call startled me in the midst of writing - a call from a friend - fellow student - colleague - teacher - writer - in the midst of 'our' writingness - I was struggling to explain how this work finds its way into my classroom - how the classroom enters the work - the pleasure in finding books on the bookshelves in kids' bookstores for my students - the pleasure already in the tracking before I had passed on the books - the pleasure of anticipation - of reading the reader-to-be ... such narcissism. "That's it!" she said, "It's finding the book for the reader." A n impossibility. I can't. Because I don't know where it is - each time I re-read it has dislocated itself. And I am now its reading effect - enticing the reader into the space of difficulty. But remember that the work ends in a first grade classroom. How difficult a read can it be? When at the end you are re-positioned in the first grade? It's impossible to open the book - the textualities of the day - and understand - who can say at the end of the day what is really going on - what has really happened? Even the parents often ask "what's going on up there"? No one claims to know. Not 'I. ' It's about reading and writing the wor(l)d I wrote in my overviews. There is nothing outside the text. Derrida's il n'y a pas de hors le texte. It was on a class field trip to an organic farm that I came to ex- perience a living compost heap - and now the organicity of heat - of decomposition - incites my writing. And in my defense — its performative rather than substantive — but substance happens as event - leaks into the void - bleeds from the slaughter - stains the textuality. Metonymy requires the substance - the substance fragments - a substance that drifts below and beyond the materiality of inscriptions - and yet draws from notation with/in the im/possibility of knowing. And here I draw again from Tschumi on architecture: Fragments of architecture (bits of walls, of rooms, of streets, of ideas) are all one actually sees. These fragments are like beginnings without ends. There is always a split ... These splits have no existence other than being the passage from one fragment to another. They are always relays rather than signs. They are traces. They are in-between. Bernard Tschumi, 1996, p. 95 22 Wolfgang Iser writes of "grasping a text" as reading moments - as wandering viewpoints - intersubjectivity - of reading dynamic interactions between text and reader. Iser exposes a lack of control - "the whole text can never be conceived at any one time" (1989, p. 108). And so we have reading moments - uncanny. Where is the substance of pedagogy? The archi-texture of pedagogy? Moments of moving bodies on a stairwell, handwritten grapheins on paper, the acoustic event of a parental re-quest as performative speech act, spinning wheels of a bicycle escaping stigmata, skidding tires out-of-time on wet pavement - the spacey silences of non-response. Entries into the text like Kafka's traveller to the castle - denied entry into the oeuvre. Moments when the spectres of a text leap from the pages into everyday life - and moments when the fissions of everyday life continue the conversations nearby - move the text on - as survival. A query - a comment that settles like cinders - that remain without remaining - the morceau - which is always detached. And listen to Derrida: the sequences are enjoined, induced, glide in silence. No category outside the text should allow denning the form or bearing ... of these passages, of these trances of writing. ... Take into account the overlap-effects [effets de recoupe], and you will see that the tissue ceaselessly re-forms itself around the incision [entaille]. Jacques Derrida, 1986, p. 25 The performative always already remarking the substance with the impossibility of knowing what language might be up to - substance in the guise of notation - inscriptions of fragmented moments. Trinh insists that the work must be more than the writing style - must be an event - an event of reading that labours with and against the grain of inscription - an economy of in-between - an eco/nomy of futures. 23 Was it reading Trinh that led me to Warminski reading de Man on the necessity of rhetoric? In an apostrophic gesture of a 'so': So: that's the difference the reinsertion of rhetoric between aesthetics and ideology makes. Without rhetoric, without the epistemological critique o f trope . . . nothing happens. There is no . . . royal road to the performative, to action and the act . . . Pretending that one can go to it directly is sheer delusion and a guarantee that nothing can happen, nothing w i l l ever happen. Andrzej Warminski , 2001, p. 28 the time of reading . . . And the time of reading - The work needs two readings. Re-readings de-stabilize identity - you lose your bearings on the map. The work wants re-readings for survivre - for moving on - the second disrupts the originality of the first... And listen to Barthes - i f you don't re-read you are always reading the same thing. Rereading, an operation contrary to the commercial and ideological habits o f our society, which would have us "throw away" the story once it has been consumed . . . so that we can then move on to another story, buy another book rereading is here suggested at the outset, for it alone saves the text from repetition (those who fail to reread are obliged to read the same story everywhere). Roland Barthes, 1974, pp. 15-16 I am guilty of consuming text but in the consumption I am always led on the rhyzome to re-turn - to detour - to extract - to bite into again - entamer. I am guilty of reading too many books at once - a confession of reading to get lost - a performativity of excess. Wolfreys contends that reading at a glance ^strains against the burden of meaning and throws it off balance" (2000, p. 135). I don't have time for two readings — I'd rather be at the mall. Re-reading is not like not being at the mall - an acceleration of pace - glancing at billboards - glancing at the text - and I draw from Wolfreys and Tschumi on reading at a glance - look and look away - a 24 reading that takes its a/rhythmatic pulse from mediation with and against the acceleration of everyday life. "Read," Wolfreys says, "so as to mediate against acceleration, but do so within the movement of the glance ... The glance suggests this: look, look away, as simple as this" (2000, p. 135). The form speaks to the glance - distracted by paratextual habit(ation)s of citation and footnotes that run the course - corrugated textures through detours - perhaps to what Robert Harbison refers to as a corridor - a text as corridor for passers-by - spatial tolerances: "Much of architectural experience is about nearness without touching or convergences which don't become explicit" (1997, p.14). I'm distracted by this curious inscription in Harbison's text: " A phantasm sits by the postman's door . . ." (p. 20). [The text cannot disseminate without ... a phantom.] But i f I am to apologize for anything it is for my naivete as I re-read what has been written discontinuously over these past few years. Just as I resist the grain of queries - I am resisting the desire to rewrite - risking exposure of naivete as a wounded place - as a liminal space. A liminality that tarries now in the space of deferred reciprocity between reading and writing. And in the apology - an excuse - that it takes time to undo what pedagogy has done in the guise of thrift - to undo the prefixes - pre-fixed - fixed in advance - to learn to let the writing spend as it reads beneath and beyond the inscriptions. To spend intransitively ... And I seek refuge in Derrida who says that "[w]e must begin wherever we are" (1974, p. 162). Knowing there is no beginning - one is always already in the midst of. . . 25 text as a doubling gesture of hospitality ... We do not know what hospitality is [Nous ne savons pas ce que c'est que I'hospitalite]. Not yet. Jacques Derrida, 2000, p. 6 And the question that haunts - that returns to haunt - to specter. But aren't you excluding those that you wish to include - through the difficulty of the text? Long have I struggled with this question. The writing also performs an exclusion for 'me' - for the T who writes. The work emanates from a double demarcation in-between inside and outside - seeking to deconstruct pedagogical space as a practised place - from a double location always being in more than one site at the same moment. I have been labouring with/in an economy of multiple difficult 'in-between' spaces even as the writing takes place. Felman was drawn to the difficulty of reading Lacan. I am drawn to the difficulty of reading Derrida. Are we speaking here of the hospitality of the text - how hospitable is the text to the reader as stranger - a text belonging to neither guest nor host but surviving by gesture - always a double gesture. And here I am willing to take a risk with etymological ambiguities of hospitality. Reading a footnote in a recent text Of hospitality as a doubling of authors Derrida and Dufourmantelle, I find that "[t]he Latin hostis means guest but also enemy" (2000, n. p. 157). An aporetic hospitality. [T]he word for "hospitality" is a Latin word Hospitalitat, a word of Latin origin, of a troubled and troubling origin, a word which carries its own contradiction incorporated into it, a Latin word which allows itself to be parasitized by its opposite, "hostility," the undesirable guest [hote] which it harbors as the self-contradiction in its own body ... Jacques Derrida, 2000, p. 3 How is it that the T as author can welcome the reader to a place of vacancy? As the T is inhabited by a reader the T can "change the destination - can change the address in secret at the last moment. 26 Since every "I" is an "I" (the same and altogether other: tout autre est tout autre, every other is altogether other as the same), since every other is altogether other, (the) I can betray ... by substituting the address of one for the address of the other, up to the last moment... Jacques Derrida, 2001, p. 327 And here I draw from Blanchot: "Our manner of excluding is at work precisely at the very moment we are priding ourselves on our gift of universal comprehension" (Felman, 1977, p. 191-2). Listen again to Felman telling us that to demand clarity of language is to give the ghost its proper name - to force the text to confess. The text confesses only where it has been reading - how it can not stop reading ... writing - how it struggles with notions of hospitality. Derrida contends that "[t]he stranger can pass through but cannot stay. He is not given the rights of a resident" (2000, p. 16). The aporetic condition of hospitality. And how is it that the reader as stranger can pass through the text? What are the conditions of the hospitality of the text? As aporia? And the "I" as reader that comes and goes - as signatory - de-limiting the very place of proffered hospitality - the eco/nomy of naming generates tension at the threshold of hospitality. Listen to Dufourmantelle. Hospitality gives as unthought, in its "night," this difficult, ambivalent relation to place. As though the place in question in hospitality were a place originally belonging to neither host nor guest, but to the gesture by which one of them welcomes the other - even and above all if he is himself without a dwelling from which this welcome could be conceived. Jacques Derrida and Anne Dufourmantelle, 2000, pp. 60-62 [The text is an invocation .. .toward lack.] re-marking the work... And with Clough I want to ask: "How can it be? How can it be that it would take so much theoretical effort to produce ... practical effect" (2000, p. 186). And with Clough I want not to minimize the difficulties of deconstructing the hegemony of western discourse. It is 27 difficult to work with and against the grain of academic writing. Reading with Derrida, Clough contends that "repetition must be urged beyond itself to its differance" (p. 186). A movement from trope to performativity - that reaches for - differance. Re-writing a third ground - for writing futures - futures of pedagogy. I am reading Ernesto Laclau reading de Man on the hegemonic operation as "metaphoric totalization" - as metonymy fades - as movement stops (2001, p.249). The text wants ... movement... It's a remarkable work [re-markable] - the reader re-marks - inscribes again once more upon the text - moves it on. A work that desires re-marking as the pleasure of its lack - its vacancy - its jouissance. Reading re-marks the text - embracing a corpse - an ex- quisite corpse - an ex-piring corpse. I want to take Tschumi's prefixes and put them to work - forced labour - Caputo's anonymous productivity - employ them as teeth in a Derridean dredging machine to re-mark the text - to see what can be scraped - racier - from the text - to see what might happen. These prefixes of today - these reads - that were wrenched from the ending of Tschumi's text to begin another text - to mark a new text - to move on . . . en puissance ... as the force of the rupture ... readings that refuse to stop ... "No text is immune from desire," writes Antony Easthope in a preface to his text The unconscious (1999, p.xv). The text desires - a reader to work the text - desires to be ghosted' by Trinh's nonknowable - desires in/transitively. It's about wanting2 If there is something that reverberates from practice to theory it is in the resoundings of an abutment but (s)he wants to ... one voice speaking as/for another in a generative space of resistance with and against teacher dictation. Letting go of the grasp so that wanting can happen .. .something has to happen to the language of pedagogy ... to the pedagogical space of language. 28 in/transitively something to happen to the language of pedagogy - to the space of pedagogy. Readings that cannot stop. I have located Tschumi now in Bernadette Baker's text In perpetual motion. Re-readings of Tschumi now interfaced with pedagogy - as I read Baker's archi-texture of what is a child - as she writes the child - mobilizing the child as subject "on a path of disappearance ... that is an opening . . ." (2001, p.53). This is what the work would hope for - and in the labour of an efxjcriture as (w)rites of passage on a path of disappearance ... that is an opening ... And I take my closing citation as apologue from Avital Ronell: "Henceforth, one is on assignment, somnambulizing, taking dictation from a text of the Other" (1986, p.xix). And I ask only that you bite into the text - open it up - move it on ... chapter demarcations as limes: limen liminal liminality Limes: mark, march, margin. Demarcation. Marching order: quotation Now - this question also announced itself, explicitly, as the question of the liminal Jacques Derrida, 1981, p. 16 five liminal passages - signals that shimmer - that flicker - that fade - en passant - from trope to performativity. I am now at this moment in the work a reader re-reading - translating the work - spending the writing - within eco-nomies of ex-change. Reading nearby. I track the notion of liminality through Turner back to Van Gennep and toward Derrida - arriving at the threshold [limen] of the text. Circum-scriptions spinning in-and- out-of-context. M y readers requested signposts. And so I provide signposts - but - signposts that are not intended to lead the reader but rather to signal spaces for suspending meaning - for wandering from canonical meanings and to fall into a soft [not soft] abyss of an else/Where/ness - signs from the everyday life of living pedagogy - signs that startle. A space where perhaps the familiar comes to be strange - uncanny. Where the uncanny infuses the familiar with strangeness - with a 'startle' effect - igniting - creating heat. 29 [first] chapter - dis-integration - struggles with intention - disclosing the betrayal of intention - struggling with Tschumi's prefixes of departure - re-readings now always already de-stabilizing my writing identity - introducing Aoki's re-conceptualization of Lacanian [M]etonymy as a doubling habitation - a doubling of metonomy/metaphor in pedagogy. I re-read Aoki reading Lacan and I drift ... re-reading [M]etonymies in a Derridean double fold - textual drift - the writing drifts into a cadence of anxiety - uncertainty - ambiguity. Exiting from pedagogy - sliding out-of-pedagogy in order to make tremble a return. [second] chapter - dis-juncture - takes its title from the utterance of a student hesitating in a disjunctive space - but my english - a disjunctive 'but' - multiple detours through the english gaze to a generative site of ruins - begins the deconstruction of pedagogy as a practiced place - semiotics labouring in the ideologies of englishness - beginning my homework in a space of not-being-english - a language that is always already mine and not mine - re-writing eccentricities of english - drawing english into difference - drawing difference into english. [third] chapter - ex-perience - as performative transformation in the richness of the ruins of intention - in the ruins of research. In the not knowing where to go - a performative richness within the aporetic condition of passage and nonpassage to restore a certain richness to a complicated pedagogy - to complexities that are always already there before we begin a practice of thrift - addressing a writing that seeks to spend and the cost of spending in the eco-nomy of ex-change - a re-inscription of experience as an opening for something to happen. [fourth] chapter - de-composition - announcing finally the void - all things end in death - and bequeaths a glossary as obituary after the death - an ex-cavation of ruins - following the death of the author there is no rest in the tomb - no longer a home and a not home - one writes into the gaps - traces of a verbarium - biting into words to release the grasp - the hold - and let them speak again ... If there is nothing outside the text, then let's work the text - bite into - to release the grasp - re-writing residuals contaminants degrees of freedom ... [fifth] chapter - ex-centricity - an economy of postage - posting the work - with the recognition that this journey marked by detour - fragmented anxious tensioned - was an engagement with Tschumi's prefixes - transformation of a author who announces a writing that doesn't know how to stop. Writings past a deadline - through the writing of the next working text I came to reread what might have been happening - another location in-between reading/writing. Ending as an apostrophe of postponement so that the text can stay alive through the work of the reader. I too am now a reader dis-located from the graphein that was forced to stop - anxiously pulling at the traces and moving them on. The signature having signed at the end - long dead now - a space for para-sitic intervention. Wanting ... to write. 30 It was the summer of '96 - it was the second day of class - And, there, at my place at the seminar table, was located a text with a note attached - a note in meticulous inscription. The text was Slavoj Zizek's Tarrying with the Negative. The note alerted me to attend to the introduction where I would read about Zizek's notion of the hole in the flag as a moment of sublime openness. Zizek insists that the role of the critical intellectual is to occupy the place of this hole - to maintain a distance from the master signifier. But in the distancing which is in itself an im/possibility one struggles - always already - toujours deja - in a 'third' discourse - in a third moment - in a third space. Catching only glimpses of what might be distancing - fleeting moments of a void - a tropological moment - trembling with/in the in-between spaces of metonymy/metaphor. And I noted a meticulous record keeping of readings of Zizek's text - several dated notations. I had yet to ask what it would mean to re-read - to ask what the hyphen might want - knowingly not-knowing. This text is a responsive reading of an invitation to 1 write a paper that is not a paper' - it is about re-reading - and ex- scribing - about writing as a divided act. A chiasmatic two-way flow between writer and writer-as-reader - and it is this reading relationship with itself that evokes a restless writing ... nervous ... And from what was my intention has emerged someThingelse - an intention interrupted by living pedagogy - re -readings that de- stablized positionalities - dis/appearing into spaces of the void - Zizek's 'void called subject.' c h a p t e r o n e t h e jouissance o f v a c a n c y disruptive beginnings .. . According to Michel de Certeau, le passeur is one who moves people or things across borders into exclusionary spaces.1 And from Roman Jakobson comes "shifter" designating a "signifier effecting a shift (a passage/articulation) between different isotopes (or codes). "2 My dissertation (dis/serere) will begin with the story of the disruption of my "self" as a passeur, as a shifter, as a gatekeeper3 and the disruption of my complicity using linguistic symbolism to denote spatial imaginaries. The real is evasive as signification slides below the signifier. I plotted coordinates on bell shaped curves and from these topographical locations, I proceeded to write numerical narratives. I wrote children. I wrote them numerically and symbolically. I invented them.4 As language performed its signification, numerical narratives became 1 from a footnote in Michel de Certeau's Heterologies: Discourse on the other [1999:259] 2 Ibid. [248] 3 The role of School Psychologist is often considered to be that of a gatekeeper. We assess students with a view to determining eligibility for Special Education designations. IQ is a numerical signifier that has been reified as a signification representing a topographical demarcation - as a spectre on a bell-shaped curve. The IQ is the ultimate signifier - exemplification - of Foucault's treatise on the order of things. Social science seeks to decipher and in so doing the cartography becomes personalized and the person becomes cartographied. IQ becomes an eco/nomy - a commodity. 41 am startled by this reference to Hegel "The first act by which Adam made himself master of the animals was to give them a name; that is, he annihilated them in their existence (as 'existants')" [Blanchot 1981:36]. What happens to students when we name them- what happens to them when we annihilate them - when the teacher-as-master marks them? Charles Sanders Peirce refers to numbers viewed as numerals as "thin skeletons of thought" [1996:48]. What does this say about the master narrators who reify these "thin skeletons of thought"? And what happens as they leak into performative spaces of sly spatialities? How did these "thin skeletons of thought" get so much power? And how can we begin to re-name so as to un-name - breathe life into the location of naming - make something happen in the liminal passage of transpiration? Peirce confesses that he leans toward the number three in philosophy - envisioning the third as the action by which the first is followed by the second. The force is in the liminal space. 32 performative spaces. Spaces performed the language of exclusion. As I struggled to make meaning from these cartographic imaginaries, I often found myself situated in the ambiguous space of meaning and non-meaning. And as my writings of the "said" became increasingly meaningless, my complicity in systemic pedagogical practices5 became a textual site of agony. The "unsaid" was beginning to speak its presence. I felt as though I had long been living in the site of the dead. And yet I lingered in that space - Derrida's le facteur who delivers the poste that never arrives - the letter that never arrives at itself (ne s'arrive jamais).6 Until "lack" itself was transformed into a vibrant space for dwelling - a vibrant space for being-toward-the-world. And in the transformation, the "said" was made to tremble as the "unsaid" announced its presence in the guise of haunted dictations - haunted by traces — Derrida's "cinders " that remain without remaining (II y a la cendre).7 And I had yet to locate the traces of terror in the 'il-y-a'. invocations from the pedagon ... Located within the textual site of agony, I found myself drawn to David Smith's notion of Q "pedagon" - a neologism composed of pedagogy and agon. Epistemological traces inform us that pedagogy is derived from the Greek paidagogia - leading children to school. Agon is also from Greek derivation originally meaning a gathering place or assembly and then taking on the connotation of a struggle i.e. the condition of one's soul. bureaucratic practices initiated by the 'panopticon' of the Ministry of Education whereby funding is allocated for Special Education designations ' from Derrida's [1997] The Postcard: From Socrates to Freud and Beyond, le facteur as the mailman 8 fromDemda's [1995] Points... Interviews, 1974 -1994 Derrida states a preference for 'cinder' from the preface of David Smith's Pedagon [1994: i-ii] encouraging us in 'deep' readings 33 For Smith, "pedagon" is an offering that seeks to articulate a cultural space. This signifier of articulated space in a sense performs its utterance. "Pedagon" for this writer was a performance of agony situated in the seemingly im/possible site of pedagogy whereby live(d) experience had become an amorphous black hole. Responsibility had become an aporia - a condition of impossibility - a blocked passage. And from the space of this black hole, happenstance took me to a class - a summer course - a place for dwelling within in-between spaces midst languages and cultures. It was the second day of class and I noticed that at my place was a book with a small note attached directing my attention to a specific location in the introduction and I began to read about Slavoj Zizek's "hole in the flag"9 as a sublime image of an openness. Zizek describes the moment of greatest excitement following the overthrow of Ceausescu in the old Romania - the moment of the people waving the flag with a hole cut out of its centre - the moment of the hole in the big Other before the old Master-Signifier has been replaced with the new. My location within the space of a black hole was about to be re- written as that space denoting "lack" was transformed into a vibrant site of possbilities. In a moment of pedagogical alchemy, I had entered into the middle of a journey along the via negativa. I was suddenly travelling while dwelling at home - engaged in Visweswaran's notion of "homework" - a process that involves unlearning. My homework was the beginning of multiple exits - detours from pedagogy in order to make tremble the "re" of a re-entry - ofa re-turn. And the force of the "re" re-marking a desire to make something happen at home - chez nous. 9 from the introduction in Slavoj Zizek's [1993] Tarrying with the negative. 34 And then 'how' to dwell in the space of that tremble? How to dwell within the precarious abyss of an impossible distancing? A space in which, if we learn to listen very deeply, we might catch a fleeting glimpse of what it might be like. (com)posting intentions . . . My work has been composting through multiple re-writings - in a performance of Smith's notion of "pedagon" - in a state of tension - re-reading itself - each re-turning representing Derrida's "problem of the interval" - each return a lived experience re- presented within a new contextualized site - living through the notion of Julia Kristeva's "intertextuality." Throughout the process of composting, ambiguity has been my site of agony - the ambiguity in translating an intention - in writing the intention of the translation. Michel de Certeau would contend that clarity is a betrayal of the richness of ambiguity and so I am encouraged to linger within the spaces of persistent instability. Haunted dictations of rigorous research from the stance of modernity dwell within a site of contradiction - in a co-habitation with my desire to respond to Carl Leggo's invitation to re/search - to search again for new lines of movement - for new possibilities - for new tropes of journeying - moving into doubling spaces as/in a/modernity. M y intentions had long departed from the space of invention to the liminal space of inter-vention. And now the brackets were beginning to clatter in the translated spaces in in(ter)vention. What was supposed to be dynamic intervention was a leaning toward mastery of the master narrative. I was struggling to listen to the performativity of my intentions. M y intentions are re-writing themselves through partial translations - through hermeneutic 35 interpretations of fragmented narratives. In translating my intentions, I wish to offer readings of this composting of embedded pedagogical experiences written through chiasmatic movements of the "said" and the "unsaid" - le dit et le non dit. Fragments open spaces for themes to emerge and to disappear, re-emerging as fictional traces in performative moments - through which scripts are always invited to re-write themselves. The writer performs partially unconsciously but conscious of partialities. In the performance of "developing the negative," Peggy Phelan draws our attention to the ontological doublings of Rosalind Krauss - a notion of doubling that disrupts the stability of 'original' intentions. [D]oubling [...] produces the formal rhythm of spacing - the two step that banishes the unitary condition of the moment, that creates within the moment an experience of fission. For it is doubling that elicits the notion that to the original has been added its copy. The double is the simulacrum, the second, the representative of the original. [...] But in being seen in conjunction with the original, the double destroys the pure singularity of the first. Through duplication, it opens the original to the effect of difference, of deferral, of one-thing-after-another, or within another... Rosalind Krauss, Originality [1985:109] Leaving the text open to a messy genre, to the enticement of an outlaw genre, my translated intention would be to interrogate the metaphors (language of space) and the metonyms (the spaces of language) and to enter into a pedagogical praxis that tarries within the in-between spaces of metaphor and metonymy - that lingers in the play between the "said" and the "unsaid." Where with/in a re-conceptualization of Metonymy, metaphor and metonymy co-habit a space that is unstable - uncertain - ambiguous. I am responding to Aoki 's call for us to listen to the Lacanian "where" - to tarry in the spaces in-between - to enter into the spaces of geo/graphy and ethno/graphy interrogating the 36 "graphy" of the "geo" and the "graphy" of the "ethno" through Metonymic 1 0 movements. Interrupting as/in displacing - afa-placing as/in shifting. A response that became my journey into the "how" of shifting from a language of the "what" to a language of the "where" - to a labouring of language located in a "third" discourse - a labour that seeks to maintain a site of tensionality and ambiguity and uncertainty. A language labouring to disrupt the hegemony of modernity. A labour of reading deeply into spaces of not understanding and not knowing with/in a practice that Je-habituates. A labour of writing that struggles to c/e-define itself in a performativity of parapraxis. Calle-Gruber writing with Cixous in Rootprints queries the keeping open of what is genre: "The question of genre is ... a question. The act of keeping it as a question ..."'1 re-working metonymy . . . Let us trace the conception of metonymy within semiotics from linguists Ferdinand de Saussure and Roman Jakobson, to French psychoanalyst, Jacques Lacan. Metonymy as a trope is often referred to in opposition to metaphor. Jakobson is generally credited with establishing an opposition between the tropes of metaphor and metonymy. Metaphor allows for substitution and corresponds to de Saussure's paradigmatic relationship while metonymy is characterized by displacement corresponding to syntagmatic relationships. Lacan, inspired by Jakobson, defines metonymy as the diachronic relation between one signifier and another in the signifying chain - in a continual deferral of meaning. In the Lacanian reconceptualization, metonymy signifies horizontal or syntagmatic relations 1 0 Lacan's Metonymy with a capital " M " refers to a doubling performance within itself of the tropes of metaphor/metonymy. 1 1 See Cixous and Calle-Gruber Rootprints, 1994, p.151. 37 whereas metaphor signifies vertical or paradigmatic relations. Signification or meaning is produced through the interaction of metaphor and metonymy. Lacan would argue that metonymy is the necessary condition for metaphor. If metonymy represents displacement, then metaphor represents condensation. In the course of this dissertation we will trace the trajectory of desire as a metonymy. In the Lacanian version, desire borrows a language and rides on the signifier. We will follow a journey of desire as we travel the via negativa in search of empty spaces - a journey that startles the writer. Located within the site of transformative pedagogical praxis, Aoki alerts us to the Lacanian notion of Metonymy with the capital " M " containing within itself a discourse of doublings between the spaces of metaphor and metonymy. Through the chiasmatic flow of Metonymic movements, we are encouraged to dwell within a state of persistent doublings. Let us recall the textured form of plannable/unplannable or predictable/unpredictable. These are [M]etonymies.... Contexturing this way brings forth the space between, here grafted with a slash: "/". It is this space of between that our teachers ... dwell likely finding it a space of ambiguity, ambivalence, and uncertainty but simultaneously a vibrant site. It looks like a simple oppositional binary space, but it is not. It is a space of doubling, where we slip into the language of "both this and that, but neither this nor that.' Ted T. Aoki [1999:181] Derrida contends that metaphor "always carries its death within itself." 1 2Could this be then that flicker that startles us and slips away always already before we can grasp it? That moment of jouissance at the acte-de-passage of a death. And the doubling of metonymy and metonymy as a spatiality of the always already and not-yet there. 38 living un/grammatically ... The invocation to dwell in in-between spaces evokes a play within the "graphy" - a response to Leggo's poetic invitation to live "un/grammatically" - an invocation to enter into messy texts - into outlaw genres - living both inside and outside the laws of language - living neither inside nor outside the laws of language but someWhere else. Leggo's invitation incites a calling forth - apoeisis - that resonates in the performativity of language - leads me to Derrida's performative contradictions - incites a desire to make someThing happen to language. I want to bring in from Felman a Poe-etic effect as I find myself chasing Poe's purloined letter through Lacanian and Derridean readings - learning to dwell there where contradiction as meconnaisance - breathes life into translation - translation as moving on - survivre. Seeking a grammar of praxis that welcomes strangeness - etrangete - into the work - a para-praxis. A doubling that disturbs the originality of the first - through the interval of a breath - through spacing. In some sense, this writing follows a groundless path - a path that is made in walking - to the authorship of an auto/ethno/graphy - the decomposition and reconstitution of a gatekeeper, a shifter, a passeur - a facteur who now seeks to dwell in Metonymic spaces with characters who perform embodied actions. But authorship refers to an authority. How do we begin to heed Foucault in his interrogation of what it means to be an author, Benjamin on the task of the translator and Bakhtin on the problem of the text? This writing struggles with these questions. In some sense this writing may reflect an attempt 1 2 See Derrida's "White Mythology: Metaphor in the text of philosophy" in Margins of Philosophy (1982, p. 271). Derrida plays off a doubling death in the metaphor of a flower as a dried flower in a book - an absence from a garden - endlessly in abyme. 39 to respond to Helene Cixous's call for the "book without an author"13 - to write a text without an author - for in the naming of an authorship, who is unnamed and what is "unsaid"? Foucault contends that we must locate the space that is vacated by the disappearance of the author; we must be alert to the openings created through this disappearance. Reading the work of anthropologist Elvi Whittaker I am startled by her contention that writing the other is another act of colonization. Whittaker leads me to Foucault in his querying of authorship. Here then is an aporetic condition from which there is no escape. A provocative defeat. How to educe aporetic slippage? Though a doubling gesture of breathing - possible/impossible. Working within the paradox of a world that makes no sense and that is in itself sense, Jean-Luc Nancy evokes a sense of world that is "indecipherable outside the praxis of its art."14 Myth and abyss are Nancy's postulations that together form the double border of the opening up of the world - an invitation that evokes sense as "being-toward-more- than-one" - sense as a "being-toward-the-world" - a transcendence of immanence that constitutes a "transimmanent" sense of the world. Sense for Jean-Luc Nancy is a "tensor of multiplicity", and through the performance of fractality in his writings, we are left with a fractal sense - a frayage - a fraying of the edges of a trace - a wandering labour of sense. That which, for itself, depends on nothing, is an absolute. That which nothing completes in itself is a fragment. Being or existence is an absolute fragment. To exist: the happenstance of an absolute fragment. Nancy [1997:152] Cixous [1993] Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing See Nancy The sense of the world [1997: 41]. 40 Writing from the location of multiple pedagogical sites, I find a seductive richness in Nancy's sense of the world translated into a pedagogical world that is indecipherable outside the praxis of its art. It is the im/possibility of sense in the messiness of a living pedagogy that drives my desire - a desire that is driven by lack. At the end of a day-at- school who can say with certainty what has happened? The sense of the day is the praxis of a living pedagogy - a tensor of multiplicity. Writing disguises the truth it seeks to find - tells one narrative in place of another. Fragments or fractals leave open spaces which acknowledge that "lack" - leaving spaces for the "unsaid" and for the "unsayable" to perform in the space of absence. The "unsayable" cannot be said; it must speak for itself. We can only learn to listen attentively to the "unsayable" - to listen to the traces of absence within presence - to listen to the unspoken scripts in the in-between spaces - and to enter into the play of chiasmatic moments - of transformative movements. Judith Butler contends that the performativity of language exceeds its utterance. She alerts us to the "blindspot" in the speech act. In the writing of a paligraphic text, through moments reflecting the dislocation and re-location of language and spatiality, we are invited to listen to the play of voices - the voices of the actors or the characters that Julia Kristeva invites on stage. If metonymy, which concerns space, is to allow action to occur within the space it creates, it requires characters who can fulfill their destiny through that very action. [1996:216] In reference to Helene Cixous's textual strategies, Verena Conley draws our attention to the Greek khratein referring to "an engraving, the first mark, the written preserved 41 sign." 1 5 The character is that which has been characterized and the "mark" refers to an origin. How can we learn to listen to the play between the spaces of the given - deja la - and the not-yet-there - non encore la? How can we invite student and teacher characters to enter into those spaces of ambiguity with an endless deferral of the "not-yet-there" - where the "not-yet-there" is endlessly deferred yet marked with the traces of where-they- have-been? Cinders that remain without remaining. Can we begin with Derrida's cryptic little inscription (II y a la cendre)! Can we begin reading and writing characters as non savoir - into an open space - writing with Derrida's "cinders on cinders"? I return for another visit to an inner city school. Students are speaking in multiple dialects of Eastern languages and when my curiosity requests translation, their voices resonate with laughter as they inform me that these words cannot be translated into English. We struggle together within the ambiguity of partial understandings and I listen attentively for the performative play of the "unsayable" and so my journey continues through discursive fragmented traces. The cinders of my own lost languages that remain without remaining drawing me to wonder within the spaces of the "unsayable. " Already mourning as I find myself moving into an empty space - with a sense of loss for these young students as one language seeks to replace another - to displace another. A negativity is only traceable through its impact - its performative resonance. Trinh T. Minh-ha reminds us that silence has a voice. The spaces midst languages perform the play between presence and absence. I had yet to find a homeliness with/in the space of homelessness - an un/homeliness. 1 5 from Conley commenting on Cixous in Helene Cixous: Writing the Feminine [1984: 24]. 42 What is it that is being written in the writing-of-a-child - in the writing-of-a-student - in the writing-of-an-identity? Does the writing denote a "who" or a "what" or does it denote a "where" - the location of the author - the unspoken - the "unsaid" location of the writer? A location that when spoken speaks of haunted dictations - relics of the hegemonies of research traditions - dictations from the spectres of colonial nostalgia. In the performativity of the "said", are we mindful of the performance of the "unsaid"? How can we begin to write with children - writing fractals with openings between the closures? The act of writing connotes a state of fixedness. In pedagogy, the child must be written as a legible picture that can be translated into that which can be written within a space of language. De Certeau speaks of writing as the discourse of separation - denoting a separation from the body. And Nicolas Abraham contends: "To speak is to render present a phantom with the requirement that it not take on a body." 1 6 How is it that we perceive the live(d) body as a cipher to be deciphered? How is it that we turn the spatial organization of the body into a semantic organization of a vocabulary? And how do we return to re-membering the body - re-membering Judith Butler's "bodies that matter"? And how do we read the textualities of embodiment? And how can we escape from texts? ethno/graphy as/in in(ter)vention . . . In a recent ministry document, in a "storying" of best practices, we are encouraged to consider ethnographic assessment. The ethnographic interview, we are told, allows for "discovery" of the culture of the family. But let us listen to the location of the ethnographer in the language of "discovery" - the vanity of the ethnographer. Clifford 1 6 from Nicolas Abraham & Maria Torok [1994] The shell and the kernal. 43 Geertz contends that anthropological writings as interpretations are "fictions" or "something made" - drawing our attention to the original meaning of fictio as "a making" - as a making of the other. So we are encouraged through the "said" to identify and to assess ethnographically. M y intention, in responding to this invitation, is to bring in a multiplicity of voices as a polysemic response: Deborah Britzman who contends that we can only learn to do less harm; Ted Aoki who invites us to journey along the diagonal into a "third discourse" in ethno/graphy and geo/graphy; Carl Leggo who invites us to perform the language - to let the language perform; Karen Meyer whose teaching encourages the return-of-the-body within pedagogical praxis - a re-membering of the body. Elvi Whittaker who questions in anthropology the superorganic(ity) of the self and cautions us that the writing of the other is a colonizing process. It is in the spaces in- between that the writer as my 'self begins to dis/appear and there are many ways toward dis/appearance. Michel de Certeau tracking from ethnology to pedagogy contends that writing hinges on defeat and lack - a loss that is a condition of its possibility.1 7 And Maria Morris in doing the work of pedagogy encourages us to call forth "an eye/T that does not see, an I that is nothing" drawing from Serres that "all you need to think is to be nobody." To work into the difficulty of letting go of the performative power of an "I." and to remember that when there is Ego - it spooks. 1 7 de Certeau [1984:161] 1 8 See Maria Morris "An Anti-introduction: Thinking through the Empty Birdcage" JCT Journal of Curriculum Theorizing, Summer 2000, 16(2). Morris calls forth and brings forth an I that is nothing drawing from Serres in Genesis: "It is imperative to be nothing, all you need to think is to be nobody." 44 Norman Denzin contends that the performance text can "undo the voyeuristic, gazing eye of the ethnographer ... unsettle the writer's place in the text..." 1 9 Denzin envisions ethnography as having crossed "that liminal space that separates the scholarly text from its performance." A live(d) textuality gives back to the reader - evokes from the reader a reading experience. A reader co-habiting the text in the labour of reading - a reader writing into the text - a reader disturbing the text - the reader-as-other-in-self. And now I want words to labour within the performativity of praxis. Misreadings as force of rupture. I want to read living textuality as a performative text that plays out the tension of a performativity beneath and beyond performance. Judith Butler makes reference to a linguistic vulnerability in a distinction between performance and performativity.20 I want to bring this linguistic vulnerability into an (ethno)graphy - a (geo)graphy of living pedagogy. An ethno/graphy that lives on - survives - takes its force from a geo/graphy of in-between spaces. disturbing discourses... I struggle now within the performativity of performatives tracking from Austin's How to Do Things with Words through Derrida's Signature Event Context through Butler's Excitable Speech: A Politics of the Performative - each detour opening to a new moment of pedagogy - to a transformative possibility for pedagogy. Possibilities that might 1 9 See Denzin Interpretive Ethnography [1997:84] 2 0 Richard Schechner refers to the acceptance of the performative as a category of theory as well as a fact of behaviour [1998:362]. And so what does it mean to write performatively? 45 emerge from what Homi Bhabha, resonating with Derrida, terms an agonistic articulation in the passage in-between pedagogy and performativity. Psychoanalytic discourse, in Julia Kristeva's words, a l iving discourse, w i l l be drawn upon to provoke and interrupt dialectic and dialogical exchange. Felman acknowledges the gift o f psychoanalytical narration in that it embodies "a residue of action in the very process of cognition o f that action." Miche l de Certeau contends that psychoanalysis seeks to establish "an epistemological rupture" within the infinite process of camouflage and concealment . . . in accounting for a doubling of presence and absence that disrupts the possibility of closure. A o k i invites us to work with psychoanalytic discourse in the textual sites of pedagogy - sites as moments always in motion. A suturing through the metaphor of the "said" invites us to listen to the performance o f the metonym o f the "unsaid." A n endless trail o f readings always returns me to the Derridean language of deconstruction - a language always on the move. The language o f deconstruction opens to re-invention - to transformative possibilities in pedagogy taking its energy from the force-de-rupture. The school population is becoming increasingly diverse and the academic institution through which teachers obtain their credentials for teaching operates within a seemingly fixed theory of solid state . . . Our goals must be clear. Our objectives must be clear. Our criteria must be clear. In a temporal/spatial site whereby clarity is increasingly impossible the call has an ominous beat - a call for repetitive performances unmindful of the problem of the interval. Wi th each call for clarity - for the clarity of a metaphoric 46 "said", the metonymic space of the "unsaid' opens with a performance of the "unsaid." M y intention was to offer multiple translations - to interrogate the static and dynamic processes of teaching and assessment and to listen attentively to the language that is used in the process - the language that constitutes the message - the passage - from the site of academia to the school-based sites where it is the child who is entitled "learner" in the ministerial documentation. Can we begin to heed Luce Irigaray in her call for movement from a theory of solid state to a theory of fluids? Intentions can be transitional and my intentions drifted. Pedagogy needs to read and to be read. Readings that cannot stop. Today I went in search ofjob postings as I am returning from a leave of absence. A leave of absence - a negative space for generative possibilities. I wish to disrupt my complicity in the exclusionary role of gatekeeper. My desire is to dwell once again within a vibrant community wherein the problem for one is the problem for all. But as I scan the postings, I once again descend into the site of "pedagon " - the systemic practice dictates that some 'other' will remove the students from my class and 'teach' them someThing in exclusionary spaces. Haunted dictations appear as apparitions - as spectres. Again I sense the limits of my discipline - the lack driving desire to trespass the borders - sliding on slippery surfaces. Sites of contradiction are spaces for possibilities. Awaiting an opening. As I refuse the role of the gatekeeper, then some 'other' is the gatekeeper and exclusionary practices are written into the scripts of the characters. How can I re- position so that the "unsaid" scripts begin to speak in the empty spaces? By re- 2 1 A recent British Columbia Ministry of Education publication [1998] is entitled ESL Learners with Special Needs in British Columbia: Identification, Assessment, and Programming. What is it that we are identifying other than our own location in the practice of exclusionary topographies? How can we learn to 4 7 positioning the gaze can we begin to conjure up newness in the process of unveiling in the spaces of the boundaries? I linger in the borderlands of a void looking for an opening that permits a trace of absence to live on - afrayage - a fraying at the edges. In the guise of le facteur, we have so often closed the boundaries of open spaces with linguistic markers in our search for phantasmatic certainties. Zizek makes reference to the "plague" of fantasies and alerts us to the impossibility of the gaze for the subject is always already present at the act of conception. Identities cannot remain within their assigned boundaries - such is the nature of time/space collusion. Drawing from her readings of Proustian literature, Kristeva acknowledges that metonymy is intrinsic to metaphor; she refers to the "complexities, contradictions, and paradoxes" of metaphor as "psychic contractions" as characters. How then might Kristeva's "psychic contractions" perform within the spaces of metonymy? What happens when we move into the performative space of ambiguity - into the spaces of uncertain scripts? Aoki diverts our attention from the "what" of discourse and, drawing from Lacanian psychoanalysis, invites us to attend to the "where" of our discursive practices. I must remember to ask where the speaker is located - in which discourse? Once located, how do we begin to write performatively within the choreographic movements of Kristeva's "psychic contractions" - Kristeva's "characters." The 'how' has become what drives my desire - the intention of my intention. play at the site of contention - disrupting our intention - within a publication that is itself a site of contradiction - a space for generating new possibilities. 48 The linguistic tensionality with the capitalized Metonymy invites us to interrupt pedagogical praxis re-opening the non savoir resonating within Nishida Kitaro's "topos of nothingness" - mu no basho - and absolute nothingness - zettai mu. Diverted from our pursuit of certainties, we are invited to seek possibilities for openings in the performative (w)rites of transformative pedagogy - to listen for the performative silences of the "unsayable." To "tarry" denotes a space of uncertainty. The origin of the signifier itself is uncertain. To tarry in Metonymic moments invites us into new possibilities for pedagogical discourse. In the process of this dis/serere, we will journey into a "third" discourse in "third" space drawing from the notion of hybridity educed from the postcolonial writings of Homi Bhabha and Trinh T. Minh-ha - a third space from Edward Soja's writings in human geography . Performing in the third discourse, we enter into the spaces between the discourse of modernity and the discourse of postmodernity/non- modernity - into the spaces of transformative possibilities. When a writer finds herself confined by the unbearable closure of being-in-a-discipline, does she then begin to trespass into other disciplines - to take flight as a would-be-thief and returning from the detour - begin to interrogate the language of spatial praxis in her discipline? From the location of an interdisciplinary stance, signals cross, mis-fire and re- emerge to conjure new possibilities. The tropes of metaphor and metonymy cross boundaries, blur the limits and stain the discourse with residual traces - troubling the gatekeepers so that the "said" begins to tremble. As disembodied shifters, the gatekeepers have been protected by what has been "said" - the symbolic and imaginary "laws" of validity. Embodiment demands a reconceptualization of cognition - a transgressive 49 validity. And reliability in the course of the Derridean "problem of the interval" demands to be re-written as a fluid interrogation - a living discourse - a polemic intervention. I have been working with Sasha this morning as Kalifhas gone swimming. A student is telling me how to say "finished" in his language and how to ask "Are you finished? " We are laughing at my struggles with the language. I am told this is not the polite way to speak these markers of signification and I am instructed in the proper forms - much more difficult for me to say. Unexpectedly, Sonya, a student working at a nearby table, approaches us and in a very quiet almost imperceptible voice tells me how to ask the question in her language - in the Russian language. The spaces midst languages invited discursive traces to emerge — silences were unveiled between the "said" and the "unsaid. " I find myself entangled in the traces of memories as fragments and relics of live(d) experiences are evoked within the spaces of our discursive moments. I draw from Sara Miles a 14th century Medieval Latin definition of discourse - a running to and fro - 22 from discurrere. And I mourn my own lost languages: suprentu/nesuprentu - I understand/I don't understand. Sound tracks that resonate as fragmented memories. My original intent was to engage in performative assessment practices and traces of those original intentions wil l constitute fragments to be embedded in sedimentations of pedagogical praxis. For assessment is inextricably bound to pedagogical practices. In the hermeneutic dwelling of Being-as-event, one praxis informs and is informed by another. 2 2 From Sara Miles Discourse [1997:2]. See also Paul Virilio's Aesthetics of Disappearance where he refers to the Latin discurrere - to run here and there - with an impression of haste and disturbance [113] but I 50 The live(d) experience of teacher-teaching-teachers and teacher-being-taught-by-teachers created new fissures in social reconstructions of the "architectonics" of pedagogical practice. I have listened to those calls for "clarity" that reverberate in the haunted dictations of the archival practices of academia. Instructor evaluation forms provide a topographical mapping for the notion of clarity: Was the subject matter clearly explained? Did the instructor communicate clearly? Were the course objectives made clear! Were the course requirements clear! Did the instructor explain clearly the basis for evaluating students? If we are mindful of the messages of semiotics, the greater the clarity of the linguistic metaphor, the greater the space of the metonym. As teachers-in- the-becoming heeding the call for clarity, have we then been taught to seek certainties in our readings of students? Let us recall de Certeau's adage that clarity masks the richness of ambiguity. To enter into the real(m) of uncertainty is to risk treading on the fault lines of a tremor - to risk living in the creative site of endless possibilities. The lived experiences of being-a-student and being-a-teacher struggling with new ways of writing - of being-with-words - of trespassing into other disciplines - of gatherings with fellow students - are invocations for retellings of narratives. Storied fragments provoke collision and dissemination - opening new forms of movement - new spaces for the topos of nothingness - re-cognizing Chomsky's 'necessary illusions' and listening for the spaces of displacement that have created these illusions - that are disguised by these illusions. During the space of writingness - toward the end of a leave of absence from the school system -1 had the opportunity to teach a summer course entitled "the exceptional child refer to read through Italo Calvino's tag offestina lente - to hurry slowly - which opens to a contradictory 51 in the classroom. " As the course was being described to me (passive voice), I was told that the approach was to be noncategorical. But the text had been chosen for its categories - a virtual dictionary reference for teachers - easily accessible. And then the text began to speak from the site of contradiction - performing in an active voice - from the spaces in-between the "said" and the "unsaid." Just where are we to locate ourselves in this course? Conscious of partialities, how can we begin to work at the site of contradiction - to generate new possibilities? How can we co-habit an impossible place in order to disturb the inhabitants? How can we disturb the syntax through transposition - why not "children in exceptional spaces "? One performs the role of passeur/facteur through the articulation of shifters - of language - language as metaphor performs spaces and in the performance of the "said", we often ignore the metonyms of the "unsaid." De Certeau contends that language is always "the metaphor of what it hides." In the process of this dis/serere, I draw from Bakhtin the notion of Being-as-event and postupok - an individually answerable act or deed - to tarry in the spaces between "a step taken" and the "taking of a step" - to search for what is hidden - what is left "unsaid" - to dwell within the ambiguous spaces of the "said" and the "unsaid." Travelling with the notion of Bakhtin's postupok, I must take responsibility for "an individually answerable act" as it is my hand that does the writing that selects from the selections - always acknowledging that the choices are emitted from a location - embedded in a location - in that I journey, however mindful, always with a partial consciousness. And the "what" that my pencil writes is perhaps a signification of kind of tense - of pace - for writing. 52 "where" I have been and not been - where I am and am not - a space that empties into no/thing/ness through the passages of writing - always through an event that is always already and not yet there. Rey Chow, in interview2 3, contends that students move toward interdisciplinarity when they feel "imprisoned" within the "limits" of their disciplines. To have a sense of imprisonment insinuates a sense of the "limits." Chow speaks of disciplinary "imprints" within the notion of interdisciplinarity. I find myself constantly startled by the hauntings of the imprints from my discipline that show themselves in linguistic and symbolic representations as the play with "residual traces" and "degrees of freedom" re-writing and re-turning re-presentation back upon itself. We write the "said" in metaphoric images and symbols unmindful of the "unsaid" lingering in the metonymic spaces of displacement constituting the necessary conditions for metaphoric condensation. Our spatial locations are constantly re-constructed through metaphoric signification. Derek Gregory in human geography draws us into deep spaces; Clifford Geertz in ethnography would have us writing thick descriptions. How does writing locate itself in spatial praxis? How does spatial praxis locate itself in writing? What happens when we listen to the haunted dictations - the voice of the "unsayable" as it speaks its presence from an empty space? Perhaps a citation from architect Tschumi on architectural paradox as "the impossibility of both questioning the nature of space and, at the same time, experiencing a spatial praxis." Tschumi contends that "architecture is always the expression of a lack, a UBC Discipline and Place Collective Interview [February/97] with Rey Chow published in Environment and Planning D: Society and Space 1997, volume 15. 53 shortcoming, a non-completion. It always misses something, either reality or concept."24 Could we not then say the same for archi-texture as a space of writing? Michel de Certeau alerts us to the loss in the very act of writing. Why write, if not in the name of an impossible speech? At the beginning of writing, there is a loss. What cannot be said - an impossible adequation between presence and the sign - is the postulate of the labor that is constantly beginning anew and that has as its principle a nowhere of identity and a sacrifice of the thing .... Writing repeats this lack in each of its graphs, the relics of a walk through language. It spells out an absence that is its precondition and its goal. [1984:194-5] Riding on the trope of travelling theory, this dissertation will interrogate the construction of student identities through spatial discourse in pedagogical si(gh)tings. And I dwell within the limits of travelling theory increasingly aware of 'privilege' in the tropes of travel and aware that the risks taken at border crossings have entered into the live(d) textualities of this work. We will query the process of normalizing the subject through the spatial interstices of ab/normal inappropriate(d) others.25 In so doing, we will draw from Judith Butler on the language of performativity/the performativity of language in the construction of spatiality in pedagogical si(gh)tings. We wil l journey into the im/possibility of pedagogy in the process of deconstruction and re-invention. What does the performativity of language mean in the de/construction and re/construction of theories of cognition? What does it mean to tarry metonymically in the language of space and the 2 4 from Louis Martin's article entitled "Interdisciplinary Transpositions: Bernard's Tschumi's Architectual Theory" in A. Coles & A. Defert (Eds.). De-, dis-, ex- volume two: The anxiety of interdisciplinarity [59-88] London, UK: BACKless Books. Martin looks at boundary crossings between Tschumi and Barthes, Sollers, Derrida and others. 2 5 from Trinh T. Minh-ha, (Ed.), 1986/7b, She, the Inappropriate/d Other cited in Haraway. Haraway drawing from Trinh contends that to be inappropriate/d is to insist on the amodern bypassing the modern versus postmodern dichotomy. 54 space of language? What does it mean to dwell within doublings in chiasmatic movements - to listen to the "unsaid" disguised by the "said" and to listen to the performativity of that which cannot be said through language - to listen to the "unsayable" as extra-discursive? What happens at the limits of 'meaning'? How can we generate movement in an aporetic condition? Through bricolage? Through decoupagel What might happen within the liveliness of gaps? As I search through the job postings, I see the call for a teacher for an "observation " class for immigrant children and I recite my readings on the Lacanian gaze. A job posting that extends an invitation for a voyeur. But what happens when the voyeur is caught peering through the keyhole — when the observer is caught in the act of observing the observed? How do we read the "looked-at-looker" to draw from the words of Cixous? For Rey Chow, ethics involves the willingness to take risks in reading. Has the doubling of difference in ESL/Special Needs created a new spectacle for the gaze of the big Other - an object for observation - an object for the scopic drive? How do we read Kaja Silverman's screen and re-position the gaze? How can we move toward Silverman's "productive" look? How can we play with the dynamic force between the act of interpellation and the act of misrecognition? How can we learn to hear ourselves being hailed and how can we learn to resist the call? And how can we teach the learning? Are we drawn to the meconnaissance in the ambiguity and confusion with the boundaries of the doublings of language and cognition - ofd double articulation? Is it the impossibility of clarity that drives our desire? And is it with/in the vacancy generated through a doubling that we can engage in a transformative pedagogy? 55 chiasmatic moments ... Journeying through chiasmatic movements takes us into tectonic spaces wherein tension resonates. The incisions - spaces that perform incisive exclusion - of contestation - of contradiction — of nonsynchrony — topos and chronos in a rhetorical site of conflict can he painful while we linger waiting for that tissue to reform itself in the endless process of circumscription. As student, I begin to teach my first class of teachers; I sense my being- as-event; I dwell within Bakhtin's sense of postupok - "a step taken " or "the taking of a step " lingering within the space of ambiguity as signification slides beneath the signifier. Entering into the third discourse creates a state of tensionality both vibrant and discordant. Between the "step taken " and the "taking of a step ", I struggle within the dissonance of tension seeking "the path " realizing that I have once again forgotten that the journey takes place in groundlessness - the traversal with the body in the "taking of a step " is living pedagogy. I am still struggling to define my insecurity within the space of language and yet in the writing, the space constitutes itself - creates itself - a space of dwelling midst tension while travelling. The embodied act of writing translated with intention - intended as translation - fragmented by partial consciousness - chiasmatic as spatial discourse. How is it that I can find a home - that I can enter the spaces of belonging and nonbelonging and then so easily lose it - lose a sense of dwelling in my own space. Seeking my 'self in language I lose my 'self as language is writing me. A 'self dis/appearing repeatedly through the performativity of writing. 56 How can we begin to read in the chiasmatic spaces between psychoanalysis and deconstruction as an act of redoubling back upon ourselves in a continuous disruption of meaning? Felman cautions us that learning proceeds through "breakthroughs, leaps, discontinuities, regressions, and deferred action." 2 6 How can we disrupt our pedagogical praxis so that temporality then digresses from the linearity that is cumulative and progressive and moves within chiasmatic motions of discourse? How can we then begin to create sites for transformative pedagogy - for journeying through Metonymic moments wherein the psychic contractions of the metaphoric "said" perform within the metonymic spaces of the "unsaid" in a jouissance of vacancy - of dis/appearance? How can we move into moments that risk vacancies? How can we complicate the tropes of pedagogy through persistent doubling gestures? How can we learn to listen deeply with/in a third discourse that is ex-centric to a duality? Listening to a space of 'thirdness' as a word slips away - escapes - into a space of nothingness ... Take the trouble to listen to a single word: in that word, nothingness is struggling and toiling away, it digs tirelessly, doing its utmost to find a way out, nullifying what encloses it - it is infinite disquiet, formless and nameless vigilance. Blanchot [1995:326] See Felman's Jacques Lacan and the adventure of insight for a wild ride into a performative psychoanalytic pedagogy [1987:76]. 57 the english gaze ... Metonymic moments of unveiling exergue .. .the exergue plays with citation .. .to give the tone The fact that I through the resonance of a m writing to you a few words, the meaning : ~ TTT or form of which ought to in English set the stage. already falsifies what I wanted to tell you. Jacques Derrida, , , , . A. A i r - My subiect: from Archive Fever - - how to explain to you that I don't belong to English though I belong nowhere else Gustavo Perez Firmat cited in Junot Diaz's Drown performative contradictions I only have one language; it is not mine. Script Yes, I only have one language, yet it is not mine. f o r the theatre We only ever speak one language mil HO basflO 0 f y e s ' b u t No/thine We never speak only one language Jacques Derrida 58 chapter two the english gaze: Metonymic moments of un/veiling beginning elseWhere... In the role of pedagogue, as we journey2 with the student toward learning, the curricular field in which we work often falls under the gaze of a master narrator. In the teaching of English as a second language the gaze is often a frozen gaze - Zizek's troppo fisso2, - that becomes known only through the process of transformation. How is the gaze of the Other constituted? What intentions emerge from interpretations that are constituted through the imagined gaze in the pedagogical field of the Other - situated within the hegemonic stance of the master narrative? How can we begin to interrogate the refraction through which the Gaze is constituted in the relationship of the self with Other? In a pedagogical site with a diversity of students who are learning English as a second language, what would it mean to work 'productively' in the field of the English Gaze? How can the English Gaze be de- stabilized? What happens when the English Gaze begins to perform in a state of persistent instability? How can we make the hegemonic phantoms tremble in reiterative journeying from the inscriptions4 of the archival crypt? The gaze I encounter ... is, not a seen gaze, but a gaze imagined by me in the field of the Other. Lacan [1977:84] 21 draw from David Geoffrey Smith in Pedagon the notion of 'journey' as daily work from the Latin diurnus [1]. See also Michel de Certeau The Practice of Everyday Life. In the Forword to Pedagon, David Jardine laments the 'jargon' of pedagogy and traces the word to the old Welsh term iargoun - "the warbling of birds" [xviii]. Bird 'traces' will re-appear in narrative fragments and paratextual sites. 3 from Slavoj Zizek The Plague of Fantasies - Zizek draws from Walter Benjamin's "frozen moment" and asks whether the "troppo fisso" is not the moment of 'non-dialectical excess', of 'exaggeration', when 'one particular moment stands for all'. Zizek makes reference to Dante, in Purgatorio, focussing his gaze on Beatrice and being reproached for staring too fixedly the "frozen gaze " . . . designating ... "the original sin of looking" [90-91]. 59 Within the performativity of a 'doubled gazing', the spectator is invited to take an active role in the script of the spectacle - in the 'event'5 of the spectacle. broken as/in english ... Exploring the 'worldliness' of English from a critical stance, Alastair Pennycook positions a doubling movement of "English in the world" and "the world in English." 6 Juxtaposing Pennycook's doubled movement with Judith Butler's contention of the power of performativity,7 what might happen if we were to intercept the English gaze through psychoanalytic discourse - turn it back on itself in a re-doubling of movement? Shoshana Felman contends that pedagogy in psychoanalysis is more than a theme or a statement of meaning - it is a rhetoric, an utterance and an action.8 How can we disrupt 4 My own inscriptions are drawn from the traces and relics and fragments of texts that I encounter working as a volunteer staff member at a cooperative bookstore located on Hastings Street in the downtown east side of Vancouver - a paratextual interruption of the hegemonic crypts of academia at UBC. The bus driver in the guise of le passeur - as he-who-transports-across-borders - warns tourists from descending into this part of town. I had joined a Lacanian study group that met weekly in the Or Gallery on Hastings and was directed to this bookstore as a possible site for the texts. Sometimes I take a detour through Victory Park where wreaths are sutured on monuments to enshrine the dead as living and where the violence of the hegemonic gaze makes the spectre of death tremble in the living inhabitants of the park. Sometimes I take a detour from the detour as small rats scurry on the traces of my footsteps taking refuge in the bushes from the downpour of a wet Vancouver morning. Small grey tracks in circular moments of currere - will leave their phantom markings - fraying the edges of traces in Jean-Luc Nancy's notion offrayage - the breaking of the edges of a trace - disrupting the text in my footnotes. 5 David Smith, Pedagon, alerts us to the meaning of the word "word" from the Hebrew dabhar meaning 'event.' [74] 6 from Alastair Pennycook "English in the world/the world in English" In J.W. Tollefson (ed.) Power and inequality in language education. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Pennycook, in conversation following a presentation at UBC (November, 1998), remarked that he had refused to become a member of a leading ESL journal because of the inclusion of classified ads for 'native' speakers of English for teaching positions. 7 Judith Butler in Excitable Speech contends that "performative utterances" have the power of marks and signs. Butler draws from the Derridean notion of a "force that breaks with its context... the breaking force (force de rupture). " [148] Butler asks what it means "for a word not only to name, but also in some sense to perform and, in particular, to perform what it names." [44] Butler refers to Toni Morrison's contention that "we do language." [7] 8 Shoshana Felman in Jacques Lacan and the adventure of insight claims that pedagogy is "not just a meaning; it is action; an action that itself may very well at times belie the stated meaning, the didactic thesis, the theoretical assertion. The pedagogical situation, according to Felman's interpretation, is "the dynamic in which statements function as performative speech acts." [73-74] 60 pedagogical mappings of 'Englishness'? How can we invoke a re-texturing of the 'surveillance' script in the spectacle of the English Gaze? In re-reading and re-writing the maps of Englishness, Simon Gikandi seeks a space on the map while acknowledging the sense of alienation within the space of cartographic inscriptions - evoking a tremble in that space of non/belonging - inhabiting that space of a performative contradiction. Gikandi contends that "the essence of Englishness ... is predicated on a certain affiliation with the romantic history of the empire"9 with the romance of empire driven by its own anxieties. And the ghosts of the haunted dictations of empire hover beneath and beyond the scripts - nervous restless shimmering - always on the move - Harbison's phantasm that sits by the postman's door. Exceeding the act of its utterance, English performs the hegemonic role of gatekeeper - a performative master - le facteur - delivering the post that never arrives - that never arrives at its destination.10 In the Lacanian paradox of a doubled movement, to seek is to have arrived and so to never arrive at a destination is to always arrive. In metonymic spaces of displacement, English is the metaphoric voice for inclusionary and exclusionary practices. Linguistic eco/nomies11 are written and re-written through the repetition of haunted dictations - disturbing dictations evoked by the phantom inscriptions of colonial y Simon Gikandi from Maps of Englishness [1996:103]. Gikandi draws from the literary works of Charles Kingsley on the tensionality in the colonial spatial discourse: "a dark shadow hangs over all this beauty; and the air ... is full of ghosts." 1 0 A reference to the Lacanian discourse on Poe's purloined letter - Malcolm Bowie in Freud, Proust and Lacan: theory as fiction provides a brief summary: "The purloined letter is a pure migratory signifier"[1987:124]. As the letter travels it evokes different meanings. For Lacan, to seek is to have found and so the letter always arrives at its destination. See also Derrida's "Le Facteur de la Verite" in The Post Card. In the Glossary, we learn that arriver means "to arrive" and also "to happen." Arriver comes from the Latin arripare which means "to come to shore" which implies an uncertainty around a mooring [xvi]. 1 1 Derrida in Archive Fever refers to the double sense of an eco-nomic archive - "at once institutive and conservative ...Revolutionary and traditional... it keeps, it puts in reserve, it saves, but in an unnatuiral fashion .. .in making the law (nomos) or in making people respect the law" [1996:7]. 61 nostalgia. The cryptic call for the 'native' speaker of English resonates with irony as neo- colonialism re-sutures the signifier 'native' as a slippery signification. In textual doublings of the anthropological signification of'native', we journey on fault lines within the slippery spatiality of nature and culture. The 'native' is colonized and the 'native' speaker of English is summoned from the archive to perform the repetitive act of hegemonic linguistic colonization. The English Letter as the purloined letter - a migratory signifier - that never arrives at itself and yet, in seeking, always arrives at its destination by way of Lacanian ink. As para-doxa. the stain of Lacanian ink . . . Helene Cixous reminds her readers that "as soon as there is writing, it becomes a matter oipassage, of all kinds of passages, of delimitation, of overflowing.' 1 2 Derrida's notions of traces and grammes and cinders on cinders - of ashes on ashes - remaining and not remaining - of culture and nature - colliding, dispersing and re-emerging in a state of persistent tensionality - in a doubled moment of Derrida's "performative contradictions."13 And listen to Calvino's passaggi (transitions) as he draws from the old Latin festina lente - hurry slowly. 1 4 What is it to hurry slowly? Could it be a space of ecrivance - of writingness? And if it were ...? from Cixous Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing [ 1993:129] 1 3 from Jacques Derrida Monolingualism of the Other or the Prothesis ofOrigin,[l998-.3]. Derrida plays on the paradox of his own linguistic geneologies. 1 4 Italo Calvino from Six Memos for the Next Millenium [1998:44-48]. 62 The person who doesn't tremble when crossing a border doesn't know there is a border and doesn't cast doubt on their own definition. [131] When I cross a border, it's my border I'm crossing, though I don't know which one I'm crossing or which side I end up on. This is the charm of crossing the border. It is also what can constitute its distressing side. [130] The border makes up the homeland. It prohibits and gives passage in the same stroke. [130] HeleneCixous 1993 The borderline is never a secure place, it never forms an indivisable line, and it is always on the border that the most disconcerting problems of topology get posed. Where, in fact, would a problem of topology get posed if not on the border? [77] Jacques Derrida, 1998 The Gaze spreads its field upon my page15 as I find other voices entering my spaces - in dialectic couplings of presence and absence. I am writing performatively for an imagined audience - my words chosen through the receptive Gaze of a symbolic and imaginary Other and through the expressive Gaze of the writers whose works I am reading — whose books clutter my writing space - whose words enter into the tensionality of my journeying pushing thoughts against themselves in doubled movements. Language performs in empty spaces as spaces of emptiness perform language. Desert spaces from which the 'unsayable' speaks for itself. Language performs its utterance on an empty stage. The gaze is returned in a retributive defense. I re/vise the Gaze in symbolic and imaginary registers - the real audience always yet-to-come - always located beyond the last veil — the veil that cannot unveil - unveil to reveal elusive truths. In starting from scratch - de novo - the sender with some degrees of absence addresses an absent addressee - a writerly reader - as other in self - with some degrees of separation. Always already a writer is a reader entangled in the text - disconcerting punctuations at the border ... 1 5 Italo Calvino in If on a Winter's Night a Traveler, situates images from his narrative into the lived pages of his narrating in a textual moment that is an exquisite doubling of narrative and narrating. I am drawn to his stylistic as I journey between the spaces of a writer who is reading and a reader who is writing. Chapter One begins ... "in a railway station, a locomotive huffs, steam from a piston covers the opening of the chapter, a cloud of smoke hides the first paragraph..." Writers that I am reading leave their traces - their imprints in my narratives - their footprints in my footnotes. Rootprints as rhyzomatic wanderings. 63 entering 'inside-out'... Jacques Lacan distinguishes between the eye and the gaze. In a discussion of the topique of the imaginary, the technique of anamorphosis'6 demonstrates the split between the eye and the gaze. The subject is displaced by a constitutive force of "scopic" alterity in the split between meaning and being. According to Lacan, the etymology of "anamorphosis" comes from the Greek "to transform" or "to form anew." The anamorphic moment always precludes a moment - of unveiling. The gaze ... is, not a seen gaze, but a gaze imagined by me in the field of the other. The level of reciprocity between the gaze and the gazed at is illusory. Inscribed within the register of the scopic drive, Lacan alerts us to an ever-present ambiguity and refers to the 'inside-out' structure of the gaze. 1 7 How can we enter Lacanian discourse in a re-fraction - de-fraction of the gaze? Let us return to the notion of the English gaze, locating ourselves in a performative stance in the sense of writing the self/writing the other - in the act of decentering self and other. Situating herself in her third school of writing, in the School of Roots, Cixous speaks of the "country of words ... the country that one enters when one has lost all Exile makes one fall silent/earth [taire/terre]. But I don't want exile to make silence. I want it to make earth; Taire/terre, ... metamorphosis, ... wordplay. Cixous [1991: xx] 1 6 Lacan makes reference to Baltrusaitus' book Anamorphoses [85]. 1 7 from Jacques Lacan, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psycho-analysis [67-104]. Lacan provides a personal narrative that illustrates the performativity of the gaze. Lacan relates the story of being out in a fishing boat off the coast of Brittany when a fisherman companion Petit-Jean points out a small sardine can floating on the waves and glittering in the sun and then remarks to Lacan: "You see that can? Do you see it? Well, it doesn't see you\" The sardine can was looking at him but did not see him. Lacan was not as amused by this incident as his companion was and saw himself as "out of place in the picture" in that the fishermen were struggling to earn their living at great risk to themselves while he appeared to them as looking " like nothing on earth." 64 other spaces of habitation."18 English takes on the disguise of country dwelling in the doubling of metaphor and metonymy - a redoubling in the play between lack and desire. In a metonymic displacement from one's native language, English becomes the metaphor of condensation in the process of curriculum. Following Julia Kristeva's lead in viewing psychoanalysis as a 'living' discourse, let us see how psychoanalytic discourse might be used performatively to disrupt the power of the English Gaze in the constitution of spaces in-between identity and identification. According to Judith Butler, identification is a "phantasmatic trajectory and resolution of desire; an assumption of place ..." 1 9 What then happens in the split between gaze and vision? Slavoj Zizek alerts his readers to the notion of the gaze as an impossible gaze - a phantasmatic gaze - as the subject is "already present at the act of his/her own conception."20 For whose gaze is the English phantasm staged and with what intention? Butler refers to language as an act of displacement and condensation; every effort to signify encodes and repeats this loss. Language as a doubling of metonymy/metaphor. Language performs the loss in a figuration that both repeats it and refuses it - in an 21 endless deferral of jouissance. This signifying game between metonymy and metaphor, up to and including the active edge that splits my desire between a refusal of the signifier and a lack of being, and links my fate to the question of my destiny, this game, in all its inexorable subtlety, is played until the match is called, there where I am not, because I cannot situate myself there. Jacques Lacan [1977:166] Cixous, see Coming to writing [1991 :xx]. 1 9 Butler, see Bodies that Matter [1993:99]. 2 0 Zizek, from The Plague of Fantasies [1997:16]. 2 11 draw a partial definition from Dylan Evans, Dictionary of Lacanian Psychoanalysis, who alerts the reader to the Lacanian notion of jouissance as a "painful pleasure" - a "paradoxical satisfaction" - associated with the death drive jouissance is "the path toward death" [1996: 91-92]. 65 In a cryptic message, Lacan leads us into spaces from which We see, then that metaphor occurs at the precise point at which sense emerges from non-sense. there is no way out but the way in which he prefers to be difficult. Metonymy2 2 according to Lacan is the necessary condition for metaphor as displacement must occur prior to Lacan [1977:158] condensation. Displacement through language involves a translation and as Benjamin cautions his readers translation always bestows an intention. What is meant by the intention of a metaphor? Is it only through metaphor that the production of meaning can occur? What might happen as one begins to search for fragments of meaning in the metonymic spaces of silence - and in the chiasmatic flow between metaphor and metonymy. Meaning, Lacan informs us, is the product of crossing the bar between signifier and signification - a momentary anchoring point or point de capiton. In entering the country of English, we assume a displacement from a space of linguistic and social habitation. Writing is distinguished by a prevalence of the text in the sense that this factor of discourse will assume ... a factor that makes possible the kind of tightening up that I like in order to leave the reader no other way out than the way in, which I prefer to be difficult. Lacan [ 1977:146] Curriculum scholar Ted T. Aoki alerts us to the Lacanian notion of the 'where' of our location in the im/possibility of pedagogy - making 'tremble' the notion of stability. Dwelling in the spaces in-between dis/placement, lack drives desire. According to Lacan, desire borrows a language and rides on the signifier in an endless deferral of signification. But what happens in the moment of capitonnage - in pedagogy? See also the footnotes in Judith Butler's The Psychic Life of Power for an interesting tracking of the meaning of 'trope' beginning with the Greek derivation tropikos, tropos - meaning 'turn' [1997:201]. 66 A student comes to pick up her paper and tells me that she will apply for graduate school in the spring and then pauses - in that border crossing of uncertainty as the Gaze again creates a refraction in the mirror of her image - a disjuncture in her conjunction - "But, my English ..." I try to reassure her that her English is not a problem. And then reflecting on my comments to her, I recall a recent course outline stating that papers must adhere to 'standard' English grammar. And I recall a professor's comment on a recent paper of mine "Vm not sure if this works grammatically." Academia performs its disjunctive narrative as a practiced place. The English Gaze performs beyond its utterance. I begin to re-cognize a tectonic fault line in the spaces between 'problem' and 'no problem' as the notion of a 'problem' must be acknowledged in the constitution of 'no problem.' A space always already and not-yet there. The student performs in a mise-en-abyme - in an act of counter transference - which in fact has never taken place. Her English adheres to all the standard rules of hegemony's haunted dictations. The gatekeeper is a symbolic and imaginary Other whose voice speaks from the tremulous edge of myth and abyss with the power to keep the subject "running in place" in the anxiety dream. The shadow in the tower of the panopticon - the promise and the terror of surveillance that is and is not there. According to Mladen Dolar, the gaze returned and disclosing a message locates itself on the "thin line between jubilation >> 23 and the most shattering anxiety. " The more one seeks oneself in language, the more one loses oneself precisely there where one is sought. Positioned as both addressed and addressing, taking its bearings within that crossed vector of power, the subject is not only founded by the other, requiring an address in order to be, but its power is derived from the structure of address as both linguistic vulnerability and exercise. Judith Butler [1997:30] from Mladen Dolar in gaze and voice as love objects. Dolar contends that the gaze is always at the "junction of elation and an impending disaster that threatens to disintegrate reality" [1996:136]. The split relates to the Lacanian mirror image that establishes the moment of the doubling. 67 The English gaze reaches deep into symbolic and imaginary registers. The real is elusive and lack will always make known the presence in the absence when reality is confronted by the real - the real that repeatedly makes its traumatic presence felt. In the circularity that is ongoing in the interactions of the Imaginary, the Symbolic and the Real, Lack is produced as reality is confronted by the Real usually caused by a traumatism that disrupts the flow of meaning. English becomes the country of exclusionary practices. English as a passport - as a password that excludes. The syntax of language performs its hegemony. Semantics will linger off-stage - rehearsing behind the curtain - veiled in the opacity of uncertainty. Arresting the metonymic function produces a fetish - a fetish for the sutured sentence. A sentence that sentences in the event of its act. A house arrest. Lacan's topological space resembles a Borrean knot. Lack is created as reality is confronted with the Real but nothing is lacking in the Real. The Real is elusive and thus a void exists at the centre. The hegemony of standard English is reflected in mimetic praxis as personal narratives are re-written in the language - in the grammar - of the master signifier - the master narrative - the voice of the Paternal father - le nom du pere. The master narrating/the narrator mastering. Can we journey toward a reading of Lacan's Other - dividing the self and other in the reconstitution of identities? What happens when we speak of the divided self and the divided other in the process of destabilization - in the process of troubling the English gaze? 68 From the voice of a student 'But, my English' - a given-to- be-seen at the gates - with the notion of Louis Althusser's 'Hey you, there' - the subject being-called-into-being - assujetissement — the gate-keeper announcing a presence from the space of the impossible gaze. The notion of interpellation come into play here as the gaze is formative and performative because as Judith Butler conjectures: "The call initiates the individual into the subjected status of the subject. "24 The gaze is not a seen gaze but a perceived or imagined gaze and therefore Zizek's impossible gaze. A 'Hey you, there' - interpellated by the English gaze before the utterance begins the journey and arrives at its destination. 'But my English' as a given-to-be-seen in an act of interpellation. The possibility of a misrecognition opening to a space of dynamic force. Desire always borrows a language and rides on the signifier. Desire is a metonymy sliding endlessly - glissement - as meaning is deferred. And symptom is a metaphor - the traces, fragments, relics of the speech act that perform the symptom - the sweet fragility of the grammatical error, the unveiling of the trace of accent, the semantic slip of the spectre - the phantom - the uncanny returning always because it has never really left the scopic field of the gaze. For students seeking to acquire English-as-a-second- language by virtue of being unattainable in native speaker form slides in endless deferral in a state of meconnaissance - in the guise of the purloined letter. 2 4 Butler, Bodies that matter [1993:121]. ... for here we have a sense not of the absence of something missing from its place but of the presence of something that is out of place. This scene is, in the precise sense, uncanny. Joan Copjec [1994:134] 69 Unless ... perhaps ... the uncanny can be invoked in a performative stance - how can we create a disruption in the archives - make the sentence tremble as Pushkin's 'sweet grammatical error' becomes the site of jouissance. Soft graphite markings encircling symptoms - soft graphite in defiance of permanence. I cannot yet write on student papers with ink — blue-black-insoluble inks - indigo - organic properties - writing the earth - leaving footsteps in traces offootnotes - as if in time those symptomatic inscriptions will erase themselves — erasing so the nomadic traveler can exit unmarked ...but - the disjunctive but - in traveling theory, the nomad always returns - returns to the same place. What does this mean for unveiling the English gaze? And here I draw from the poetics of Carl Leggo who encourages us to live un/grammatically in grammatical worlds - to seek out "the alchemy, the magic, the occult - the original meaning of grammarye. "25 Could this be the space of Lacanian extimite - where grammar exceeds itself? How can we disrupt the troppo fisso - the frozen gaze that sutures us — in the unbearable closure of having been in-the-wor(l)d but not becoming-in-the-wor(l)d. How can one invent a pedagogy for disappearance and loss and not for acquisition and control? How can one teach the generative power of misunderstanding in a way they will (almost) understand? And who are "they" anyway? Peggy Phelan [1993:173] And who are "they"? The pronominal gazeteers - veiled in the mystique of hegemony - lurking behind impenetrable doors in backrooms of colonial disguise. The composers of the master narrative - the rulers of the country of English - the linguistic law makers of symbolic and imaginary gestures. The shadows in the lantern of the panopticon. They who are not us but dwell within us there where we are not. How can we make a 'house arrest' - crack the crypt - make tremble the phantom - open the passageway - to let 2 5 from Carl Leggo, "Living ungrammatically in a grammatical world: The pedagogical world of teachers and students" [1998]. In a recent presentation, I recall Leggo's interrogation by a school administrator with the disjunctive 'but' .. .but you have mastered the grammatical in the un/grammatical and so you can be un/grammatical and a reflective comment from Leggo in another moment that perhaps to live ungrammatically is to live 'in excess' of grammar. Could this be the space of Lacanian extimite? 2 6 In Archive Fever, Derrida traces the meaning of "archive" to its roots in the Greek arkheion: intially a house, a domicile, an address, the residence of the superior magistrates, the archons, those who 70 newness enter? How do we disrupt, dispel, disperse the haunting dictation of the specter, the phantom, the ghost of colonial nostalgia? By entering into the topology of the inverted symptom? The text slides metonymically and metaphorically back on itself in a double play. Writing Metonymically means writing incomplete narratives. Can "they" learn to engage in partial understandings - can "they" learn to find meaning in empty spaces - to listen to the haunted voices of silence - to turn the gaze back on themselves? A vibrancy is invoked through a precarious teetering on the brink of myth and abyss. And can "we" enter into dialogical discourses that turn back on ourselves? As Bhabha asks "what is the 'we' that defines the prerogative of my present"? Where is this linguistic shifter "we" located - in which discourse?27 What is the nature of the trajectory of "we" in confronting the other in the production of signs and signatures? Within psychoanalysis, this impossible-to-seize-real complicates the notion of the symptom. The symptom's meaning emerges in relation to the psychoanalytic dialogue: it is not so much that the dialogue produces the symptom's meaning, but rather the dialogue creates a stage upon which the symptom's meaning can be amplified. The amplification distorts the sound the symptom makes - but it does provide a hearing. Peggy Phelan [1993:168] A student shares with me Alexander Pushkin's "sweet grammatical error" as she writes herself through his verse. A symptom is enacted in psychoanalytical discourse whereby meaning is distorted by amplification. In the hearing, one dwells Metonymically in the spaces within un/grammatical. Through sedimented layers of un/veiling, meaning is deconstructed and re-invented - rich with poetic possibilities constituted through 'sweet 'grammatical errors. Pushkin invites his reader through Yevgeny Onegin to find in his "trivial stanzas" - "memory's wild extravaganzas, impressive strokes, witty jokes, commanded. Derrida makes reference to a domiciliation or a "house arrest" - the space in which archives take place or come to be [1996:3]. 2 7 A footnote transposed from a footnote in Ann Kaplan's Looking for the Other: Feminism, Film,and the Imperial Gaze. Kaplan refers to quotation from Sherri Turkle on the relevance of psychoanalytic discourse 71 mistakes of grammar ... some crumb at least."28 Pushkin's uncanny grammatical mistake becomes the site of jouissance - a site for dissonance29. From the space of this void - this lack - endless possibilities emerge - gap as a site from which new movements are generated. In reference to the notion of 'error' in film, Marina Grzinic invites us to consider the possibilities of scratches and random dirt effects - not just glossy and shiny surfaces. She contends that "to make a mistake is to find a place in time" 3 0 - and invites her readers to an opening to the mistake as a Derridean re-marking (re-marque) - viewing the mistake as symptom can be "both threatening and embodied paradoxa." And can we learn, from the cinematic text, that gaps and erasures and "a lack in the structure of a look" can ignite what Bhabha refers to as "a tiny spark of contingency ... a flickering moment ... a restless movement"31 as a "survivor discourse .. .born of modernist worldview... evolved into forms relevant to postmodern times..." [25] The spitting of the "we" for the incoming other is our promise and our terror. 2 8 Alexander Pushkin, from an excerpt from Yevgeny Onegin in Alexander Pushkin (ed. A.D.P. Briggs) 2 9 Trinh T. Minh-ha makes reference to Pushkin's comment that "poetry has to be a little stupid." Trinh is making reference to the difficulty in rationalizing "resonance" without having to arrest it. Framer/'Framed. [209] 3 0 Marina Grzinic, "Media and Body Politics" in n. paradoxa: international feminist art journal vol. 2, 1998. Grzinic alerts us to an interpretation of the mistake: "Here, in this mistake, there is something underneath." The journal title n. paradoxa is a play on Haraway's "parasite [that] has paradoxical and unexpected habits." New journals locate themselves on the bookshelves - dislocating textual praxis in ex- static moments. 3 1 Bhabha in the preface "arrivals and departures" of home, exile, homeland edited by Hamid Naficy. 72 Reading Verena Andermatt Conley translating Cixous reading Lispector - "that is to say, toward a writing of the 'rainy aspect of rain,' in such a way that the rain is not grateful not to be a stone." And of course we are speaking of rain without an umbrella. If one were to leave a note about forgetting an umbrella, Derrida would write about it - if Nietzsche signs. Rain falling through the cedar boughs that shelter the skylights - sounding the beat and rhythm of the metron of the earth - The resonance of rain beats - a liquid gaze creating dissonance in the production of linguistic inscriptions, on a wet winter's night, a writer as traveler in a diaspora of words ... disrupted and dislocated in wet rhythmic drumbeats drawing the writer into Luce Irigaray's theory of fluids - a further refraction of the gaze as it permeates the field of fluidity - a distortion of the scopic drive - as the Other re-enters our field. Irigaray argues that Lacan follows a theory of solid state with the phallic metaphor - the father's voice - and seeks a theory of fluids. Metonymy permits a slippery passage — glissement — I have a sense of sliding in the dissolution of the troppo fisso? Fluidity slides, stains, blurs — I draw from Calvino a continuing fusion ... "The pages of the book are clouded like the windows of an old train, the cloud of smoke rests on the sentences. It is a rainy 32 evening...." And what happens on a rainy Vancouver evening? Rain seaps into the work. And I draw from the poetics of Anne Michaels whose words open into the possibilities - unsettling possibilities - that emerge from the blurring of the screen - as "frjain that helps one past grow out of another.' > 33 ' Italo Calvino horn If on a Winter's Night a Traveler [1981:10]. ' Anne Michaels from "Miner's Pond" in Weight of Oranges/Miner's Pond [ 109]. 73 The gaze un/veils in what Copjec determines to be "the inclusion within ourselves of this negation of what we are not - within our being, this lack-of-being."34 As we approach the extimite - that which is in us which is not us - in the privileging of gaze with the notion of uncanny, we find ourselves 'running in place' - in the anxiety dream. In pursuit of the country of English - a diasporic English, are students 'running in place' in the anxiety dream? [W]e could say that in imaginary identification we imitate the other at the level of resemblance - we identify ourselves with the image of the other inasmuch as we are 'like him', while in symbolic identification we identify ourselves with the other precisely at a point at which he is inimitable, at the point which eludes resemblance. Slavoj Zizek [1989:109] From the mise-en-abyme, from lack, desire is born. Homi Bhabha writes of the necessity to examine "the presence of the English book" as a "surface that stabilizes the agonistic colonial space"35 - the performativity of the English book as an agonistic space that causes the English gaze to be frozen in time - Zizek's troppo fisso - that evokes the spectrality of colonial nostalgia. Bhabha contends that the English book regulates the ambivalence between "origin and displacement, discipline and desire, mimesis and repetition." The frozen gaze of the English book contains the unbearable closure of being in the state of internal/e(x)ternal colonization. Located in an agonistic space, from the mise-en-abyme, Bhabha brings us to the space of intervention in the struggle for the status of truth. It is precisely to intervene in such a battle for the status of the truth that it becomes crucial to examine the presence of the English book. For it is this surface that stabilizes the agonistic colonial space; it is its appearance that regulates the ambivalence between origin and displacement. Homi Bhabha [1994:110] 3 4 Joan Copjec referring to the 'uncanny' from Read My Desire [1994:128-129]. 3 5 Homi Bhabha from Location of Culture [1994:110]. 74 Bhabha contends that the colonial text is located in the space of double inscription and draws from Derrida's recognition of differance. Bhabha asks how to pose the English question in the interstices of the space of a double inscription. In reference to the structured gaze of power, we are alerted to the "ocular metaphors of presence ... the immediate presence of English." 3 6 What is left 'unsaid' in the spaces of metonymy and how can the chiasmatic flow between metaphor and metonymy open to a vibrant ambiguity that is always already there? Can we translate Lacan's location of the signifier of desire, in Bhabha's terms 'on the cusp of language and the law' to our constitution of currere allowing a space of uncertainty from which new possibilities may be generated? the Latin counterpart of wandering about is ambigere, the verb from which "ambiguous" derives. The goat's horn ... makes ...etymological sense. What better way to pursue the nomadic source of one's afflictions than with a likewise mobile, prancing or capricious horn? What better way to "catch" one's ambiguous ordeal by its infectious roots than with an analogous, homeopathic "wandering about"? Nathanial Mackey from Bedouin Hornbook [1997:179] Colliding Bhabha's site of agon with curriculum scholar David Smith's notion of pedagon?1 how can we make something happen to English? Can we de-stabilize the regulation of ambiguity opening again the flow of 'wandering about' that emits from etymological origins in the Latin ambigere! Can we begin to interrogate the discursive limits of the country of English? Who is excluded? What is prohibited in an English only currere when English is the only discourse? Who is silenced? And what is the intention of the translation of silence? Whose voice is threatened? Whose symptoms are projected - performing - repeating a message 36 Bhabha, [1994:109]. Smith's notion of pedagon is a neologism derived from pedagogy and agony. The notion oi pedagon is offered as a site for articulating "the cultural space in which issues surrounding pedagogy are contested, enacted and inhabited" [1999:1]. See also Smith's notions of 'oracular'ambiguity in Pedagon [129-131]. 75 that speaks beyond its utterance? What can be learned i f we listen to the location of the symptoms? Have we not been labouring in the 'Englishing' of the world? And through a disruptive, transgressive pedagogy, what newness might enter the wor(l)d? And i f we journey in our daily praxis in the spaces of what Butler terms the "dynamic force" between interpellation and a misrecognition or a 'misfire', what generative sparks might be created? Translation is the performative nature of cultural communication. It is language in actu (enunciation, positionality) rather than language in situ (enonce, or propositionality). And the sign of translation continually tells, or 'tolls' the different times and spaces between cultural authority and its performative practices. Homi Bhabha [1994:228] Bhabha draws from Walter Benjamin as he moves into the performativity of translation as a staging for the possibilities of interstitial survival in the sense that translation can be construed as "the performative nature of cultural communication." Blasphemy as poetic re-inscription enters into a Metonymic moment in that theatrical space of the staging of identities.38 Transforming the English gaze into a Bakhtinian carnivalesque39 - invoking a performative response from the co-inhabitants in an event that re-fuses disengagement. Troubling the English gaze - with its fetish for syntactic truths. "The 'time' of translation," writes Bhabha, "consists in ... movement of meaning." This movement of the original is a wandering, an errance, a kind of permanent exile if you wish, but it is not really an exile, for there is no homeland, nothing from which on has been exiled. Least of all is there something like ... a pure language ... Paul de Man [1986: 92] 3 8 Bhabha contends that to 'blaspheme' is to dream - to dream of translation as survival - and again we become entangled in transitional sites as we 'hurry slowly' in the translations of our characters. Bhabha alerts us to the Derridean translation of "the 'time' of Benjamin's concept of the after-life of translation, as sur-vive, the act of living on borderlines." If Salman Rushdie is the king of 'blasphemy' as a transgressive act, what would happen if we were to read 'otherwise' with him in what Bhabha terms "the dangerous tryst with the 'untranslatable' " from Location of Culture, [1994:227]. 3 9 Greg Tanaka expresses his passion for newness as he witnesses theory becoming 'unhinged' from its social context. Tanaka locates a 'hint' of Bakhtin's 'carnivalesque' in his own research in "Pico College" in Tierney and Lincoln (eds.) Representation and the Text. The "carnivalesque moment" resonates with "parodies or debasings of the sacred text " [1997:259-304]. See also Bakhtin's The Dialogic Imagination. 76 metonymic searches . In her Proustian introspection on "time and sense", Kristeva contends that metonymy, although intrinsic to metaphor, cannot transform poetry into complexity without the metaphor's "complexities, contradictions, and paradoxes." In the metaphor Kristeva contends we find contained "the representation of psychic contraction we call a 'character.'"40 Who then enters into the Metonymic doubling to fulfill the requirement of characters in curricular spaces? The English gaze creates temporal/spatial interlocutors in the journey toward destiny. Rey Chow asks us what it would mean to include the 'other,' the "object of inquiry, in a co-temporal, dialogic confrontation with the critical gaze?" As interlocutors in the liminal space of English acquisition, is the teacher not engaged in the site of struggle as well as the student? We are issued with an invitation of possibilities - an invitation for characters to enter a space - characters in search of an empty stage. As writer I am nourished by the imaginary gaze of a disrupting Other - writings re-emerging converging diverging. I draw from Cixous the notion of being nourished by the "unknowable-7'ouj'55ance-of-the-other."41 In researching the sense of "sense", Jean-Luc Nancy contends that psychoanalysis represents a "severe punctuation of pure truth, that is, a pure privation of sense."42 Psychoanalysis envisages the world with a cold eye - with insensitivity to sense. Let's evoke a Cixousian jouissance with lunar 'truths.' 4 0 Julia Kristeva reading/writing Proust from Time and Sense [1996: 216-217] 4 1 Cixous in Rootprints contends that we are always in "fine messes" with our "urgency ... to decipher what cannot be said, what is expressed otherwise ..."and writes of "double and divided joy" [1997:55-56]. 4 2 Jean-Luc Nancy from The Sense of the World.[\991'A6\ and further that psychoanalysis exposes truth as the disappointment of the demand of sense. 77 The earth seen from the point of view of the moon is revised: it is unknown; to be discovered. Helene Cixous from Cixous and Calle-Gruber [1997:10] As soon as the moon appears in poetry, it brings with it a sensation of lightness, suspension, a silent calm enchantment. When I began thinking about these lectures, I wanted to devote one whole talk to the moon, to trace its apparitions in the literatures of many times and places. Then I decided that the moon should be left entirely to Leopardi. For the miraculous thing about his poetry is that he takes the weight out of language, to the point that it resembles moonlight. Italo Calvino [1988:24] And there are other ways of lunar reading. Listen to Tuan: I awoke to lunar beauty - a phantasmagoria of shimmering mauves, purples, and bright golds, theatrically illuminated by the first rays of the morning sun. ... But even more unearthly was the calm, the hush. I looked in wonder. Anyone would. And then one night, the endless rains of winter nights have ceased and the moon makes known its clear cold presence through the skylights above my writing place - the cold eye of the moon gaze that seeks to punctuate a truth - a truth that eludes the metonymic spaces and metaphoric symbols within the topography of my inscriptions. The moon gaze un/veils through concentric hues of pale opacities through cedar boughs through skylights and enters into the field of my writingness [ecrivance]. I recall Helene Cixous and her playful positioning "de I'une a Vautre" from the one to the other. In a transformation to "de lune a I 'autre ", Cixous intends to translate the earth as other - the earth under the moon's gaze - unknown. Cixous speaks of the unknowable-jouissance-of-the-other. The moon returns my gaze and in the illusory space of the imaginary register - I linger in the anamorphic moment that precludes the moment of unveiling. And so situated within the scopic field of the moon's gaze, I return to my writing - again drawing from Cixous - j 'ouis sens - I sense exquisite fragments of absent meaning in the desert spaces of the 'not-exactly communicable ... nourished by the unknowable-jouissance-of-the-other.' Ex-quisite always as seeking. Yi-Fu Tuan [1999:53] 78 In unveiling the layered voices of teaching, Ted T. Aoki speaks of the "uncannily correct" and the "elusively true"43 alerting his readers to the spaces of a negative understanding as a beginning stage in seeking out what teaching is and is not. In the process of repositioning the gaze, can we begin to reconstruct in a Metonymic doubling a space where mis/understandings are possibilities for newness to enter the wor(l)d? And from the scripts of Nishida Kitaro on the "topos of nothingness" comes the adage that "no concept can capture and no quality can exhaust the self, which comes from, and returns to, creative nothingness."44 And so in the fields of pedagogical dis/currere, in the country of English, the empty space created through the refracted gaze is the site of creative possibilities within the topos of nothingness - the empty space of imu no basho'. Students begin to request references for entry into the graduate program. Let's juxtapose the topos. The gatekeepers ask for Linnean ranks and English skills - in the guise of colonial nostalgia. But who are 'they' anyway - pronominal phantoms with a fetish for the sutured sentence. What does it mean "to mean" in English? What does it mean to write numerical narratives - points de capiton - anchoring points in a frozen gaze? In the nostalgic space of neocolonialism - students are sutured in temporal numerologies. Peering through the keyhole - the 'productive' look is looking at the looked-at-looker. Hearing footsteps from the depths of the archives, the voyeur trembles with the notion of spectacle-as-self. Yearnings of colonial nostalgia - the unheimlich in the archives. Kaplan asks: "How far may the anxious gaze be turned back on itself? Is this about degrees of freedom - degrees of separation? Can we mark the exit with a Derridean [X]? 4 3 See Aoki [1990]. 79 performative contradictions ... Black rain. Tonight I see only the soot on the glass panes of skylights — black rain descending on my fragmented 'selves '- frayage - or the breaking of the edges of a trace - entering into the constituting of my writing - casting the shadow of the spectre in a dreaded form - submerged in swamp - but - the disjunctive but - Calvino's memo for the next millenium is lightness. How can I seek an inversion of the symptom? The gaze has returned in a fixed state - in a frozen gaze - a troppo fisso. I've been fixated on the rating scale.43 The gaze repositioning as inky inscription into my archival culture. My desire is to write from the space of Cixous' School of Roots - the imund world -from out of the world - the soot spreads its murky cast and I've entered a marginal dwelling - meaning emerging from numerical narratives - strong classification - harbingers of exclusionary spaces - the symptom returns home because it has never left - the uncanny return of the symptom unveils Zizek's impossible gaze - unveils the alchemy of the phantasmic narrative. The stain of the soot has always been there. It has been waiting for me to return - knowing that I would come - the nomad always returns - returns to the same place. The gaze which 'comes before the gaze' in the space of a topological inversion - the given-to-be- seen at the sight of conception. But Calvino's memo for the next millenium is lightness. I locate a space for an opening. Writers carry within themselves their own disquieting strangers. Cixous [1991:10] I have now located Clarice Lispector in translation: I go, then, to the window; it is raining heavily. By habit I search in the rain for what at another time would serve to console me. But I have no grief to , console. Only this: it rains, and I watch the rain. What simplicity. Que simplicidade. The rain falls, not because it needs me, and I look at the rain, not because I need it. Clarice Lispector cited in Cixous [1991:166-7] 4 4 Nishida is cited in Reinhard May's Heidegger's hidden sources [1996:112]. 4 5 SCETS (evaluation forms) as a semiotic event with codes, signs, contexts and messages - with senders and addressees with various degrees of presence. Written by the gaze of the other, I find my "self in the borderland of uncertainty as I collect a multiplicity of "selves" and in the contradictions of multiple written 'selves' I begin to tread on a groundless path - on a path that trembles as I am displaced and dislocated, I disappear with the traces of 'self - startled into a collectivity of fragments - where averages become vacant spaces and the margins begin to speak from multiple sites of the Gaze - re-written in the refractions of an T in a cracked Lacanian mirror, I seek an outrageous return of this Gaze of the Other as a performative 'doubled' gaze. 80 In critiquing Chen Kaige's King of the Children} Rey Chow depicts a scene from a school located within the temporal/spatial site of the cultural revolution in China. As the teacher- protagonist Lao Gan begins to 'teach' the copied texts, he is publicly humiliated by a student who reprimands him for his incompetence - his deviation from the act of collective copying. Chow describes Lao Gan breaking into a laugh - "as i f he has finally made a connection with the schoolchildren. Have my students been so thoroughly 'interpellated' into the school system - into the 'clarity' of transmitted knowledge that my deviation from clarity sutures me with the signification of incompetence? A student proclaims that she has no 'notes' from my class - a suturing of 'goodness' contains a necessity for copying notes - mimesis - repeated acts of what has come before. If my objective was to disturb the notion of clarity to make it 'tremble', then perhaps my desire on its metonymic slide reaches the paradoxical state referred to as a painful satisfaction - a ' suffering jouissance.'' A witness to Lao Gan in the role of being-as-event - I seek in the other that which is not in me. I recall Felman's contention that insights are always 'apres coup.' A site of contradiction becomes the opening for new possibilities. Narratives collapse-into-each-other in the process of anamorphosis. The English Gaze is re-written in Other tongues in a spectacle of a 'doubled' gaze. The English Gaze emerging from the inscriptions of the English book has the hegemonic power to predict and foreclose - in a troppo jisso - the frozen gaze which Zizek contends blurs the proper view of totality of Being .. .when one particular moment stands for a l l . " 4 6 English denotes a standard - a norm - a clarity. The English gaze stalks from the 4 6 See Zizek, Plague of Fantasies [1997.91]. 81 presence of the English book. How can one enter the space of Donna Haraway's defractions as a 'mutated witness'4 7 - reading in the space of a detracted gaze? Jean-Luc Nancy offers a definition of the infinitive "to exist" as the "happenstance of an absolute fragment... exscribed by its own rhythm." Nancy contends that the insignificant task of writing is ex-scribed by its own rhythm. What happens to the English Gaze as Michael Ondaatje's English patient is ex-scribed through the 'insignificant' act of writing? An act whose insignificance becomes a choreography of veils in the impossibility of the gaze - with the promise and the terror of the 'incoming other.' What happens as we enter into a destabilizing space that teeters on what Nancy would term the "the edge of myth and abyss"?48 4 / Donna Haraway, from Modest Witness@Second Milleuuium.FemaleMan Meets OncoMouse. — Haraway refers to "reading and writing on the razor edge of paranoia and denial" [1997:7] as she ventures into the syntax of the computer world. I'm startled as her title coding an Internet address is suddenly transformed from a black hue to a blue hue by some mechanical spectre of colour. The task of the mutated witness is to read the maps "with mixed and differential literacies ... without... totality." Haraway offers her "defractions" as a space for differences to happen - a troubling and hopeful space. See pages 1-16. 4 8 As a graduate Teaching Assistant, I had consulted two of my mentors and was presented with two possibilities -1 could send the dissenters to the library for an independent study or I could stay at the site of tension. I wanted to send them away but - the disjunctive 'but' -1 stayed at the site of tension. 82 Indigo White, the absence of color is the perfect counterpoint to the power of the indigo shade. [Katoh 1996] When the text has been put to rest I shall learn more about indigo blue. I am taking a course this term in Asian studies so how could this space not enter the text... indigo threads ... Driving home by the sea today I sought solace from the blueness of mountains tainted like a tsutsugaki - textures long submerged in vats deeply stained with residues - a witness to multiple washes, the master of indigo alchemy has anticipated my arrival - my need for spaces of blueness - residuals - reduced to replenish my strength — to match the slowness of my recovery - the agon is strangely subdued by this polysemy of muted dialogues with shape and time - temporal/spatial interlocutors imbued with traces of colour - imaginary hues of refracted light - bringing lightness into my being -for Calvino's memo for the next millenium is 'lightness, lightness, lightness' — the rhythm of lightness - measures of rhythms of being - of-being-in-the-wor(l)d and I continue on my journey through a lightness of being - the you that is now in me - located where I am not. I re/fuse the gaze through writing - I am re-writing the gaze - from dis/sonance comes re/sonance, re/doublings, from the spaces in-between. For the psychoanalytic narrative is finished when the analysand realizes that the analyst has no answers. How did it know to be there - there where I needed it to be - subdued blueness shaded - stained - tainted with residue. I draw from emptied vats stained with indigo blue - deep spaces of muted blueness - seeking comfort in shades of blue - in multiplicities of blue - indigenous compositions imbued with the spirit of the indigo master - boundaries of blueness embedded between the sea and the sky. In a book entitled 're-arrangements,' I once located a devotion to the sense of blueness - for 'there are connoisseurs of blue just as there are lovers of wine' - and in spaces of emptiness - snow sutured whiteness — an absence of blue - troppo fisso - fixated into the cracks of blueness - high in the loftiness of mountainous coastal peaks - until metonymy begins its liquid slide. The match is called - there where I am not. 83 Why is it that only with a confrontation with the traumatic presence of the Real do we seek from the Other that which is not there where we are but there where we are not? At the site of resistance, tensions are pervasive and we struggle to generate newness from re- written spaces of negativity. Students from marginal positions had spoken of offering me a gift of 'sage' 4 9 to expel, expunge, erase the veilings of negativity that had permeated the classroom - the negativity of fixity - of resistance to transformative spaces as the margins collided with the centre. But the imaginary and symbolic boundaries between student and teacher had sutured them - they feared trespassing across borders - but they shared with me the 'intention' and the gifts of their writings - the poignant writings of their live(d) experiences in the field of the English gaze through reading otherwise with bell hooks on the violence of the 'word.' I was a writerly reader as I wrote my fragments into the spaces that they opened. M y stories subdued through the space of sharing in their narratives. The English Gaze in its frozen state demands sutured dictations. One then trembles before the sentence - the sentence that fixes meaning in its retroactive gaze. The sentence that bars signification - that cannot say the unsayable. Zizek informs us that the object pathologizes the subject's gaze - renders it tainted - stains blurs bends distorts through refracted perceptions of spaces. How to de-stabilize this Englishness? The sage, in time, came from an/other source announcing its arrival. The smoky traces of burning sage re/placed the veil of murky residuals - re/writing spaces of negativity as spaces of new beginnings - where degrees of freedom separate and the psychic power of the frozen gaze is shattered - the shards softened into a fluid moment-for-being. 84 the voyeuristic gaze . . . Michael Taussig articulates a "novel anthropology not of the Third and Other worlds, but of the West itself as mirrored in the eyes and handiwork of its Others."50 Let us address the notion of Lacan's voyeur at the keyhole - the looker becomes the looked-at-looker as a spectre of colonial nostalgia. Confronted with the look - stunned by the troppo Jisso - frozen in time suturing spatial boundaries. I recall the search for a teacher for an "observation" class for immigrant children and I recite my readings on the Lacanian gaze. A job posting for a voyeur. But what happens when the voyeur is caught peering through the keyhole - when the observer is caught in the act of observing the observed? How do we read the "looked-at-looker" to draw from the words of Cixous? For Rey Chow, ethics involves a willingness to take risks in reading. Has the doubling of difference in ESL/Special Needs created a new spectacle for the gaze of the big Other - an object for observation of abjection - for the scopic drive? Are we drawn to the meconnaisance in the ambiguity in the boundaries of the doubling51 of language and cognition - of a double articulation? Is it the impossibility of clarity that drives our desire? How do we read Kaja Silverman's notion of the screen and risk re-positioning the gaze? How can we move toward Silverman's "productive" look acknowledging the space of 'lack'? How can we evoke the dynamic force between the act of interpellation and the act of misrecognition? How can we leam to hear ourselves being hailed and risk resisting the call? See Michael Taussig's Mimesis and alterity[\993: 236]. Taussig contends that a mirrored west would unsettle the stability of mastery. In what he terms a "Nervous System" the grafting of an interpreting self onto the object under study unsettles the interpreter and the interpretation . And in movement - an excess. 5 1 In an Asian studies class entitled "Orient and/as Other" we discussed the doubling of gender and race sustaining the ambiguity and the audience in the cinematic texts of "The Crying Game" and " M . Butterfly." 85 We can return the gaze and we can reposition the gaze but - that conjunctive but - let us draw from Kaja Silverman's reference to the 'productivity' of the look. Silverman distinguishes between the gaze, the look, and the screen. The gaze exceeds the look but the look can also act in excess of the gaze when the look acknowledges its lack rather than denying it. In her elaboration of the 'productive look', Silverman envisions its ability to "conjure something new into existence." How can we reposition for the spectacle of the screen? To conjure up newness, we must acknowledge the void upon which it depends - the empty space of mu no basho. How can we improvise in a mise- en-abyme - in the empty spaces of multiple counter transferences. As we enter into the im/possibility of the gaze, can we conjure generative possibilities? And who are "we" anyway? Readers reading English as fantasy or symptom - metaphors in delusional spaces? And what of our intentions? If in translation we bestow intention, then let us 'intend' our translations. How far can we risk — the 'productivity' of looking at the looker who is looked-at. Footsteps and finger prints inscribing dissonance on English papers - travelling uneasily - in doubled movements - looking at paratextual backWords as postscripts. Kaja Silverman from The Threshold of the Visible World [1996:164-193]. Silverman cites from a character, Krasna, in Chris Marker's film Sans Soleil: "I took the measure of the unbearable vanity of the West, that has never ceased to privilege Being over Non-Being, what is spoken to what is left unsaid" [193]. 86 M i r a n Bozov ic in an introduction to Jeremy Bentham's The panopticon writings directs us to the role o f the gaze in the panopticon the gaze is produced by the 'inspection- lantern' . . . a l l the prisoner can see inside the lantern is an opaque, dark spot which is always gazing back at h im. from the cells he is invisible as a silhouette, a shadow, or an opaque, dark spot. . . . the prisoner cannot see that he is not seen. A l l that the prisoner can see inside the lantern is an opaque, dark spot which is always gazing back at h im. [1995:13] As night enters through the soot stained surface of the skylight, I struggle with a dangling light bulb - furtively engaging with a paper lantern and finally - tentatively connected - see the startled reflection of the lantern suspended in a moment of disbelief from the cedar bough outside the window facing north - like a spectre in a doubled movement reflecting the gaze of an act of mimesis. Clandestine moments. Situated within a doubling of lanterns within defracted images I return to my writing disquieted in the guise of an "utterly dark spot"53 - a shadow in the light of the lantern - startled by the disconcerting revelation of the 'spectre-within-the-self - locating within the self - letting its presence become known with the metonymic absence - sensing the tremble - extimite — startled by the disquieting metonymic movement of the spectre-within-the-self - startled by the complicity of a doubling of 'self as occupant and ghost - tarrying in the shadow of a blindspot. Jeremy Bentham The Panopticon Writings, from the introduction by M i r a n Bozov ic . Bozov ic refers to the panopticon as being governed by "a gaze and a voice which are desubjectivized, detached from their bearer - in a word, by gaze and voice qua objects [1995:1]. 87 the labour of English as border fetish ... In an interview with Homi Bhabha, James Clifford makes reference to Conrad and the "labored fiction of his Englishness" producing a "fixation on certain symbols of Englishness because he needed to stay put, there was nowhere else for him." 5 4 How do we open to spaces of elseWhere - to a performative contradiction of being at home elseWhere? Kavita Philip draws our attention to the nostalgia of a transposed 'Englishness' mapped into the rains and into the mud of a British Hi l l Station in South India. From her search of archival records, Philip alerts us to Lord Lytton's descriptions in a letter written to his wife: "The afternoon was rainy and the road muddy but such beautiful English rain, such delicious English mud." 5 5 English slides - mudslides - glissement - on slippery surfaces in a fetishization of metonymy - in sly spatialities. How can we begin to risk reading otherwise? Reading Clifford reading Conrad I'm reading into our laboured fiction - our fixation on symbols of certainty - in pedagogy. As we move increasingly into spaces of hybridity that have always already been there how can we expose the border fetishes of English labouring to secure hegemony at border crossings? How do we translate the passion of our refusal to learn language beyond English - the passion of our persistent denial of the richness of languages beneath and beyond the borders of Englishness - the languages that our students bring with them - that our students bring to us - how to translate? 5 4 James Clifford from Routes [1997:43]. Clifford and Bhabha discuss the paradox of the exile's desire for travel and need for fixity. 5 5 Kavita Philip, from "English Mud: Towards a Critical Cultural Studies of Colonial Science" in Cultural Studies, 12(3), p. 304. Philip interrogates the contradictions in the discursive ideologies of the English 'presence' in the Nilgiri Hills of South India. 88 I find Zizek reading Stephen Jay Gould on the gap of causality. And so I must stay at the site of the tension. The word system ought to be stripped here of its rigid, imperious, and hypostatizing connotations: it has no sense other than that of the rhythmic gesture of keeping together (in) coming. Nancy [1997:142] Another class56 and the beat and measure of tensionality perform the rhythm of a double bind. The hegemonic stance of medical models in contradiction with cultural studies of notions of disabilities -1 drive home along the sea again - the need for tension to disperse - disband - and there, a low band of fog awaits my arrival in the formation of a tenugui round and bound up into a band to subdue the pressure of interdictions - a low slung headband - a sweatband rolled and coiled and furled around and about and bound - lifting just far enough above the sea - co- emerging - colliding - disengaging with the tensionality of doubled dialogue - between the deep indigo of sea and the muted shades of a translucent sky — a metaphoric condensation constituted through the space of a metonymic displacement - rebounding into the abyss - a play of dis/harmonious tension suddenly the site for generating possibilities - I reflect again on Rey Chow's readings - stories nested - embedded - doubled - rebounding back upon themselves - re-written — re-iterated - fragments re- sounding in new contextual sites - Derrida's problem of the interval generating possibilities. The tenugui - as personal signature - hovering - drifting - lifting - disappearing - opening up spaces - partially re-written by iconic metaphors, I begin again to write with/in an open absent space from a mise-en-abyme. Butler reading Derrida reminds us that the failure of the performative is the condition of its possibility. Failure as possibility ... I'm teaching a summer session course at UBC on the exceptional child in the classroom and I wanted to take my lead from Trinh T. Minh-ha's notions of hybridity and the space of the in/appropriate(d) other. 89 Let us return to the student's ibut' - to an abutment - and now I draw from Robert Pfaller and his interrogation of the reliabilities of negation as he contends that "the importance of the denial does not lie on its constitutive level; it lies on its performative level." 5 7 The speech act exceeding its utterance. 'But' - as a performance of a disjunctive in conjunction. What is being enacted in the utterance of the 'but'? Is there a blindspot in the unknown - a 'third space' - a space of ambivalence between the known and the unknown - a Metonymic space with the Aokian big ' M ' (Metonymy = metaphor/metonymy). And what about desire -1 want what Englishness has - but - the silence of the unspoken text resonates - the said and the unsaid - le dit et le non dit. The student dwelling within the space of un/certainty teeters on Dolar's 'thin line' - that tremulous line "between jubilation and the most shattering anxiety." How can we learn to dwell within that space - that space that is always and not yet there - that space of original difficulty - but - an Aokian 'but' - that generative space of possibilities? How can we begin to perform in that space - to invite English into the space created through Metonymic moments - to crack the genre to leave spaces for the 'incoming other'? How can we in pedagogy take our place in that space - risk treading on Dolar's 'thin line' - risk dwelling in the Aokian 'third discourse' - risk performing in Bhabha's third space and in what Chow refers to as the 'third term' - intersemiotic practices that risk dwelling in Metonymic spaces - on the faultlines of the chiasmus? from Robert Pfaller's " Negation and Its Reliabilities: An Empty Subject for Ideology?" in cogito and the unconscious edited by Slavoj Zizek [1998:238]. 5 8 From graphic schemata presented by Ted T. Aoki in MLED 540 (Fall Session/98) at UBC. Aoki revisits and revisions and relocates Lacan topographies within the live(d) experiences of pedagogical sites. 90 I cannot write without distracting my gaze from capturing. I write by distraction. Distracted. [139] That writing suffers in fact the fate of birds, women, the unclean. Because it runs the risks of its truths, because it makes its way into places where danger grows - there are few people there- [132] Helene Cixous [1998] A crow with burnt black feathers - has perched on my window box - a trespasser - an outlaw - a thief - a voyeur - with a fetish for that which is not his - raids from my window box and departing with his loot as suddenly as he arrived - performs Calvino's memo for 'quickness' - it was the window box painted a pale muted blue that was selected - with stenciled white letters - an absence of blue - signifying FLOWERS - white inscriptions lacking in blue - 'exactitude' - another Calvino memo. Cixous expresses an interest in "a chain of associations and signifiers composed of birds, women, and writing"59- a gathering of birds, women, and writing. Somehow I find myself within the 'uncanny' space of this gathering. Writing becomes an isolated space - and birds disrupt that space of isolation - harbingers of Calvino's memos - 'lightness', 'quickness', 'exactitude', 'visibility', and 'multiplicity' - lacking only 'consistency' - arrival seldom announced - consistent in in/consistency - in metonymic movements. Only my gaze reads 'flowers' on the screen - the crow has found another signification of bounty. See Cixous Stigmata: Escaping texts [1998] - continuing the associations with the imundus - out of the mundus - the world. 91 the tain of the screen ... Today I attended a conference and listened to a student colleague begin his presentation by informing us that he 'had been told' that he was an ESL student and alerted us - cautioned us, I believe, to listen closely to his speech. A familiar disconcerting reverberation began to resonate as I played with multiple interpretations of his opening remarks listening for signs of his location. He later commented in his presentation on his multiple marginal locations. Why had he chosen to focus on his ESL status in his opening remarks? Locating himself under the surveillance of the English Gaze. I listened attentively to his presentation - a brilliant performance - I was intrigued with what he had to say and was increasingly curious about his comments given the eloquence of his speech. I lingered behind during the break so that I could ask him about his unsettling comments. He again repeated that he 'had been told' that he was an ESL student - but - the disjunctive 'but' returns - the 'but' in an uncanny guise - he said "But - I don't buy that" - an act of resistance - language performing its signification in a statement of ironic utterance - "I've 'been told'." Let us listen to the 'said' and the 'unsaid' (le dit et le non dit). Performative action takes on the guise of the passive voice of syntax - 'but' semantics enters centre stage with the the gaze of the master narrator - repositioned and returned. Silverman's 'productive look' in the form of an acoustic gaze re-writing the screen - in a brilliant exposition - the gaze becomes known through the process of transformation. The looked-at looker is caught peering through the keyhole. Phelan speaks of the desire for a reciprocal gaze - and the impossibility of the reciprocal gaze - that sends desire on its metonymic slide - the failed desire propels the looker to keep looking. What happens as the gaze takes the form of a 'stain' - the 'stain' as the screen of 92 the gaze? The scopic drive returns us to the "failure of representation" in "the inability of the gaze to secure symmetry or reciprocity."60 The unsaid of the ESL designation is the denial of a rich bilingual/multilingual supplement. M y colleague had been bilingual since early childhood. The said of the ESL designation is a troubling spectre - seconded as metaphorical subordinate - second class accommodation - second class postage. How does a designation sign a signification - by exclusion - by subtraction - by circumcision? Degrees of separation from English maintaining the borders of hegemony - counting by degrees of Englishness. Michel de Certeau speaks of a geography of the eliminated - grafting by numbers - a geography of exclusion - those thin skeletons of thought invested with the power of border guards. The traces of an accent - signs of acoustic hybridity betraying a gap - exposing degrees of separation. The inscriptions of a proper name disclosing birth (w)rites - naming. I am reading now from Karlyn Koh on transmission: "Trans-mission. Trans: across; mission: an assigned task and also the act of sending."61 Now let's read Derrida with Koh on metaphor as stamp. The metaphor as assignation. Taxing Englishness. No, the stamp is not metaphor, on the contrary, metaphor is a stamp: the tax, the duty to be paid on natural language and on voice. [...] No more is post a metaphor. Derrida [1987:46] In a Metonymic doubling, the tax is taxed - strained - stretched - in a doubling return. Peggy Phelan from "Broken Symmetries: memory, sight, love" in Unmarked: the politics of performance. [1993:20] 6 1 See Karylin Koh "Fragmentaries" in Laiwan; books and collages [1998:30]. 93 And returning to that space of nonbelonging "We were raging then, crazy the way we broke windows, the way we pissed on people's steps and then challenged them to come out and stop us." Junot Diaz from Drown [1996:91] Returning from a leave of absence, I must pass through a series of structured interviews. I have just returned from an interview for a job posting for a teacher of an ESL Literacy class - a tensionality of multiple gazes colliding, dispersing, disappearing ... only to be re- located here on the textual stain of a screen. They read their scripts from the textual presence of the English Book. They ask about my career goals and how I would teach reading and then the phantom of the English Gaze emerges from the crypt makes its presence known through incantations — evocative and invocative as they begin to tell their stories about the students "They don't speak English ... They don't know the alphabet ... They don't have social skills ... They pee in the school grounds ... Performative inscriptions of urinary praxis as ex-crita - as e(x)criture re-mapping topographies of Englishness. They and they and THEY in an othering of the other repeated in familiar refrains ...How will you prepare for student stories they ask me...but I am ill-prepared for teacher stories and ill- prepared for their frowns at my responses and my tenuous social skills teeter precariously on the tremulous precipice of a fault line at the edge of myth and abyss - located here in the space of English law. I heard the previous interviewee as he exited from the crypt request directions for the location of a toilet and as I depart I repeat the request. Vancouver artist, Gu Xiong, writes of the difficulty his father had with inside private toilets. "In China, he used a public washroom where he could read newspapers, smoke, and talk to his friends...In China there is less privacy but here we have too much. "62 Page entitled: TOILET from The Pear Tree [1997]. I offered this book to a Chinese-speaking student in an ESL class as it is a bilingual text; he refused the book - refusing to even 'look' at it. What is happening in the space of a re/fusal? What is being refused? 94 What usually happens in the situation of refugees is that since they do not master the new language, the image they offer to the hegemonic culture has consistently been that of a people who are unable to conceptualize, to have any sophisticated thinking, or even to articulate their own condition. Trinh T. Minh-ha [1992:172] The image they offer or the image offered to them6 3 - as the Gaze reads an Othering? Could this be where traces of the Symbolic have entered the realm of the Imaginary? How do we read the Gaze? By heeding Rey Chow's initiative in taking risks in reading. Querying the empathic Gaze as a disguise for a hegemonic Gaze in a writing of the 'other'? Why is the entry into the master's house through a labyrinth of obstacles - through linguistic, literacy and urinary praxis? Rey Chow encourages us to takes risks in reading64 as an ethical practice. She acknowledges a distinction between morality and ethics defining the difference with morality a conforming with social mores and ethics involving positioning. The performative act of positioning our readings may conflict with the conformity of social mores and therein is the promise and the terror of risking. How can we enter the space of contradictions without replacing one hegemonic stance with another? Can we listen to Zizek and keep a distance from the reigning master signifier? What happens when "performative contradictions" bounce off the textual sites of Jacques Derrida and into the everyday praxis of our live(d) experiences? Where would they locate themselves?65 David Sibley in his discussion of the geographies of exclusion, contends that engagement with the texts is not enough and encourages action - co-habitation - the space from which Derrida would say that we can best disturb our co-inhabitants. 0 3 And further from Trinh T. Minh-ha, from a mise-en-scene - "Surname Viet Given Name Nam" - some verses in Vietnamese - Con co lan hi bo song/Ganh gao dua chong tieng khoc ni non - We are absurd petals in a puff of wind/drifting over a temporary and indifferent world [1992:58]. 6 4 And from Cixous in Rootprints, "one must be in a state of 'readingness [Usance]', wide awake if one wants to be witness to human life" [1997:67]. 6 51 am reminded of Doug Aoki in a guest presentation in MLED 540 at UBC alerting us to the location of Lacanian discourse - not only located in France but t/here "in our faces" all the time. Could this be what 95 unfinished stories 66 A summer position presents itself toward the end of my leave of absence. A group of Cambodian secondary students have been 'identified' as being 'at risk.' They are out of school and have been sitting at home waiting - located in a metonymic space of waiting - deferred action. A colleague and I have been asked to conduct a group assessment of these students. We are looking at cognition, language and literacy through the process of dynamic interactive assessment. And in the end, I find my 'self relocating - rewritten in the comments of Lisa Lowe as she reflects on the (post)colonial gaze of Kristeva and Barthes in their travelogues on China. Lowe draws her readers into the final irony of figuring "the Orient as the Other. " She locates a re- emergence of the orientalist gaze embedded in the leftist stance as colonization is transformed into a Utopian vision - once again distancing the other. Reflecting on our journey with this group of students who will be re-directed into a new program, how do we work the ruins of our mis/takes and ride the diagonal in a site of contradiction and ambiguity? It was a week of vibrant tensionality located in a messy textual field - in a subaltern space - in a mise-en-abyme - and now we are left to write the 'other' - to write the language of a subaltern spatiality. How do we take up the challenge of re-writing the Gaze in the transgressive space of a transformative site? How can we disrupt the act of "naming the unnameable" as a form of "renaming the already named"?67 What does it mean to interrupt the "residual authority" of Englishness? How can we open a pedagogical site for students to claim a space in a cartographic alienation - a space in the diagonal in non/belonging? How can the resilience and creative energy Thus a reading. There must be reading, one must be in a state of 'readingness [lisence]' Cixous [1997:67] the story of man's travels through his own texts remains in large measure unknown [172] —readers are travellers; they move across lands belonging to someone else, like nomads poaching their way across fields they did not write ... [174] Michel de Certeau [1984] Rey Chow means by 'taking risks' in reading and what Shoshana Felman means by reading 'otherwise' and what Derrida means by reading autrement as in the name of the incoming other or I'invention de I'autre? 6 61 find on the bookshelf a new text entitled Laiwan: books and collages ... I'm reading that Laiwan opened the Or Gallery on Hastings Street - the space where I had attended the Lacanian study group. I remember - entering to the scented veiling of incense on that first night in the dark evocative spaces of the gallery. Doug and Lucy Aoki were there, too. I remember now ... It was raining ... 6 7 Trinh T. Minh-ha reminds us of the necessity of re-naming so as to un-name. 96 of these students break through the hegemonic grammar of Englishness - disrupt the residual authority of Englishness - re-position the cartographies of Englishness? Confronted by the haunting spectre of a phantom that does not rest - we, the spectators, become entangled in the spectacle as the students begin to speak the 'unsaid' from a reciprocal role of spectatorship. We are confronted with the ambivalent and slippery nature of the spectator roles. Working with these students, we seek to re-write the notion of the symptom. What is a mispronunciation if not a liminal space of passage; risking movement into unfamiliar spaces in the passage of a journey - is it not a presence of passage? What is a syntactic error if not a signpost of a liminal space opening a space for mimesis and also a space for a new signature? What is a semantic error if not a liminal misunderstanding - a space for the richness of ambiguous meaning to emerge? In our writing of the other, we speak of the need to mediate a sense of belonging - a sense of dwelling in community within a classroom culture; but I'm reminded of the words of Firmat and I want to re-write the notion of 'belonging.' What would it mean to belong in the space of non/belonging - to journey along the diagonal? As teachers and students, are we not always relocating ourselves in partialities? Longing in our desire for the elusive jouissance - always endlessly deferred - always just beyond our reach, what would it mean to dwell there - there where we are not? Blanchot insists that 'writing begins with Orpheus's gaze" - a gaze - a backward glance - that kills Eurydice - the she- who-is-going-to-die. How can we re-write or re-mark a gaze that diminishes, eliminates, extinguishes, excludes through the haunting of its history? 97 Through time constraints, we re-visited a familiar Vietnamese theme for our interactive reading/writing passage naively not anticipating the tensions that began to speak from the spaces of the 'inter' national. Encountering Derrida's problem of the interval - the space between repetitions — the repetition located within a different textured pedagogical site - Derrida's writings are embodied and performative within the praxis of my live(d) experience. Not until I reached the writing stage, did I notice nesting in my clutter of books, Cixous' The Terrible but Unfinished Story of Nordom Sihanouk, King of Cambodia. Was it the tensionality that drew me back to the silent spaces in my cluttered collection of books? What might have happened in the textual collisions and interdictions of Vietnamese and Cambodian dialogues? Students were beginning to speak from a location of inter/national sites - from in-between spaces. "Why don't you learn our language"? "You are not saying it right"! "Why don'tyou remember? Eve already told you that." What was left 'unsaid' in our unfinished story? We witnessed re-writings in the 'country of words' - the maternal stories of phantoms ... in the country of Cambodia. Returning again to the recurring theme of passage, transgression is described by Derrida as a passage to the limit - passage a frontieres - passage to the crossing of a well-known border. Derrida sees in an act of transgression a "double gesture." Opening into transgressive spaces, Diane Elam invites us into a mise-en-abyme where the subject undergoes a process of destabilization; mise en abyme ... opens a spiral of infinite regression in representation .. .The subject and object infinitely change places within the mise en abyme; there is no set sender or receiver of the representation. The infinitely receding object in the mise en abyme closes down the possibility of a stable subject/object relation. On the one hand, the object cannot be grasped by the subject; it slips away into infinity. On the other hand, this produces a parallel regression in the subject or viewer of the mise en abyme Diane Elam [1994:27-8] 98 Returning to the Althusserian notion of interpellation, we have seen how a subject is constituted by being hailed. In the process of interpellation, there is always the possibility of a misrecognition - a meconnaissance. They have hailed me as an ESL student but I resist the call. The domain of the imaginary is always open to possibilities of misrecognition. Butler asks us to consider the 'force' of this dynamic of interpellation and misrecognition. Following Butler's lead, can we translate the interpellated name from trope to performativity and through interpretation, rewrite an intention? In the process of a dynamic misrecognition - in the space of the mise-en-abyme - we enter into that space of the possibility of creative nothingness - into Nishido Kitaro's space " topos of nothingness" (mu no basho) and absolute nothingness (zettai mu). In the curricular field of a messy text, can those misrecognitions open to spaces of new possibilities? The voices of students resonating in polyvocal dis/sonance generating newness. 99 The Leave of Absence has ended and I am working as an English Language Centre (ELC) teacher in an elementary school. A short while ago, I was sitting in front of a computer screen with a student who has been designated ESL. We were co-constructing a story on a program entitled It is not impossible in the interesting word. You are calm and you think you are safe Cixous [1979:30] when suddenly you hear the word 'but' and then you know that something exciting is going to happen." An Aokian 'abutment,68 re-iterated in the words of a child. Could this be a Metonymic moment? Is this where Metonymy could be located - in a moment of happenstance - in a fragment of live(d) experience where the student/teacher roles are performed as a doubling - where we journey together in a chiasmatic two-way flow - in a site of struggle - in a messy text? An ESL student whose language performs its utterance remarks his designation with a Metonymic performance. A student who performs with an Aokian 'abutment' - a student who performs a Derridian re-marking — who plays with promise and terror in the location of a site that generates possibilities for newness to enter the world and at the same time is marked with the possibility of terror. Could this be, perhaps, a moment of Cixousian harmony - a moment of Cixousian "resonance" - a moment of "incalculable resonance" - a resonance within the dissonance of a "but"? Through reading otherwise, can we find a moment of double gesture? yet another language... Let us return to the opening quotation where Firmat in Drown makes reference to the space of dilemma - the space of nonbelonging. Seeking a re-iteration of this space of nonbelonging , let us listen to what Derrida terms a performative contradiction: "Yes, I 6 8 the Aokian 'abutment' is re-located here in the text from a presentation at a conference on teacher education at UBC. Presenters: Aoki, Gazetis, Low and Palulis in a presentation entitled " But... the said and the unsaid." Spring, 1998. Story Weaver and we arrived at a site of tension. We were caught in a moment of resistance when my student alerted me to the word 'but' — "but" he announced "is a very unrestrained conversing that among disjunct, remote, disportionate ensembles, at moments, harmonies of incaluable resonance occur. 100 have only one language, yet that language is not mine." Let us make tremble the signification of nonbelonging re-written through the voice of Derrida in his deconstruction of the monolingualism of the Other. In the promise of the Gaze as gatekeeper, is there a possibility within Zizek's "impossibility of the gaze"? In order for a promise to launch itself forward as such (which therefore implies liberty, responsibility, and decidability), it is necessary for it to be capable, beyond any program of constraint, of allowing itself to be haunted by the possibility, precisely of its perversion (its conversion into a menace there where a promise can only promise good things, the nonserious commitment of an untenable promise, etc.) Derrida [1998:93 n. l l ] What might happen if we would dare to dwell [demeure] within Derrida's performative contradiction? Journey with Derrida and Cixous in doubling moments of their unheard-of French language in our unheard-of English language in Our with a capital 'O ' monolingualism? Can we speak of a transformation from a summons of a mise-en- demeure to a staging of a mise-en-scene alert to the mise-en-abyme? Let us collide Firmat with Derrida and read the 'unsaid' textual dispersal of fragments - language always a site of suffering jouissance. Now listen to the location of what Derrida terms the "fatal" question as he responds to one question by asking yet another: How is it possible that this language, the only language that this monolingual speaks, and is destined to speak, forever and ever, is not his? How can one believe that it remains always mute for the one who inhabits it, and whom it inhabits most intimately, that it remains distant, heterogeneous, uninhabitable, deserted! Deserted like a desert in which one must grow, make things grow, build, and project up to the idea of a route, and the trace of a return, yet another language! Derrida [1998:57-58] Butler alerts us to the force of the dynamic between interpellation and misrecognition. How does this force perform? Through a resistance - a refusal - a misrecognition of interpellation? Where is the performance located? Might this be the location of a 101 Derridean performance? Is this the space where Derrida performs? But Derrida claims that he never resists the call. From desert spaces an invocation for the 'trace of a return' for 'yet another language.' If we listen to the voices of Firmat and Derrida and Cixous and to the voices that they invoke through textual practices, can we begin to hear the 'unsaid'? Can we open a crack in the frozen gaze - in Zizek's troppo fisso? Disrupt what Bhabha calls "regimes of visibility and discursivity - fetishistic, scopic, imaginary." Can we journey with our students into Aoki's Metonymic moments - a chiasmatic space in which the tropes of metaphor and metonymy perform into the space of the 'detracted' gaze? How do we journey from 'running in place' in the anxiety dream to the space through which a 'trace of a return' evokes 'yet another language'? And Derrida reminds us that there will be moments where we have "a desert without a desert crossing" - when we must dwell in moments of unreadability - moments when there is no movement of translation - when we may be summoned in the space of a hostage [mise-en-demeure]. From the space of an aporetic W e h a v e o u r d e s e r t p e r i o d s Putting oneself in relation to inscription, how can we re-emerge? Re-marking the the unconscious is delicate, since we can't master the language in order to exit unmarked - in order to disappear? c o m m g s a n d goings... Cixous [1993:103] Derrida invites us to invent in the very place where its "being home" [son "chez elle"] will disturb the co-inhabitants.69 In a polysemy of performative play with language, are we not educed into the vibrant 'third' spaces between what Bhabha terms the "deep me" and the "written me"? What would it mean 6 9 Derrida claims that he can never resist the song of the new International. From the voice of Derrida, we listen to the performativity in his words: "I never resist it. I am in the street of its call, even if, apparently, I have been working silently since dawn at my table." I am seduced by the invocations of language as a presence calling forth a passage - a dwelling in the "street of its call." 102 for the gaze to be shattered in a hybrid space - fragmented shards that pierce and wound are now summoned mise-en-demeure to dwell in an arche-textual bricolage. But - the disjunctive 'but' - in the shattering - in the transformation Derrida alerts us that there is always the possibility of promise and terror and we can no longer distinguish between them. What does it mean to dwell in this space of persistent instability? What does this mean in an act of literature? - in a cinematic text? Is this the fate of Ondaatje's English patient where his English became the agonistic site of his demise - in the summons to a hostage space [mise-en-demeure] - a re-iterative space held hostage by the Germans for some degrees of Englishness and finally by his own burnt black body in an old Italian villa? What does it mean to dwell in this space of persistent instability? Is this doubled feature of the spectacle what draws the audience as in the doubling of difference in the cinematic screen of the Crying Game - the doubling of difference in M . Butterfly. The Gaze surprised and startled in the act of surveillance - the looker caught in an act of voyeurism peering through the keyhole. What does it mean in the messy text of a pedagogical site - in the spectacle of an 'observation' class for immigrant students? As teachers we must work harder at asking what it is ... to read ... to listen ... Thus, when we talk of 'mastery' of the Standard language, we must be conscious of the terrible irony of the word, that the English language itself was the language of the master, the carrier of his arrogance and brutality. Chris Searle [1983:68] 103 What does it mean in a pedagogical site to dwell with no distinction between promise and terror? When the hegemonic English Gaze falls upon the immigrant student with the promise of an ethics of the good through the haunting spectre of the paternal father - what is the terror that haunts the promise as we are caught in a doubling of spectacle - the looker startled by being looked-at in a doubling of spectacle - in linguistic and urinary praxis - the lookers inscribing their own territoriality leaving their linguistic traces and their urinary scents to mark their boundaries - mapping their Englishness in familiar forms of cartographic topographies, native a mimicry of native in an ironic doubling - the spectator as performative in a double gazing evoking the active role of the spectator in the construction of meaning. Markers of hegemony securing territorial rites. Territorial limits that incite transgression. How can we learn to invent and re- invent and disturb our co-inhabitants - to mark and re-mark the other in self in the performativity of invention? To make the English Gaze tremble as we tremble in its field? To dare to ask the Derridian Language is how 'fatal' question and to risk dwelling within the , y ghosts enter tremble of an im/possible response. One story th e world. embedded in another - the unsayable trembling through the 'said' - one story in place of another. And why? - Cixous would respond with 'because' - 'because' recalled as "the secret of the law" - touching "the fragile world of translating. " Anne Michaels Pennycook reading Bhabha draws from his notion of fixity70 while dismissing hybridity and ambiguity. But how does one seek the source of fixity without an openness to the textual practices of ambiguity - to the subcutaneous wanderings? Is fixity what remains when ambiguity is denied? Bhabha commenting on the problem of travel and fixity refers to symbols of the 'elsewhere' associated with a fetishization of the 'elsewhere' - as metonymy is partially frozen. And what happens when the new Master articulates the Word that sutures ambiguity and renders a readability to the counter discourse? What i f Pennycook were to take a pulse from difference and deferral? How could one invite Pennycook to dwell within the spaces of his own performative contradictions? In attempting to "complexify the past" and "simplify the present," is Pennycook not serving another Master Narrative? Foucault makes reference to the author as "the principle of thrift in the proliferation of meaning."71 What is left unsaid in the process of simplification? What happens in the slippage? What would happen i f we were to double Bhabha back on Pennycook? In concluding his treatise, Pennycook calls for a "postcolonialism in concert" not a "postcolonialism in fragmentation."72 Again setting up an oppositional stance - a binary positioning - that replaces one master narrator with another. Is the oneness of the tribe not an othering? How can we make something happen in the space of the crack that he begins to open for his readers? What of the power of the / u Pennycook in English and the discourses of colonialism [1998:217]. 7 1 See Foucault's essay "What is an author?" in Paul Rabinow's (Ed.) 77ie Foucault reader [1984:118]. Anthropologist Elvi Whittaker directed me to this essay - in each re-reading and there have been many my writing returns to the humus - to the earth - for a dwelling-in-humility. 7 2 Pennycook, English and the discourses of colonialism [217]. Pennycook's call for postcolonial writing to work in concert does issue a request for different forms, counterdiscursive arguments and alternative realities; but somehow I am hearing an uncanny location in these linguistic signposts - a new narrative to counter 'in concert' the old narrative - is this not a call for a new master signifier to replace the old? Pennycook concludes with a somewhat nostalgic image .. .unless we can work alongside each other - Why am I reminded of those revolutionary posters of bygone years? Why am I drawn to the space of tensionality as lack drives desire in its metonymic slide? Reading Zizek to keep a distance from the new master signifier. 105 gap - the interval - between fragments - the liveliness of the gap - in the rhythm - in the pulsation - in the spaces in-between? What might happen in dis/concerting spaces - on the Lacanian edge that "splits" desire? Can we invoke a performative movement that moves beyond the textual site of original utterance - that moves beyond the site of his text and doubles back in a chiasmatic moment? Butler is encouraged by the power of the dynamic between interpellation and misrecognition while Pennycook seems to suture himself in a point de capiton in acknowledging the doubt that such a book as his will "make much difference" - caught as his own hostage in Derrida's mise-en-demeure in a captive moment of aporia. Returning to Rey Chow and Zizek, we find the void as a site of "as i f - as i f the life force comes from defeat. Rey Chow alerts us to Zizek's paradox of the "enthusiastic resignation." Zizek refers to "the experience of a certain impossibility, which incites enthusiasm." And Derrida in the procedure of deconstruction takes on the "failed actions"73 arguing for the double fold of invagination that opens to possibilities. A student was refused admission to graduate school. I urge the student to re-locate - to re-apply - to re-mark - to re-fuse the refusal - to work the ruins in the dynamic force between interpellation and misrecognition. Could no one hear Pushkin in the errors - Lacan in the symptoms - Derrida in the performative contradictions?74 I draw again From a footnote in Mirian Hobson's Jacques Derrida: opening lines [1998:248 n.56]. Rei Terada alerts us to a Mallarmean notation of the ang of angoisse and langage. The 'Angoisse' of Mallarme .. .placed between converging opposites .. .the additional u sound shared in English by anguish and language the etymological derivation from the Latin augustus meaning constricted. For Derrida augustia names 'the necessarily resticted passageway of speech against which all possible meanings push each other.' Cited in Terada [1998:121]. the Angoisse of Mallarme who noted the ang of angoisse and langage. Terada from Meetings with Mallarme [1998:121] 106 from Michel de Certeau as he alerts us to the notion of "space as a practiced place." How to re-fuse refusals? Through the force-de-rupture in the space of performative contradictions - as a letter of commendation writes with and against a letter of rejection. A fellow student and I have had our proposal to A E R A (American Educational Research Association) rejected. We will re-write - re-turn - re-position - opening to the dynamic force in the gap. Returning to Lacan and the technique of anamorphosis, we see demonstrated the split between the eye and the gaze - in the split between meaning and being. The blind review acts as a performative detraction of the technique of Lacanian anamorphosis whereby the subject is displaced by the force of scopic alterity. The trifocal gaze of the blind review is both fascinated and mystified by our proposal refusing the space of noThing 7 5 offered to them and seeking someThing.76 We had failed a reader by not leading some Where. Under the guise of objectivity, subjectivities collide and in the performative contradictions of a trilogy of blind reviews we enter again the space of Butler's dynamic force between interpellation and misrecognition. We are at the same / s In the latest issue of Performance Research, 3(2), on page 64, in an article entitled "In the Midst of Many: The Butcher, his Lover, her Husband, and the Hit Man" by Linda Marie Walker, I was ecstatic to find this reference in a sidenote to the main text: 'Script for the Theatre of No-thing.' [59-66]. My writing is continually ruptured by my readings. Saturday, January 2 n d, 1999 - a new issue of Performance Research - AND a new Cixous, Stigmata: Escaping texts - a brief but frantic perusal and I'm madly writing in the margins of scrap papers and outdated posters - citations from Cixousian 'clandestine semantics.' And I know now that I'm coming close to a closure because I have found my next' exergue' - from Nigel Stewart's "Re-Languaging the Body: Phenomenological Description and the Dance Image" also from Performance Research. From the words of Nigel Stewart, 1 want to write about writing about moving. How can I re-language the body and re-embody writing?" A passage to the next chapter through the footnotes ... Cixous speaks of footsteps on the text... "Words ... come to strike the earth of the text." [147-148] Cixous acknowledges "an etymological presentiment" that guides her ... I always seek her guidance through border crossings .. .knowing that as 'guide' she will lose me from time to time - she will create possibilities in the space of the tremble in those aporetic moments of limitations. I graze through the texts of outlaw genre as a voyeur and a thief and a would-be-outlaw. 7 6 One reviewer admitted to being fascinated by our theoretical stance but didn't feel our paper was about 'something.' Since we were seeking the space of no-thing, perhaps it could be said that we suffered a provocative defeat. Another ranked us outstanding but praised our metaphors when we were writing metonymically - standing 'out' - paradoxa in the reflections of a detracted gaze. 107 time 'outstanding' and marked for 'rejection.' Left standing outside the gates. Following the lead of Patti Lather, we travel through her aporias - through "a praxis of stuck places."77 And Phelan's voice re-enters to repeat its performative refrain: And who are "they" anyway? And how do we evoke the voices to make tremble the aporetic inscriptions? If the anamorphic moment always precludes a moment of unveiling, then what is revealed though unveiling? Is anyone there? Who occupies the writing returned without signature? Who holds the (w)rites of tenancy? Butler refers to "the trauma of the unsigned letter."78 If the letter is unsigned does the tenancy pass from sender to addressee - into the hands of a would-be-outlaw? A n unsigned letter passes as a purloined letter in the hands of a thief. The level of reciprocity between the gaze and the gazed at is illusory. Inscribed within the register of the scopic drive, Lacan alerts us to an ever-present ambiguity in the 'inside-out' structure of the gaze. Rey Chow leads us from the 'no- thing-ness of the world' through the stanzas of Hui Neng to ask the eternal philosophical question to which Lacan responds with a further question "Why is there something instead of nothing?" 7 9 gaze as doubled imaginary ... In The Space of Literature, Maurice Blanchot contends that writing always begins with the gaze of Orpheus - a gaze turned toward impossibility as a movement of desire. This text seeks to disappear through closure with the gaze of Orpheus - to lose the work - as 7 7 Patti Lather from an unpublished paper presented at the JCT Bergamo Conference, Indiana. 7 8 See Butler's Excitable speech: A politics of the performative [1997:37]. Butler is referring to hate mail unsigned nameless while naming interpellating in a unilateral address. The letter writer with no return address cannot be addressed. But with no possibility of return does the addressee not have the power of attorney - the power to rewrite the message - as the force of misreading - of misrecognition. 108 Orpheus lost Eurydice - a return to the uncertainty of origin - to re-mark the loss in order to give it life. Blanchot contends that Orpheus's error was in wanting "to exhaust the infinite, to put a term to the interminable, not endlessly to sustain the very movement of his error." What happens when we collide the gaze of Orpheus with the Lacanian gaze with Zizek's impossible gaze with Silverman's cinematic gaze - Silverman, in working toward an ethics of the look, speaks of the "productive look" and contends that "consciousness is a precarious site." Silverman insists that the productive look necessitates "opening up the unconscious to otherness." Rather than attempting to simplify, Silverman seeks to complicate. What would happen i f fragmentations of a detracted gaze dispersing signs of Englishness - 'gaze' fractals endlessly sustaining movements of error - a disconcerted fragmentation? Refractions in graphematic spaces as in Paul Cilliers notion of "a living language ... in a state far from equilibrium. It changes, it is in contact with other languages, it is abused and transformed."80 Pennycook opens a crack in the discursive space of the English Gaze. How can we enter into the possibilities for performativity in that space of dis/concerting movements? Reading Pennycook on 'postcolonialism' through Derridean inscriptions, I question whether subscription to traditional genres - mise-en-demeure - holds his text hostage to the very colonialism he claims to disrupt. How can we trouble the genre and make tremble the haunted dictations of the masters narrating? How to entice the text to read itself writing into the doubling gesture of host(age)? 7 9 Rey Chow from Ethics after Idealism. Rey Chow cites from a stanza by Hui Neng: The Bohdi-tree is originally not a tree,/ Nor is the bright mirror originally a stand./ Since there is originally no-thing,/From where arises all this dust? [1998:52] 8 0 See Paul Cilliers in Complexity andpostmodernism.[l99S:124], Cilliers contends that language is transformed by the ways in which we use it - limiting its semantic field by fixing it or expanding it through movement in different contexts. 109 radical ex-centricities . . . Metonymy keeps desire on the rails, and always pressing ahead to the next destination, but metaphor supplies a limitless profusion of junctions, loops, and branch-lines. This is a network that goes everywhere, and those who travel have no choice but to use it, however little it can be relied upon to take them where they want to go. A partial arrest of the metonymic function produces a screen memory ... or a fetish ... Malcolm Bowie [1991:132] Writing as fetish. I catch myself in acts of fetishization with the topographical sites of my writing space. And one day through the scopic split between the eye and the gaze located the disappearance of my giant cedar — a grand arche-texture in mutiple shades of green - "as if" looking once too often had caused it to disappear - I now mourn the loss of my tree — a tree that is mine and yet not mine - that was located in a neighbouring yard but whose branches sheltered my balcony and hovered protectively above my skylights above my writing space - my 'writingness' - [ecrivancej. I must have sought from the tree someThing and then I came home one day and looked out and it had disappeared. My gaze upon the tree-that-was-going-to-die - the image of the lantern now dangles in an open space - in a void - in the absence of its cedar bough - always confronted with the void as the Real makes known its presence. I trespassed - in an act of trangression - across border boundaries into the neighbour's yard to mourn the organic wound and, perhaps, as voyeur to witness the wound - but, it was veiled - covered with cedar boughs - traces of what had been - cinders on cinders. The void opens to new possibilities of movement and yet I cling to the nostalgia of a sheltering text(ure) - fearful of the chiasmatic moment of the promise and terror of the openness of the aporetic moments. I am increasingly drawn to incantations and invocations of absence not quite knowing what it means - and yet the spectre of fear in a phantasmatic presence continues to journey in that restless site between myth and abyss. I wait now for a dense foggy night to cling to the windowpanes as a sheltering refuge from the city lights - to veil the light of the phantom lantern suspended in a performative act of disbelief. To return to not knowing that the tree is not there. 110 Julian Wolfreys takes his readers in Being English through a close reading that "can be used against its own conservative hermeneutic."81 Exposing the fragmented identities and contradictions of Victorian notions of Englishness, through the already there of paradoxes, Wolfreys works at opening to other Englishnesses - "alive, living on, contesting, playing between its discourses and performances."82 Drawing from their titles - from Irigaray that identity is "not one" - and from Derrida on "the other heading" - Wolfreys proposes recalling an other Englishness - for a transformation of destination. Reading always with fingerprints on more-that-one-text at-a-time, readings of polygloss, Pennycook's work gets a second reading - his call for working in concert - re-worked through Wolfreys re-call - and James R. Kincaid reading Wolfreys text as a compelling (and subversive) concerto. Readings in polygloss take us in-and-out of discipline - into a space of rigor midst the ruins 8 3 - in the space of the 'inter' in interdiciplinarity. Sometimes a 'shock' is what we need. Sometimes a 'shock' is what we find reading midst the ruins of broken englishes. Reading Coco Fusco's English is broken here was such a shock - a frisson - for me. The intercultural performance of Coco Fusco and her collaborator, Guillermo Gomez-Pena, unleashed the spectres of a colonial legacy as they posed in the present - 'indigenous' roles of 'othering' - im/posters posing in a golden cage84 - exposing a lingering colonial unconscious. Coco Fusco reminds us that what 8 1 See Wolfreys [1994:5]. 8 2 Ibid [181]. 8 3 Curriculum theorist, Joe Kincheloe draws from Norman Denzin on the notion of bricolage as/in a rigor of ruins in interdisciplinary studies. I attended Joe's summer presentation at UBC entitled "Describing the Bricolage: Conceptualizing a New Rigor in Qualitative Research" [2001]. I draw on his work for the rigo(u)r of working the ruins. 8 4 Coco Fusco comments that "the desire to look upon predictable forms of Otherness from a safe distance persists [1995:50]. My school district established observation classes for immigrant children with perceived learning difficulties. We need to be reading more than one text at the same time always in order to begin 111 may be 'liberating' and 'transgressive' identification always risks the imposition of stereotypic othering. I'm reminded of Lowe's interruption of Utopian versions of orientalism. Terror always already in promise. Perhaps all things must end 8 5 in Derrida - in the intoxicating "space of language"86 that he is - in the suffering jouissance of his writing - assured that there can be no ending. In reference to the French language, I am enticed into the Derridean dream to "make something happen to this language . . . so intimate that it comes to take pleasure in it as in itself ' 8 7- to seek Butler's dynamic force - in the space of the interval. reading: Otherwise. A group of us wrote a letter of objection but we received no reply. Is 'no reply' a topography of 'nothing' - a generative space - for making something happen? The classes have been disbanded. 8 5 As I approach a conclusion going through the 'backwords' of the 'other,' I have taken to sliding the gaze across a selection of concluding statements of some of my citations. From Pennycook: " . . . But, unless we can work alongside each other ..."; naming words as spatial punctuation; from Gikandi, "And what does it mean to be living in the 'present moment of the past"? Where are these writers located in their respective conjunctive signs and why am I intrigued by the dialogue between Gikandi and Derrida? Why am I drawn to the tremble in no longer having to distinguish between 'promise and terror' to this incantation that invokes a Bakhtinian carnavalesque of spectrality? And in the writings of Pennycook, why do I sense an archival phantom that is stuck in a crypt for the seemingly essentialist reverence for English and the haunting residuals of a missionary positioning. Although he opens a crack, how much is he willing to risk reading otherwise? How can we make those 'cracks' performative- through a doubled folding - through the Derridean notion of invagination? And how can we risk writing in a way that does not seek to condemn but seeks to startle - to make tremble a citatation as a way for newness to emerge - always with the doubled spectrality of promise and terror? For a chilling account of the 'terror' that makes tremble the promise in uncertainty see Arjun Appadurai in "Dead Certainty: Ethnic Violence in the Era of Globalization" in Public Culture 10(2) 225-247 - Gratefully plucked off the 'free shelf on January 2 n d and re-locating itself 'here' in my footnotes 'out' of context. Sidenotes from a bookstore slidding out of context. Walter Benjamin in Illuminations, informs us that the "Latin word textum means 'web' and "to quote a text involves the interruption of its context." From the Derridean force de rupture - the breaking force becomes performative in the interruption from context. 8 6 In Rootprints, Cixoux refers to showing her early work to Derrida - "to the space of writing that he was."p. 100. And from a textbox on p.81, a further comment: "I do not separate the man from the writing. No more than he. Because he is the- man-who-writes. " 8 7 Derrida from Monolingualism of the Other, p. 51. Derrida speaks of the dream - "the desire to make it [the language] arrive here, by making something happen to it." In the Frenchifying of Jewish culture, he posits alternating symptoms - "an asphyxia: a state of apparent death, a ceasing of respiration, a fainting fit, a cessation of the pulse" and in the next moment a quickening of the pulse "as if . . .intoxicated, inebriated by the new richness." Is this how re-fusing a refusal becomes Butler's "dynamic force"? 112 In warning us that there may be deserts without a desert crossing, Derrida interrogates the chances of "the readability of such a discourse against its unreadability." What might happen to the restless phantoms in the space of these aporetic inscriptions? How far can we risk the interminable error - sustain the movement of error? What happens to the sacred text whose presence stabilizes the English gaze in the un/veiling. 8 8 Un/veiling as a double movement. What happens to the sacred text in the theatre of blasphemy - in a "radical ex-centncity to itself - as characters perform on the empty stage of metonymy, restless within the moment of the Aokian 'tremble'? And what might happen to the characters pushing the limits of the interminable error? Where? .. .Beyond memory and time lost. I am not even speaking of an ultimate unveiling, but of what will have remained alien, for all time, to the veiled figure, to the very figure of the veil. This desire and promise let all my specters loose ... And a promise that no longer expects what it waits for: there where, striving for what is given to come, I finally know how not to have to distinguish any longer between promise and terror. 9 0 Derrida [1998:73] 8 8 Derrida from The Post Card, in reference to Lacan's work, remarks that "veUing - unveUing as the structure of lack: castration, the proper site of the signifier, origin and destination of the letter, shows nothing in unveiling itself. Therefore, it veils itself in its unveiling" [463]. 8 9 Lacan in Ecrits refers to the dangers of ignoring the "self s radical ex-centricity to itself [171]. 9 0 Derrida doubled with Derrida - returning to the notion of the exergue, I wish to continue the Derridean citation from Archive Fever: "An exergue serves to stock in anticipation and to prearchive a lexicon which, from there on, ought to lay down the law and give the order, even if this means contenting itself with naming the problem, that is, the subject." And Derrida, then, leading from the institutive and conservative function of the erergue to "the violence of a power (Gewalt) which at once posits and conserves the law" confronts his readers with " the violence of the archive itself, as archive, as archival violence." From a pedagogical site, David Smith also refers to discourse as "a violence against discourse" claiming that "the language that dominates (us) allows us to speak but also prevents us from saying what cannot be said" [127]. A place, perhaps, to exit? And to enter into the passage - into the moment of hurrying slowly - festina lente - toward the next 'exergue' ... Gerard Genette in Paratexts makes reference to en exergue as meaning literally "off the work" [144]. Or let's heed Bhabha who thinks it's time to 'activate' an archaic root of the "exilic" - from the invisible and unconscious Latin root salire - to leap - in a boundary- breaking movement, from his preface 'arrivals and departures' in home, exile, homeland: film, media, and the politics of space edited by Hamid Naficy. [Pause] January 16: Another find on the shelf of New Releases - Marian Hobson's Jacques Derrida: Opening lines - a study on Derridean 'writing' as opening spaces for something new to emerge - published by Routledge in time for the next chapter. [Break] 113 aporetic ex-scriptions from the theatre of no/thing The reflection of the paper lantern - the symbolic and imaginary register of an act of surveillance - is suspended now in the absence of its cedar bough - suspended in the dangling uncanny disbelief which has always been there - the light uncanny returning because it has never really left - a dangling light that is not a light - that is no-thing. The a is n o t inside-out structure of the gaze in the process of mimesis. a light ^ v e r e m o v e d the nor en from the window on the south that balcony and my phantom lantern finds itself another point- is no-thing de-capiton now from the branch of a wilting passion flower vine - leaves yellow green on branches still clinging to a leaning trellis - a sheltering from the neighbouring gaze. Copjec's "presence of something that is out ofplace. " The gaze of surveillance always actor and spectator in the performative contradictions of the spectacle. And writing erases itself in each graphic trace. A dangling light that is not a light - that is noThing - and the Copjec refrain reiterates its journey "... the presence of something that is out of place. This scene is, in the precise sense, uncanny. " And yet I see it. Uncanny. 114 A cage went looking for a bird. Franz Kafka In German, Kafka means chouca = corneille (crow). He too is a bird. He knows it, plays with it, inscribes it. Helene Cixous I dwell with an empty birdcage that tells of multiple stories from the space of the void. The birdcage - an exquisite arche-texture of intricate wirework and olive wood - in the shape of a mosque - was acquired in a souk in Tunisia - I remember walking the interval of sand between borders - in- between Tunisia and Libya - with my empty birdcage and my passport and my re-entry visa. Janan had a birdcage, too. Ex-quisite birdcages - that seek to travel without occupants - inscribing emptiness - and now with indigo paper birds - in double folds - becoming sedentary. 115 chapter three re/working the ruins of re/search1 as e(x)criture . . . or writing and/as the in/appropriate(d)2 other fragmenting titles . . . Re/fusing prescription, this paper seeks a groundless path - seeks ways of escaping from aporetic3 inscriptions - from the textual praxis of (w)riting the passages of an/other. What happens when teachers in the act-of-writing-students, inscribing acts-of-voyeurism, become looked-at-lookers in the spectacle of a doubling of the pedagogical gaze? What might happen to cryptonymic4 inscriptions in the writing praxis of French philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy's notion of e(x)criturel Nancy alerts us to the elusiveness of time in that "time's duration has no other fixity than its incessant vanishing."5 Are student bodies already escaping the text as we engage in the (w)rites of back/words? How can we begin to embody language and to re/language the body? 1 This chapter writes and is written through a juxtapositioning of fragments from a research project with the fragments of re/searching the ruins of the project - through the traces of live(d) experience of everyday life that interrupt and disrupt the possibility of any notion of fixity. My intention is to startle aporetic inscriptions of impossibilities through Metonymic moments in juxtapositions - opening to possibilities for misfires - for sparks ... Trapped 'out-of-place' within a space that was 'out-of-time' - in a doubling of performative contradictions - the misfire generates openings for new possibilities. The title is t(here) to query the persistent in/stability of movements crossing brackets and traversing diagonals in a discurrere that signals the movement of to and fro. And I draw from Derrida and Mallarme the notion of a title as "a certain angle" that locates and dislocates. This dis-location (is what) writes/is written. [193] Dissemination. 2 The word "inappropriate/d" is borrowed from Trinh T. Minh-ha and, to quote Donna Haraway, means "not to fit into the taxon, to be dislocated from the available maps specifying kinds of actors and kinds of narratives, not to be originally fixed by difference." [299-300] 31 note that Samuel Beckett in "The Unnamable" asks: "What am I to do, what shall I do, what should I do, in my situation, how proceed? By aporia pure and simple? ... But it is quite hopeless. I should mention before going any further, any further on, that I say aporia without knowing what it means. Can one be ephectic otherwise than unawares? I don't know." Simon Critchley in Very Little ...Almost Nothing refers to Beckett's words as performative enactments or aporetic descriptions of aporia with suspension of judgement then denoted as 'ephectic' [166]. 41 am drawn to the notion of cryptonymy from The Wolf Man's Magic Word: A Cryptonymy. Abraham and Torok invite us on "an impromptu walk through a verbarium" enticing us into the play between languages. 5 See Jean-Luc Nancy The birth to presence [1993:42]. And now there is the question of the title. .. .Which introduces us (in)to the corner that interests us: on the one hand, Mallarme prescribes a suspension of the title, which - like the head, or capital, or the oracle - carries its head high, speaks in too high a voice, both because it raises its voice and drowns out the ensuing text, and because it is found high up on the page, the top of the page becoming the eminent centre, the beginning, the command station, the chief, the archon. Jacques Derrida [1981:177-178] 116 How can we leave space for lines of movement in a two-way flow - a chiasmatic movement - a chiasmatic event. Citing from a Madoc song, David Abram invokes for his readers a dialectic coupling of metaphor and metonymy - of presence and absence: I, the Song, I walk here. Maurice Blanchot contends that writing always begins with the gaze of Orpheus - a gaze that is turned toward impossibility - as a movement of desire. Victor Turner makes reference to the sonnets of Mallarme thus urges that the title be stilled. A discreet injunction, found in the burst of an active fragment, upon a certain short, sharp ridge ... Through these words ... we have already been introduced, gently, into a certain angle in which we are interested. Jacques Derrida [1981: 178-179] poet Rainer Maria Rilke - to the rite de passage in his poem Orpheus: For this is Orpheus, his metamorphosis/ in this one and in that. We should not make/ searches for other names. Once and for all,/ it's Orpheus when there's song. He comes and goes. How do we re/write an/other while letting them come and go6? What would happen i f we were to split the 'we' for the incoming other with the paradoxical performativity of promise and terror? Derrida claims that he no longer has to distinguish between promise Rewriting is a surplus ... excess of nothing and still excessive ... The "re" of the return inscribes like the "ex", opening of every exteriority: as if the return, far from putting an end to it, remarked the exile, the beginning in its rebeginning of the exodus. To come again would be to come to ex-center oneself anew, to wander. Only the nomadic affirmation remains. Maurice Blanchot [1992:33] Critchley makes reference to Beckett's aporetic doublings: "It is a question here of an uneasy and solitary inhabitation of the aporia between the inability to speak and the inability to be silent." Critchley continues in a hermetic reading of Beckett's sentences as a series of "weak intensities, antithetical inabilities: unable to go on and unable not to go on. It is this double inability which describes, I think, the weakness of our relation to finitude, the articulation of a physical feebleness, a dwindling, stiffening corporeality, which is a recipe not for despair but for a kind of rapture." At this point in his writing, Critchley cites directly from Beckett: 'There is rapture, or there should be, in the motion crutches give' [60]. Beckett depicts literature as "a long sin against silence that arises from our inability to sit quietly in a room." As the origin of the sin is unknown, desire slides "for movement - to come and go, to come and go." See Very Little ... Almost Nothing [1997:167-169] 117 and terror - that one is always open to the perversion of the other.7 How is it possible to dwell within this space of impossibility - the space of an untenable promise? What would happen to the writing? Let's take these questions into the discursive spaces of Michel de Certeau as he takes us into the garden of Hieronymous Bosch. From The Mystic Fable, Michel de Certeau describes The Garden oj Hieronymous Bosch as that elsewhere that seems to speak to the onlooker: "You there, what do you say about what you are, while you think you are saying what I am?"8 For de Certeau, the aesthetics of The Garden is a space for extinguishing intelligibility rather than for generating new lights. The garden offers ways to get lost with landmarks9 offering multiple ways to - wander from meaning1 0 and inviting us to query the 'where' of our location. Ted T. Aoki alerts us to attend to the 'where' of our location in pedagogy inviting us into a discursive 'third' space - a generative space of possibilities - a space between the 'said' and the 'unsaid.' Multiple ways to wander from meaning in a pedagogical site. What happens to topo/graphies in the sly 7 Derrida, in Monolingualism of the Other, insists that "In order for a promise to launch itself forward as such ... it is necessary for it to be capable, beyond any program of constraint, of allowing itself to be haunted by the possibility, precisely of its perversion ...." 8 See Michel de Certeau, The mystic fable [72]. 91 find my 'self in the process of writing 'otherwise' detouring from landmarks - from aporetic inscriptions - into 'elsewhere' spaces within the messiness of my clutter of books - circling in re/tours where fractals and fragments are inscriptions for exscribing from the text. Caught within the interdictions of Derrida and Lacan on Poe's "The Purloined Letter" I find again Anna Vidali's article from New Formations still 'on hold' at spartacus. Vidali leads me back to Derrida's Foreword: Fors: The Anglish Words of Nicholas Abraham and Maria Torok. And so the nomadic writer journeys always with a tremble. 1 0 Nancy refers to Bataille and the "pain and the pleasure that result from the impossibility of communicating anything at all without touching the limit where all meaning [sens] spills out of itself, like a simple ink stain on a word, on the word 'meaning'" [319] Nancy makes reference to Heidegger's notion of the West as "knotted up with writer's cramp." To write, and to read, is to be exposed, to expose oneself, to this not-having (to this non- knowledge) and thus to "exscription." Jean-Luc Nancy [1993:339] ... the detour of inscription (which is always a de-scription)... Maurice Blanchot 77;e Writing of the Disaster [1986:38] 118 spatialities of a slippery passage from 'what' to 'where'? What happens in the disengagement from the 'what' as we begin to tread lightly into the space of unstable groundlessness - into the space of the 'where'? Into Cixousian spaces that beckon us into the shadows between the words: It's so dark here where I am searching for a language that makes no noise to whisper what is neither living nor dead. Al l words are too loud, too rapid, too sure, I'm searching for the names of the shadows between the words. Cixous, Deluge, p. 111 Introducing de Certeau's reading of Bosch as a way of leading into a writing which seeks to work the ruins of re/searching, a research project begins to rewrite itself in the contextual site of the 'practice of everyday life.' What happens in the temporal space of that practice? What happens as the ruins of research are re/worked as e(x)criturel From the time of consent of an ethics review to the informed consent of a parent to the performance of an act of research to the writing of the action? What happens to composition as organic composting - as narratives turn and twist and relocate and decompose and the traces begin to fray at the edges? Nancy refers to fragments and fractals and frayage or the breaking of the edges of a trace. What happens to the actors as they journey through the complexities of daily life? What happens in the spectacle of doubled gazings? I seek a notion of writing as 'universal and confused' notizia.111 want my writing 'to erase, by traces, all traces.' What might happen to Slavoj ' 11 find this 'notizia' to be strangely comforting within the notion of dis/comfort. And I have lost - mis/placed- the'source.' The Greek perao relates experience to "I pass through," with implications of rites of passage. In Greek and Latin, experience is linked with peril, pirate, and ex-per-iment. Victor Turner [1986:35] First there is etymology. Experience comes from the Latin experiri, to test, try, prove. The radical is periri, which one also finds in periculum, peril, danger. The Indo-European root is per, to which are attached the ideas of crossing and, secondly, of trial, test. In Greek, numerous derivations evoke a crossing or passage: peiro, to cross; pera, beyond; perao, to pass through; peraino, to go to the end; peras, end, limit. [128] Lacoue-Labarthe [1999] And ... from Keiji Nishitani [1982] musa no sa the action of non-action 119 Zizek's plague12 of fantasies through the erasures of displacing pedagogies? What happens in aporias of impossibilities? Educed into the textual energies of Nancy entangled with the texts of Bataille, Mallarme and Blanchot, I struggle with the traces of the 'gesture' of writing. Increasingly enticed into the 1 ^ liminal passages of escaping texts, I wander from original intentions. As Nancy queries the 'gesture' of writing in the guise of a deliverance, what happens to a letter14 in the gesture of delivery? As co-conspirator, I seek to disturb my complicity in the performative act of the 'gesture.' It is within the diaspora15 of words that we (w)rite the passages of those who have already claimed diasporic dwelling spaces in the exscripted locations inscribed for them in institutional sentences. How can we rework the (w)rites so that the traces of the exilic, wanderings, enigmas are fluid in their liminality? Why have we become so entrenched with norms and standards and numerical inscriptions to suture the movements of student bodies? In narratives of exile, liminal passages wander into hybrid spatialities. How can we invoke a Jabesian sense of hospitality in welcoming the unknown person who suddenly appears from nowhere? Student stories are constituted from counter-stories u I draw from Zizek's The Plague of Fantasies as he alerts us to the 'impossibility' of the gaze. 1 31 refer to Victor Turner's notion of liminality. See Ritual process: Structure and anti-structure. Turner contends that the attributes of liminality are ambiguous - liminal rites de passage as a "moment in and out of time." Turner locates rites de passage within a sense of "communitas " - a term that he draws from Latin to denote an "unstructured or rudimentarily structured and relatively undifferentiated" community. [95-96] What happens to (w)rites of passage when we enter into the angle in un/structured? 1 4 And what happens to a student report card as it goes from post to post? See Lacan's Report Card. 1 5 Richard Stamelman in "The Graven Silence of Writing," his preface to Edmond Jabes From the Book to the Book: An Edmond Jabes Reader, contends that writing is incompatible with "meaning, certainty and knowledge." Again I am educed into nomadic writings and desert themes - to writers such as Jabes who experience the desert at the bottom of every word. What for? ... We certainly must take the risk: we must write on the book for the sake of deliverance. Writing ought to slip through the crack in the strange liber/liber homonomy, into the everyday ambiguity of livraison [delivery]. Nancy [1993:322] 120 through "the multiplicity of voices, by the rich and varied audibility of words, by assonances, rhymes, refrains, echoes, resonances, silences, and feux de mots."16 Like a magpie, I seek fragments from Jabesian texts to retell the stories of my students. Delia Pollock contends that performative writing must be "citational"1 7 - located within the interstices of writing and performance. Juxtapositionings of fragments out-of-context. Let 1 R us listen now to Michel Foucault on the disappearance of the author : ... we must locate the space left empty by the author's disappearance, follow the distribution of gaps and breaches, and watch for the openings that this disappearance uncovers. And let us return to the question of the title, into a certain angle in which we are interested. Derrida plays with the performative contradictions of the title - stretching the notion of 'suspend.' Following the interdictions of Derrida with Mallarme, one must silence the title but one is also encouraged to draw from its resources as a "germinal or seminal blank."1 9 How can we learn to listen to the blanks, the gaps, the empty spaces - to the performative contradictions - juxtapositioned within dis/placing pedagogies? The title to suspend is also, by virtue of its place, suspended, in suspense or in suspension ... The entitled, then, ensures its suspense, along with its contours, its borders, its frame. Jacques Derrida [1981:179] 1 6 From Stamelman's segment on "The Diaspora of Words" in the preface to Jabesian works [1991:xix]. 1 7 See Delia Pollock's "Performative Writing" in Phelan and Lane (Eds.) The ends of performance. Pollock contends that citational writing "underscores" the doubling of movement- "re-sighting citation" stages its own performative citationality [1998: 92-94]. 1 8 From Michel Foucault's article "What is an Author?" in Paul Rabinow (Ed.) The Foucault reader [1984:105]. 121 4b working a tit le. . . The aporetic inscription of the Gaze in displacing pedagogies is the site of David Geoffrey Smith's Pedagon20 for me - a hybrid space of agony and pedagogy. How do I write the traces of re/searching in a fluid state21 - in a state of fluidity? How does one begin to write the spillage - the slippage - how can one contain the moving bodies in the writing and how can one leave spaces for textual bodies to escape - to exit unmarked? Anthropologist Elvi Whittaker, pushing the edges of her discipline, interrogates the act of writing the other as a continuing act of colonization. If writing the other is to colonize2 2 - there is no escape from this aporia - from this aporetic inscription. Tropic imaginaries journey across disciplinary boundaries seeking a provocation in defeat. What might happen in the spaces in- between aporias? To acknowledge writing the other as a colonizing act, how can one generate spaces for escaping texts? Anthropology is finally better defined as 'gossip'... This profuse, idle talk ... comes into being through boredom and the need to chat... Scientific gossip takes place under relatively intimate conditions and mostly without witnesses; hence the gossipers' need to act in solidarity, leaning on and referring to each other for more credibility ... Gossip's pretensions to truth remain however very peculiar. The kind of truth it claims to disclose is a confidential truth that requires commitment from both the speaker and the listener [68] The anthropologist... does not find things; s/he makes them. And makes them up. [141] Trinh T. Minh-ha r 19891 From Derrida's "The Double Session" of interdictions with Plato and Mallarme in Dissemination [1981:179]. 2 0 From David Geoffrey Smith in Pedagon: InterdisciplinaryEssays in the Human Sciences, Pedagogy and Culture. Smith's notion of 'Pedagon' derives from the neologism of pedagogy and agony as the site of a cultural space for issues related to pedagogy. 2 1 A school district decentralizes, a teacher relocates, a researcher works the boundaries between presence and absence. A teacher re/searching seeks a space in the diaspora of words. 2 2 Elvi Whittaker interrogates 'writing the other' as an act of colonization in "Decolonizing knowledge: Towards a feminist ethic and methodology." See J.S. Grewal and Hugh Johnston The India-Canada relationship: Exploring the political, economic and cultural dimensions. What might happen if we were to invoke a palimpsestuous reading of this aporia through Slavoj Zizek's notion of a "provocative defeat"? What might happen to the gesture? 122 Caught in the aporetic inscription or the impossibility of writing the other - of naming the other - how does one generate spaces of exscription23 for the escaping texts of student bodies - of 'bodies that matter' in writing inscribed as e(x)criturel McDermott and Varenne make reference to a "downside" I love hats and I bought 3 to the "use of culture as a container of coherence." They !}f T h a t s ~ ?^e. a t o q u e. J t h a t w a s k n i r t i n a s m a l claim that the container "leaks." What happens in the slippery passage of the spillage? McDermott and Varenne draw from Bakhtin for their notion of culture as polyphonous and multivocalic. Entering into the in- between spaces of educational ethno/graphy, these authors/researchers tread in the space of "delicate tension" that was knitt in a small village on Chile in browns and beiges and then all of a sudden some bright pink - looks like she ran out of wool -1 love it!! another, a tarn in grays, browns, beiges from Chile-another a tarn in the wildest colors believable - including purple - and from the Patagonia, a sheepskin and wool hat that looks like something pilots wore in those old black and white war movies, has ear flaps in the dialectics of cultural difference. Acknowledging the t h a t y o u c a n P u t d o w n o r wear up - bought the big mitts too and the best part contemporary nation state as a "record keeper" and the _ their colors are supposed to match and they don't at a l l . . . perfect - we had a wonderful time - some parts reminded me of the Ghat trip - like the lamb assado. mm school as a site for the perpetuation of inequality, McDermott and Varenne contend that within the ethnography of schooling are multiple stories of institutional characters performing disabling acts. Whittaker contends that the ethnographic tradition perpetuates the anthropological metaphors of the 'self but the 'self is "only possible in society" as its presence can be cultivated only in the presence of others. Positioning the 'self as a constructed fiction, Whittaker alerts us to the ways in As a former school psychologist I was always intrigued by the outliers and now I want to disturb the averages to allow a few more student bodies to escape to the margins - escaping stigmata - so why I am so filled with the sense of fear teetering on the edge of Jean Luc Nancy's myth and abyss? 123 which we constitute the self through."the telling and the hearing" - the self as text - as metaphor. A story has many beginnings - and beginnings always begin in the middle of other stories - embedded in sedimented layerings of textual praxis. One such story begins in a classroom in an inner city school in Vancouver where East and West are schooled within the hegemonic field of the English Gaze. I remember driving by the sea in a state of ecstatic anticipation to begin the unveiling of veils, I found my 'self travelling on the trope of metaphor. An innukshuk24 as a signpost had become the icon of metaphor - but in the end re/marked a re-turning of the nomad to a space of original difficulty. Metonymy began to speak from the spaces of the 'unsaid.' Driving past the innukshuk facing out to sea, I was curiously reassured by this sign and its signification. But in addressing the problem of the interval - this arche-texture of stones dislocated from context - Gerard Genette's notion of the palimpsest or a text's relationships with 'other' texts - perhaps was leading me to dis/placing signs and signatures. Within the dis/placement are the possibilities of multiple readings and 'in-between'26 readings. Dislocated from the hummocks of Arctic tundra a diasporic narrative of innukshuk draws me to a fictional place of nostalgia invoking traces of dis/comfort. And while I drift within the moments of nostalgia - I travel while dwelling-at-home while a friendship dwells-at- home while travelling. I had yet to read the sly spatialities of the nostalgia metaphor. There are moments when I cannot bear to not be somewhere else. Was international tango day on Friday - we were downtown at the main square where there are 12 lanes of traffic and an orchestra is playing and a famous woman is singing tango and it is 24C and the sky has stars - and god it felt good to be there! I really like tango music! mmm dear tangoing in argentina from hatless in Vancouver PP Innukshuk is an Innuit denotation for a signpost - as always in translation bearing multiple meanings. 2 5 See reference to Philippe Lejeune's notion of a palimpsestuous reading. 2 6 February 3rd, 1999: Ted T. Aoki shares with his students his difficulties in providing signifiers for a paper to be published as he dwells in the in-between spaces - in the spaces in-between signifiers. Again cryptonymic inscriptions within the performativity of a 'house arrest' suture points-de-capiton. 124 A re/search project - entitled "Performing assessment/Assessing performance" - through moments of happenstance - took me to a school in inner city Vancouver to a class - where traces of my own past narratives came to be re-written. Students from Eastern Europe and from Asia came together in a site where the English gaze is captured in the act of the spectacle. I am the looker and the looked-at as spectator and actor in the performativity of the spectacle.27 signing the void... M y intention was drawn from the context of multiple locations in my student/teacher/researcher roles. Letters to parents were translated in a multiplicity of languages in meticulous scripts and returned with signatures of consent. Only later was I witness to the performativity of the act of consent we signed because ... From the voice of a parent: I represent a group of parents... And what am I hearing through the opacity of the acoustic gaze? [I present again - one more time - beyond the signature] Adhering to the haunted dictations of ethical review, Letters of Consent in a multiplicity of linguistic translations and inscriptions are dispersed and signatures return affirming parental consent to re/search their children. Informed consent or consenting to in-form? Attending to the Lacanian 'where,' we listen for the location of the signatures. The intended re/search - in the moment of looking again - performs beyond To take the wrong door means indeed to go against the order that presided over the plan of the house, over the layout of the rooms, over the beauty and rationality of the whole. But what discoveries are made possible for the visitor! The new path permits him to see what no other than himself could have perceived from that angle. Edmond Jabes [1991:5] 2 71 draw from Giorgio Agamben the meaning of 'spectacle' as language. Agamben contends that in the event of the spectacle "our own linguistic nature comes back to us inverted." See The coming community [1993:79], 125 its utterance as in Judith Butler's 'excitable speech'... original intentions are deferred - the singularity of the original destroyed in the metonymic spaces of a doubled moment - of a live(d) experience of fission. The frayed edges of a trace in the breaking of a path disperse as , , , A door towards which we would have bent our Jacques Derrida's 'cinders on cinders' that 'remain without steps, moved by I don't know what lost reason, remaining.' Listen to Derrida's cryptic little inscription - IIy a la w h a t insatiable desire to unlearn or to founder in j , . . T , _ A l the abyss, will never cendre - a phantom presence in an absence. I draw from the have misled us Greek khratein referring to an engraving, the first mark of the EdmondJabes [1991:5] signature, the preserved sign as signature - the signature as a given - deja la - and yet a not-yet-there - non encore la. The signature performing beyond its inscription - re-marking the blindspot. Derrida contends that writing is not the site of a hermeneutic deciphering - writing is read - what happens when the writer reads beyond the writing? The characters - Julia Kristeva's 'psychic contractions' enter the And if this house was in ruins? And if spaces of ambiguity constituted through the act of doublings. From J ^ ™ ™ Wf g r e broken stone, it is the voice of a parent: I represent a group of parents. I present again - every grain of sand that would then one more time - beyond the signature - the signatures are performing answer for our passage. beyond their consent beyond the site of inscription - the site of the act Edmond Jabes fl991:61 of engraving - moving beyond the crypt - phantoms emerge from a re-textured site. We signed because ... and Lacanian ink marks the return of the uncanny - the unheimlich - from the crypt. We are listening to the voices of the signatures 126 speaking beyond the act-of-signing - consenting to a deferral of signification. The blindspot begins to speak from its empty space of silence. The silence of consent articulates its passage through dialectic doublings. We are listening to the sounds of silence through the frayed edges of a trace - the breaking of a path. Could this be a Metonymic moment of curricular re/search - within the space of a doubling of discourse - a doubling within the space of dis/closure? Within the performativity of parental signatures - that perform beyond their inscription - I am summoned to listen to their queries concerning location. They have already arrived at the 'where' - there to greet me when I arrive - they are not looking for the 'what' that I was there to offer. Parental signatures perform the queries I want to ask but that are not covered in my ethics review. They were already there in the space of Nancy's e(x)criture before I had located the signifier - perhaps before Nancy had written it down. Why did it take me so long for my arrival ? It was not about 'what' they can do; it was all about 'where' they were? About borders and boundaries and borderlands. About border crossings that tremble and stammer as the phantom stalks from the crypt. Silences and cries performing from the space of the 'blindspot' - from beyond the ethical review - from the space of extimite - from the extradiscursive space? Parents were interrogating exclusionary spaces of placement and absent curriculum. They were seeking a voice to speak for them. The form and the structure of the Ethics Review become an aporetic inscription or a site of impossibility. How can we study a metonymic moment - the minute that you think that you have it in the grasp of your hand or contained on a line in a form you know that it's no longer there. So you know that you have to perform the inscriptions so that you can begin to exscribe. 127 Following in the footprints of the law and why? Cixous would answer Here, already, the with: "Because. As you know this is the secret of the law ... It is this t e x t stammers while attempting r 1 1 1- i , • T t 0 speak the because that rules our lives. It pervades everything. It can even reach unspeakable, it suspends, shows the fragile world of translation." The dictations of the ethical review reserve. Calle-Gruber foreclose on the "blindspots." The blindspots can only speak from the ^i^Itl^fJ!!!, space of silence. The unsayable can only speak for itself and we can only learn to listen - to listen otherwise and elsewhere. Helene Cixous [1997:154] Writing is not destined to leave traces, but to erase by traces, all traces, to disappear in the fragmentary space of writing more definitely than one disappears in the tomb ... Maurice Blanchot [1992:50] Interjected in the assessment process the live(d) experience of the classroom - students entering meant students exiting under the law of numerical cartographies - one exit - one sliding outward - brings queries of another exit - again the cartography of exit criteria - geo/graphical moments in pedagogical sites. Writing the space/spacing the w(rite)s. A non-sentence to escape from the retributive suturing of the sentence. Sometimes fragments must exit from the sentence for another chance at risking ... just as students request an exit in order to take another chance at risking ... but numerical inscriptions suture them - numbers in hegemonic utterances outperform the significations of request. Is that what it's all about - Orpheus coming and going - a displacement the necessary condition for the condensation. Metonymy in a chiasmatic moment with metaphor ... 2 9 See Cixous [1993:117]. 128 Encountering frequent references to the messy text as a cinematic text, I am intrigued with the notion of what Homi Bhabba terms Time's duration, which constitutes time, has no other fixity than its incessant vanishing. "displaced acceleration" - drawing from Derrida the term [42] Jean-Luc Nancy[1993] The birth to Presence acceleration - for a re/newed sense of rhythm in the writing Tr^mbh!18i . c J 0 differentiates, defers, identity: that is how 'gesture.' Norman Denzin calls for a voyeur's cinematic text in identity is given. [32] a new experimental ethnography - to match the lived experiences of its subject matter. The cinematic text allows for movement in the unstable relationship between representation and its players. Bhabba, moving with the "techne" of the media, invites us into the process of "erasure- within-exposure" whereby "a tiny spark of contingency"31 generated from a gap in the frame becomes perhaps another way to travel. What might this mean for dis/locating pedagogies - for the lived experiences of student bodies - bodies that matter in the sites of displaced acceleration? For identities always already on the run? See Norman Denzin's Interpretive ethnography: Ethnographic practices for the 21s' century. 3 1 Bhabba extends his notion of an exilic leap to a movement toward an exilic ethic located in the interstices between psychoanalysis and history. See his preface "arrivals and departures" in Hamid Naficy's Home, exile, homeland: Film, media, and the politics of place. 129 Huddled within the wintered darkness of my coat, sheltering my 'self from another late afternoon downpour, I'm hurrying slowly from my car - Calvino's notion of festina lente32 - gathering the clutter of books and bags and packages ready to make the trudge up the back lane across the slippery mudslide of the backyard to the deck. A car stops suddenly on Crown Street and a Queen Mary mother leaps out — and we are suddenly entangled in torrents of interdictions oblivious of the rain streaming through wet strands of hair dripping in rivulets down our faces - we have inscribed ourselves into the tensionality - the fluid beat and rhythm of the metron of the earth — we plan to meet at a Japanese restaurant to continue the dialogue — we are both grad students - teacher/mother/student/friend - roles blur and stain in the downpour of a wet Vancouver afternoon as we seek escaping texts from institutional sentences. Is this where re/search happens - out of context - a moment of contingency where fragments collide, disperse and re/position in a fluid state in the downpour of an afternoon — with back/words stained through a downpour of fluid rhythms - another chance to take a risk - re/working the ruins. Within the happenstance of the moment - frayed edges of a trace — re/searching in the moment. What might happen from a polyphony of voices blurring boundaries transgressing borders - listening for the unsayable to speak for itself? This story is embedded in the middle of an/other story - a story in which I co- inhabit the space from which to disturb the co-inhabitants. And my 'self - de-centered within the trembles of a disturbance on the screen. This story translates - lives on - sur-vivre. i / L I'm comforted by the textual energy of Italo Calvino's paradoxical play of words finding myself so often in the texture of this moment. Sometimes scrambling with back/words in my haste to seek meaning from an unreadible space. Texts become unreadable only when we seek clarity and certainty. The stain ... collapses the distance between the body and the image which defines it. [201] Like the stain, the pose puts the subject who assumes it "in the picture." [203] The representational force which the pose exerts is so great that it radiates outward, and transforms the space around the body and everything which comes into contact with it . . . [203] The pose is also generative of mise-en-scene. [203] Kaja Silverman 1996 130 -a -a Re/located in the site of an elementary school, I am caught in the aporetic inscriptions of writing the other caught in the anxiety of the gaze turned back upon itself - what are the (w)rites saying about the (w)riter? Derrida insists that one must co-inhabit in order to disturb the co-inhabitants. How to stay at the site of tension - how to journey within the site of tension - to locate the rhythm of the metron of the earth - to journey at the edge of myth and abyss - how - when you don't know how - when you can only open to ex/posure? In deconstructing ex/posure, let's begin to journey through the liminal (w)rites of passage of the cinematic text. The pose3 4 - embedded in the screen - represents the metaphor - or Zizek's troppo fisso - the frozen gaze. Silverman draws from Lacan on the agency of the human subject caught in an imaginary capture. In the human domain, Lacan contends that man "maps himself in the capture: "How? In so far as he isolates the function of the screen and plays with it. Man, in effect, knows how to play with the mask as that beyond which there is the gaze." I sense that I have been a witness to this play with mask that exceeds any possibility of the (w)rites of passage and sometimes I may even catch glimpses of my "se l f as a player - in the reflection in the tain of the mirror. Characters performing on the slippery space of a liminal passage. How can one write in such a way to let the student body come and go? S/he who re/fuses most strongly the (w)rites - who escapes the text always in advance who exscribes her/story hi(s)tory from the text is s/he who is there to teach me. I freeze...as if anticipating the still I am about to become; mimicking its opacity, its stillness; inscribing, across the surface of my body, photography's 'mortification' of the flesh. Craig Owens [1992: 210] The self is, after all, in continual transformation, like a rolling film, which when stilled to a frame becomes something else. It is now depictable, but what is the quality of the depicting and what it aspires to represent? Elvi Whittaker [1992: 65] 3 3 I am an English Language Centre teacher - who doubles in the role of student researcher who cannot halt the traces of traces that emerge through the doubling of roles. I was an outsider in the exclusionary space of a classroom for ESL students and now I am an insider in a space from which student bodies come and go. 3 41 knew that it was time to bring the cinematic voice of Kaja Silverman into the textual screen but couldn't locate her. Finally - wedged behind the bookshelf having teetered precariously and finally descending as in Cixous' ladder of writing - ascending in its descent -1 coaxed it from the dusty point-de-capiton of its lodging - from ex/posure to the pose [202]. What might happen in the spaces between Whittaker's 'self and Silverman's 'pose' - in the angle of space within ex/posure? 131 A phone call late in the evening - Hermes jouneying through an underground of wireless messages - from the writer-to-the-reader to the reader-reading-the-reader-reading the writer - the phantasmatic Hermes leaving a tremble in the wake - a palimpsestuous reading of the purloined letter35 - a letter that never arrives at its destination and yet always arrives at its destination. A letter that travels from post to post while the written 'other' is escaping the text. And the aporetic inscriptions suture the writer - sentence the writer in a house arrest. The signature - a sign - a signpost of inscription. The written having escaped from the text long before the act of inscription, how does the writer escape the fate of a death sentence in an act of voyeurism? What happens when the letter is returned - in the space of impossibility of a return - what happens when silence utters its cry through the e(x)scription of an inscription - (t)here ... now? M y writing with intention has opened to spaces of spectrality - inviting the phantom into negative spaces on the stage of metonymy to make tremble textual inscriptions. I am drawn now - open to spaces invoking a hermetic "angelology."36 The Greek angelos means messenger and the arch-messenger in Greek mythology is Hermes.37 I'm increasingly curious about my invocations of these mythical figures - to tempt the laws of ethical review? - to educe from them spaces of incantations and provocations - to tell the stories that cannot be told - to let the stories speak from a space of else/where/ness? Increasingly aware that my readings of my students are located within the aporetic38 condition of unreadibility, I am amazed at what is happening in the spaces in-between - The notion of the purloined letter here refers to a student report card stalled and delivered at multiple destinations - and finally in a herme(neu)tic journey over telephone waves forwarded back to me and now the back/words - listening with a third ear. I note that Elisabeth Roudinesco in her biography, Jacques Lacan, has an appendix entitled "Jacques Lacan's Report Card." I wonder how he would be read as a purloined letter. 3 6 From Performance Research 3 (2) - a richly bountiful emporium of textual praxis 3 7 We are studying Greek myths and I'm working with a group of ESL students re/searching. These myths rewrite themselves in a myriad of contexts and out-of-context here. I find myself becoming entangled in Derrida's readerly writings of Greek myths. In Dissemination, I find a reference to Thoth, the Egyptian equivalent to the Greek Hermes "as the god of language second and of linguistic difference." Derrida contends that Thoth "can become the god of the creative word only by metonymic substitution, by historical displacement, and sometimes by violent subversion" [89]. Derrida traces the narratives of Thoth through an infinite chain of 'plots', 'intrigues' and 'conspiracies.' My students - already frayed edges of Derridian traces - (w)rites of passage - wanderings with Thoth. 3 8 March 20 th another Saturday shift at Spartacus - after a long and tedious stint at dialing members to inform them of the forthcoming annual sale I seek a moment of refuge at the shelf of new releases and as always find some words to disrupt whatever aporetic state I have found myself in. Today it is in Philippe 132 where happenstance locates itself. From Enrique Pardo, who acknowledges his artistic location in the space of hybridity, I'm drawn into the 'angel's hideout' - a performative geo/graphy of an "ange qui derange" or a disturbing angel. Within the borderlands of exclusionary spaces in pedagogical sites, disturbing angels in liminal spaces of passage perform beyond the text that seeks to (w)rite the passage. I want my teaching space to be an 'angel's hideout' where identities can come and go. Where messages would speak from 'unsayable' spaces i f we could learn to listen otherwise. Abraham and Torok refer to a "third" ear listening to our listening. And Derrida insists that the cryptophore be shared with a "third" ... more than one ... "held in so as to be crossed out." And let's attend to Benjamin's "angel of history"39 in a paradoxical movement turned backwards into the future by the storm of progress. Benjamin announces that "a storm is blowing from Paradise ... This storm is what we call progress." Benjamin contends that the tradition of the oppressed teaches us that we are always in a "state of emergency" - a space of original difficulty - a space of tensionality. The angel of history envisions a continuing catastrophe with "wreckage upon wreckage" hurled at him; the storm blowing from Paradise gets caught in his wings and "irresistibly propels him into the future to which his back is turned, while the pile of ruins before him grows skyward." Blanchot's murmure in the Pedagon. Lacoue-Labarthe's text entitled Poetry as Experience. The text opens with a citation querying art: "... accompany art into your own unique place of no escape. And set yourself free." And more Cixous - in time to gently quell the anxious tremors that quiver at the departures of escaping texts - / 'etrangete - the foreignness in feminine - slippages that startle - always from the footnotes traces relocating. From First Days of the Year I read what I have always sensed - that one can open a Cixousian text at any page and in the entrance find an exit from the impossibility of an aporia just as one can enter Derrida's Glas anywhere to find an else/where/ness. To cut the text [coupe] is to create a gap in the aporia - to escape from the impossibility - for just a moment - in a moment of frayage - or the breaking of the edges of a trace. 3 9 Benjamin refers to a Klee painting named "Angelos Novus" which shows an angel with his face turned toward the past. In the painting, an angel looks with staring eyes, open mouth and spread wings "as though he is about to move away from something he is fixedly contemplating." [257] Hannah Arendt in the introduction to Illuminations refers to Benjamin's metaphors understood in the sense of metapherein (to transfer). What is unsaid in the space of Metonymy that generates the paradoxical moment? 133 From the School of Dreams, Helene Cixous delights in the crowd of ascending and descending angels on Jacob's ladder40 - the "toing and froing of messengers."' Is this how she got to the School of Roots - ascending in her descent - descending in her ascent? Writing in the School of Roots takes us into the space of "immundity." Cixous draws from the Latin immundus - from the French immonde - from the Brazilian immundo. And from the English unclean - impure - out-of-the-world. Cixous repeats the story of a woman and a cockroach - in Brazilian, Cixous informs us, "the word for cochroach is barata, and it is feminine. So a woman meets a cockroach ...." And a story happens. I'm so envious - orange trees and cockroaches too -1 think you should organize a trip and take your compadres on an adventure - carambe - keep throwing in a few Spanish words -1 need to pretend that I'm somewhere else - looking forward to hearing more about your teaching adventures -1 had another great day although ...pp stuff is beginning to bloom all over the place around this city and it smells good too - lots or orange trees on my way to school - saw a cockroach in the house today too - but... mmm [our friendship began in north africa with orange trees and olive trees and cockroaches and camels ... and pomegranates, too ...] And in the Pedagon, students dwell within ex/clusionary spaces of an immund wor(l)d in the School of Roots - out of the mundas - the world. The school of roots is the highest and the deepest and the most profound. Students enter into the wor(l)ds of promise but what happens as the we is split for the incoming other. Derrida contends that he has learned that he no longer has to distinguish between promise and terror. What terror haunts the promise in the Name-of-the-Good - in our Pedagons? How can we enter the Cixous cites from a passage in the Book of Genesis: "Jacob ... dreamed that there was a ladder set up on the earth, and the top of it reached to heaven; and behold, the angels of God were ascending and descending on it!" Cixous is enticed with the notion of descending angels and then the two-way flow of movement in ascending and descending. From the metaphor of Jacob's ladder, Cixous writes herself within the space of metonymic moments - moving in the spaces in-between metonymy and metaphor. What Blanchot might term a murmure. 134 School of Roots as co-inhabitants writing otherwise from elsewhere spaces? In the wake of specters and angels and hermetic messengers. Translating difference into the work. The arrivals and departures of student bodies in the 'angel's hideout' are announced through multiple guises behind cool dark sunglasses, cd's and md's - mini discs - the latest gifts from absentee fathers mark(et)ing presence in an absence in the constellation of a satellite family. 'Psycho-guy' and 'Rat Boy' — names marked through the interdictions of their syllables - student bodies remarking and remarked by the language of student signs and signatures - the message resonating in the spaces-in- between. On the empty stage of metonymy these student bodies as 'characters 'play out the beat and rhythm of the metron of the earth. Intertextuality as choreography in a web of chaos and complexity. These are the students I want to write - without ethical consent - so that the emptied spaces might speak for themselves - to listeners who might hear their own stories speaking - re/written through the dynamic force - or the generative space - of the interval. The alchemy begins to stir from the debris of bodies casting off residue in the liminal passage of a few degrees of freedom. Silence is perhaps a word, a paradoxical word, the silence of the word silence, yet surely we feel it is linked to the cry, the voiceless cry, which breaks with all utterances, which is addressed to no one and which no one receives, the cry that lapses and decries. Like writing ... the cry tends to exceed all language. [Blanchot [1986:51] The Writing of the Disaster Silence as a will not to say or a will to unsay, a language of its own, has barely been explored. Trinh T. Minh-ha [1991:151] When the Moon Waxes Red Blanchot contends that " i f there is, among all words, one that is unauthentic, then surely it is the word authentic." So how do we perform an act of the (w)rite knowing in advance the lack of authenticity in authentic? The subject body has escaped the text before the (w)rites of the passage and the text travels from sender to an addressee as a purloined letter to a destination - where? To an elseWhere? To an else/where/less? Let's enter into the interdictions of Derrida and Lacan on re-readings of Poe's purloined letter. Let's imagine what might happen to the letter after the body has escaped from the text. What happens for the sake of deliverance? 135 The drama of the purloined letter, according to Derrida, "begins at the moment - which is not a moment - when the letter is retained [se garde]." Is this when the signature inscribes itself - announces a retention - the signature that marks the moment - the moment that is not a moment? And then the letter is sent on its journey from reader to reader - multiple readings of a textual screen - readings from the space of an else/where/ness. Lacan would contend that the letter always arrives at its destination because to seek is to have arrived. But reading Lacan with Derrida's "Le Facteur de la Verite," complicates the narrative. In staging a return to The Purloined Letter, Derrida offers us "a glimpse" - it is possible only to glimpse - the "without-possible-return-of-the-letter, the other scene of its remaining."41 Derrida takes on as a point-de-capiton or anchoring point from Lacan's Seminar the "divisibility of the letter" insistent that the divisibility of the letter is also the divisibility of the signifier and of the subjects, the characters, and the positions that are subjected to representation by the letter. Derrida alerts us to the doubling of doubles in the character of the narrator which he contends the Seminar neglects to address. And the symptom - an error that forces dessein [design] into des tin [destiny]. The spark from an error that is exscribed continues to generate possibilities far beyond inscription. I have yet to decipher Barbara Johnson who troubles the spaces in-between Lacan and Derrida on the purloined letter. 136 Drawing from Derrida's doubling of doubles, what happens to language - to writing the other - in the liminal spaces of student friendships? What happens in the divisibility of characters? Students crossing country borders to be relocated within exclusionary practices of new borders. A transgression that carries the law along with it. A language that speaks to the 'rapture.' 'So happy' - a fragment broken loose from a sentence that has another chance to take a risk. A teacher 'so happy' — a 'so happy teacher' - we play with the words as they spin on the axis of impossibility. And the letter arrives with Hermes with the specter of Thoth and intrigue. And the violence of language as friendship splinters. The students ask me if the Greek myths are true and if they are not true why do we have to learn them - why can't we learn what is true and we begin to enter the groundlessness of 'truth A 2 - treading on a fault line. Ifind myself in the play of mythical characters to open spaces for Metonymic movement when I want to say what cannot be said. Bounding now in a moment of Bhabba's 'exilic' leap out of the textual interdictions of Lacan and Derrida, what might this mean for a writer relocated in the pedagogical site of a 'Pedagon'43? A doubling of doubles within the role of a narrator. How can one proceed within these spaces of internal drifting? Through a mise-en-abyme leaving spaces ... for the decentered 'self and 'other' to come and go ... writing with fractals and fragments? 4 1 Derrida makes reference to the divisibility of the letter in " Le Facteur de la Verite" in The Post Card. 4 2 Today I purchased finally The little book of unsuspected subversion by Edmond Jabes. "Truth [he says] knows all shades of subversion." Each Saturday I return home to 'unpack my library.' Today during my shift another bookstore called to warn of a book thief and I took down the descriptors - the signs - of a book thief and entered them - inscribed them into the staff diary for others to read. And me -1 too am a book thief -1 take fragments out from their contextual dwellings forcing them to take 'exilic leaps' into my text boxes into my footnotes. Jabes contends that "subversion is the very movement of writing." 4 31 re-enter David Geoffrey Smith's notion of the Pedagon - a neologism of pedagogy and agony. It is a space that invokes the 're' of the return. Listen once more to Blanchot: "To come again would be to ex- center oneself anew, to wander." 137 'being'-out-of-time... One day in January - in just one moment of the day. We are engaged in a professional development day - carousal brainstorming in a palimpsestuous journey around-the- room-with-paper. And I am suddenly marked by the Gaze as in/appropriate - to the space of the in/appropriate/d other 4 just at the moment of bonding - The speech act performs beyond its utterance ... I am pronounced unbound - unbounded through being bounded with the violence of words. The cryptonomies45 of archival cultures of academia stalk the phantom in a house arrest. What was said was not inappropriate but the timing was inappropriate. Or so I was told in an act of interpellation. But is there not something uncanny here - the presence of the unheimlich? Is not the being-out-of-time a misfire that opens for generative possibilities - a spark of contingency? How is it possible that something that happens can be 'out-of-time' - only through the utterance of a speech act that declares it so - a speech act that then performs its utterance? The speaking out-of-time must be juxtapositioned with someone being out-of-place. The presence not of someone missing but of someone being out-of-place. The performativity 4 4 Trinh T. Minh-ha in FramerFramed comments on her own positionings: "Even and especially when I visibly walk in the 'center' with all spotlights on, I feel how utterly inappropriate(d)ly 'other' I remain." [156] 4 51 am drawn to the notion of 'cryptonomy' . Derrida in 'Fors' - the preface to The Wolf Man's Magic Word - contends that the crypt is more than a metaphor for the gap inside; it is ... and then Derrida asks if "this strange space" of the "crypt" is hermetically sealed and provides a cryptic response: "The crypt can constitute its secret only by means of ... its fracture." Translator Nicholas Rand contends that cryptonymy treats the barrier between signifier and signified as a space of umeadibility. How then to interpret the resistance to meaning? The house haunted the phantoms: here and there, a threshold where there was no ground. [ I l l ] Transgression does not transgress the law, it carries it away with it. [101] Translating, the bringing into "work" of difference. Friendship [56] Maurice Blanchot a (re)appropriation of the inappropriate(d) body - the relations directly built up between the problematics of translation; the multiple (re)naming ... and the plural expropriation — of bodies. Translation, like, identity, is a question of getting several cultures on a single body... so hybridization ... is not only between ... but... within ... Trinh [1992: 142-144] 138 of power in the spectacle of an event - the presence of someone being out-of-time juxtaposed with someone being out-of-place - in the doubling of performances46 of the uncanny ...a spark ... Last day - woke up to the comforting sound of rain Do you translate by eye or by ear? reverberating on the skylights -1 went to sleep with the T r a n s l a t i o n s e e k s f a i t h f i l l n e s s a n d accuracy and ends up always rain forecast anticipating the arrival - grateful that on betraying either the letter of the text, its spirit, or its aesthetics. the last day of spring break - rain would blur and stain T r i n h T - M i n h - h a [1992:.80] The original text is always already the boundaries of the return. One last remaining day to a n impossible translation that renders translation impossible struggle with words - to bear witness to their hold - in Barbara Johnson 7 f . . r , , , ~ , [cited by Trinh 1992:.80] the amorphous grey oj the jirst day oj spring - the first Grafting several languages, cultures in an inversion of the last - the trees across the street and realities onto a single body. The problem of translation, after baring their branches with the first whispered traces of a "> i s a P r o b l e m of reading and A J f j identity. Trinh T. Minh-ha Framer Framed [ 1992: 89] green come to anticipate an arrival in spaces of greyness. Flower pots on the balcony blown over from the force of pacific winds born at sea and returning to the land oblivious to borders and boundaries. Yesterday was a postcard pretty day - and as postcards do - it went away - and the rains came back in their metonymic fluidity. Just in time for the w(rites) to slide in a slippery passage. How to write a child who slips away in a continuous deferral of meaning? In the introduction to Cixous' The Book of Promethea, translator Betsy Wing opens with the title "A Translator's Imaginary Choices." Wing makes reference to Philip Lewis and his notion of "clusters of textual energy." If writing 'otherwise' is to drive the discourse, then how do the clusters happen? Wing alerts us to the "little shiver of delight - the "frisson" - [the French] feel when wrestling with ideas. 139 Re/located back in school after spring break, I'm trying to get my student editor back for a school newspaper-long-in-the-becoming and he responds to me in a very quiet - barely audible voice: "but - there is no newspaper" - and so how do we begin again in the middle of an empty space. A student again leads me into the space of noThing. A student escaping a text or a text opening to a student or a chiasmatic flow in the spaces in-between? A tec the notion of negative space ... the vitality of the Void in the relationships between object and non- object, or between I and non-I... emptiness here is not merely opposed to fullness or objecthood; it is the very site that makes forms and contents possible - that is , also inseparable. [142] I would prefer to talk about threshold, frontier, limit, exhaustion, and suspension; about void as the very space for an infinite number of possibilities; ... The work is brought to the borderlines, to a certain exhaustion of meaning, thereby suspending its closure ... [259] The step you take is the finished step But every finished step is still a step, a work-in-progress. [260] Trinh T. Minh-ha Framer Framed [1992] learning to listen with a third ear? Friday morning — I don't work on Fridays this term so that I can continue ex-scribing my inscriptions ... today at noon the program arrived for the AERA47 conference — reading through the eyes of a wounded writer my English gaze on the prowl - I looked to see what signifiers had passed the bar - everything was in English - not-a-word in French or any of the languages that are alive in the practice of everyday life in Montreal - not even her accent aigu is she allowed to have — only a mention of 'la Rue Maisonneuve.' Is that why I wanted to return to the streets of Montreal - to re-visit the streets of nostalgic longing for that sense of chez nous — on la Rue Maisonneuve ? Would Easter weekend here is called semana santa ... ave you writing over easter weekend ... we are not traveling anywhere as [husband] has to be on standby for the system - we'll take the days later in may - just enjoying all the fish that my favourite woman is making in her little fish shop ... and the flowers - have a vase of those floppies on the fireplace in the living room, white roses in the bedroom and three huge white flowers in a copper vase that stands about a meter high that our landlady left with the house. ta luego mmm it be there? My proposal submitted to the American Educational Research Association was rejected and as a wounded writer I persist in reading the multitudes of e-mail notices regarding the upcoming conference. And recently, was ex-static - in a perverse sort-of-way - to read a missive from an AERA Webmaster following an extensive cautionary note regarding identification papers for the border crossing: We wish everyone who '11 be attending the meetings a safe and "adventure-less "journey. 140 An excursion now into Derridean play with memory and 48 truth - landmarks offering multiple ways to wander from meaning. Derrida makes reference to Plato whom he contends never separates the unveiling of truth alethia, from the movement of anamnesia. From Derrida - a reference which delineates the closure of metaphysics - a reference which is displaced through the "workings of a certain syntax" or "a writing that both marks and goes back over its mark with an undecidable stroke." Your flower stories have inspired me this weekend -1 went to granville island and bought a small Japanese maple (weeping) and a small Japanese pine and rearranged my balconies - now all I need are a few splashes of flowers and the passion flower vines when they arrive at hobbs nursery - hobbs has just published a gardening book and has subtitles like 'blurring' and 'zonal denials' - I love it - and he'll be in my footnotes when I cite those titles - and - with your 'floppies' in a textbox slidding down the page - hobbs and mmm blurring boundaries with zonal denials. pp inscriptions of a vacant space ... In my sessions at the school each day, the students were requested to write a journal about what they had learned about their learning. And so each day the students dutifully wrote about memory, organization and strategies. But one day, one young boy wrote in his neat and tidy script numerated as requested from I to 3. At the number I slot he wrote 'nothing' - at the number 2 slot he wrote 'nothing' - at the number 3 slot he wrote 'nothing.' I can remember my concern that he thought he was learning nothing and I repeated my mediational strategies - intensified my mediation - so that I could get him to record someThing. But he had arrived at the empty void and was waiting for me there. He was already at the 'where' while I was sutured in the space of the 'what.' It is only now in the writing that I realize where he was locating himself from the Latin assidere - to sit beside Assessment, in this sense, is participatory, implicated in learner understandings, inseparable from instructing - that is, it is an integral part of every teaching act, an idea that is closely aligned with the notion of teaching as listening. Brent Davis [1996:2441 From "The Double Session" in Dissemination, the editor's note explains that the participants were handed a sheet on which a passage from Plato's Philebus (38e-39e) and Mallarme's Mimique (Pleiade, p.310) were printed. The editor shares with the readers the typography and topography of that handout and asks - and I think this must be a moment of Blanchot's murmure - Is it pointless to add that a blackboard stood covered with a series of framed and numbered quotations? And that the room was lighted by a sumptuous, old-fashioned lustre? [172] 141 and what may have been left unsaid. It has taken me years of study to locate the space of nothingness - Nishida Kitaro's topoi of 'nothingness' - mu no basho - and he was already there. How did he find his way there? How much 'homework' - how much unlearning is there yet for me to do? Knowing that dwelling on diagonals in the spaces in-between (un/learning) is a difficult space for tarrying. Feminist anthropologist Kamela Visweswaran plays on a very grey and rainy day and , • , r A l , . . missed [daughter] ... we went out the pedagogical sense of the word homework ... as a f o r . . . l u n c h together and just kind of hung out the rest of the day discipline of unlearning as much as of learning."49 And .. .referring to the English gaze ... .when I went to the English Derrida insists that we co-inhabit in order to disturb the c o u n c i l m e e t i n8> t h e r e t w a s a woman from Britain who spoke with such authority about the co-inhabitants. What happens when we do this "at right English and the authority of English.. .and all I could think of home" - chez nous? It must be done but how? Clifford w h e n 1 w a s looking at her was English gaze, perfect example, (1997) in dialogue with Hall and Bhabba refers to ^ S . ^ d t o b e S ' S n d ' s e e the facial expressions et al ... but traveling-in-dwelling and dwelling-in-travel. The travel I am sure you are understanding. mmm metaphor was taken as far as it could go and then began the query of where it could not go. Who gets to travel? The site of resistance and an opening to transnational contexts. How to dwell chez nous? How to dwell entre nous? Let us enter into the discursive spaces of Ted Aoki who shares with his readers some lingering pedagogical moments50 as spaces for dwelling in transnational contexts: From Kamela Visweswaran in Fictions of Feminist Ethnography. 5 0 From an Aokian segment entitled "In the Metonymic Space of 'Narrative and Narration'" in a paper-to- be-published. 142 I experienced in the writing of narratives of life/not life, many pauses, spaces where I was drawn to linger a while. Where were these moments? Most of them were occasions when I tarried with negatives embedded in the doubling of "things and no-things," of "and and not-and," of "enjoining and disjoining," of the ambiguity of "this and that" instead of "this or that," of the difficult space of "life and not-life," of "center and the centerless," of "the visible and the invisible," but, most lingeringly, in the metonymic space between "narrative and narration." And within those 'in-between' spaces I have come to experience intertextuality as a living process. Working at Spartacus co-operative bookstore as volunteer staff has taken me across city boundaries and across the disciplinary borders of bookshelves. I have become so entangled in the texts that the boundaries are blurred and stained with zonal denials. Writing as reader means writing in moments of persistent instability - in a practice of hermeneutic circularity - as author/ities become entangled in their transtextual praxis. Writing then inscribes itself into middle spaces journeying on rhyzomatic pathways in a messy text. While I dwell-at-home friends who continue to traverse country boundaries continue the web of entanglements. Dis/placing pedagogies, they travel to the limits of travel and then bumping the edges of the limits they push at the boundaries once more. Is it because we have crossed borders so many times that the webs are so entangled? Willing to risk - living to risk - as fragments out-of-context? Re/fusing adventure-less lives. 143 A busy street corner - a bicycle - a helmet - a sudden flash of recognition - a teacher out-of-context - a student out-of-time - a 'third ear' listening as a student body escapes the text - escapes the stigmata of recognition - my third ear grins at the fleeting glimpse of a zonal denial: "It's not me ..." re/appropriation in a refusal of recognition. And yet those performative words are relocated here in this text - caught in the diagonal of ethno/graphy in an aporetic52 inscription but the student body has long escaped the text leaving the words to trail behind as traces, relics, fragments of one who journeys in a liminal passage. Exscribing a 'self at the moment of utterance - the speech act performing beyond its utterance. Hermes as messenger in an ex-static moment with Thoth echoing a refrain. The screen stained in a flicker of ex/posure. The gaze - the look - the pose. Metonymy slides - glissement - in endless deferral of meaning — a psychic contraction - a character performs on the empty stage of metonymy - a helmet on wheels in a circular spin - me and not me — marked and not marked - the sign empties of meaning to collide with itself- the sign that is there and yet not there. I, the Song, I walk here. An exilic leap from the boundaries of contextual contraints. Rapture. 5 1 From a street corner somewhere in Eastern Europe to a street corner in Western Canada - the exilic leap repeats itself- each leap of the 're' inscribed like the 'ex' -1 return the reader to Blanchot: "to ex-center oneself anew, to wander. Only the nomadic affirmation remains." 5 2 Delia Pollock contends that performative writing "spins ... on the axis of the impossible and/or regressive reference ..." She refers to "six excursions into ..." I want to play with the "ex" of excursion. Pollock speaks of performative writing as evocative or making possible the absent to be present. I want to make a space for the present to be absent - a space for letting go ... This morning Saturday April 3 r d it was very quiet at Spartacus - Easter weekend - There was time to read and I can finally take home today Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe's Poetry as Experience. I'm intrigued and disturbed by the notion of "sacred pathos" reduced to silence. Again the silence of Heidegger in response to Celan's request for a 'word.' And Lacoue-Labarthe concludes with a big tremble - "there is a risk that thought will never recover from such silence." The sacred text of Heidegger is tainted - stained - with the residuals of silence. The unspeakable speaks for itself of the pain from that space of silence. The silence performs beyond its absence just as the speech act performs beyond its utterance - as Celan disappeared into the Seine. If we speak of "poetic emotion," we must think of its cognate emoi whose etymology indicates the absence or deprivation of strength. "A une passante" is not the nostalgic story of an encounter, but the entreaty that arises from collapse, the pure echo of such an emoi, a song or a prayer ... In the end, if there is such a thing as "poetic experience" it is simply because experience marks the absence of what is "lived." Philippe Lacoue- Labarthe [1999:20] 144 Fog. The night I purchased Kierkegaard's Fear and Trembling there was fog so dense that you could hardly see. How does one translate in fog? And in the morning fog above my writing space I am distracted by a shimmering white sun suspended in vaporous residue - a white sun shimmers - suspended in suspense - a shimmering white sun burning into the space of a void. Fear and trembling in a space of original difficulty - sym- ballic Kierkegaard. Fear. To transform through language is to pull the threads in theoretical skeins and occupy the vacant spaces - to make something happen in those spaces and following the acte-de- passage - to tremble in the aftermath - a sign that someThing has taken place - for the thing is - toujours deja - always already there - one and the other - the occupant and the ghost - to re-mark the language is a radical responsibility - a passing through e(x)criture - the brackets set the boundaries - the borders that incite transgression. 145 chapter four un/timely medications: translating as a vanishing mediator a pied in a textorium . . . Long have I trembled before venturing into the spaces of this chapter - reluctant to stage a mise en page that must re-enter the ruins of re/search - to honour an intention - to admit to a betrayal of motivation - to abandon as a gift - to write into the rigour of ruins at the site of tension. To confess. For in the liminal (w)rites of passage, as a writer continues to read and re-read, writer identity becomes unstable - de-stabilizes - and composure de-composes. Imaginaries are doubled and re- doubled tainted and stained from ex-posures - from ex- scriptions - from the meandering detours of theoretical traces. I have come to question the intention of intention. Untimely medi(t)ations - I draw my title from Derrida and Leclau as/in - "the time is out of joint" and from Zizek - who offers the notion of a "vanishing mediator" as a violent opening up of a gap in the Real. A tremble lingers in the wake of disappearance. [fragments] I've been driving a lot by the sea these few days - fragmented departures J_ from writing - seeking a space for re-entry - writing is never linear anyway - I'm searching for liquid traces - fluid transgressions - to take me back into this space of writingness that resists my untimely inscriptions. To find a tranquillity - a stillborn sea still quivering in anticipation - in the early morning - in anticipation of the day to come — So begins an impromptu walk through a verbarium [a pied] in a drifting habitation - bottom dwellers at the foot of the text - leaking beneath and beyond the act of writing. Since my readings have taken me back as far as Heraclitus I will begin with his fragment on the meaning of order - "the most beautiful order in the universe ... is a heap of sweepings, piled up at random" [fragment 124]. These sweepings I locate as bottom dwellers in a drifting habitation along the bottom of these pages - sweepings traces cinders - always already perilous for the questionable authority of authenticity. Ambiguity emerging as signatures disintegrate. Sweepings of words letters dust droppings ... Mysterium tremendum. A frightful mystery, a secret to make you tremble. Tremble. What does one do when one trembles? What is it that makes you tremble? A secret always makes you tremble. ... trembling, at least as a signal or symptom, is something that has already taken place ... Where does this supplementary seal come from? One doesn't know why one trembles. Derrida, [1995:53-55] 146 Zizek tracks Derridean deconstruction from ontology to Man lives with things mainly, even exclusively - since hauntology - to the space of the gap - translating across sentiment and action in him depend upon his mental j , , . . • • . i x i A T representations - as they are theories from deconstruction into what he terms Lacanese. c o n v e y e d t 0 U m b y l a n g ' u a g e Through the same act by which Zizek alerts us to "the impossible logic of spectrality that he spins language out of himself he weaves himself into forever prevents/differs/displaces the closure of the *.' a , n d e v e r y language draws a circle around the people to which it belongs, a circle that ontological" [1999:238]. Returning repeatedly to the Can only be transcended in so far as one at the same time space of the gap, a gesture of rhetorical silence maintains enters into another one. A , . . . . . , . , , T Wilhelm von Humboldt a spectral opening. A vanishing mediator as gesture. In c i t e d by Samuel Weber in "Translating the performing assessment are we not always trying to close Untranslatable" [1967:9] the gap - capture the variance - suture causality? Entering into doublings of difference - doubled imaginaries - in diverse populations we continue to seek certainties however absurd our mission - our measures - our interpretations - however violent the 'truths' of our knowing. Interpretations that assign closure to readings. I seek a 'writingness' that opens into the gap - a re/search praxis that opens to the generative possibilities of no/Thing. Deconstruction and psychoanalytic theory in chiasmatic moments. [eco/nomy] I'm extracting from Derrida - from his trailing beneath and beyond the 2 text of Bennington writing-on-Derrida - this T that disclaims numerical suturing - becomes an impostor - this T my 'self as impostor. Numbered fragments. Recall the Pierce reference to numerals as thin skeletons of thought. How did they come to have so much power? Appropriating numerical symbols from Derridean textual practices. And if I am enunciating in my narrative fragments the books already encountered I must anticipate those yet- to-be-located - Derrida writing on Sollers - Nombres - where to find it - has it been translated -1 don't know - how to make something happen to numbers. I'm reading de Certeau reading "the text ... as a practice of circumcision" - the text "subtracts in order to signify" [1988:340]. Missing numbers - when numbers go missing - where are they - are they airlocks? Numbers as nomination - to set limits for drifting. In his essay entitled "Unpacking My Library", Benjamin refers to "the mild boredom of order" [1968:59]. A collector he was of books but I'm talking about numbering children - setting limits for their drifting. How to trouble the eco/nomy of an T in dis/order - in writing an eco/nomy of futures. 147 A student's writing of nothing startles - disrupts - interrupts a mediating teacher. A script of Nothing1 as text that startles - opens a generative space for something to happen in the place of the gap - in the inter of interruption. And in the now of disclosure I ask what the space of the gap wants. The haunting spectres of the unheimlich - the uncanny - return because they have never left. A student signature in a doubling gesture with a maternal signature live on in the space of notation. Slippages in the silence and the excess of signature as material event. What does a signature want that is more than - in excess o f - what it asks? The fantasy of the closure of a signatory conceals the gap - is this what the signature does - the signature as inscription labours to conceal the gap. And when a voice speaks beyond the signature? What then? As research labours in a fluid state of persistent instability, the work of writing destabilizes the writer reading beneath and beyond the writing. How can we keep alive the vibrant possibilities of this interplay in re- writing where research might locate a chance to take another risk? The very notion of the ethics review - a necessary illusion - in form and content - risks a stillborn delivery. Sutured by the limitations of an ethics review, how can one proceed within the multiple geneologies of the term 'experience' - a Derridean traversal that opens as one advances. By risking moments at the edge of myth and abyss. By listening with a 'third' ear to the rhetorics of silence. Listening to signatures that risk Bhabha's exilic leaps - ethical leaps - bounding from the ruins - uncanny moments. 1 An e-mail arrived on April 15th, 1999, announcing an interdisciplinary colloquium at Loyola Marymount University - a colloquium about NOTHING entitled "Signing the Void: Gestures Toward Nothing." If a colloquium about nothing can be held, then it must be a scholarly space. How to proceed in pedagogy as a signatory toward the void? How to gesture toward nothing? How to write on the edges of english? How to overwrite the edge? What am I to do? Where? 148 a vanishing mediator... The passage between theory and practice - discursive moments of moving to-and-fro. Is this the passage of the vanishing mediator? r y - ] h e o n l y r e a l w a y t o break the metaphysical Passing through experience - risking Turner's 'peril.' Is this closure is to 'pass through it' in its most where my im/posturing is exposed as a split subject vanishing dangerous form. though a doubling of lack? And the fear of erring, as Zizek [AJnxiety emerges when (and signals that) contends "condemned to err" as one comes close to ontological m e object-cause of desire is too close, truth [1999:13]. What traces remain after passing through and too êaTit ^ ^ C ° m e Zizek [1999:363] vanishing? In passing through I have come to question arrivals and departures - seeking to disturb the stability of tenancy - one is always already arriving without a shore. The text - as trace - as pathway - a passing through as home/not home. And always already - the promise with the terror labouring as fragile contingent complicities between reader and writer. [mise-en-scene] Always drawn into conceptions of travelling theory, I'm intrigued _ with the etymological traces of this French fragment that I so love to inscribe - mise- j en-scene. John Durham Peters tracks the traces to the place of theatre meaning "putting into a tent" - or "pitching a tent" - creating conditions for an unfolding [1999:27]. Pitching a tent here at the bottom of each page. Staging a distraction. Playing on the notion of a "diaspora of words" I follow Peters' tracking to 'dia' as through and 'spora' as dissemination [23]. For it is through disturbing and being disturbed by language that I have come to question my intentions. And it is here at the bottom of the pages that we track language on a metonymic slide. Always already I am a thief - a magpie - a poacher - pulling threads from discursive skeins and traces. As Peters contends: "Constructing others will always be part of constructing the self'[37]. It is through language that the subject is split - dissemination as fragmentation. And in the splitting a mise-en-abyme. Notions of 'tenting' or 'camping' always already carry the terror in the promise of nomadic habit(ation)s. Peters is reading Hall reading "diaspora" as "the theoretical mediation between authenticity and wandering"[38]. Mediation as a migrant site - as home/not home. 149 A student inscription - a maternal utterance - openings for spaces of ex-scription - for the im/possibility of a vanishing mediator. A Derridean traversal that opens as one advances - opens to the im/positions of language - to the im/positions of English. And a mediator that trembles in the aftermath of im/position. How to disturb the tenancy of signs and signposts and signals and signatures? Aware of what Zizek contends is the failure of language - the failure to produce a secure obj ect-world. Reading in Lacanese, Zizek contends that "the Symbolic, which orders our perception of reality, has to select from what is fundamentally continuous and unbounded." The Real resists containment - eludes the symbolic. How can we learn to dwell there - to risk a dwelling space that is not immobile. Spaces that inhabit and are inhabited by faultlines. Anxiety emerges from the proximity not to what as Zizek cautions we desire but from the desire of the Other: what does the Other want from me? And what does the Other want that is more than what is being said? And the pronominal designation of a signature always already singular plural: We signed because ... [tenancy] - tenere - words as signs as place-holders - marking and re-marking with a 4 reader the work not there as Warminski contends in a radically other sense. The labour of signs overflowing the text - my library extends only to return me to re- readings - I'm reminded of the Cixousian ascending in descending - discordant aspirations - Caputo returns me to Derrida - and I'm drawn back to Caputo drifting from tenancy to "text, textere, textuality ... to the work of the signifier and its anonymous productivity" in the "labor of signs" [1987:103] - words in titles depict tenancy - limit drifting - the 'slash' maintains movement - a space for ex-scribing - for surviving - for moving on as an economy of the sign. It is in the space of this anonymous productivity where we must be vigilant - as the subject disappears into anonymity - as the author disappears - en passant - in the passage from trope to performativity - we must be on the look-out for an opening in-between tenants. Who occupies the shifter T - who labours in the desert beneath the words - ex-patriate labour in a dia-spora of hyphenated space as words are re-marked - What happens at the borders as tenants move on - as/in the economy of exchange? In the exchange of signatories? What is my responsibility as I listen to the voice overflowing the signature? As the tenancy of the T shifts - as an T speaks - as an T listens. A radical responsibility that has no limits - that lives - to live on ... 150 The Aokian tremble emerges from the space of the Metonymic moment - on the diagonal - as metonymy slides in an uncanny doubling with metaphor (metaphor/metonymy). A flicker - a moment of frisson - that opens to generative possibilities. What happens as the Aokian tremble emerges from the location of the 'pedagon'? When generative possibilities are haunted by the possible perversions of promises? Derrida refers to the aporia of responsibility. How can we invoke a provocation in defeat? Derrida distinguishes between 'quiver' that prepares for an event and 'tremble' that follows an event. The space between english/English means dwelling between a 'quiver' and a 'tremble' - in the liminal passage in-between ontology and hauntology. Phantoms of hegemony - lingering restless nervous - disturbed and disturbing. Inciting radical interventions. The ontology o f presence is the ontology o f beings and beingness. Everywhere, the dominance o f beings is solicited by differance - in the sense that sollicitare means, i n old Latin, to shake a l l over, to make the whole tremble. The first consequence...is that difference is not. . . . It commands nothing, rules over nothing, and nowhere does it exercise any authority. It is not marked by a capital letter. Derrida [1973:153] To arrest the meanings o f words once and for a l l , that is what Terror wants. Jean-Francois Lyotard cited i n de Certeau [1984:165] Identity freezes the gesture of thinking. M i c h e l de Certeau [1986:194] [tremble] Can a tremble be contained as a fragment - captured in a fleeting moment ^ as/in a point-de-capiton or does its performativity journey through a slippery passage of silence and excess - always already restless ...nervous ... unable to be still ... unable to be sutured. Anonymous productivity in the slippage of a tremble. Of unknown origin ... of deferred destination - dwelling in diasporic imaginings. I was tracking David Jardine's notion of 'original difficulty' back to Kierkegaard for the trembling. Fog. The night I purchased K's "Fear and Trembling" there was fog so dense that you could barely see. How does one translate in fog? And in morning fog above my writing space I am distracted by a shimmering white sun suspended in vaporous residue - a white sun shimmers - suspended in suspense - burning into the space of a void. Fear and trembling in a space of original difficulty - the cadence of the metron from a sym-ballic Kierkegaard. A tremble cannot be still. What does a tremble want? If it is calmed it ceases to exist. It must go on - slipping through the brackets. It cannot stop. 151 Uncertainty of a response from an addressee - the uncertainty L&tt&K A. letter is no of passage through the gatekeeper - the uncertainty of a reply u n a n n o u n c e d visit, the mailman, the mediator - the uncertainty of a purloined letter arriving at its destination of impolite incursions, or ending in the dead letter office. Michel de Certeau contends N i e t z s c n e The Wanderer that it is the "un-heard" that purloins the text - it is the "un- and his Shadow heard" that is "stolen from the thief; it is exactly what is heard but not understood ... the act of speaking without knowing" [1988:227]. Tracking the 'unheard' in a journey whose destination is an arrival without arriving - an arrival on shifting ground. And in the hope of what? Jabes contends that hope is bound to writing - hope as a silence and an excess of meaning. And the aporetic responsibility of the teacher to the student - the quiver of anticipation - the tremble of the aftermath. A tremble that seeks its origin in the space of original difficulty. The impossibility of decision. A decision by definition always involves an exclusion. [cryptpphilia] I'm drawn to the strangeness of this inscription - etrangete - is this ^ the space from which a tremble emerges - where someThing happens and a tremble follows in its wake - is this a space from which the 'unheard' is stolen by the thief as/in a purloined letter. I first encountered this 'cryptic' inscription in Abraham and Torok's [1986] The Wolf man's magic word: A cryptonymy. English emerges as a cryptic language in the Wolf Man's script. Derrida's Forward [Fors] to the text plays off the richness of derivatives of crypt. I began to envision English as suffering from a certain 'cryptophilia.' The crypt marking the spot of jouissance as, and I borrow from Derrida "buried alive in its own prohibition" [1986:xxxiv]. Derrida designates: "The Self: a cemetery guard. The crypt is enclosed within the self, but as a foreign place, prohibited, excluded" [xxxv]. Weber in an introduction to Adomo's Prisms contends that English "lacks a metaphysical surplus to oppose to its communicative element" [1967:14]. To work the topographies - writing otherwise to tamper with the form and the codes - as Derrida would say to disturb "the norms and the etiquette of academic writing, one can hope to exhibit their finality, what they are protecting or excluding" [1995:85]. To disrupt the hegemomy of academia as a practiced place we might enter into a cryptopoetics - as a subversion of the politics of English. Re-enter English though the double folds of another language - to restore surplus - overflow that is always already there in the midstness - bienvenue - for the always already there. How to proceed. By aporia - the aporia of hospitality ... 152 How to proceed within the aporetic inscription of responsibility? From the location of "it's my lookout" - topographical places for my footprints rootprints fingerprints demarcating re-turning pages - the step taken -postupok - for which I am responsible - for which I must answer. The hermeneutic writing - haunted by the spectre of the unheimlich - a writing that has a reading relationship with itself. Re-readings destabilizing my identity - supplementing my writing. And I have stumbled long enough. Re-entry is sparked by a re-turn to a space of original difficulty - in my summer of writingness - I am invited to participate in another group dynamic assessment and I am auditing - acoustic resonance - a course on pedagogy and globalization. Always from the tension of a double fold reading/writing is nervous anxious fragmented. Experience is having footprints in two places at once. Textual enactments. [interval] - Trinh draws from mmmaker Dziga Vertov on "the theory of intervals" ^ [1999:xii] - 'montage' that stresses the gap as a filming that is nonnarrative as energy fragments - the interval as passage - could this be a moment of 'frisson' in the 'slash' of metonymy/metaphor? My readings have become 'intervalic' - so many texts - so many re-turns - so many entanglements - so interwoven with the 'everyday'- so many distractions. Something always happens in the intervals - re-readings that startle. And one day a re-turn - unexpected. Resonances of the English Patient - as conversations nearby - with Ondaatje and his producers - I listen to hybridity as an acoustic sounding - the English patient's laboured breathing in the troubling intervals of his languages. Reading Ondaatje with Trinh. And I draw from Trinh Minh-ha on the topic of an ancient Chinese style of writing. [Small Seal Script] Now I am reading Trinh reading Deng Ming-Doa for whom "the time when the moon shines through a doorway indicates both space and interval"[xiii]. I am drawn to Trinh's inscription of "knowingly knowing not" [xiv]. Dwelling within the interval, reading Trinh with Denzin on the cinematic text. And from Spivak - a spacy emptiness. I'm drawn to spacy emptiness in homelessness. A body is always already unfolding into the spaces it occupies. Listen to Jose Gil: "What the form once circumscribed is now presented on the basis of departures, gaps, between visible elements, colors, lines, and luminescences"[1998:134]. Transpiration - time has to transpire - breathe on ... 153 of 'interval' in-between teaching spaces. Chow alerts us to the work of re-reading .. . I return to a re-reading of Rey Chow and her . ,. ° The act of rereading places a number of identities - a number interpretation of the f i lm The King of Children. A first of looks or gazes: the I who rereads now, the I who reread reading drew me to the 'as i f moment o f a student/teacher t h e n > 1 a s k i n g myself - into a somewhat indeterminate _ . . . ,. . relationship which disturbs and confrontation. Reading then within my struggling praxis d i s p i a c e s t h e possibility of a either a stable identity or any as a student teaching teachers. Reading now in the space simple communication as the self-affirmation of an identity to itself. The look, looking back, looking at oneself as other than oneself, and asking oneself a series o f detours through Translation from novel to film certain unanswerable questions, can never be represented script i n what Trinh Minh-ha might call "the infinity o f straightforwardly as "I," the inscription of self-presence ... the task of speaking nearby"[xi]. Chow speaks from the Rereading already places the writing subject in a certain silence of a metonymic positioning by offering a feminist other relationship with/in himself, while partially erasing, denying, the possibilities of a first or original reading, forever displaced in the passage by that Copjec speaking o f something that is in a space more than "first" redoubling verb. Doubleness, displacement, itself. Drawing from Benjamin's "The Task of the dislocation of the subject "I" is prevented from "taking its _ , „ _ , , , . , . , bearings," and the source of that Translator Chow opens translation to multiple exposures. displacement can only be located in the unanswerable F i l m producer Chen Kaige in the passage of translation question,... from novelist A Chenge's narrative King of the Children R o b b i n s a n d W ° J detours from the script re-opening a pedagogical moment. It is the f i lm's departure from the novel that interests Chow - the shift through the translation that is fi lming and the shift away from the primacy of writing. Departure as a moment o f pedagogy. I return once more startled that the text has been reading me. I am reading as reading effect. Reading effect of the texts I have reading in-between readings - and reading effects of Chow. reading as a 'supplement' - as a space of extimite - 154 And I want to interject here with a return-to-writing as Chow's critique is a 'prolongation' of the work - another conversation nearby. I am drawn to the notion of 'child-as-copyest' - startled by the text - being challenged and disrupted through multiple translations. Trinh contends that to keep open the relationship of language to vision - the difference between them would become the line of departure for speech and writing. Trinh offers the interval as a passage of renewal. Chow translates life into the intervals of performative passage. Each re-reading of a manuscript translates text. I read Chow first time/second time/third time - reading lessons. I become a reading effect. Another interval - another reading - I want now to read Chow with Derrida and Zizek. A re-reading of Derridean cryptonomies - hauntings from the crypt as hauntology. And I am reading Zizek reading Derrida as deconstruction brushes with psychoanalysis - entering into interstitial spaces between ontology and hauntology. A spectre is haunting the brackets in media(t)ion. A metaphysical phantom rattling the brackets. I had wanted to re-mediate in the 'inter' spaces of tensionality. I've just encountered Derrida's entame - from "Letter to a Japanese Friend" - taking a bite into - entame - biting into bracketed spaces to release the ghosts. [hauntology] - 1 am always waiting for Zizek to take on a reading of Derrida and I ^ find him tracking Derrida from ontology to hauntology. I first came across the notion of an ethics of haunting in Avital Ronell's "Dictations on haunted writing" - writing always inhabited by de Certeau's occupant and ghost Ronell tracks the inspirational fragment of Freud's psychoanalysis to a Goethe fragment - a fragment that prior to his death Goethe disclaims any memory of having written. Empty origins. Troubling origins. I am reading the traces of hauntology everywhere now - traces that shimmer with/in spectrality. Reading Derrida's equation Ego=ghost. I am always already haunted by my 'self.' Now at this moment I know that I have always been travelling with a spectre - always with an unknown - a stranger in my 'self. And a reader too travels with a ghost - in the always already and not-yet there. 155 And in the passage of my re-reading I am alert to the depiction of child-as-copyest - challenged and disrupted through ruptures of translation. Teaching metanarrative/metacognition in/as a form of surveillance. A m I not complicit in this act of interpellation? Interpellated into the event I perpetuate the task. Working to close the gap of disruption. We copy but what do I want them to copy - where do I want them positioned for the act-of-copying? How can I re-position to allow for escaping - ex-scribing acts of inscription? And where am I positioned as I copy - as my copy reproduces in the spaces in-between. In the spaces in-between re-readings? Randomly? In a messy textual field - books tumbling from precarious positionings heaped by rambling straying interests nudged by lived experiences - by interwoven connections. And when a child refuses the role of copyest - risks a departure from his classmates compliant reproductions - what then? When the shoes are abandoned, what happens? Something takes place. What happens when shoes are abandoned? The interval, creatively maintained, allows words to set in motion dormant energies and to offer, with the impasse, a passage from one space ... to another. Trinh [1999: xi] Something happens, something takes place when shoes are abandonned, empty, out of use for a while. Derrida [1987: 265] [excrementum] - Avital Ronell draws from Goethe the term excrementum from the Q Latin excrescere [1986:138]- to grow out, to rise as - supplementary growth - and to that of publishing as an excretion - that something that follows a work - that allows the author to breathe to live on - to move on - to be rid of one's texts to move on. Publication as excretion, "work understood as corpse - as its guardian and as the mark of its deaths... From Sobchack [1999:58] reading Lingis "Human bodies ... move in the world ... leaving traces, echoes, rustlings, footsteps, murmurings, coughs, sighs ... winks, sweat, tears ... leaving their warmth in the winds, their fluids on chairs and tools and in the hands of others" [1993:167]. Working the 'reads' as supplementary growth. Labouring in abjection has only just begun ... With my young students on a field trip to an organic farm we experience a compost heap - excrement - as heat - hot steamy smelly ... we abandoned our shoes for boots ... 156 im/positions of englishness . . . Interrupted in a moment of mediation - a mediated intervention - two Israeli mentors are engaged in a heated debate over the authenticity of the word 'exteriority' - they come to me in my englishness to request clarification - and in the passion of ignorance - my english T projects a response - a someThing instead of noThing - Copjec's recurrent scene of the uncanny - this presence of something more that is in me than I know - a trajectory of symptom - the mere presence of english bestows upon the subject an authenticity perceived by both the 'self and the 'other.' A slippage that exceeds and silences. Performatives overflowing - in excess of - the constative. Uncanny mediations. Out-of-country I became more english than I was. And in the now of discourse I would tell them about Michel de Certeau and his notions of (t)exteriority. And I would tell them about living on the edges of englishness as a troubled and troubling site. [(t)exteriority] - a hermeneutic circularity - to describe what - an enterprise - to enter \\j the space between the brackets to disrupt a circum-scription - Sartre writes of the verbal moment - insisting that "To speak is to act; anything which one names is already no longer quite the same; it has lost its innocence." [36] and a committed writer by disclosure - in querying what is writing, Sartre contends that "writing is an enterprise; since writers are alive before being dead ... as this total enterprise of living that each one of us is ..." [46] refusing in a now of discourse to write these students - why - because what they have written in their journals is what has been mediated in them - (t)exteriority on its circular movement broken only by the outlier - the resistance - who signs an/other signature. A leakage through the brackets - and a perfect moon suspends itself in purple dusk - an enchanting gaze - suspended in a skylight above my space of writing ... distraction ... [Graft] Being-grafted into an absent space. Disrupting a (t)exteriority - suspended in an empty place. Dis/locating circum- stances - How can I begin to listen with a 'third' ear to the dissonance? Is this what it means to be at home/not home in a text? 157 Culling from psychoanalytic discourse, Sabu Kohso makes reference to the "translation drive" as a metaphor provoked by the "enigma of the encounter with the other - both fear and seduction of the undecodable messages that the other sends" [1998:100]. What happens to translation in the decentering of self and other? Kohso works as a translator in New York and locates his in-between position in two-way trafficking caught in a doubled personae. As exporter of Japanese critical I returned to revisit the enunciatory space of Ko-jin ... One segment of Ko- jin does say a solidified unity, an undivided individual, but the juxtapositioning of hito in Ko-jin causes the supposed solidity of the entity to quake a bit. For, now, we can see that Ko-jin says that it is both divided and undivided, an admission perhaps that in translation there is some slippage, something left untranslated, and thus incomplete. So interpreted Ko-jin as an articulation in that enunciatory space between Japanese and English is seemingly Japanese but not all Japanese. It is a hybrid; it is both Japanese and English, yet it is neither Japanese nor English. It is a space of paradoxical ambivalence with its built-in contradiction. Yet, it is a generative space of difference, an enunciatory space of becoming, a space where newness emerges. Ted T. Aoki [1999: 34-5] thinking, Kohso is acutely aware of the uncertainty in the "event of exchange." As metonymy slides as a doubling along a diagonal with metaphor the flash of a misfire is always a possibility that carries with it terror as a possible perversion of its promise. [translation] - Translation always traces itself back to Walter Benjamin's essay on n "The task of the translator" - to begin in the middle of the im/possibility of translation. The aporia of translation. And yet translation is what breathes life into work - in-between stoppages. Translation as a rhythm of breathing - possible/impossible, and translating in the passage of a re-reading - from which location does the translator write - across translations - all writing is translation from some imaginary original - writing always in a reading relationship with itself. Translation as transport - as transportation - words finding another residence - another space for dwelling - in-between. A drifting tenancy. I find my 'self drawn to texts that dwell within doublings of language - doublings of authorship - doublings of doublings. I am indebted to Julian Wolfreys for his Readings - I am un/learning my reading lessons and learning again to read at a glance ... with Wolfreys who sets signatures a-drift. And how to translate a signature? Derrida contends: "The bar does not pass between the signature and the absence of signature, but through the signature. Which is therefore always overflowing" [1984:34], Richard Rand translating Derrida translating Francis Ponge in Signesponge, refers to the text as "irruptive" - signatures always already overflowing a text just as text is always already overflowing the signature. Volcanic activity whereby the overflow - enters into the textuality of the landscape. Excess as texture. What is the taskofthetranslator?Whenthe'is'isq/a/r? 158 translating the slippage... How can I translate the slippage - 'the shifting grounds of exchange' - into a site of vibrant possibilities. This thesis is no longer about the culture, cognition and literacy of students but an ex/posure of the terror inherent in the promise as a gatekeeper of western epistemologies. Mediation as surveillance. Drawing from Benjamin's work on the task of the translator, translating "enables" and "threatens" at the same time. And while I play this dangerous game of mediation is this what happens as/in the task of the mediator? Does mediation enable and threaten at the same time? What happens when I begin to inscribe - what does it say about the inscriber? About the location of the inscriber? The notion of translation in the im/positions of English will enter into storied praxis as we dwell within the promise and the terror imbedded within im/positions of english. The classroom was a generative site of un/translatability as students negotiated for meaning in a multiplicity of languages. As multiple englishes sped at varying proximities toward a capitalized 'upper case' mapping of Englishness within the prevailing hegemonic cartographies of numerical anchoring - suturing. Exit prohibited. Exit-by-number. [pharmakon] - Reading school as pharmacon. It is here in the space of a pharmakon J 2 t nat we must begin to reread what is mediation - the promise and terror - one with the other - the occupant and the ghost. Derrida draws from Plato's notion of pharmakon - remedy or poison - the brackets begin to clatter in the signing of medi(t)ation - letters disperse in nervous movements. Agamben writes that the letter constitutes the "final interpreter" [8] The promises of pedagogy tremble in the wake of pharmakon. Is this not the condition of impossibility of mediation? In the economy of naming what happens within the performativity of the name? What happens in the overflow? Who disappears? I am reading Zizek on the vanishing mediator. What happens to the subject as the mediator disappears? Who goes first? Who is first to depart? Departure as exilic leap - as an ethical leap. 159 eating as reading on the sly ... Each morning began with an invitation by the classroom teacher to share stories of live(d) experiences in a supportive classroom community. The students numbered their joys on a rating scale that went to a height of number ten. I would ease into my mediator role when opening activities were completed. Testing and mediating and re-testing meditating on reciprocity and interaction. The process of the double fold leaning and leaking and leaping about in the praxis of a messy textual field. An im/position that begins to question its intrusion - its exteriority to classroom practice. Rupture. In keeping with the theme of the Ethiopian story, I brought a sampling of Ethiopian foods from a favourite Ethiopian restaurant. The students were reluctant to sample this 'othering' fare until one young girl ventured forth, sampled and announced that it was good - in fact one item was similar to her country-of-origin food. In a mimetic practice many students, one following another - comparing, contrasting, categorizing - eating their way into cognitive processes proceeding into spaces of un/familiar. We tore off small pieces of injera to gather up the lentils with our fingers. Consuming and being consumed by 'otherness.' We were looking at meta/cognition but what happens when we bite into the 'meta' - deconstruct cognition? I once tried to intervene in the spaces in- between re/mediation - to mediate again in new ways trying to disrupt and destabilize the notions of dis/ability. But fixity is not easy to destabilize. As an exteriority to the inferiority of a classroom community I wondered what I was doing there. In ex-cess of community had I become a symptom of my own trajectory? I had been seeking a live(d) experience. Eating. But eating is reading on the sly - were we eating the other? 160 I wanted a return to 'a class of my own' to make messy the (w)rites of passage. To make a path in walking. To chance a meeting with Hermes on a groundless path - on a path where the ground is always slipping away. And the messiness of the spaces in which I work remind me of the always already there spaces of ambiguity and contradiction and original difficulty. Re-reading what it means to be a teacher - living in the spaces of my own displacement through the impositions of student becomings. And now when I must write my reports - how do I write for arrivals without a shore - uneasy in the liminal spaces - of messy (w)rites of passage. How can I heed Britzman's call to do less harm - to leave a space for knowingly not knowing - for spaces surprised by difference. How can we write a space for leap-throughs, regressions, and the production of nonproductive action. How can we disturb the tenancy of signs so that a pedagogy of loss and disappearance might emerge? This is about reading - my reading of another - as a reading of my ' s e l f [ex-tinction] A young student brings a book about Madagascar to class. We are -j /y sharing readings in our primary classroom. We learn that chameleons are an A«3 endangered species on this island. We find Madagascar on the map. We learn to spell it. We attach this country to our word ladder. A father asks how we came to choose our countries. Hermes as trickster threw a stone along the path and we happened to see it. But the primary curriculum calls for simplicity. We strayed. Madagascar has entered the interiority of our classroom - as an enterprise - as writing - as dialogue. Madagascar as topos - as arrivant - as sign now suspended in suspense on our word ladder. A tension that is restless moving - unable to be still - a glossing inspirited by a text that enraptured the attention of my young students. Living on - beyond extinction. 161 doubled glossings . . . From the borderlands of east European countries traces of a Slavic - da - [dasein] - I recognize the murmurs of Slavic traces. Back to a beginning that is no longer where it was - the empire writes back in a double glossing. I get seduced by 'difference' and like the traveler to Kafka's castle I journey in aporetic movements that detain - deny - reluctant to proceed and then the clamour of mimesis ... I am reminded of Leggo's notion of un/grammatical and the query: 'but' don't you need the grammatical before you can be ungrammatical? Do we need the cognitive processes of a western metaphysics in order to be able to deconstruct them? Is that not asking for Pennycook's counter-in-concert? Here is a question. Or in the in-between spaces could there be something else? Each hybridity in the performative act of a doubling constantly undergoing re-newal? And what of Varela's notion of cognition as co-emergence - how can we cause a tremor in the wake of medi(t)ation as the 'we' opens to the 'they' complicating the notion of un/translatability. We dwell within the spaces of multiple aporias. [faultlines] Turkish Tremors: We are reading Turkish folk tales and become caught . up with the news events of the Turkish earthquakes. We decide to have a 1 fundraising project opening unexpectedly to an economy of performative contradictions. Tensions begin to emerge as children express their concerns for wildlife - too many humans already on the planet. Rhizomatic pathways open up to multiple lines of movement. Again we have strayed from proscribed curriculum to complicated conversations. Primary children discuss the problems of overpopulation and the danger to vegetation and the animal population. We dwell within an aporia. We stray with the trickster that is Hermes on the path that is laid in walking. In a doubling with Theuth. - juxtapositions to open the breadth of possibilities. Experience - a traversal that opens as one advances - on traces of Derridean fragments. Intensities restless, moving ... I read with David Jardine and Pat Clifford and Sharon Friesen who question developmental sequences ... 162 The 'life-of-a-classroom' goes on - passing through a re/search project leaving the residues of interruption to open to new possibilities - we are packing boxes because the classroom teacher has to relocate in another wing of the school - as we perform the mundane task of packing - a mise-en-scene begins to stage a presence — we enter into imaginaries of an im/mund world - we are re-inventing ourselves in the guise of a box folding company and the demarcations of humour begin to banter 'to and fro.' Laughter resonates in these chiasmatic moments. A third ear present listens attentively to Hermes in a moment of happenstance. Language enacts a performative stance. English(es) perform in Metonymic moments. I am no longer confined to spectator - now an actor in the spectacle of the event that constitutes my 'being-toward-the-world.' I fold boxes. How to enter the double fold? In this double fold the script becomes a two-way flow. [chiasm(us)] - Gasche reading chiasms complicates the interspaces through the ^ _ imprecisions of locale in a double fold - writing into the tensionality of this doubling J.5 signifier. I struggle with a doubling of narratives as my everyday praxis invades, intrudes upon and disturbs my writing - my research intentions. And the text - performative - as a movement through a double fold - text as experience. Derrida brings the feminine into the double fold as invagination - a chiasmatic invagination of borders - the language of deconstruction always on the move - re-placing itself to survive - eluding definition - inviting transgression. The chiasm(us) is a space - unable to maintain stability of place or identity of inhabitants. Chiasmus is a topos - a topology - a topography - a grammatology - for reading/writing inscriptions: Otherwise. For in-dwelling assymetrically in praxis - invocations of a mobile syntax semantics pragmatics. See Donna Haraway for readings of these mappings calling for a new literacy - for a reader as mutant modest witness [1997:11]. As I work in the everyday staging of a mise-en-page my struggle is with a host of mutant spectres who traffick in the corridor spaces of my writings - displacing my configurations - tugging textboxes from their site specificity - refusing release when I seek a juxtaposition of fragments. The technoscience that opens the economy for writing futures maintains the writer in a mise-en- demeure - in a house arrest. Nancy contends that in the chiasmus - we are meaning. We are never alone. Writing is never lonely. Reading in chiasmus - reading Wolfreys reading Nancy is a "somewhat risky movement of return, a turning back as well as an effect of revenance , a haunting" [2000:109]. 163 Another rejection - reduce citations - but performative writing is citational - tell the reader who you are - I don't know - I've been told that I've dissolved myself in my writing - it's so grey outside - a wet grey sky - leaves burnt brown - it's autumn ending - the roof of the church once more exposed - evening descending in darkening shades of grey - the greyness of my screen spills into the sky framed by the windows facing north - the mountains absent in the suspension of dense grey fog - I've returned to reading Butler - the timing was good - I'm refusing to conform to the requests of a re-write - I listen to my friend and critic giving me 'good' advice - three options - the third to submit another piece - I sense the slight hesitation in a voice chosing carefully its words - an ongoing assujetissement - my interpellator interpellated by an interpellation - a repetition of reviewers - a dissemination that issues a house arrest to halt the spread of diferance - to set limitations on drift - how do I spark a misfire - in excess of a counter - how can I reduce citation when thought is constituted through writing - when one fragment strays into another - start with a narrative ...but isn't everything narrative - here is your narrative pulled from your contextual constraints - a violent opening for another chance to take a risk - a risk that is always already2 there. 2 1 will take a moment here to address the drifting repetition of this linguistic semantic. Rudolphe Gasche offers a sympathetic apologue for its repeated use in the discourse of deconstruction [1999: 264]. Gasche traces the inscriptions back to Heidegger - to a temporality of being - traces from Heidegger to Derrida where always already designates "accidentally, contingency, and supplementarity ... for a past and a passivity older than presence and essence ... a radical past... that can never be fully ... awakened to presence. Yet.. . nonetheless leaves a mark, a signature that is retraced in the very thing from which it is withdrawn ..." [265]. Gasche contends that the drifter already there is "thus not mere word play or the result of linguistic infatuation" [265]. I confess to my early infatuation with this always already there and I am now startled how infatuation translates - transforms - into a desire to tarry in the always already and not yet there. Transforming and transformed by text. And yet, the one who names, who works within language to find a name for another, is presumed to be already named, positioned within language as one who is already subject to that founding or inaugurating address. This suggests that such a subject in language is positioned as both addressed and addressing, and the very possibility of naming another requires that one first be named. Judith Butler [1979: 29] 164 I am being interpellated into the circumscription of „ v , „ T , ^ J To write means to graft. It s the same word. The saying (t)exteriority - mediated into the sense of belonging as a of the thing is restored to its being-grafted. The graft is chapter in a book - consistency and clarity - educational n o t s o m e t m n g m a t happens to the properness of the thing. There is no more any significance - sig/nature - a counter signing that ensures t n a n m e r e i s a n y original text. unbroken circularity - that maintains a house arrest - the Derrida Dissemination book-as-house — as a dwelling place - my signature to-be- [1981.355] seen as obedient to the house rules3 but I resist the call and therefore inhabit an absent place in the book-as-house. I am an incomplete signature - survivre - in Bhabha's terms - surviving - living on - through multiple translations. A grafting in elsewhereness. An absence that becomes productive through the trace of tensionality ... moving, restless, unable to be still - in a provocative defeat. And eventually I come to hold this book in my hands the book that secures my absence - an eco-nomy of ex-criture. I often take it out of its dwelling on my bookshelf - to re-mark the absence - and now to move it on in writing. I take refuge in the words of Trinh reading Audre Lourde - "that the master's tools will never dismantle the master's house" (1989, p. 80). And in the master's house I occupy a vacancy - de Certeau's occupant and ghost - one and the other - living on. Vacancy - on the move - seeking another space for grafting a text. A call for papers - for a new journal LIMEN - Journal for theory and practice of liminal phenomena. I'm enticed into the spacy invocations of this new journal from Croatia - a call to enter into Victor Turner's liminal space And startled by the underwriting of its dictum - "Limen will not promote unification of textual strategies proposed by Chicago Manual of Style or any similar set of internationally established rules." A Blanchotian murmur ... rapture. 165 Now in a classroom, a young student informs me: When I say it's finished, it's finished. And my mediational efforts are hurled hack at me in an act of exfoliation - in a performative act of mimesis. And in the double fold - a leaning toward ... who is leaning toward ... writing as a prolongation. But mediation is finished or can be said to have occurred when transcendence has taken place - whose presence is required in this space - mine? This space of tensionality as discordant aspirations. And I recall my teachers telling me that I am finished when I say I'm not finished: When I say I'm not finished, I'm not finished. Disturbances that query when a tenancy is finished. Does the tenant vacate the premises or does the master evict the tenant? When is it time-to-fold-the-tent? Who decides? A decision in a space of undecidability is always an aporetic condition. And I lean into the space of finished/not finished. Finishing ends with spectacle - when the material event is over and the subject has moved on - disappeared. Children come-and- go through the portals of our classroom tent - a space within a space - sun-filtered through multicoloured.panels - writing on-and-off the page children dis/appear into the folds. The tent is dismantled for sweeping - the traces fragments cinders ruins of the day. [point-de-capiton] - translates as "quilting point" or "anchoring point" in "I H psychoanalytic literature and from Malcolm Bowie [1991:74] "stuffing points" AO where signified and signifier are knotted together. I have a friend who sews ex- quisite quilts always incorporating as her signatory 'a patch-fhat-doesn't-fit' - 'a pattern-that-disobeys' - drawing from the Amish quilting style of adding a bright fabric to otherwise dull colours to evoke a 'sparkle' as/in difference - or as Blanchot contends "the bringing into 'work' of difference" [1997:56]. And recently 'back art' in a doubling gesture that startles - that delights - that is ex-quisite - that hides behind - that seeks. I want to suture friendships into the work - friendships that were willing to sustain the tensions of neglect and lack of hospitality through the swampiness of writing. Sparkle. Writing its way into the text. Peters takes his treatise on the nomad into the double entendre of tonalities of 'camp' - as semantic migrations. Let's go with Peters to Booth's rendition of Genghis Khan's baldachin "the idea of tents ... as great billowy creations of shining fabrics- satins and silks studded with jewels, tapestries, and gold banners" [p. 34]. And they all had to be anchored in sand. 166 We have returned to a splitting - and I am tracking Lacoue- Somewhere mastery Labarthe tracking Lacan - to the alienation of the subject encounters1 its^lrmft Fails. // faut mastery, with respect to itself - caught in my own translation - in this you would say, perhaps. My own: ci tracking, the subject 'oscillates' in a doubling between fa"-And yours. Bennington on Derrida distancing and a re-integration of the role - the condition of [1993: 143] original difficulty - the unheimich — the stranger within the self - disrupting identity. This statement located here near the end of chapter four - is this my thesis? - I have finally nailed it down to these few lines. Lines that refuse to be still ... lines that are restless, nervous ... lines that oscillate ... performative through demarcations of ellipsis. A thesis locating itself in a mise-en-abyme. A sudden and abrupt arrival. Finally announced - as an arrival without a shore. Arrival at an enterprise that is a non-enterprise - a biting into the brackets. Is this where learning happens - tracking someone tracking someone .. .tracking ... always already on the run - always an act that is split - breaking from linearity - in a fourth chapter that writes itself after a fifth. I return to Felman who contends that we learn from the other and share that learning - that is all that we can do. I want to break the (t)exteriority of these circum-scriptions - to bite into the brackets in the shadow of the panopticon. I am confronted with evaluative statements on children's writing - handmade inscriptions by 5 and 6 year olds. Data it was called. When I questioned this nominalization of data, I was told but that's what it ' is ' - 'as i f there were truly an 'is.' The incredible vanity of that verb 'to be.' I'm reading with Irigaray querying what is this 'is' of air. But the ministry says that a law cannot be questioned - why - the law of because. The spectres of ministry dispatching the purloined letter - the 'unheard' as what the thief purloins - what happens in the space of an interception? 167 a clattering of brackets ... And while I was alerted to the liminal message in a student's 'no-thing' I had yet to shatter my thesis - to Non-thingness (spirituality) . . . . . . means losing oneself in bite into the brackets. I have returned to the space of that things, losing oneself to the point of not being able to 'noThing' so many times ex/pecting someThing there conceive of anything but things, and only then, in the R • .1 . • • . • . . . . . , experience of the irremediable for me in that aporetic inscription - something to take ... c t, r r ° thingness of the world, bumping into a limit, touching Bhabha's 'exilic' leap from one discursive tissue into it. (This is the meaning of the word "exposure.") another - someThing to begin to generate from the Giorgio Agamben [1993: 102] space of that void. In the intervals of re-reading a 'noThing' - random readings elsewhere always return to this smouldering inscription of no-thing. Derrida writes of the necessity for "responsibility ... to be shared out, mediated; the reading has to do its work and the work has to make the reader" [1992:188]. And what does mediation want? Exposition. The un/making of a mediator. Exposure. [topophilia] This word was poached from human geographer Yi-Fu Tuan who marks "1 H the inscription as a neologism that ties the affective bond of people and place or material event. I came across the word after the text was finished and so it appears here as a substitution. I seek in the bond between the author and the text a homely dwelling space in homelessness. One has to dwell in one's text - to tarry there in what Blanchot terms "the absence of the book." I am so indebted to the authors that I am reading and perhaps it in dwelling-in this signifier that I can acknowledge my debt and pass it on as "come to pass." How does one come to dwell in language as one dwells in a home? What is it that draws the vagabond to an author - to a text - to a place as habitus? An extradiscursive wanting for something to happen ... where... Tuan depicts topophilia as " diffuse in concept, vivid and concrete as personal experience" [1974:4]. I draw from another of his titles as "passing strange and wonderful." Tuan poached this title from a poem by Shelley. Always already reading more than one text at the same time so that something is always passing strange and wonderful... 168 How can I translate the slippage - the shifting grounds of exchange - into a site of vibrant possibilities. This thesis is We should remember that no longer about the culture, cognition and literacy of students 1 4 1 S m * h e 'f t e r' 7 11x6 J cutting edge of translation and re-negotiation, the in- but an ex/posure of the terror - a post-colonial rupture - my between space - that carries the burden of the terror writing with and against the promise as a neo-colonial meaning of culture... f . . Homi Bhabha [1994 38-9] gatekeeper of western epistemologies. Mediation as/m surveillance - medi(t)ation writing itself into an abysmal space - one 'post' nudging another in the 'inter' spaces. Disrupting mediation in the space of a complicated conversation within textual praxis. And a 'because' that has become a performative utterance that survives - lives on in its own gesture of deliverance. Translation travels on shifting ground - as a signature takes an exilic leap from textual inscription - in a performative circum-stance. And a 'because' that seeks to interrupt the circum-scriptions of (t)exteriority. A 'because' extracted from contextual constraints to have another chance to take a risk. A 'because' as performative dispatch - the script of no-Thing opening to generative possibilities - survives in an anonymous productivity. Post-al systems as dis-patch. [postupok] A word I draw from Bakhtin as the taking of a step [a pied]. Phantom "1 footprints in a doubled tracking - the occupant and the ghost - the one and the other. A O What happens when the shoes are abandonned? When to abandon is the gift - is the always already condition of the gift. When the ruins of representations open to something else? Stepping into ruins after abandonment - stepping into the rigour of ruins - ruins linger - they have a long afterlife - opening to spaces of conversations nearby. I like to watch my footprints disappearing on the shore - in the Arctic snow - on the crest of a dune in the Sahara sands - in the scribble of the text - disappearing as they appear. Such is text. Ruins overflow the text and the text disappears. Signatures disappear - reappear. 169 dis/cordant aspirations Does one defend one's re/search as a closed text or open it - ex/pose it to shifting habitations - drifting identities of authorship? Opening - to exposure - to the gaps and intervals of in-between spaces. Opening to the aspirations of discordant pronouns - the laboured breathing of pro-nouns that run with and against each other in a tracking - in a long-distance run. Re/search as an open wound - and I repeat a Derridean citation of a writing that is a re-working of the tissue that ceaselessly re-forms itself around the incision. Giorgio Agamben urges us to conceive of the event of language as exposition - passing on from Benjamin a way of reading of "what was never written." Agamben tracks the passage from "aporia" - or "lack of way" to euporia - a felicious way [5]. Irigaray sketches im/possible felicities. Bhabha's 'inter' carries the burden of meaning - the burden of this chapter that seeks a space in-between a re-lease and a re-working. [aporia] A passage blocked. A blocked passage through a passage. This marker - this "I t\ placeholder drifts from Derrida from Beckett and leaks into education through the A.jr work of Patti Lather. Beckett's old aporetics ... Beckett's porous acoustics in the transpiration of a Derridean double rhythm - a syncopation in the space of a hyphen - im-possible - in the space of a slash - sytole/distole - pulse of the possible/impossible - a pulsing drive of deconstruction - a pulsating rhetoric for a radical pedagogy - that moves beyond the Freudian impossibility of pedagogy - that survives in the cadence of a moment ... Cixous' notions of affinity ... affinity for a word. Derrida's aporia in writing Beckett - is it the unheimlich of the familiar that stops him - the uncanny of the T ... I can't go on ... I'll go on ... And the aporia that interests me now is the aporia of hospitality - the hospitality of the text - the im/possibility of hospitality. Derrida speaks of a critical crossroads - "semantic filiations ... and the aporetic crossroads" as he opens to multiple doublings - "double bifurcation, double postulation, contradictory double movement, double constrain or double bind paralyzes and opens hospitality, holding it over itself in holding it out to the other, depriving it of and bestowing on it its chance ..."[2000:15]. As for me - if I can only remember to breathe - it's about the rhythm of breathing - through a blocked passage. It's about remembering to breathe while trying very hard to suture a thought that is always already overflowing the limits of its topography. The aporia of an T that tarries at the threshold of a text. 170 A provocative defeat - I am escaping another professional day at my elementary school. As a primary teacher I am asked to speak to secondary teachers about assessing ESL students. I prepare an agenda within 'third' discourse - and yet - but yet - I must speak to what still haunts my work - the spectral presence from the ministerial crypt and I feel humiliated by my own futile attempts at reconciliation - the old stories nested with/in the new - knowingly not knowing how to proceed. The performative contradiction - how to work the gap? If one ignores the ministry, will it disappear - become extinct - live on beyond extinction? We are in conversation about reading elsewhere and writing otherwise - and it is through aporia that I proceed willfully - cautiously - boldly - faltering - aware of the tenuous nature of my re-imaginings. And I'm drawn once again to Beckett's weak intensities - What am I to do, what shall I do, what should I do, in my situation, how proceed? By aporia pure and simple? From cryptophilia to crypopoetica. Subversive tactics. Where? And one day acceptance of a manuscript for publication - traces of refusal re-fused - infused through rhyzomatic movements. Humiliation as a fertile site — to re-enter the earth once again. What does the hyphen want - another chance to risk - an encore. [excitation] I am intrigued by Nicholas Royle's notation of excitation which he A contends cannot be read without "a logic of ex-citation, of that which dispossesses, ~ " ex-propriates or para-cites every citation" [1995:169]. Related to excitation is a "logic of contamination" which destabilizes citation [170]. Royle proposes a radicalization of theory passing into writing - of identities disappearing into writing - as signatures dissolve. And what happens as writing is published? Stuart Hall contends that "texts are only momentary stabilizations and then you give them back to the flow of meaning ..." [Olson & Worsham, 1999:121]. Text waiting for 'lack' as a resurgence of desire. How to contaminate pedagogy? By writing? I want to teach about ex-citation - tell students how I am struggling to ex-cite my marks. How can they ex-cite from my mark(ing)s on them? Ex-scription. 171 living on in spaces of hybridity Responding to a library recall, I'm scanning the book-to-be-returned before setting off to the library. I locate my chapter four dilemma - my situation - in Blanchot's notion of a noli me legere - "the estrangement that exists between the author and his work." The noli is always already in force - as an interdiction - inscribing a limit and an invitation to cross over that limit. Transgression between the exigencies of writing and reading an invocation toward hybridity. A spur as a Blanchotian murmur. A meeting after school today - to complete a mission statement [mittere - to send] or a Derridean envoie. We are inventing through re-articulation a pedagogical space - entangled in a tensionality of resistance. Phrases displaced - replaced - trans-lating - disturbing the tenancy of placeholders. Stillborn language from the English crypt resisting displacement - re-fused - in-fused with re-alignments - Phelan's pedagogy for loss and disappearance - and Bhabha's notion of translation - living on - complicated hybrid conversation - productivity in the labour of signs - dislocating cryptic inscriptions to open spaces for generative possibilities - from which students and teachers can 'risk' and 'sparkle.' [hybridity] Trinh and Bhabha in interview - in conversation on hybridity and 2 J_ interstitial spaces - re-affirming difference in working again with hybridity, constantly reopening it and displacing it in order to keep its space alive - a question of survival [27-8] Derrida's writing is always already on the move - linguistic deviations that keep its space alive. Something happens to your writing when you read Derrida. As a reading effect of the im/possibility of reading Derrida. I was asked once about the dangers of sterility in a hybrid space. Hybrid spaces are always already there as risky tensioned ambiguous contradictory spaces of original difficulty - spaces where we cannot distinguish between promise and terror. When you are reading Derrida. The space in-between performance and performativity. Hybridity is always already there. Death evokes its own invitations of impossibility. We don't know. 172 Psychoanalytic discourse exposes the failure of language in its attempts at reference - in its attempts to produce a secure obj ect-world. In the phantasmatic, my intention begins to disintegrate - in the dis/comfort of language as it tries in vain to bring the subject body within its laws - in the institution of school - within ministerial dictums. We, in pedagogy, trope identities in the most naive of rituals. I am reading Zizek reading Gould returned to my original intention to disrupt but now with a doubling of intention as/in a disruption - an ex-posure of the thing of language. And now I struggle to dismantle the rituals reading Zizek ... the 'wound' that the symbolic inflicts on the subject, can only be intended by an application of what caused it: namely, by an investment in the symbolic through a commitment to its empty form. Missing bodies. Standing in line one evening — in a mundane moment - I'm waiting to make a bill payment - the time is 'out-of-joint' - I'm suddenly startled to sense a familiar presence - and I'm listening to a story about a student returned-to-country-of-origin - my role as vanishing mediator returns in turn to haunt me - [ego-spook] - a perversion of the promise of the gap - the failure of mediation - of language - within the silence and the excess of the hyphen. What does the hyphen want? Experience is more than an anecdote. [mot-de-passage] - password - passport - as a case of empty speech. Zizek interprets ^ ^ Lacan. Could it be that goals and objectives and criteria are passwords - mots-de- passage - empty speech - admission to a symbolic space - overly functional language. Zizek makes reference to the chindogu - the art of uselessly overfunctional objects - purposeful without purpose. Can we ask with Zizek whether language is not the ultimate chindogu - how can we disturb this language to make something else happen? Remember Laiwan who defines Canadian ... "as a slim document called a passport" [59]. See Mary Doll for "how to obtain a passport ... on the edge of curriculum theory" (2000, p.viii). Is it not time for some border work? The passport is the doxa - the coda - for hospitality as/and hostility. How to trouble the sly spatialities of signs signals signatories ... 173 If all readings are readings of the self - how do I write the 'other' - knowingly unknowing - inventing a space of writing that opens to generative possibilities - writing- a-child-in-the-becoming - trembling with the possibility of the child becoming what I am writing - becoming what I am - a subject of interpellation - interpellated by the system of pedagogical ideology. Zizek's 'sublime object of ideology.' A promise haunted always by the possibility of its perversion. A reader reading my writing - the 'other' being in me - carried forth as traces - as cinder [ily a la cendre ] - a misrecognition - a misreading - a misfire - a force de rupture from the space of the interval - going forth into the flow of meaning - an enterprise of writing that seeks ex-scription ... inscribed in the ambiguities of the ennunciatory space of host/age. Host as hostage/ hostage as host. A ficticious grammatical T writing a ficticious (s)he ... [host/age] - the difficulties of being held mise-en-demeure - is this the impossible /y *y space of a word - of pedagogy? These paratexts - what Gerard Genette would term X«3 "liminal mediations" are perhaps my fetishes - a sub-limation - of repressed desire in a fetishistic ex/posure - the im/possibility of escaping from a doubling - Genette warns of the effects of the paratext "experienced subconsciously" - the fetish as both the presence of something and the sign of its absence - unable to satisfy the desire that it attracts. Genette as - the occupant and the ghost - the one and the other always already there. And as/in the running of a course, Genette draws from Valery on translation that everything ends up 'in the curriculum' everything survives as/in re-newal - running as a course: "The ultimate destiny of the paratext is sooner or later to catch up with its text in order to make a book"[\997:403]. To enter the aporetic site of hospitality. Already as hostis, I am host and enemy in the text. AuthorTextReader in a material event of host(age). 174 The writing has become for the writer an inter-esse in writer/reader chiasmus - an inter- e s t in the chiasmus between academe and school praxis. The work - the words as place holders - of unstable tenancy - waiting for a reader to write them on. Reading intertextuality in the spaces in-between the school and the academe - a double tenancy - a doubling pied-a-terre which de-stabilizes the tenant-as-writer and opens spaces for something else to happen. For theory to disappear into the everyday of the classroom - for the lived experience of moving bodies to risk exilic leaps into theory. And for pedagogy to dwell in the entanglements of a messy text. For something to happen to language so that language can make something happen to pedagogy. A doubling moment. [A pied] - the staging of a mise-en-scene - unfolding the tent - an enterprise of 24 surviving at stake - survivre - survival - living on - the tent unfolded today in a diasporic journey [a pied] into the endowment lands enfolding the university - a journey on foot into Pacific Spirit Park - the stakes of mobility shifted today into the moss-covered folds of old growth forest - in a drifting habitation - on muddied pathways - on slippery terrain - we stopped to pause at an uprooted tree - Karen Meyer alerted us to a forest giant with withered roots exposed - textured closures breaking away from the earth in the empty space of a wound and the vibrant re-texturing - a profusion of new growth from this 'nursing' log - a small group of women in a hermeneutic circle lifted glasses of champagne - in a toast to experience - the experience of the spring equinox - to share inspirited confessionals - to heal from the haunted dictations - the hegemonic inscriptions of a practiced place - academia - as the hauntings of 'endowment' hung heavy in the cedar-scented air - occupants and ghosts - a diaspora of women dia through the verdant moss-covered forest - spora - scattering - disseminating - to rescue a de-centered centre from losing its course of running - currere is to run. Women running the course with Pinar: "I am experience. With each breath. Experience. Regardless of the context, I am, running a course .... Currere is to run. " Laboured breathing. As experience has captured us in our inability to escape. Dis/cordant aspirations. Exposed as/in mise- en-abyme. Running in the gap of a faultline between the fictional cultures of home, centre and earth. Gasping ... 175 Mundane a. [Latin mundus world] 1) of this world, worldly 2) of the universe, cosmic 3) dull, routine. I listened to Carl Leggo telling me to soar but to be mundane. Soar as in hover without flapping of wings? Could this be what Calvino meant by festina lente - to hurry slowly - a strangeness of pace and tone? Soaring beneath and beyond the mundane to make something happen in the in-between spaces of im/mundus. Both in and out of the world and yet neither in nor out of the world. One has to have some sense of the world to 'be' out of it - some sense of grammar to be ungrammatical - some sense of the limits of englishness in order to incite a transgression of the boundaries - to write into the ruins of 'broken' english. It's about finding the ex- quisite in the mundane - seeking in the everyday events. How to write in and out of the world - im/mundus. How to write an inter-val in-between reader and writer. And I return to Cixous and her School of Roots on mundus and immund - the world and out-of-the-world. When a writing departs from the writer - as dispatch - as post(age) - where does it go? What happens? What happens when a reader arrives - arrives without a shore? When a reader arrives in the space of the always already and not yet there. Where? 176 chapter five 'uncanny' demarcations: post(mark)ing an apostrophe gestures toward no/thing... And have we now arrived at the moment of the gesture - the gesture of deliverance1? And I select from the selections an apostrophic gesture2 - to post an apostrophe. Or is it atrophy at the moment of posting - a moment of Beckett's 'weak intensities' - that draws me to this word - that announces an uncanny affinity for just this one word ... at this moment ... a now of discourse. Of writing toward the reader. Now at the ending we must address the limits of narrative and the tension between the narrative, the narrator and the narration. And the apostrophic gesture? Jonathan Culler envisions the tension between the narrative and the apostrophic as a generative force. Culler contends that apostrophes remove the opposition between presence and absence from "empirical time" and relocate it in "discursive time." I lose my 'self in Beckett's 'texts for nothing' - where the brackets stammer and clatter - medi(t)ation - where meaning spills in the gap of a doubled moment... of the said and the saying.3 Apostrophe resists narrative because its now is not a moment in a temporal sequence but a now of discourse, of writing. [152] [A]postrophe makes its point by troping not on the meaning of a word but on the circuit ... [135] Apostrophe ... is a figure spontaneously adopted by passion, and it signifies, metonymically, the passion that caused it. [138] Jonathan Culler [1981] 1 David Smith admits a reluctance to end with conclusions because - the contentious 'because'- conclusions are dangerous [1999:109]. 21 alert the reader to Bill Readings [1996] who "refuses the modernist privileging of the sender over the addressee" [155] who draws from Bakhtinian dialogism. Readings contends that in the recognition of the addressee we are inscribing within discourse "a radical aporia" and we are respecting the "abyssal space of reading by the other: the fact that we never know to whom our words may speak" [156]. Drawing from psychoanalysis, Readings contends with Freud, Lacan and Felman that teaching is "interminable." Here, I am reading Critchley reading Derrida reading Levinas as I struggle with the notion of an ethical gesture that maintains the tension of a doubled gesture. Critchley's doctoral dissertation was entitled "The Chiasmus: Levinas, Derrida and the Ethical Demand for Deconstruction." 177 Who signs here - at the ends of writing - always a double Man has the impulse to run up against the signature - the one with the other - the writer and the reader in a limits of language ... This running up dialectic - a being-with-one-another in a text. Now let's a g a i n s t t h e c . ! ! m i t s o f ° language is Ethics. complicate the notion of apostrophe with the posing of a Wittgenstein [1989:80] question. Zizek offers a Lacanian position on ethics based on the question 'che vuoV - or what are you asking of me that is more than you are saying? Levinas conceives of ethics as an infinite obligation to the other but what does the other want? The Lacanian question disturbs the notion of any possibility of clarity of obligation. Is this about the impossibility of teaching? Critchley makes reference to the notion of 'seriature' to describe Levinasian textuality4 - the relations or seriatural rhythm of "binding and unbinding" - of texture and atexture. Levinasian textuality maintains a tension that Critchley contends "preserves the absolute priority of ethical obligation."5 As the not knowing what is wanting? Rey Chow works toward unpacking the tangled texts of Spivek and Zizek in the pursuit of an "ethics after idealism" each evoking a movement toward the void - Spivek drawing from Derrida, and Zizek drawing from Lacan. And then I become entangled again in Critchley drawing on Levinas and Derrida. Elusive traces of an impossible ethics. Derrida 4 Levinasian textuality maintains a tension between the thread (the ontological Said), the knot (the ethical Saying or interruption), and the hiatus (the interruption of the interruption). It is this interruption of the interruption that entices me - that works to maintain a persistent instability. 5 See Simon Critchley's "Bois" - Derrida's Final Word on Levinas, in Bernasconi and Critchley (eds.) Re- Reading Levinas. I am open to ex-posure here -1 acknowledge that I am re-reading Levinas before reading him. 178 in his border crossings with Lacan alerts us to the "tangled knots"6 of the double fold of invagination. But now I must address the aporetic inscription of an intention - And on the movement , « . . . . . , , . of apostrophe... the apona of responsibility - to draw on the tensionality of A pedagogy ... here performative writing as form of inquiry. How does the reader as the gesture of leading or directing the psyche a "psychic contraction" enter the empty stage of metonymy in ° f o t h f * P a s s e s r J r J o J j through apostrophe. performative writing? B i l l Readings brings tension into the Derrida [1987:48] issues through his contention that "to be hailed as an addressee is to be commanded to listen, and the ethical nature of this relation cannot be justified."7 Readings draws from the German word Achtung to provide a link between respect and warning. I recall Derrida's contention that promise carries with it the possibility of its inversion - of its perversion - the possibility of terror. Readings envisions education as e ducere - as a "drawing out of the otherness of thought that undoes the pretension to self- presence."8 This drawing out process involves a chiasmatic relationship between students and teachers with a dissymmetrical movement in the double fold. And, perhaps, it is here that the medi(t)ational brackets begin to tremble. In the moments of chiasmatic rhythms that are interruptive shifts. Already a troubling of the apostrophic gesture. See the chapter "For the Love of Lacan" in Derrida's Resistances of Psychoanalysis. Derrida applies here what he terms "the topological expression ... the chiasmatic invagination of the borders" [1996:69]. Derrida moves beyond the language of phallocentrism into the language of feminine domain - of feminine topology. 7 See Readings The university in ruins [1996:162]. 8 See Readings [1996:162]. 179 Having wandered repeatedly from intentions - getting lost with landmarks or with what Lyotard entitles "scapelands" - textualities that offer multiple ways to wander from meaning. Intending to rely on psychoanalytic discourse, I find my 'self enticed into other modes of travel where psychoanalytic traces drift and collide with deconstruction - which way should I go - into the chiasmus between Lacan and Derrida - where the misfires spark and startle. Writers that I am reading re- directing me - re-turning me to second readings - the second - a Levinasian rhythm following the first - a messy, murky way of re-searching that takes you deeply into the wounds gaps voids empty spaces and the silences where unexpectedly you may encounter an elusive moment of jouissance - locate a source of invocation that spurs the writing one more time. And a re-entry into a pedagogy where in my re-readings I locate de Certeau and Agamdon in Britzman and Blanchot in Readings - my happenstances suddenly startled in re-cognition - in repetition - in mimesis. And Butler re-directing me - a return - a second reading of Derrida's introduction to Lacoue-Labarthe's9 Typography. A l l of these proper names begin to speak beyond their utterances. And I begin to locate Aokian moments of metonymy everywhere. They have always been there - awaiting an arrival - 9 In my re-reading I now recall Douglas Aoki recommending Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy on Lacan - when I first joined the Lacanian study group that, in fact, I had heard about from him. Derrida has Lacoue- Labarthe writing "with and against Lacan" submitting the "Lacanian recasting of Freud to the look, to the The gesture marks and re- marks the entry into presence; it appropriates and gives at the same time. Mere presentation - representation, which forgets the gesture and that in which the gesture takes place, creates immutability in an empty ... spatial ecstasis that belongs to time with no memory of the place in which it is rooted. Luce Irigaray [1999:169] 180 my students have taken me on the path that is Hermes and tossed the stones so that I might see the path - the path that is made in walking with the other - the other that self - the path where a stranger walks - a stranger within the self. Always a blindspot.... is in time that is out-of-joint1 0 . . . And I have learned that messy (w)rites of passage require time and space - uneasy moments - nervous (w)rites.11 For the organicity of composting - decomposing - for * 12 Irigaray's aeration - time is needed. Time that may be 'out-of-joint' but in its very being-out-ofjoint sparks the performativity to be enacted within the writing process -for tensions to escalate and dissipate — time for readings and repeated readings - time for inter/views and re/signations and re/jections - and transgressions - time for generative re-newals - time for live(d) experiences to interrupt and be disrupted by the performative enactments of writing. And out-of-times and deadlines to escalate the tensionality - to mark a limit - to incite transgression. Time for the post to atrophy and time for the rhythms of atrophy as Beckett's weak intensities to post a script - to post the possibility of re-emergence from the crypt. Re-emerging: otherwise. theoretical, to the specular, and to the speculative. And therefore to an ontomimetological interpretation of mimesis." I am enticed again by the complexities of writing that are performative in resistance. 1 0 Hamlet's in/famous line. 1 1 Philippe Nemo in interview with Heidegger contends that for Heidegger one reaches 'nothingness' through anxiety from "a direct and irreducible access." See the introduction to The Levinas reader edited by Sean Hand [1991:3]. 1 2 See Luce Irigaray's The forgetting of air in Martin Heidegger for a reading which takes away from Heidegger "that earth on which he so loved to walk." Irigaray entices him back into the world of pre- Socratics - leads him away from metaphysics: "Of what [is] this is! Of air" [1999:5], 181 Time that is "out-of-joint" - late writings - absence of Derrida on Levinas: productivity. As I transcribed dictations for my student, I ... where I slowly read to you, at this very moment, could sense that I was already becoming a repetition - of listen: „ , . , , ... , , , , , , , Responsibility for the other, autobiography - humiliation by a teacher - and then the day goi^g a g a i n s ; i n t e n t i o n a l i t y and the will which of announcement - the speech act performing beyond its intentionality does not succeed in dissimulating, utterance - the blind spot clamouring in the spaces in-between S 1 8 m f i e s n o t m e disclosure of a given and its reception, but the exposure of me to metaphor and metonymy — I am inscribed by my inscriptions the other, prior to every decision. as I transcribed dictation - scaffolding - a pedagogical Levinas cited in Derrida metaphor that harbours silence in the metonymic spaces below the word. Reflections take place at the borderlands of understanding. With the promise was the perversion of terror. No longer any distinction. And in a paradoxical contradiction,13 confronting - ex/posing my own unwritten papers - waiting - through the rescue to re(s)-cue my 'self.' The complicity of the 'gift' opens to Metonymic moments (metaphor/metonymy). Blanchot draws from Mallarme the notion of writing as "an insane game" - the insanity is constituted in the in-between spaces of the act of writing and the absence of the work. The brilliance of a student who resists the role of editor - resists performing the role of editor when there is 'no' newspaper - my students leading me to dialogues with Blanchot and Mallarme - these performative plays of what it means and not-means to write ...and to not write. My students - those who resist systemic practices - are there with Mallarme I draw here from Marion Hobson's [1998] Jacques Derrida: Opening lines. Hobson writes into the complicities of Heidegger, Levinas and Derrida in the relation to the Other as a double relation - double bind vs negotiation - to the Other. 182 and Blanchot and Derrida and Levinas and Trinh and Cixous - there to help me with my re-readings. Returning for a moment to the summer of '96 - to a summer of doublings - there were two sets of readings that summer - two courses14 - for arrivals and departures. As I began to read into the void'5 but also began to read - to translate culture as dis/abler - the double fold repeating on itself - a doubling of doubles - a summer of doublings - in an uneven chiasmatic movement - the leaking of culture - and a leaning toward the void - toward the moment of an apostrophic gesture.16 To lean 'toward'in that double fold is an uneasy moment. Through the space of - the fluid moment of the 'leak,' I was able to spill out of myself - my 'self spilling out of a capitonnage - and into the space of a restless "I"- always already and not yet there ...a dis/comforting space. Where? 1 4 I was also enrolled in a course on 'risk and resilience' in educational psychology. In my undecidibility everything leading me astray - leading me to stray - an article by McDermott and Varehne on "Culture as Disability" - marking my exit and Douglas Aoki's article "The Thing of Culture" enticing me into new spaces where the specter of the uncanny interrupted the binary positionings of 'risk' and 'resilience' - disrupted linear notions of cause and effect. The entanglements in co-complicities re-emerge in a recent article by Zizek "Of Cells and Selves" in The Zizek Reader. Zizek refers to the work of Stephan Jay Gould. 1 51 was ex-static to see on the SPOON-ANN List Serve the announcement of an interdisciplinary colloquium at Loyola Marymount University about NOTHING entitled "Signing the Void: Gestures Toward Nothing" as a tribute to Wolfgang Iser. I only wish that I could have been there. 1 6 Yesterday, May 16th, a friend gave me a bouquet of flowers, lilac branches from a lilac bush in her yard. The text is now hushed for a moment - haunted with the scent of lilacs - perhaps you can detect the traces of a scent - haunted with traces of lilac bushes in my grandmother's yard - moments of scented beauty - we went to see a V i e t n a m e s e film entitled 'three seasons' - 'five' stars - it rests with me and so must enter too the pages of my inscriptions here - in writings at the end - the stories of my students retold themselves as I lingered in cinematic images - the name Bui inscribed in the credits on the screen - V i e t n a m e s e rain pouring in torrents down the surface of the screen -1 do love rain - Vancouver rain - english rain - Vie tnamese rain - textured within the stories on the screen -1 chided myself for the sweet romantic images that lingered with me as we.left the theatre and then lingered in those moments of sweet murmurs in those spaces of abjection - narratives of disfigurement, disenfranchisement, disenchantment - in a few 'sweet' moments where a murmur enters into the multiple spaces of poverty. And 'sweet' - why am I using 'sweet' - it's a word that takes some significance from the 'language' of my students who tell me that over '19' you'll never be able to learn our language but they are willing to teach me the skateboarder's version of 'sweet' - sweet as it leaps in an exilic leap from the utterance of a student to the text of my footnotes and in the transference what happens? 183 Where can we go with the where - 'where' is a travelling signifier and the travelling metaphor has its limits - what happens when the travelling metaphor 'bumps' into a limit and dis/locates itself? Is it in the moment of dis/location - a gesture - moving on - a disturbance in rhythm in the gaps of doubled imaginaries. Paternal spectres - an invocation from the crypt of hauntology. Metonymy as a double movement. Genealogy as exegesis, the dead bodies of words swollen with etymologies and devoid of logos, born by the drift of the texts: such is modernity, in its painful break with discourse, as witnessed by its most sincere representations. Emmanuel Levinas [1996:4] On a Wednesday - April 21 s t I purchased my first to Levinas and then reading Levinas reading Derrida _ . T ^ i - r - T i i i t I a m trying to finish my chapter Levinas - I feel as i f I know now how to ascend the f o r the bodymind book before I start reading anything new Cixousian ladder by descending - by reading backwards • • just picked up the dreyfus and dreyfus chapter in that book on embodiment and now am off writing about merleau ponty ... and then was pointed to moreno Levinas reading Blanchot - and the text that I write on psychodrama who writes about spontaneity! agghh ... the 'seizing' the gaze from me and looking back at the wor(l)d keeps spinning.... wl writer - looking back at me as I tremble within the fragility - the uncertainties of the words of my readings. Blanchot's 'murmur' - lapping at the frayed edges of the traces - for 'to write is to die' - emerging from the deadletter zone to look back at me. Where am I going? I came to read Levinas late in these writings -1 had to work a little harder to locate his texts but the curiosity had long been there through referents from Derrida and others and through the 'as' ending of his proper name - I wanted to trace the possibilities of Lithuanian roots and when I tracked him - reading his rootprints - I found his birth 184 place to be that of 'le nom du pere' - proper names and paternities - the bonds of paternities - the same and not the same - Catholic and Jewish differences within the 'sameness' of location17 - 'as if - as if they might have crossed paths on a street corner in Kaunas somewhere - if not there then here in a 'mise-en-page' of differences and deferrals - of Derridian differance. And if writing is giving birth, then I desire an il/legitimate birth for a father who was there and yet not there - for my 'english' language that is mine and yet not mine - haunted by the traces of other languages - languages that are not there - and 'not' not there ...ghostly demarcations. Cinders. I return now to a citation by Aoki - a re-reading after reading otherwise and elsewhere - to read again as an/other reader - I am drawn again to his writings about the withdrawal of the pedagogue - in the performativity of his disappearance - in his absent presence -1 read now - in the now of discourse - an aporetic withdrawal - an impossible withdrawal - ambiguous residuals leave their traces as frayage' - at the moment when I am so entangled in the texts that to become in my own becoming is yet another aporia. And yet it is my hand that turns the pages - the text stumbles in the knowledge of a loss of distinction between promise and terror. How does disappearance happen? Where? 1 71 cannot stop reading and in re-readings of the text as I am editing the work I am reading Maria Morris [2000] who exposes a blindspot in my nostalgic longings as rootprints -1 am horrified with the complicities of Lithuania - in the not-knowing and the not not-knowing - these paths that cross - that open to yet another language - a language always already with the promise and the perversion of promise in the con-texture of contiguity - of neighbouring - of hospitality. The aporia of hospitality. A proper name that seeks its roots. Morris is not seeking Utopias but dystopias -1 have much to learn. A text is made so as to do without references. Even to the thing, as we shall see, to the author who consigns to that place merely his disappearance, this disappearance is actively inscribed, it is not an accident of the text but rather the latter's nature; it marks there the signature of an incessant omission. Derrida, cited by Michael Temple [1999:14] 185 By an act of cannibalism.18 My writing is always The text, then, is not only based upon the , , , I T y approach of a Word that is always prompted by my readings - I emerge from aporetic l a c k i n g . i t a l s o p o s t u l a t e s a p r e . e x i s t i n g reader who is missing in the text, but inscriptions through readerly exscriptions - circular authorizes it. The text is produced in relation to this missed present, this hermeneutics that take me beyond my 'self leaving s P e a k i n 8 . h e a r i n 8 o t h e r - W r i t i n g a r i s e * from the separation that makes this presence the inaccessible other of the me suspended and in suspense. Cixous writes of her text, and the author himself (the "I") a multiple, iconoclastic passer-by in his affinities for certain authors and of reading as o w n fragmented work. The savage ethic of speech opens the way for a Western „ ^, , ,,]o „ j. , ethic of writing - a writing sustained by eating on the sly. Someone once referred to my t h e i m p o s s i b l e W o r d a t w o r k w i t h i n t h e text. If one cannot be a cannibal, there is writing as being rich like Christmas cake - you can still the option of lost-body writing. Michel de Certeau [1986:79] only eat so much. And so, in an act of narcissism20, I went out and bought some Christmas cake - to taste the taste of my own writing - if writing is woman's way of coming into being - then I suppose I was engaging in an-act- of cannibalism - the most savage of cannibal acts - eating the flesh of my own writing - of my own 'self - a fleshly semiotics - and I ate until it was all gone — not all at once - for one can only eat so much - but morsel by morsel - until it was all gone - until T had disappeared - until only crumbs remained - traces - is this about the disappearance of the author - is this how author/ities disappear? And in a moment of apostrophe one 1 8 For this I must slide down to the bottom of the page because we are about to talk about cannibalism. I have heard that some people don't like Christmas cake - but I do - sometimes - when it's like the cake my grandmother used to make - moist and rich and aged with spirits - and yet - you could still distinguish the textures of morsels of fruits and nuts - and savour them - bit by bit - even when they're all gone - the memory traces remain as cinders. My writing has also been demarcated as 'Gobbledegook' but then I located 'Gobbledegook' in Higgin's introduction to Minihan's photographs of Beckett: "In a word, Inglenooknarration, gruntings and groanings and gushy whisperings; Gobbledegook" [1995:18]. I can now live well with 'Gobbledegook.' 1 9 See Helene Cixous Three steps on the ladder of writing. Cixous writes that reading is also "a clandestine, furtive act... It confuses. Reading is not as insignificant as we claim ... Reading is a provocation, a rebellion .. .We are eating. Reading is eating on the sly"[1993:21]. 2 0 Derrida makes reference to a "hospitable narcissism" and believes that "without a movement of narcissistic reappropriation, the relation to the other would be absolutely destroyed, it would be destroyed in advance." See Points... [1995:199]. 186 gestures ...and then to write again - to write into the space of the wound - in moments of weak intensities - to lean toward the wor(l)d. But if the 'self was eating on the sly then I was eating morsels of the other within the 'self.' I began my writing by speaking of Bakhtin's postupok - 'a step taken' or 'the taking of a step' - and now I want to draw in Tsvetaeva's stikhia or element - matter - and the element - poetic verse - From the School of the Dead Cixous draws from Tsvetaeva the Russian signification of element as resistance. Cixous has the earth and the sea offering resistance - and language or thought. What about the complicity of language and thought? What might happen at the sites of resistance? Pushing thoughts against themselves as Britzman encourages us to do. It is not objective research that guides my 'individually answerable act'; it is the fragmentary moments of everyday live(d) experience - lived deeply with promise and the possibilities of the perversion of that promise as terror - that opens to traversals - the traversals that open as one proceeds - not 'thick' descriptions but 'deep' spaces so that one falters and stumbles and stammers and trembles within the 'depths' - and the 'unsaid' has a voice in the silence of those gaps and fissures - from the void - terror sutured in a frozen gaze - rewritten through multiple ex/posures until - bumping against a limit-painfully conta(m)in(at)ing the soul. Cixous brings the etrangere into the writing - the stranger that is in oneself - the strangeness of ecriture feminine into writing - and in this writing that interrupts itself - this etrangere announces itself in unexpected moments. Derrida reconfirms that writing is the other name of this difference. Certeau's 187 notion of the author as a passer-by in his own fragmented work. And in the gesture of deliverance another purloined letter begins its journey arriving and not arriving ...destination) - always out of context and with the possibility of being held mise-en- demeure in the dead letter zone. I recall my struggle with a site of tension between Derrida and Lacan on the readings of Poe's purloined letter but the site of tension is what keeps the purloined letter alive long after its death - the chiasmus -1 got stuck for a time in the language of the English gaze - in the authority of the English eye. Which one is right - which way do I go and now - in the now of discourse - an aporetic site - explications remain stalled in the space of original difficulty. Narrative too has its limits Britzman goes beyond narrative — outside of narrative — into extradiscursive spaces - is this Lacanian 'extimite.' And Derrida would say that there is nothing outside the text - but where is 'noThing'? And so what is this all about - this final apostrophe - to do less harm if we heed Britzman? And how? To listen with a 'third' ear to the where? And i f the act of writing itself constitutes thinking, then how can we open spaces for our students to constitute themselves? For ex-scribing through inscriptions - making tremble our notions of 91 schemata and strategies and opening to student traversals and tactics. Another proper name is returned to me in a Vietnamese film. In this film entitled "Three Seasons" - the Bui family is written again - I see the name 'Bui' in the film credits. A Vietnamese film with multiple stories interwoven through storied fragments - poignant - 2 1 See de Certeau on strategies and tactics in The practice of everyday life. 188 poems ... songs ... lotus blossoms, a tiny paper boat floating in a gutter in torrents of rain ...a murmur of rapture in the moments of poverty. My assessment practices have often involved a Vietnamese theme for the literacy portion. The story of the Bui family was re-written in a multiplicity of translations. One group of students composed a story about a noodle shop and used the Chinese term to signify [translation] airplane soup because the ingredients came from everywhere. I'm still delighted with this metaphor because it resonates within its metonymic doubling - slides chiasmatically within its metonymic moment. And stories flood my screen as I recall attempts to use the information in the magazine article to enrich the details in the tellings of our co-emerging stories. But from the luxurious location of the Rex Hotel in Saigon, my student re-arranged the props - blurred and stained the screen so that she too had a space for herself - resisting my prompts in the co-evolving story - leaving them behind - arranging for the Bui family to find her passport and learn her birthdate - an occasion for a party in the park with the Bui family inviting her to stay at their home treating her as a daughter. And this was my 'homework' as I un/learned. And the beat and rhythm of the metron was the force of interruption - Derrida's "force de rupture" repeating itself in endless deferral and difference — in differance. The dissymetrical rhythm this time leaning toward the student. A story emerging 'out' of a story. The 'subject' emerges when the 'membrane', the surface which delimits the Inside from the Outside, instead of being just a passive medium of their interaction, starts to function as their active mediator. Zizek "Of Cells and Selves" in the Zizek Reader edited by Elizabeth Wright and Edmond Wright [1999:312] 189 Michel de Certeau contends that the "the text is born of the ...nothing can dispense relation between a departure and a debt. "22 The text is born mt- . f r T ° m „ ^ ^ f u ^ ^ which I am passively held to. The tomb is not a in the space of an interval. Within the 'text-off of an exit - refuge; it is not a pardon. The debt remains. [190] within the moment of departure how to depart from the debt L e v i n a s - B P W , , , , , , , , , [1996:n.25,p.l90] - is it the debt that is picked up and carried by the reader? Is this the desire of the writer? That the debt in its infinite deferral will be picked up by another - that a fragment, a trace, a gramme, a cinder will be invoked into some hybrid space. Perhaps I am only offering you an orange ...a blood orange ... to be eaten on the sly ...so that you can taste the rapture of... a murmur ...a morsel ... of your 'self - the blood of the stranger in your 'self.' And so I offer you an orange23 and I 'turn away.' All the characters alluded to in this text can be considered fictional as they have long since slipped away - escaped from the text - I don't know where they are - I only know for sure that they are not here where I have marked them - for in marking them they have been e(x)scribed - and so from these empty words - these desert spaces below the names - you have been reconstructing imaginary characters - psychic contractions on the empty stage of metonymy - and as for me - the fragments of my 'selves' I try to gather - I'm going somewhere - almost nowhere. The restless "I" -1 can only hope that they are on their way and now we have only emptied traces of a residual spectrality. And the empty stage of metonymy - written almost always in the rain will have been erased - stained - in the very act of writing. Is this my escape from the impossibility of ethics? 2 2 de Certeau The Writing of History [1988:318] And when the orange has disappeared as it must do - let the nothingness be converted into "a fertile source of continuous imaginative effort." See Cixous Vivre Vorange: To live the orange [1979]. I have 190 I don't know. Britzman suggests that we move toward a research praxis that acknowledges the need to be wounded by thought as an ethical move. I find myself drawn to scholars who write toward the site of the wound. Perhaps we must return to the notion of cryptonymy - to the story of the wolf man - to the story of English seeping its way up from the crypt2 4 - i f we must decipher the body - and the phantoms seeping through - sliding on sly and slippery spatialities of english wor(l)ds - then let's make it a deciphering of polyglossia - for in the trans/lation - we must leave gaps for empty spaces for the body to escape from the coded cipher. Derrida announces the 'crypt' as built by violence and refers to the 'the resistance' of certain materials - as depicted by architects. Where is the English gaze resisted? Where does it resist itself? When english is all that one has but what one has is not hers/his - what then? Derrida contends that the "domain of psychoanalysis is situated precisely on that 'ground of not-thought' of phenomenology."25 Where one site intersects with an/other. Where the letter of the unconscious causes a tremble. Where hermeneutic readings spin on the axis of their blind spots. Let us return to that eternal philosophical question that Chow been searching for endings - the ends of ethnography - the ends of performance - the ends of man - the ends of wo/man - there can be no ending ... or see Kermode. 2 4 In the "Foreword" to the Wolf Man's Magic Word: A cryptonymy, Derrida refers to the Wolf Man: "That is, himself- the lodging, the haunt of a host of ghosts, and the dramatic contradiction of a desire that is, however, no longer even his" [1986:xxiii]. Another language - the language of the governess with her English words emerges from the crypt and enters into the drama of the Wolf Man. 2 5 William Pinar makes reference to the concept of curriculum as " complicated conversation" with the phenomenological "arc of intensionality" having one end in lived experience and the other end in cited readings. Pinar refers to his work with Madeleine Grumet on autobiography in the early 1970's as "a method to make life in dead institutions." See Pinar's "Strange Fruit: Race, Sex, and an Autobiographies of Alterity" (in press) presented at UBC on August 14th, 1999. 191 redirected us to: "Why is there something instead of nothing?" Zizek points us to Lacan's response - that the "something" which "is" instead of nothing is the symptom - the metaphor as symptom. And symptoms become trajectories. And so it is where domains collide - that is the site that interests me - the site of tension - that entices me - where Lacan and Derrida collide - the site of Derridean differance - difference and deferral - Derrida himself refers to a chiasmus in his relationship to Lacan and calls for a new reading of Lacan - reading otherwise2 6- a new curriculum for psychoanalytic readers of Lacan. I trace Butler's journey in the new preface to her published dissertation - her journey through the Frankfurt school through the 'stops' at Yale - the limits defined at the site of Sartre - and the return to the French school and her apologies for her 'juvenilia.' Butler returns me to Derrida's introduction to Lacoue-Labarthe's Typography where he asks "how are they going to translate"? Always a question and now on Sunday morning as the rains begins ... a retour through the passages of Butler's preface to her dissertation to Derridean desistance. Saturday, June 5th, 1999 -Today on my Spartacus shift, I heard a story that spurs on the gesture of my dissertation - a gesture toward my 'self as reader - as addressee. Reading in moments of Beckett's 'weak intensities' - in Beckett's 'texts for nothing' - I decided that I wanted Beckett placed in the pauses between chapters - and then a clamouring - out from the space of 'weak intensities' - a young voice at the counter waiting to purchase her book shares a story with me - remembers a counsellor telling her parents 2 6 Shoshana Felman [1987] is a fine introduction to Lacan with a bridging to pedagogy. See Derek Britton for his commentary on multiple returns to Lacanian readings in pedagogical sites. Briton looks to Zizek as a route to Lacan. Derrida is asking now for re-readings of Lacan - for reading otherwise - a new curriculum for psychoanalysis. The chiasmus between Derrida and Lacan is rich with possibilities. I 192 that they should only speak English at home and telling her that she shouldn't tell fellow students what country she was from so that she would fit in; she was over time both esl and special education - she knew those metaphors of condensation and had bumped into their limits and was now transgressing on an adventure that I envied - she now was going on a life adventure seeking ways of getting our books sent out to her - do I need ethical consent to share this story which repeats fragments of multiple stories - do you the reader need more details? - do you need to know a name? a place - why? Hermes the messenger can tell you all that you need to know and Thoth the god of language second, as trickster, will fill in the blanks for you - fill the blanks with differance and sound a 27 clamour - this purloined letter of consent - a body that bumped the limits in order to transgress them — but carrying the limits with her - transforming them — ex-scribing from their linguistic hegemony. wonder where Zizek might be located in this hermeneutic spin. Felman contends that insight is always apres-coup - Derrida addresses the future anterior of the after-the-fact. Here I recall Andre Pred at a conference on human geography at UBC pounding on the lectern as a performative simulacrum of racists stomping on the face of an/other. The chill of terror stays with me i repeated memories of this dramatic and sonorous gesture of deliverance - a symbal-ic gesture. 193 As a volunteer staff member at a cooperative „ ^ , ~ ., , J J ^ Butler re-turns me to Derrida and Derrida encourages deep readings bookstore, I recently helped to train a new volunteer - of Philipp Lacoue-Labarthe's essays in Typography: a third year university student majoring in English ... work at reading and rereading these difficult texts (with their Literature. When she learned that I was a teacher, she incidental phrases, quotation marks, and parentheses), asked me why she hadn't heard about 'the death of the themselves and those they examine; work at going along author' in high school. Why had 'they' made it so wi1,h t^e*r strate§y>made u p o f ° J J audacity, cunning, prudence, and with the intractable necessity that simple? And, while I wondered with her, I thought how constrains them, with their rhythm, above all their breath - fortunate she was because I had had to wait until ample periods and the deep respiration of thought. Their time is that of a long distance run ... doctoral studies and only then by transgressing across y o u a r e r e a ding someone who is ... tracking ... [1998:15] disciplinary constraints. Ex-scribing my 'self in a Derrida in the "Introduction: detour from pedagogy in order to make tremble the Resistance to Typography 're' of a re-entry - of a re-turn. What does this mean for the practice of everyday teaching and teacher education? Students seeking complexity - yearning for the void - requesting what Deborah Britzman refers to as "pushing thought against itself. " Lather and Britzman encourage readers to think otherwise about research "as a space surprised by difference" moving into a performative praxis of not-knowing. Not-knowing and not not-knowing? Derrida refers to a syntactic formation that redoubles the movement of negation "ne pas ne pas. " His untranslatable "desistement" (he writes) may be one of its names. 194 traces of displacement Friends have now returned from Argentina but the text T • <. ~ u i A. •> ° I j U S t came back from a wonderful conference of fragments bear the traces of an Argentinian lineage - of american theatre educators - really found my community embodied dis/placements in Argentina - re/turned from there, tho there wasn't as much theory as I had hoped ... also saw it was possible to do what I Argentina - the power of a pre/position to transform - to do in a university setting . linking community theatre and re-turn to a re-reading. Friendships are interwoven academic work ... there were a few interesting sessions - on „7 , . .. . ,. _ , . , ^ r ^ . performance studies for through Argentinian teatro. And the fragments continue e x a m p l e 0ne on this amazing teatro popular in a barrio in to cross boundaries - to fray at the edges - frayage - to buenos aires - quite wild - and coco fusco , one of quillermo interweave through characters who transgress and g°mez penas collaborators was * 6 there... wl transcend their borders. Re-fusing 'adventureless' lives. Risking to live and living to risk. This life that moves about at the borders of a screen while a writer must stay put. Have you ever witnessed a group of students descend a Disability is a contradictory flight of stairs - an orchestral moment with the off-beat e n ^ o ^ S t ^ o n g 'witrTfoe struggle. Its etymological roots rhythm of crutches - a fragment out-of-context - rapture - link it to performativity ... To the extent that "ability" relates rapture that transcends from the space between the helmet t 0 " h a b e r e " o r " t h a t w h l c h m a y y be easily held," "labi l i ty" signifies that which escapes and the bicycle - and re-appears here in the graphics that one's grasp. At a certain level this is the very definition of Nancy denotes as 'rapture' - have you ever co-inhabited performance: it offers itself to be held, to tangibility, but ,, . j f ,. ^ , r o , ,. . , simultaneously asserts its own a stairwell in order to be disturbed? A living pedagogy disappearance. [1998:278] flows in the corridors and the stairwells creating Jane Blocker from "The Bed Took up Most of the Room" in ascending descending rhythms and resonances and The ends of performance t&ted. by Peggy Phelan and Jill Lane cadences ... and cries and silences - an aporetic rhythm ofpossible/ impossible. 195 How does rapture emerge from the diagonal space of dis/ability - in a moment of movement? I am finding it increasingly impossible to think about students as/in categories. In the Angel's Hideout they 'come and go.' On the ladder of the stairwell, they ascend and descend. Cixous would ask us: "Who invented borders? Borders don't exist."28 And Britzman drawing from Rancere who draws from Jacotot exposes explication as the myth of pedagogy. If myth is metaphor then what is unsaid in the metonymic spaces? Crossing borders, education became for Britzman "a problem of translation, not explication." From the space of a haunted pedagogy, she poses her question: "Can research, can narrative, can pedagogy refuse the production of inequality ...?" I want to ask how we can work the gap of in/equality. And now at the moment of apostrophic gesture - another interview - or rather inter- views - I'm on the interview committee this time - and I re-live my own interview for this job - testing my 'self against the criteria - sensing the failure of a 'match' as my 'i' loses its upper case designation and slides in the slippery passages of the cracks between the criteria - refusing the boxes - the limits - transgressing into the space of a mis/fit. Moving toward accreditation we seek stability - a move toward stability is another move toward death - movement toward the ultimate stability - the death of an institution - is there yet a site of contestation here - a teacher who 'jits' to work with the students who do not 'fit.' I find myself once more unable to articulate my position as I slowly sink into the grasping tethers of dread calling to me once more - the poverty of pedagogy in its 2 8 See Cixous, Three Steps on the ladder of writing [1993]. Cixous writes of a "harsh, trenchant desire not to be you" [131]. What then is the meaning of this trajectory of symptom? What are we wanting in a metonymic slide of desire? 2 9 See Britzman [1997: 35]. 196 move toward annihilation - a servant of the state — my voice disappears — speech drifts into a hollow empty space - how can we re-mark the speech act - here now in graphic representation - a hearing that is unheard is re-marked. And the hegemonic stance of designated 'criteria' - removing the need and the desire for 'thinking' - we put 'tic(k)s' like involuntary spasms beside the numbered criteria and we listen to words like 'fit' and 'stability' taking our robotic selves towards some final moment of stability - some 'final' solution '- the promise with not even the faintest signal of the terror - with not even a trace of struggle ... tic(k), tic(k), tic(k) ... obeying the rules of grammar even the commas wrap themselves around the signposts ... only the brackets leave a few degrees of separation — a few degrees of freedom - a tremor — a space for stammering - for stumbling - for uncertainties to gasp for a space. Britzman contends that one risks the self to engage the other — one does not begin with certainty. The circumscriptions of criteria -jam the read-put a halt to thinking. In advance of the invasion we will hear from the depths of mirrors the clatter of weapons. Jorge Luis Borges from The Book of Imaginary Beings cited in Derek Gregory's "Lacan and Geography: the Production of Space Revisited" in Benko and Strohmayer (eds) Space and social theory: Interpreting modernity and Postmodernity. [1997:203] signs of an approaching storm were there to tell me where I needed to go - there to be read - there where I needed it to be - and there when I needed it to be there - the I returned to my space of writingness this Sunday morning of June 12th - a grey Vancouver morning - in the aftermath of a stormy evening — drawing on the evocations - the strength that is inherent in an approaching storm - I don't even remember what happened to the storm - I don't know where it went - I don't even know if it happened - / only know that the 197 excitement and the energy of an approaching storm - that takes the papers strewn about the floor and displaces them - before I can suture them with books and wooden bowls and candlesticks — and I am returned to Derek Gregory's Geographical imaginations - seeking to find a citation whose traces have haunted me 'the clatter of ...' at that moment I needed something more than weak intensities - I needed a 'clatter' - a book pulled randomly to halt the swirl ofpapers dislodged from dusty veils - provides a title in a second glance — the second following a first ... And I found myself enticed with Gregory's first subtitle 'strange lessons in deep space' which could easily be the descriptive for my first year back in the institution of 'school' - a year in which I lost my voice - a year in which I disappeared because there was no Where for me to be. And perhaps the voice that I lost was one that I no longer wanted to have. And like the hole in the flag - in Zizek's "Tarrying with the Negative" - can the disappearance of a voice be a generative space for a new voice - for a voice that re-writes itself - for a voice that writes in order to disappear - to maintain a kind of repetition of disappearance as opening? And from the site of my demise can I rise again from my own ashes? Like Gregory, I want my writing to spin a 'multiple' hermeneutic between its 'different' sites. I am drawn to Gregory's deconstruction of spatialities. As I try to follow his cartographic anxieties I find myself re-reading through pedagogical imaginaries. I heard Derek Gregory one evening giving a tribute to Bruno Latour who had just presented at UBC. Gregory told the story of going into a bookstore on a recent visit to France. When he asked where he might find the complete works of Bruno Latour he was told that Latour could not be located in just one section - Latour was everywhere. See Gregory's Geographical Imaginations for citations [1994:12]. 198 Beginning with Henri Lefebvre's evocative words "Space had to be produced before it -a i could be read." Is that what happens with our categories? We produce them; we read them; we translate them; uncanny demarcations ... And then we begin to risk. We begin to risk transgressions. / take Bhabha's 'exilic' leap from one ladder to another - from the Cixousian ladder to Marjorie Perloff's Wittgenstein's ladder -from one contradictory positioning to another. I am ex-static to find in Perloff's work this Wittgensteinian commentary on his own thinking process: "I jump about all around it; that is the only way of thinking that comes naturally to me. Forcing my thoughts into an ordered sequence is a torment for me. " 32 Wittgenstein contends that language sets everyone the same traps and that "distrust of grammar ... is the first requisite ofphilosophizing. "33 How can I invite teachers to listen to Wittgenstein - to read their students through him - those students who are "tormented by the tedium of organized sequential thought a struggle with the contrary depths of oneself which ... will present themselves in touches of madness ... ordinary language procedures ... inherently partaking of the uncanny ... "34 And I must wander - as a nomad - for nomads return to the same place - to familiar35 places - and time in the 'composting' leaves spaces for memory traces to surface from the deep self to be re- written in the written self - to enter into the movements of metonymic moments. 3 1 Gregory draws from Carter's Botany Bay on the language of naming: "What was named was not something out there; rather, it represented a mental orientation, an intention to travel. Naming words were forms of spatial punctuation, transforming space into an object of knowledge, something that could be explored and read." See Carter citation in Gregory [1994:172]. 32SeePerloff[1996:8]. 3 3 Ibid. [17-18] 3 4 Ibid. [16] 3 51 have come re-cognize these readings as re-turnings to places that have haunted me before - to Russian authors to French authors to Japanese authors - why had I stopped reading? When I entered the world of stillborn English in pedagogical sites? Sutured by numerical narratives? Why? 199 dis/solving the word ... I'm intrigued with Perloff in a 'take' on Beckett - The FACE, but not the countenance, is a landscape, attempting an interpretation of his question: "Is there any several landscapes. A photograph of Beckett at eighty. reason why that terrible materiality of the word surface An entire land parched with drought, the flesh defied. And r , • j . , ,,,0 A j . . in the wrinkles, in the creases should not be capable of being dissolved ? According to w h e r e the pupils flash with anger, a cheerful incredulity. So Beckett official English can only be dismantled i f the mummy is still alive. Just. The network of cracks and language is "efficiently misused ... that is i f the unword - f U r r o w s r e P r e s e n t s so many weak points; misery has entered them, infiltrated them and has the unpoetic, ungainly, ordinary ... as well as the b e e n w e i C omed. Waiting for ram. Lyotard [1991:184-5] unanticipated pause, the odd silence is allowed to intrude on the text, to disrupt the sound surface."36 Beckett calls for a porous texture of language ... a porosity of language ... the literature of the unword - how enticing to be seduced by the unword - to not-know and to not not-know. How can I end in this space - in the space of not not-writing - the space of a porous texture - in the space of a language that is porous? What is it that is so enticing in the moment of an 'unword'? How to read Beckett with Butler on the performative power of a mis-fire? Sometimes I've had to wait for rain in order to write - this text has been written in the rain - seeking desert spaces while writing in the rain. And when you need to move away from weak intensities you wait for the clamour of an oncoming storm and so the cadence swings - shifting. I have often read my writings through the skylights but now 3 6 See Perloff [1996:121]. 3 7 In the Introduction to Samuel Beckett: Photographs, Aidan Higgins situates Beckett's work in Nietzsche's void of the "eternally generative." Higgens asks that we listen to the "melancholy Irish cadences come throbbing through the French and English texts, mournful as sea-warnings from the Kish" [1995:18-19]. 200 newspapers cover the skylights - to cut the intensity of the summer sun - pounding of granite sounds from the quarry - stones - Bassalt to-be-precise - driving me to distraction. My landlord has contracted to have decks re-constructed and garden spaces re-designed. Intensities of dust and poundings and too much sun. It's impossible to write. Impossible to write in desert intensities of heat and sun and dust and sand and poundings from the quarries of the earth. Dry climates evoke another kind of writing — delaying decomposure. I wait for rain. Returning to the title evokes a persistent unheimlich - a trembling spectre of uncanny. We have seen that signatures are incomplete - that signing is countersigned - that a diagonal runs through counter/transference. That we might trouble the dominant discourses as we struggle to maintain the tensionality of language through persistent instability - through fragments of storied praxis - through doubled readings. Awaiting vacancies for Beckett's intrusion of silence. And when self re/cognition in a performative act descends like the clatter of thunder from the utterance that one's writing is 'bad' - the word swells with humiliation and enters again to be grounded in humus - to enter the earth with your teeth as I once heard Carl Leggo say - to begin again the composting - for where does 'bad' go - does it de- compose leaving empty traces - does it de-compose in silence without utterance - can the 'de' dislodge it radically? Or is it the silent intrusion that drives desire? And then there is 'grafting' - what happens in the interruptions of the text with graftings? Is it also about grafting onto 'the work' a cluster of writers - a cluster of citations and then grafting an 201 infusion of another cluster - as a series of interruptions - sometimes an/other way of writing - how often have I engaged in semantic mappings - in cartographic imaginaries - with students to establish prior knowledge to make associations - preparatory gestures - how can one engage in writing as inquiry when it's webbed in advance38 - it's about continuous re-working of the text so that it shifts with each of the graftings - like Trinh's getting of several cultures on a body - how to hybridize writing - is it not writing backwards to web in advance - writing constitutes thinking - but I must read my way into writing - burrow into it - into the murkiness - into the desert waiting at the bottom of the word - pulling threads so that I might dwell in the spaces vacated by the threads ... Levinas makes his break with Husserl and Heidegger and there at the site of rupture that's where newness happens. Where are the narratives disrupted - where are the stories discontinued - what is the meaning and non-meaning of the silence imposed through the discontinuation? What stories are told in the silences? The cessation of Levinas writing on Heidegger - a cessation that drifts as a 'stop' of not-writing - the traces of stoppage live on as translation as survivre. Porosity in the moments in-between. Language permits us to utter, be it by betrayal, this outside of being, this ex-ception to being, as though being's other were an event of being. Levinas [1996:113] I heard Ondaatje, in interview, being asked if he knew the plot of The English Patient in advance and he replied that if he had known it would have been too boring a task to write the novel. What does this say about the ways in which we teach students? 202 Let us return to the Jabesian notion of hospitality Everything we designate as "found," we j • T t A i r .1 ordinarily call "a gift from Hermes".... He and again I borrow a metaphor from northern r e i g n s 0 V er paths. On the borders of paths are found the pile of stones .... from which he travels - a cache - another arche-texture - of received his name. The passerby threw a stone upon them. rocks and stones. Where the Innuit leave a cache , „ ^ ^ , , „ r Walter F. Otto m Les Dieux de la Grece [137] cited by Marc Froment-Meurice in That is to of supplies for the unknown traveler. For the s a y : Heidegger's Poetics [1998:22} traveler who seeks - a few morsels - a few The gods are the inventions of poets, and thus their own, proper messengers. Thus, the . , . , , , . . messenger finds on his path (and this is the traces. A cache transplanted in a text — ? . . s , ; , • . , F sense of invemre) what it was his mission to announce. In other words, the only god here is transgressing boundaries - contexts. Fragments the path. It is the path that sends everything: the messenger, the message, and the addressee pulled from their contexts and in metonymic (us). On the path, there is the hermes. A passerby threw a stone there, a white stone, a milestone, a mark(er). A passerby finds moments a transformation. Perhaps that's how I hermes on his path ... The sense or direction of the path is to be a path. Marc Froment-Meurice, "Hermes' Gift" in That is to say: Heidegger's Poetics [1998:23] read now - coming across a cache - a pile of stones - and you take from the cache what you need in the discursive moment of a 'now' and you contribute when you can - when the tracking has been good. You can leave something behind and sometimes you leave no-thing because that is the sense of the wor(l)d. Travelers as multiple hermeneuts spinning at the site of hospitality. The emptiness - the vacancy of no-thing - speaks for itself. And on the 7th day of the 7th month in the summer of '99 located within the site of the Pedagon, the psychic contraction - the character - that is David Geoffrey Smith - an actor on the stage of metonymy - ex/posed his navel - in the fleshly inscription that the 203 T of individual is of an/other39 - the trace that marks the body - the demarcation of the other - the cinders that remain without remaining - written on the body - re/written on the screen [mise-en-page] - the actor named as proper name as the author of Pedagon spinning a multiple hermeneutic around the site of navel nomenclature - in an exilic leap from the pages of the text - authors leap on and off the pages - startling complacency. Let's return to the English gaze and collide the gaze with the embodied presence of the English eye. Stuart Hall refers to the "all-encompassing 'English eye'" that becomes "coterminous with sight itself." I have often felt that English lacks its own other - refuses its other - denies it. I speak only English but I will never be English - my english is tainted and stained with residual 'otherness' from the crypt. The screen is blurred. B i l l Ashcroft makes a distinction between english and English with a metonymic absence/presence of capitalization. But what happens in academic inscriptions as specters emerge from the crypt? B i l l Readings refers to a 'university in ruins' - what creative possibilities might happen in the ruins of 'broken' englishes - in the site depicted by Coco Fusco - the site of her title "English is broken here"? How can we dwell within the spaces of Mallarme's 'angloise' the site of english and anguish in the 'pedagon'? Lather alerts us to Britzman's gesture of research as a means to see the need to be wounded by thought as an ethical move. Having collided repeatedly with the 'passion' of my ignorance in the living of these pages - and with the death of author/ity - I wish to take my leave within the wound of a restless tremor in the clatter of apostrophe. By chance I sat beside his mother in his noted scholar address and she asked me if I was able to hear him - a m/other who had left the bodily stigmata of her demarcation and the traces of infinite obligation as 204 I have often listened to professors professing 'hope' and wondered 'hope' for what and for whom and then wondered where 'hope' might be located. I located in Jabes that 'hope is bound to writing' - could that suffice for now - in the now of this discourse - hope that stirs in the Jabesian desert spaces below the words - from the generative spaces of emptiness — from the exquisite pain of the beauty of certain juxtapositions of words — the suffering 'jouissance' - textured by the writers that I am reading - wondering where was pedagogy when I was learning to read - why was it from random wanderings that I have found these generative spaces - by happenstance. Hope. I only hope that in my teaching praxis I can learn to do less harm. And I locate in Fuimara a citation from Ricoeur- that hope begins with "an a-logic ... It breaks into a closed order ... A passion for the possible ... a remitting of the over-abundance of meaning to the abundance of nonsense ... signs of a new creation, the novelty of which literally catches us off guard. Hope, when it breaks out, is 'aporetic', not because of deficiency but because of excess of meaning. "40 If hope is a necessary illusion, how can we learn to dwell within the tremble of its aporetic inscription? 'frayage' - the frayed edges of traces - of being-toward-the-other. 4 0 See Fuimara [1990:165] 205 drifting habitations of a vacant subject... The residues of past positionalities tremble as I locate this utterance in Critchley's text: "The other person T h e relationship of the subject to the Other is entirely , . , A. A l A , produced in a process of gap ... stands in a relation to me that exceeds my cognitive from t h e s u b j e c t c a l l e d t 0 ^ Other, to the subject of that powers41, placing me in question and calling me to which he has himself seen appear in the field of the Other, justify myself." In excess of - extimite - exceeds - goes J o m t h e 0 t h e r coming back This process is circular, but, of its nature, without reciprocity. beyond. How do we proceed within the radical Jacques Lacan hemeneutics of this message? Within the uncertainty - the instability of this passage - within the aporetic moment of this semantics? How does Hermes in all the multiple positionalities of his location speak from the site of the pedagon? How can we begin to double back on our positionalities in pedagogy through deep readings with acknowledgement that deep readings constitute the location of our 'lookouts'? Culler enters the interstices of psychoanalysis and literary theory to stage a disruption. In reference to the notion of transference in psychoanalysis, Culler proposes that the relation between analyst and analysand that was thought to be cognitive "turns out to be performative."42 What does this mean for pedagogy - in the relationships between teacher and student? Is this what happens in dynamic mediated learning? In interactive reciprocity? I begin my interactive assessment process from a cognitive stance but the event always exceeds the intentions. A performativity that makes tremble the brackets in medi(t)ation? A reciprocity that trembles in its slippage - in its sly spatialities. 4 1 See Critchley [1996:32]. This statement seeps into the very depth of my agony as I exit repeatedly from the school psychology role that seeks to measure - to know - the 'other' and I recall Bowie's dictum on psychoanalysis - analysis is finished when the analysand realizes the analyst has no answers - exceeds my cognitive powers - exceeds - in excess of - extimite 4 2 See Culler [1981:224]. 206 That troubles a hermeneutic reading - that doubles back on hermes? Tremors on the path Saturday morning. July 24th. Skid. Skidding. Losing control. Too much rain. Not enough tread on my worn student tires. Too many words. Not enough written. My chronotope is disrupted - re-set to summer class schedule - and I'm running late for my Saturday morning shift at the bookstore. My car begins a skid taking a corner too fast — instant terror until control is regained. What happens when a slide turns into a skid? My wor(l)ds are spinning out-of-control. Sunday afternoon July 25th. Book rage. I withdraw as a volunteer staff member at Spartacus. — so ends my career43 as a neophite socialist-in-the-becoming — I'm told that I'm buying too many used books — 'she' can't read eight books at once — the collusion of consumerism and socialism incites a tensionality - and so I lay claim to my membership rights - how quickly the familiarity of rationality descends into anger - the spectre of my self-righteous indignation - doubling back on me - as a member there are no limits - as a volunteer I am limited - unreasonable - zapped by reason - by dialogics - and, thus, humiliated by my own inconsistencies - foiled by the dictums of 'reason' - bound and unbound by my own absurdities - and, suddenly, four found hours on a Saturday - a void opening to new possibilities. The rats in Victory Park have long been re-located. The dense bushes that provided refuge have been removed and the co-inhabitants have dispersed. See Lacan on rats - he refers to a rat unit [140]. I only walk now through the park when it is raining - when no one is there. And the Cannabis Cafe on the floor below the bookshop has been shut down for il/legal reasons - a chiasmatic illegality located in a double fold - in the re-petitions pasted on the doors and windows - in a double fold - in a double bind. 207 Re-signation. As a space surprised by difference into the performance of practices of not- knowing. I am reading Lather drawing from Britzman - a space that welcomes alternative ways of being in the world suddenly startled by suturing - confining - always multiple ways of reading. The need to be wounded by thought as an ethical move. And my phantom lantern looking back at me in a panoptical moment suspended in disbelief from the phantasmatic traces of a cedar bough. Writing as the 'moment of the desert' as the moment of separation. Kermode commenting on endings contends that deferral must, in human terms, have a stop, and the stop of deconstructive discourse is the aporia. Critchley contends that Derrida's final words on Levinas are "ethical performatives"44 in a double gesture - in a double reading. Is this where the path that is Hermes leads - to a co-habitation in order to disturb the inhabitants with "ethical performatives" always dwelling with/in the possibilities of promise and terror. How can we write the other ethically by leaving routes for them to escape the stigmata - by not quite identifying them? How? By a double response reading of, reading 'with' the other which decenters the self. Hugh Silverman refers to Barthes' notion of atopia as a "drifting habitation."45 Derrida refers to a biblical story ending in "bois": ... bois - drink - an invitation ... We must begin wherever we are and the thought of the trace ... has already taught us that it was impossible to justify a point of departure absolutely. Wherever we are: in a text where we already believe ourselves to be. Derrida [1974:162] See Critchley citing Derrida in "Bois - Derrida's Final Word on Levinas " in Bernascondi and Critchley (Eds) Re-Reading Levinas [ 1991:168]. 4 5 See Silverman Textualities: Between Hermeneutics and Deconstruction. Silverman refers to both Sartre and Barthes in this notion of drifting at a juncture between reading and writing - as a movement of self- decentering [1994:132-133]. 208 moments of performative writing . . . I was delighted to find Pollock's reference to Writing performed in extremis . . A(. becomes unwriting. It un/does performative writing as metonymic - as incomplete. I itself. Even this phrase "un/does itself - is a minor have been tracking the traces of metonymy from de metonymy. Saussure, Jacobson, Lacan and re-visioned by Ted T. P o l l o c k [1998.83] Aoki into a space of generative possibilities for pedagogy. And now here in Pollock. In the role of a passeur I had always been compelled to supply answers - to inform causality. Until I began to realize that what I was doing was nonsense masquerading in multiple disguises as 'truth.' I believe now that I had to co-habit that space in order to begin to deconstruct it - to re-write what degrees of freedom might mean. Metonymic writing, according to Pollock, takes its pulse from the difference between the symbol and the thing rather than from the identity between the two. Pollock contends that metonymic writing obscures "others" and "other-worlds" through securing an absence by the very representational stance of writing. But what happens in the spaces between identity and identification - could this be a location that opens to performative writing? 4 61 recall Patrick Verriour in a narrative course as I took my first tentative movements toward narrative writing telling me that I didn't have to say it all -1 could leave spaces. Verriour introduced me to Helene Cixous' Three steps on the ladder of writing. And my writing began to seek new ways of being-toward-the- other. What is truth? A moving army of metaphors, metonymies and anthropomorphisms, in short a summa of human relationships that are being poetically and rhetorically sublimated, transposed, and beautified until, after long and repeated use, a people considers them as solid, canonical, and unavoidable. Truths are illusions whose illusionary nature has been forgotten ... Nietzsche cited in Culler [1981:203] 209 Delia Pollock contends that performative writing is subjective - "as a relation of being and knowing that cuts back and forth across multiple 'divisions' among selves, contexts, affiliations . . ." moving beyond binary positionings. I found myself in re/searching as looking again unable to stabilize within a 'situated knowledge' as readings and re- readings were a continual disruption of stabilities. I began to seek out the vibrancy of living with persistent instability. M y attention was drawn to the misfires. M y proper name was re-turned to me repeatedly in multiple fragmented 'selves' - demarcated mappings - by my teachers and by my students in doublings of contextual constraints. Reading these haunted dictations, I began to see my teachers and my students entangled in the complexities and complicities of their live(d) experiences - their textualities. And I began to risk reading silences - to listen for the unsayable - letting it speak for itself - living uneasily with the tremble on the path that is hermes. I am increasingly intrigued by the 'lack' of productivity and the untapped power of desire in that resistance - the disappearance of the psychic contraction between the helmet and the bicycle - where did that body go? And, in the end, is the text then emptied out of characters whose multiple selves are reworked through enunciation? And I want to invite Pollock into the space of Zizek's Lacanian question: "What are you asking that is more than you are saying"? As she perhaps contradicts herself - as we all do - in the impossible situation of dis/location - as she begins to judge what works and what does not work performatively - in the trajectory of the symptom she projects a "worst-case per/version of monologue